Emergency Services Academy Ltd. ("ESA") was established in 1995 as Emergency Services Training Institute (“ESTI”), a division of Industrial Emergency Services Inc.  Operating in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, its initial focus was to provide industrial safety training and fire fighter training to corporate clients. 

In 1996, the company gained provincial (Alberta) accreditation of the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program, which was offered to corporate clients. This is the first level of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) practitioners recognized in Canada. Accreditation of the Primary Care Paramedic – Ambulance (PCP) program followed in 1997. This program was offered to public clients as the next level of emergency paramedical training.  An agreement in 2000 with the Alberta Fire Training School in Vermilion, Alberta, allowed the school to present its third major program in the form of fire fighter training to public clients.

In 2000, ESTI was purchased by Darrell Reid and reincorporated as Emergency Services Academy Ltd. (“ESA”). In 2002, ESA was approved under the auspices of Alberta Learning, Private Institutions Branch as a private vocational school. In 2008, ESA was restructured. The Director and Owner of the company is now Chelsey Reid.

In December, 2003, ESA moved from its original location in Edmonton, Alberta, to Sherwood Park, about 3 km southeast of the Edmonton city limits. ESA now occupies 6,000 square feet of the second floor of a condominium complex north of Baseline Road. It offers larger classrooms, labs and scenario rooms, as well as a lunchroom and study areas. The location is on a public transit route and free parking is available. 

The community of Sherwood Park offers extensive support to ESA.  As Alberta’s seventh largest municipality and the world’s largest hamlet (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Sherwood Park offers many of the amenities found in a large city including fitness and recreation centers such as Millenium Place, entertainment facilities such as Festival Place, and shopping malls.  Sherwood Park is part of Strathcona County which has one of the largest amalgamated fire and ambulance services in Alberta, Strathcona County Emergency Services (SCES), which is also responsible for serving refinery row on the east side of Edmonton.

The growth which accompanies consistent program delivery has increased staffing levels from sixteen instructors in 2000 to about 50 in 2019.  Student numbers have grown from less than 120 in 2000 to up to a maximum of 500 in 2017, and a norm of 375 students per year.  One of the mandates of ESA which is closely observed is to maintain a low student to instructor ratio in all programs and courses.

The instructional staff at ESA consists of career emergency service workers including EMRs, PCPs, Paramedics, Fire Fighters, and Registered Nurses.  Curriculums are based on up-to-date methods and meet criteria of the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP), Accreditation Canada, the Office of the Fire Commissioner, Government of Alberta and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

ESA aggressively seeks partnerships in order to allow better educational opportunities for our students.  This results in  programs and courses which exceed the requirements established by ACP, Accreditation Canada and NFPA. Outreach programs and technology based delivery methods are continually developed in order to extend the school’s geographic base. Students from across Canada attend ESA. ESA graduates are employed across the country from Vancouver to Yellowknife to the Maritimes.

ESA is a private vocational college and a member of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) and the Alberta Association of Career Colleges (AACC).  As such, ESA provides licensed post-secondary education giving its students the skills, training and education necessary to obtain meaningful careers.  


"The dream has come true and I have made the Calgary Fire Department. We find out our start dates at the end of August. I would like to thank everyone at ESA for helping me prepare for this amazing career!"
- Andrew, Fire 1003