MARKHAM, ON Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) and Humber College have entered a unique agreement aimed at enhancing inclusion while reducing participation barriers for Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Markham students who wish to build a career in firefighting. This agreement creates a complete package of scholarships, equipment, supports for training and certification, summer job placements and mentorship to prime students for success.

Humber will offer eight scholarships, two each for four school terms, for students to study for a two-year Fire Services diploma followed by a one-year Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program.

MFES will provide the students’ equipment, pay for their DZ vehicle license and Ontario Fire Administration Inc. (OFAI) certification. During the school term, each will be paired with a current MFES staff member who will provide mentorship and keep them connected to the fire service. Each student will also be offered summer employment in the administration office to learn other areas of the fire service and to build relationships.

Scholarship students who successfully complete their schooling and certification will be offered a job interview with MFES. Successful candidates will be offered employment as a Markham firefighter.

Scholarship applicants must live, work or attend school in Markham and identify as Black, Indigenous, and Racialized. In consultation with these identified communities via various community partners and groups, Markham Fire and Emergency Services have selected the first two scholarship recipients for the September 2021 intake. The next intake for the 2022 to 2023 school year will be made in February 2022, with more information to follow on the City’s website at

To mark this occasion, MFES is donating a fire truck and equipment that is at the end of its life to Humber’s Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program.


“Markham Fire and Emergency Services has a strong commitment to increase diversity within the MFES to ensure the department reflects our community,” said Frank Scarpitti, Markham Mayor. “This exciting agreement with Humber College allows us to work together to increase access to the MFES for racialized groups while providing quality training and mentorship to students. This program is not only a testament to our commitment to remove barriers for racialized students seeking to build a career in firefighting but also our commitment to champion our rich diversity."

The City of Markham and Markham Fire and Emergency Services is proud to partner with a respected educational institution like Humber College to recruit, mentor, train and employ the next generation of firefighters,” said Andy Taylor, Markham CAO. “Markham Fire and Emergency Services has gradually worked to build a service with one of the highest percentages of racialized and female firefighters in Ontario. We are now taking the next step. Together with Humber College, we will be able to extend our efforts and reduce participation barriers for racialized communities so they can succeed with MFES and in their careers as firefighters.”

“Markham Fire and Emergency Services is taking the next bold step to increase diversity in our ranks. This one-of-a-kind program seeks to provide access and opportunity to Black, Indigenous, and Racialized candidates and remove some of the barriers that have impeded progress in this area,” said Adam Grant, MFES Fire Chief. “We are very proud to be working with Humber College and hope that this innovative and progressive program will motivate other businesses and organizations to take similar steps to increase representation in the workplace.”

“The initiative launched by MFES in collaboration with Humber College has the potential to be truly transformational for the community. This program is filled with several key elements that will enhance the process of forging meaningful relationships between the community, City of Markham and private institutions as they seek to address racial systemic issues,” said Lisa-Joy Facey, president, Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association (MACCA). “It is my hope that the recipients of this program will embrace this opportunity and in turn play an active role in making sure their communities thrive.”

"This scholarship from the City of Markham will further support Humber's efforts for diversity and inclusion, and racial and gender equality for students who wish to build a career in the fire services," said Amanda Baskwill, associate dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness at Humber College. "Scholarships like these will also help our program attract more students who resemble the communities where they will work. A more inclusive fire service improves a team's innovation and problem-solving abilities because of the different perspectives and experiences each individual brings."

To learn more about Markham Fire & Emergency Services, visit

City of Markham and Humber College, officials, students and community members at the official announcement of the scholarship and career development initiative. 

For more photos and video from the event, visit our event folder.

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About the City of Markham
Markham, an award-winning municipality with more than 351,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 650 headquartered companies and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 234 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy.

Stay Connected: Visit our newsroom or search #MarkhamNews and #MarkhamEvents for the latest information on City programs, services and events

About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Humber College is focused on our students' future. As a global leader in polytechnic education, Humber students receive in-depth theoretical learning and hands-on experience with applied research and extensive industry connections. Humber provides career-focused education to more than 38,000 full-time and 19,000 part-time students and professional learners in-person at three main Toronto locations and online. A comprehensive range of credentials, including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates, prepare career-ready global citizens to move seamlessly from education to employment. More than 86 per cent of Humber graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies. 

For more information please contact;

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: 

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham: 
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at or 437.229.2450.

Humber College - Media Relations, 416.675.5095,