Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on course work. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth. 

This course provides an introduction to the law, especially as it relates to fire service officials. The course is not intended to be a theoretically based description of law, but rather a review of law with an emphasis on understanding how law impacts on society and modern fire services departments and officers. The course also considers the broader trends in fire services law, with an opportunity to consider the directions of the law in Canada. 

Course Outline

Unit 1: Legal Systems Overview and Introduction 

In addition to the history of the law, you will learn about two major types of law and how they relate to fire departments and fire officers. You will learn the practical and relevant differences between civil and criminal law and how to relate them to your role.

Unit 2: Legal Basis for Fire Departments

In this unit, you will learn several different ways fire departments may be incorporated in the Maritimes. You will also look at the advantages and disadvantages of incorporation, as well as the implications of failing to incorporate.

Unit 3: Criminal Law and Procedure

In keeping with fire department role, you will look at the range of laws that apply to arson related offences. You will consider this area of law from the perspective of applying the law to facts. The important role fire departments play in the criminal justice system will be reviewed as you look at this important area of public safety.

Unit 4: Tort Law

In this unit, you will study issues of public liability and legal negligence. Practical aspects of civil court procedures will be examined, as well as provincial motor vehicle acts and relevant case law which define driver responsibilities. The unit touches on emerging and controversial legal topics and students will not only consider the technical aspects of law, but the pros and cons of some broader issues.

Unit 5: Laws of Evidence

In the final unit you will learn about the collection, preservation and presentation of evidence. You will consider what to do at a scene, and what not to do. The unit will help you review, prepare and present evidence.

What You Will Learn

In this course, you will learn 

  • the practical ways in which law can impact the operations of fire departments 
  • how the average firefighter can be impacted by the law in Canada 
  • the intersections between fire departments and the law in Canada 
  • what every fire department should consider in planning training and development, risk management, and fire inspections.  


For more Fire Service Management courses click here.

The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.


This course is one of six required courses in the Certificate in Fire Service Administration program. The Certificate in Fire Service Leadership program is a prerequisite to the CFSA program. 

Prerequisite: Completion of the "Certificate in Fire Service Leadership"

Recommended For

  • Fire officers and leaders planning services and standard operating procedures
  • Fire department trainers
  • Fire inspectors
  • Firefighters wishing to develop their career
  • CAO’s and municipal leaders wishing to understand issues of risk and risk management  
  • Elected officials of local governments considering issues of fire service delivery
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.
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