Airtanker Base Loader

Refueling a plane

Job Classification: Natural Resources 2

Salary Range: $21.83 – $26.87 per hour

Length of employment: Varies by base, but in general April 20 to September 15. Pre and post season extensions are not uncommon as they will be a direct result of the wildfire danger during these shoulder seasons.

Deadline for application: January 31

The Airtanker Base Loader reports to the Airtanker Base Supervisor and will be placed at one of 14 Airtanker Bases located around the province.

The loader position is the Airtanker Base’s front line worker whose primary responsibility is the safe and efficient loading of airtanker aircraft used in the suppression of wildfire.

Working under the direction of the Airtanker Base Supervisor, the loader will also be required to assist in base operations, which include maintaining inventory levels, base maintenance and safety.

This position requires skills in effective communication, organization, maintenance and mechanical skills. The applicant has to have an ability to prioritize, multi task, as well as a commitment to work long and flexible hours when required. Aptitude with pumps systems, chemical handling and safety around aircraft is essential.

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Minimum Recruitment Standards

Some high school education plus some related experience (i.e. up to 12 months).

Equivalency: Directly related experience or education considered on the basis of: one year of experience for one year of education or one year of education for one year of experience.

Special Requirement: Physically able to perform position duties.

Education & Experience Preferred/Required

  • Valid First Aid Certificate with CPR **
  • Valid Class 5 Drivers License **
  • Valid Defensive Driving Certificate **
  • Current Driver’s Abstract
    • A Driver’s Abstract, showing a record of seven (7) demerits or less, must be obtained. Your driver’s abstract must be obtained within 30 days prior to your commencement date and must be presented to management prior to your commencement for the above stated position.
  • WHIMIS and TDG Ground mode certificates
  • Current Forklift Certificate
  • Previous experience in wildfire suppression activities is an asset

    ** Requirement

Preference will go to applicants who have prior experience with loading Airtankers.
Completion of a fitness test will be a requirement of this position.

Updated: Jan 07, 2022


  • All work preformed will be conducted in a safe manner.
  • Ensure appropriate PPE is worn while working on the base.
  • All accidents, incidents and near misses will be reported.
  • Ensure the required safety station equipment is on site, maintained, marked and spotted at strategic locations.
  • Ensure the adherence to Standard Operating Procedures as dictated by the department.
  • Lockout unsafe or defective equipment.
  • Assist in safety orientations for all personnel entering the base.

Airtanker Base Maintenance

  • Conduct facility and grounds maintenance as directed by supervisor.
  • Conduct workshop maintenance and clean up.
  • Housekeeping of operations building(s) as required.
  • Perform general maintenance on AAF equipment assigned to the base.

Airtanker Groups and Dispatching

  • Liaise and work with the Air Attack Officer who is assigned to an airtanker group when assigned to your base.
  • Ensure group receives briefings as required upon arrival.
  • Facilitate the requirements of the airtanker group. i.e. aircraft spares storage, assisting in setting up accommodations and vehicle rentals as needed, etc.

Daily Briefings

  • Report daily to the ATBS for a briefing as to the general fire situation and the plan of action.

Retardant Mixing and Aircraft Loading

  • Ensure that the fire retardant mixing facilities and equipment are in operational condition at all times.
  • Ensure the loading area itself is being properly maintained, is clean and is in a safe condition.
  • Maintain the loading/mixing/storage areas so that they are clean and free of obstructions.
  • Ensure that the fire retardant, foam concentrate is stored, protected and re-circulated to ensure it will continually meet specifications.
  • Measuring inventory levels to ensure there is adequate supply of foam, retardant and water to support normal operations, and reporting those levels to the Airtanker Base Supervisor.
  • Ensure that the material, supplies and equipment are not placed or stored in locations that may interfere with the fuelling or fire retardant loading procedures.
  • Receiving of inventories and ensuring their proper storage as they arrive on base.
  • Loading of aircraft as directed by Airtanker Base Supervisor and Pilot in Command.
  • Ensure that proper procedures are followed while approaching and loading aircraft.
  • Ensure testing of retardant is preformed as per policy.
  • Maintain records of the amount of fire retardant used and stored.

Aircraft Fuel

  • In conjunction with, and under the supervision of, the Airtanker Base Supervisor, carry out aviation fuel quality testing as per Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Carry out physical measurement of fuel inventory levels.
  • Inspect and ensure condition of fuelling facilities
  • Lockout and report any contaminated fuel.
  • Document all fuel tests results.
  • Ensure fuel spills are reported and cleaned up using appropriate methods and procedures.
  • Assist pilots/engineers with aircraft refuelling


  • Other duties as required.

Updated: May 16, 2013

How many hours are in a typical work week?

The typical work week is 36.25 hours (7.25 hours/day). You will be required to work overtime as required by the current wildfire danger level.

What kind of schedule would I be on?

Schedules between Areas will vary however you can generally expect to work; 10 on and 4 days off, however 5/2 and 15/6 schedules are possible as well. Talk to the local office for specific information on this topic.

Are there living accommodations available?

In most Forestry Areas living accommodations can be provided. Please contact the Forestry Area directly for information on accommodation type and availability.

Do I require a vehicle?

A vehicle is not required; however, it is your responsibility to obtain transportation to and from work. While working, a vehicle will be available to perform work related duties. Successful completion of defensive driving is required to operate a Department vehicle.

What type of training is available?

Both on-the-job and specific training will be provided. Candidates will be required to attend and pass; WHIMIS, TDG Ground and Forklift courses.

Am I expected to participate in the field on wildfires?

Primarily you will be working at an assigned base located at the local airport. However, depending on the level of active air operations in the province at any given time, individuals may be asked to relieve other airtanker base staff in another location, and also there are sometimes requirements for experienced personnel to work on temporary bases set up at various locations around the province. This may also include mobile retardant bases set up to facilitate helicopter retardant bucketing operations.

Updated: Jan 07, 2022

Interested applicants can apply through the GOA jobs board. For job specific questions please use the contact information below.

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Disclaimer: This web page was built using information believed to be accurate at the time of construction and is for information purposes only. For specifics on the job position, please contact the location/person in charge of the position you wish to apply for.

Updated: Jan 10, 2022