Feb. 24, 2017, Trepassey, N.L. - Police are investigating after fire destroyed a convenience store in Trepassey, on the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, early Friday morning. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 24, 2017, Nelson, B.C. - Nelson Fire Rescue was called to perform a rope rescue near Mountain Lake Seniors Home in Fairview after an elderly woman fell down a steep bank Thursday afternoon. The Nelson Daily reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 24, 2017, Burnaby, B.C. - Burnaby firefighters had a long battle with a fire at a used furniture store near Kingsway early Friday morning. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 24, 2017, Sudbury, Ont. - City staff say a plan to overhaul Greater Sudbury's fire department will ensure that more Sudburians are safe and will replace outdated fire halls. But the long-awaited optimization plan will also see an increase in taxes in areas currently served by volunteer firefighters, whose numbers could be cut in half, while more full-time firefighters are hired. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 23, 2017, Calgary - The City of Calgary has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters' union, marking the first time in two decades a deal has been reached between the two parties without arbitration. The Calgary Sun reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 23, 2017, Calgary - A member of the Calgary Fire Department was transported to hospital early Wednesday evening after being injured while battling a fire in a northeast house. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 23, 2017, Barrie, Ont. - A fire inside a Barrie retirement home on Wendesday evening sent one person to hospital. The patient is believed to be a resident at Woods Park Care Centre retirement residence who suffered smoke inhalation. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 23, 2017, Brampton, Ont. - Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal says there were no working smoke alarms in a Brampton, Ont., home where a fire killed three members of the same family last week.
Feb. 22, 2017, Hamilton, Ont. - One person is dead following an apartment fire in downtown Hamilton on Tuesday evening. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 22, 2017, Saskatoon - Saskatoon fire crews spent much of Tuesday night battling a fire at the Bonanza Steakhouse.While the fire was serious enough to be upgraded to a 2nd alarm fire, the restaurant owner confirmed to the fire department that all staff were accounted for. The Star Phoenix reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 3, 2017, Barrie, Ont. - Barrie and Springwater fire services are warning businesses and home owners to be on alert for a fake fire inspector known to frequent the area. The fire department in Springwater was recently made aware of an unlicensed person claiming to be a fire inspector. The fire department said his license to inspect fire equipment has not been verified. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
July 27, 2016 - Public education at the Calgary Fire Department has gone to the dogs – and it's helping draw attention to fire-safety messages. Paul Aziz, a community safety officer with the Calgary Fire Department, shared with us a fire-safety video that stars Flint, a retired search and rescue dog. The video has already been viewed almost 1,500 times on YouTube.". . . we are finding it is getting the message across to kids as well as adults," Aziz said in an email, adding that he is more than happy to share the video with fire services across Canada.
June 24, 2016, Vancouver - Many fire departments have a diversity agenda, but few have an outreach team to help encourage diverse communities to join fire services. What can those who are not decision makers do to further diversity in our departments? How about getting a group of your fire pals together, and creating a firefighting camp for teenage girls?That is exactly what a group of female firefighters from the Metro Vancouver area did in 2011. Modeled after a similar program in New York state, Camp Ignite is an annual four-day/three-night camp in the Metro Vancouver area for teenage girls of all cultures. Now in its sixth year, Camp Ignite is organized by a volunteer committee of female firefighters and delivered in partnership with several fire departments as a co-operative instruction venture between volunteer mentors and fire department duty crews.Up to 20 teenage girls complete the program annually. Participants develop new skills such as CPR and fire-extinguisher training, and, through participating in challenging fire-training scenarios, surpass their personal expectations, explore where they thought their boundaries were, and have the opportunity to surpass them. The young women climb a 100-foot aerial ladder, rappel down the outside of a building, ride a fire truck and take a hydrant, don a full hazmat suit, use auto-extrication tools on a wrecked car, as well search a smoke house, locate and rescue a victim. Completing those tasks can help boost a young woman's self esteem, and it's something they will never forget.For the fire-department mentors, the opportunity to influence and support these young women is beyond fulfilling. To hear a young woman say that she can do anything she wants to do in this world fills a mentor with pride and helps keep the flame of passion for community service flowing. Many of these young women complete camp and want to be firefighters – how could they not!Camp Ignite not only provides young women with opportunities to empower themselves, but they have fun, make new friends, and learn from strong female role models."Over the years I have had the privilege of receiving the guidance and mentorship from many men and women across the fire service," said former peer mentor Ashley Lewis. "Programs such as the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Youth Academy and Camp Ignite have allowed me to meet and learn from the men and women that have been my inspiration while pursuing a career in the fire service. I will be forever grateful for all the guidance I have received and aspire to be as great as the men and women who have inspired me."Fire departments involved with Camp Ignite can participate by sponsoring a camper, hosting the event, and promoting their department to young women who may be interested in pursuing a career in fire fighting. A hosting department may have up to 30 young women and female firefighters on site participating in firefighting activities.To date Camp Ignite has been hosted by 10 different municipalities in the Vancouver area with two new fire departments hosting in 2016 – Mission Fire/Rescue Service and Langley Township Fire Department. A live-fire training day is offered in conjunction with the Justice Institute of BC Fire & Safety Division at the Maple Ridge campus. The camp offers no shortage of opportunities to cultivate cultural growth in the fire service and showcase men and women working together successfully.Each year the number of firefighting camps for young women taking place throughout North America grows. In 2013, Camp Ignite hosted a firefighter from Cal Fire – California's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – who was interested in organizing a program in her state. Camp Cinder is now in its third year in California. In 2015, a team from Spokane, Wash., visited Camp Ignite to look into starting a camp in the region. More and more people in the fire service recognize camps as an effective way to give back and be proactive in a diversity initiative.Camp Ignite provides a venue that encourages more women to explore the fire service as a career choice, whether it is directly through participation, through conversations about the camp with family, friends and relatives, or as a result of raising the profile of women and men successfully working together in the fire service.Will this grassroots initiative result in an organic increase in recruitment? Time will tell, but the young women who participate in Camp Ignite are moving into the fire services. Camp Ignite's first campers are getting serious about careers and a number of them are now volunteer firefighters, or are following a path to become first responders. Some former campers are exploring other male-dominated careers. A 2011 peer mentor, who is currently working as a volunteer firefighter, is in the final stages of the hiring process with a large career department – she will be the first participant of Camp Ignite to realize a position as a full-time firefighter.Twenty campers may not sound like a large number, but it is significant, especially in a province that currently has about 80 female full-time firefighters. Camp Ignite is successful, and the results are making a difference, yet it is just one solution in a path to a diverse fire service. More importantly, Camp Ignite is a solution brought to you by the members of the fire service who are on the front lines supporting communities each and every day.For more information about Camp Ignite, please visit or follow on Facebook at CAMP IGNITE.Haida Siegmann is captain of the fire prevention office for North Vancouver City Fire Department. Jennifer Dawkins is a firefighter for Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services.
April 22, 2016 - Camaraderie, brotherhood and the passing on of knowledge were themes discussed at the second annual Honour Guard Convention held in Niagara Falls, Ont., in February.Close to 60 firefighters from 14 departments took part in the convention – more than double the number of participants in the inaugural year.Organizer Jan-Michael Reyner, a member of the Kitchener Fire Honour Guard in Ontario, said the event aims to celebrate the tradition of honour guards and to lend a hand to new departments."There are a lot of departments that are just getting involved in honour guard and they're just trying to get one established and there is no where to go to do that, whether it be learning about your uniform set up, your marching, the tools required," Reyner said.Guest speakers included Tim Bohr, a 10-year firefighter with the Westbury Fire Department in New York, as well as Jordan Paris, a 14-year firefighter with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, and John Clare, Brampton district chief and a director with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.The speakers emphasized the role of comradeship, passed on tips and lessons learned from years of service, and discussed the annual CFFF memorial service.The convention included a uniform display and attendees were encouraged to bring a complete honour guard uniform and other items from their departments."I had all these tables set up to display things, and when I left the room at about 3 p.m. – the venue started at five – there were only two tunics hanging there," Reyner recalled. "When I came back down at 4:55, the whole room was full and they had actually used the tables that were supposed to have our food on for more display. It was a proud moment for me to see that there were so many more people who were that enthusiastic about bringing their stuff and showing it off."Kitchener Fire Department Deputy Rob Martin said the only component missing at this year's convention was sponsorship from vendors."There's a lot of honour and tradition that goes into the fire service and the honour guard is really the tip of that spear representing us," Martin said. "When a vendor shows up and supports something like that, it's supporting the entire fire service."Reyner hopes to grow the convention to include honour guards from departments across North America and is working on forming an organizing committee. The next convention will be held in February 2017.Learn more about the honour guard convention at
April 5, 2016 - A partnership among Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies and the United-States-based National Volunteer Fire Council is once again giving away gear to 13 North American departments. Canadian Firefighter reports. | READ MORE
April 5, 2016 - The Surrey Fire Service in British Columbia has created a brochure to teach firefighters what they can do to reduce their risks for cancer. Canadian Firefighter reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 24, 2016 - An assistance-based program that offers low-income families and homeowners with physical barriers free combination smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms is helping a northern Ontario department keep its community and firefighters safe.Thunder Bay Fire Rescue partnered with Union Gas and the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council though Project Zero to launch the SAFE (Smoke/CO alarms for everyone) program late last year.Union Gas donated $3,000 towards combination smoke/CO alarms that will be installed in about 100 homes in the community. Residents qualify for the program based on demonstrated financial or accessibility needs.Ontario passed legislation in 2014 that requires all homes to have a working carbon monoxide alarm on every level.Fire Chief John Hay said compliance in the community is growing, but increasing awareness of the dangers of CO is an ongoing challenge for the department."Any medical call we go to now, all our firefighters on their medical bags carry CO detectors; it's turned on before they go into the building," Hay said. "There have been firefighters and paramedics who have been hurt and hospitalized after going to a call for an unconscious [person] and finding extremely high levels of CO."Hay said the SAFE program is also another method for fire prevention and public-education staff to engage with the community and encourage compliance."It does bring a little bit more awareness," he said, "but our prevention activities with our fire trucks with our suppression staff is getting the most value."The SAFE program runs until the department hands out all its combination alarms, but Hay said he hopes to create a similar program in the future with other sponsors.
Feb. 24, 2016 - Roomy is a good way to describe the new fire station that is now home to members of Belleville Fire & Emergency Services in Ontario.Firefighters moved into the new 22,500 square-foot hall in June last year, and Chief Mark MacDonald said, they brought more than 60 years worth of equipment that was previously stored in a 5,000 square-foot station."It was an adjustment," MacDonald said. "Over the years you adapt to shoehorn in to fit what you can. You get used to being crammed in."The new six-bay, two-storey station – one of four operated by the department – is now the operational hub and houses suppression, prevention, public education, administration and training staff all under one roof.The building is the city's first post-disaster construction, is fully wheelchair accessible, and includes a storefront."We're finding people are really enjoying that they can come in the front door," MacDonald said. "There's a waiting area, there are meeting rooms, there are offices and everything is fully accessible with a full-size elevator."Another addition is a hose tower that doubles as a five-storey training tower for high-angle rescues and high-rise ladder scenarios. The tower can also duplicate the Scott FireFit challenge. Belleville has an active FireFit team that has placed internationally in firefighter combat challenges.The station is centrally located in the city, which has significantly decreased response times, MacDonald said. Most notably, crews are now closer to the 600-acre industrial park."Belleville is very active with economic development for industry," MacDonald said. "Quite often industry looks at emergency response capabilities for their insurance companies and they look to what services cities can offer . . . we were able to improve our response time and that's a big bonus for encouraging businesses to come to town."The two-year project cost about $7.5 million, and stayed within budget, MacDonald said. The department is also building two more stations and both are expected to open within the year.
Feb. 18, 2016 - Canada's Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is reminding fire chiefs to nominate members of their departments who have served 20 years or more for the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal.According to the Governor General's office, more than 31,000 medals have been awarded since its creation in 1985. The medals are given to full-time and volunteer firefighters, as well as wildfire firefighters, who have served 20 years or more, to recognize their outstanding service to their communities and to the country."An important component of the Canadian Honours System, the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal is a tangible and lasting way to honour you, the men and women of our fire services, who dedicate yourselves to preserving Canada's public safety, thus improving the quality of your fellow citizens' lives and sense of security," the office states. "Not only is the medal intended to recognize your dedicated service, but it also pays tribute to your good conduct, industry and efficiency."For more information on the program, and to access the new electronic nomination form, visit
Feb. 8, 2016, Chester, N.S. - Chester's Fire Chief Dave Richardson says he fears for the future of his department if a fire services contract between the District of Chester and the Village of Chester isn't renewed by March 31. Chief Richardson says the Chester Volunteer Fire Department could be significantly reduced with higher costs to residents if the municipality has to use other departments to respond to fires outside the village. The Chronicle Herald reports. | READ MORE
Sept. 9, 2016, Montreal - Investigators are trying to determine what caused Thursday afternoon's fire at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. About 60 firefighters were called to the hotel at around 1:30 p.m. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
March 7, 2016 - Nozzle maker Task Force Tips, Inc., (TFT) has acquired AMKUS Rescue Systems, both companies announced on their websites last week. Indiana-based TFT manufactures nozzles, monitors, valves and foam systems. Headquartered in Illinois, AMKUS’s line of rescue products includes cutters, spreaders, push-pull rams, power units, auxiliary pumps and rope-rescue systems. AMKUS, according to a joint news release, will maintain its identity, distribution network and field managers, however all engineering, service and manufacturing operations will eventually transition to TFT’s headquarters in Valparaiso, Ind. “Task Force Tips' passion for developing products that save lives and protect property is a perfect fit for the continued expansion of the AMKUS Rescue System's product line,” the company stated in the release. Learn more at and
March 3, 2016 - In 1991, Kip Cosgrove moved to Canada to fill a market niche: to provide a national insurance option for firefighters.Cosgrove brought the United States-based insurance company VFIS north of the border and at the 1991 International Association of Fire Chiefs conference held in Toronto, VFIS of Canada was launched."Because the program was so successful in the United States," Cosgrove said, "they felt that, hey, the Canadian fire service is very similar. Fighting fires is no different in Canada than in the U.S."Now in its 25th year of business, VFIS of Canada insures more than 2,100 fire departments across the country.VFIS of Canada pioneered several benefits that are now market standards, Cosgrove said, including cosmetic disfigurement from burns, and heart and circulatory malfunction.Cosgrove is well known in the industry thanks to his presence at many conferences and trade shows. VFIS sponsors several associations and charities, finances educational guest speakers, and offers free educational programs to its clients."Today the volunteer firefighters needs to grab everything they can, and we really are giving them access to a lot of these great tools free of charge," Cosgrove said in an interview."If they weren't buying my program, I wouldn't be able to offer back anything, but because our program is taking off, we want to give back to the fire service."
March 3, 2016 - The Alberta government is spending $650,000 to support fire and emergency-preparedness training for first responders in 50 municipalities and four First Nations. The funding is part of a Fire Services Emergency Preparedness Program aimed at volunteer and mutual-aid fire departments. The program will provide $500,000 for fire training and $150,000 for emergency management training in 2016. The grant program, according to a government news release, will help first responders develop the skills needed to respond effectively during fire and emergency events. “Local firefighters and emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities,” Danielle Larivee, Minister of Muncipal Affairs, said in the release. “Our government is proud to invest in emergency preparedness training as just one of the ways we will continue to help these individuals who help others.” Municipalities and First Nations that have mutual-aid agreements were given application priority, according to the release. For more information, including a list of the recipients, go to
Feb. 16, 2016, Snyder, Neb. – Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. announced today that Patrick Patton has been appointed to the newly-created position of director of chassis sales with responsibility for sales management, dealer and technical support, and chassis business development for Smeal's entire selection of custom fire chassis. Chassis available through Smeal include Smeal's Sirius, Sirius II, S450 and S600 models; Spartan, HME and Seagrave models.Patton has more than 20 years of experience in the fire and emergency response industry. He worked for Spartan Motor Corporation since 2007 as a regional sales manager with responsibility for business development, dealer and OEM relationship management, and sales process management for a 22-state territory. Prior to joining Spartan, Patton was in direct sales and sales management roles with two fire-apparatus dealerships."Pat Patton comes to us with a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge in custom fire chassis, and customer, dealer, and OEM relationship management," said Jeff Wegner, Smeal's senior vice president of global sales. "In addition to his exceptional technical expertise, Pat truly understands the needs of our customers and dealers, and he is an ideal choice to spearhead our chassis programs in support of overall Smeal, LTC and UST fire apparatus sales.""I couldn't be happier to become part of the Smeal team," Patton said. "Smeal is a company that's on the move. I've seen first-hand their development over the past few years, and it's a very exciting time to be a part of their growth. I'm looking forward to working with Smeal dealers, customers and team members to elevate the information and support we provide for the fire chassis integrated with our outstanding apparatus."Patton took over his new role yesterday, and reports to Michael Bowman, Smeal's vice president of sales.
Feb. 2, 2016, Surrey, B.C. - The City of Surrey, B.C., in partnerships with the University of the Fraser Valley, has published a third book in a series about evidence-based decision making for public-service professionals.The Right Decision: Evidence-based Decision Making for Government manual and companion workbook are the third installments in the Right Decision series. The book brings evidence-based decision making down to the basics, providing government professionals with an effective tool to help them validate a particular approach or choice.Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, co-authored the manual and workbook with Paul Maxim, professor in the department of economics and Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, Darryl Plecas, professor emeritus and former head of the UFV's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Mona Davies, a legal analyst with a background in the public and private sector."These publications have great potential to help all levels of government serve the public better through effective decision making based on critical thinking," said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. "This project speaks directly to Surrey's culture of innovation, excellence and in helping to advance the public service in general."Participants in the City of Surrey's Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) contributed to the development of both the manual and workbook. ELP participants provided feedback and helped developed content and case studies for the workbook."Every day, government professionals make decisions that determine if the public is getting the best value for its tax dollars," said Surrey city manager Vincent Lalonde. "Effective decision making is the key to ensuring that we are doing the right things, in the right ways."Dr. Adrienne Chan, associate vice-president of research, engagement and graduate studies at UFV, said the university is pleased to work with the city and proud of its faculty members' work to help benefit public administration."The expertise inherent in this publication will help leaders make decisions that are practical and benefit their organizations and the public sector," Chan said.All of the Right Decision manuals and companion workbooks may be downloaded for free from
Nov. 27, 2015 – Fort Garry Fire Trucks has announced new regional sales managers in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia. Adam Baldwin, the fire chief for Kinkora and Area Volunteer Fire Department in P.E.I., is the new regional manager for Atlantic Canada. Baldwin has 19 years of experience in fire. Al Anderson has been hired to manage the British Columbia sales portfolio. Anderson has 30 years of fire-trucks sales and service experience in the province. Fort Garry also hired a new contract administrator, Taylor Young, who will operate out of the company’s headquarters in Winnipeg. National sales manager Brian Nash said the company is looking to the United States for new dealers. “We’re always expanding with agents in different parts of the world and looking for U.S. dealers right now to take advantage of the exchange rate,” Nash said.
Nov. 20, 2015 – Quebec fire-truck manufacturer MAXIMETAL has partnered with Pierce Manufacturing Inc. to produce new pumpers and tankers beginning in the new year.Based in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Que., MAXIMETAL Inc. designs and manufactures trucks under the MAXI Fire Truck brand. Under the new partnership, MAXIMETAL will use the Pierce Saber custom chassis to design and build a family of apparatuses for the Canadian Market.Beginning next year, MAXIMETAL will offer pumper and tanker configurations – with new configurations to be added in the future – and will market the new trucks across Canada through the Pierce dealer network."The people at Pierce were looking for a Canadian partner to build fire trucks for them, and we wanted to expand our sales and distribution efforts across the country," Danny Dufour, president of MAXIMETAL, said in a news release. "It's a great fit and a win-win for both organizations."Dufour called the Saber chassis, which features raised roofs, low, offset stair steps, and wrap-around windshields, well adapted to their market.
March 5, 2015 – The retiring owner of Elkhart Brass, an Indiana-based manufacturer of firefighting equipment, says it’s business as usual for the company despite the announcement of a sale in ownership. Hans Ashbaugh, CEO and owner of Elkhart Brass, said in a news release Wednesday announcing the acquisition of his company by Missouri-based Safe Fleet that little will change in terms of management and operation. “Although I’m retiring in conjunction with the change of ownership to Safe Fleet,” he said, “the remainder of the Elkhart management and organization will continue to run Elkhart Brass. “For our valued employees, customers and suppliers, it is business as usual.” Brian Evans, a marketing representative for Elkhart Brass in Canada, says he does not expect the new ownership to affect him or his customers. “I don’t sense any urgency at all from the people at the factory,” Brian said, “they’re saying no changes are needed.” Elkhart Brass, which has been in operation for more than a century, manufactures thousands of firefighting products. Its innovations includes the first peripheral jet fog nozzle, the first pressure regulating nozzle, and the first wireless monitor. In Canada, Elkhart Brass is distributed by Profire Emergency Equipment in Abbotsford, B.C., ABC Fire & Safety Equipment Ltd., in Winnipeg, Darch Fire Inc. in Ayr, Ont., Mic Mac/Safety Source in Fredericton and Dartmouth, N.S., Larsenal in Dummondville, Que., and Areo-Feu in Longueuil, Que. According to John Knox, president and CEO of Safe Fleet, the acquisition of Elkhart Brass, combined with Safe Fleet’s ownership of FRC and Foam Pro, will allow the company to develop integrated firefighting products, and have one of the largest direct sales forces dedicated to the firefighting industry in North America.
Feb. 24, 2015 - Good news for small, volunteer fire departments in need of new turnout gear: applications are now open for the 2015 Globe gear giveaway contest. Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again this year to give away turnout gear to fire departments in Canada and the United States that serve populations of 25,000 or less, and are either all or more than 50 per cent volunteer. This year, 13 departments will be chosen to receive four sets of Globe’s CLASSIX turnout gear for their members. The giveaway contest, which launched in 2012 to mark Globe’s 125th anniversary, has provided 247 sets of turnout gear to 43 departments. While eligibility includes the criteria that applicants are members of the NVFC, Globe is providing the first 200 non-members who apply with free department memberships. The deadline to apply is June 1. Learn more at
It’s hard to believe it has been almost year since I have provided a synopsis to members within the Canadian fire service through Fire Fighting in Canada. Operationally, our CAFC activities have remained consistently busy however, one of the challenges we continue to face is communicating that information. Advocacy at the federal level is extremely important.
National fire statistics have been lacking in Canada for as long as we have been a country. A program was first funded in 2011 as a year-long project to examine the development of a web-based database that would be available to fire departments and organizations across Canada.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is about to launch a national volunteer firefighter recruitment program. Answer the Call will feature a variety of initiatives to help Canada’s volunteer fire departments with the challenges surrounding the process of recruiting.
July 12, 2016 - The Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) has selected a new provincial director to represent Manitoba on the national stage.Bradley Davidson, a company officer with the Hudbay Minerals Fire Department in Flin Flon, Man., assumed a seat on the CVFSA board on July 1.Davidson fire experience includes 28 years with Hudbay Minerals – where he is involved as an instructor and investigator – as well as nine years as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Flin Flon Fire Department.In an email to Fire Fighting in Canada, Davidson said some issues he’d like to help address include line of duty deaths, continuing education for volunteer firefighters, and health concerns including post-traumatic stress disorder.“Continuing education, training and financial support are key factors for volunteer fire services continued success in Canada,” Davidson said. “We also now know that our members are exposed to many toxins at fires and some members suffer in silence with PTSD. Thankfully we have many great fire-service leaders stepping up to educate everyone on these health issues to better serve members by raising awareness and funding for support services.”Another item on Davidson’s mind is recognition of Manitoba firefighters.“Our organization – CVFSA – has an award process and to my knowledge no firefighter in the province of Manitoba has received our awards and my aim is to change that,” he said.Davidson holds a fire service management certificate in fire service leadership from Dalhousie University, and has met the NFPA standards for professional qualifications as a fire investigator, fire and life safety educator, emergency services instructor and incident safety officer.The new board member said he’s looking forward to working with the team at the CVFSA to represent Manitoba’s volunteer firefighters, and encouraged members to contact him at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
May 4, 2016, Toronto – Hunstville Fire Chief Steve Hernen was elected president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Wednesday. Essex Chief Rick Arnel was voted executive vice president.Minto Chief Chris Harrow, Brantford Chief Jeff McCormick, Warren Brinkman with Longbow Lake, and Clarington Deputy Chief Mark Berney won vice-president positions.Changes to legislation for not-for-profit entities require elections for executive positions and, for the first time in years, there was considerable buzz around the vote.Voting for 12 members of the OAFC board closed Monday afternoon; there were 15 candidates and high voter turnout. OAFC members choose a president, executive vice president and four vice presidents from among the elected board members.After ballots were counted for board positions on Tuesday, vote results were posted publicly – a policy change instituted in 2015: Arnel (127), Hernen (125), Harrow (118), Ottawa Deputy Chief Kim Ayotte (111), Hamilton Township Chief Kelly Serson (97), Essa Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin (96), Berney (87), McCormick (81), Richmond Hill Deputy Chief Bryan Burbidge (80), Thunder Bay Chief John Hay (72), Ocean Wave Chief Les Reynolds (69).Hernen, who was previously first vice-president, had been presumed to succeed outgoing Toronto Deputy Chief Matt Pegg, who finished his third year as president this week and said months ago he would not seek a fourth term.Until Wednesday, it appeared that Hernen would run uncontested; some last-minute politicking and chatter about potential opponents turned out to be moot.The new board meets Thursday.The OAFC's awards gala this evening wraps up the five-day conference in Toronto.
The new year provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on progress since we last provided an update around our Fire-Rescue Canada conference in September. In that spirit, I want to share some highlights from an exciting and productive end of 2015 for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC).After increasing momentum during the successful conference in Victoria, the CAFC board wanted to hit the ground running. The results of a post-conference national membership survey were very positive. National issues of importance and the ability of the CAFC to take the lead in establishing member services and programs to address those issues has been, and will remain, our priority.  The CAFC board and national advisory council, plus our partners – the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Mental Health Commission of Canada – met to form a firefighter mental-wellness advisory group. The team will meet during 2016 to lay out strategies and eventual activities and partnerships to bring the strategies to fruition.In October I travelled to Gander for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services (NLAFS) annual conference; it was an opportunity to not only take in and learn about what is happening in Newfoundland and Labrador, but also to recognize outgoing NLAFS president and current CAFC board member Vince MacKenzie for his years of dedicated service to the association.November was a busy month. After presenting at the National Energy Board conference in Calgary last spring, I was asked to speak to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association Board (CEPA) and to be engaged in a public-safety advisory role on behalf of the CAFC and first-responder community. Some of the key messages presented were: better collaboration on incident-management systems and necessary training in Canada; training of first responders on specific commodities such as class III flammable liquids specific to pipelines; and the transportation of dangerous goods. We all have a vested interest in public safety and municipalities cannot carry the cost of these required training initiatives. Similar to work CAFC has done with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, we will work as a key stakeholder to develop a memorandum of understanding with CEPA to enhance training, awareness and collaboration to protect  first responders and the communities they serve. I also had the honour of attending the annual FireSmart general meeting and provided a presentation. The group was very encouraged to have the CAFC at the event and wants to work together to look at an all-hazards approach to include wildland firefighting and emergency preparedness. At the end of the month I attended Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group along with my tri-service counterparts to build on key initiatives around the development of the 700-MHZ public-safety broadband spectrum.The CAFC has initiated a lot of interaction with all political parties dating back to the 2015 government-awareness week and a pre-election questionnaire to all parties to communicate the priorities of its members. We were happy to see that many of the CAFC priorities were included in the Liberal mandate letters to cabinet ministers. As a sign of the recognition the CAFC is building, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a personal invitation to me on behalf of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to attend the throne speech on Dec. 4. Doing so was truly an honour and one to be shared by the entire fire service. The new year not only brings these programs forward but also much other exciting news that provides continuous building blocks for the CAFC and its sustainability and success. The development of a new strategic plan, meeting with new and key parliamentarians, the launch of a new and updated initiative such as the Chief Fire Officer program, a national version of the recruitment and retention program Answer the Call and the national fire-incident database will keep us busy. Government-awareness week in Ottawa in March will be especially important with new elected representatives, and the success of the event is always propelled by the attendance of chief officers from coast to coast to coast.The CAFC is working full steam ahead on behalf of its members and the Canadian fire service and is being recognized for its public-safety advisory status – exhibited by the number of requests it receives. Having boots on the ground is always a concern, so we need your assistance by having talented chief officers wanting to help the CAFC achieve its goals. We value all memberships and we need yours today. Be involved and make a difference.  Paul Boissonneault is president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and fire chief for the County of Brant Fire Department in Ontario. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it L’ACCP entreprend divers projetsPar Paul BoissonneaultLa nouvelle année est l’occasion rêvée pour faire une pause et pour réfléchir sur les progrès que nous avons réalisés depuis notre dernière mise à jour aux alentours de notre Conférence Secours-Incendie, en septembre. Dans cet esprit, je tiens à partager avec vous quelques points forts d’une fin d’année 2015 passionnante et productive pour l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP).Fort de l’élan découlant de la fructueuse conférence à Victoria, le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP souhaitait prendre une longueur d’avance. Les résultats d’un sondage national effectué auprès des membres au lendemain de la conférence ont été très positifs. Les questions d’importance nationales et la capacité de l’ACCP à faire preuve d’initiative au moment d’établir des services aux membres et des programmes pour traiter de ces enjeux ont été, et resteront, notre priorité.  Le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP, le Conseil consultatif national et nos partenaires, à savoir l’Association internationale des pompiers et la Commission de la santé mentale du Canada ont formé un groupe consultatif sur la santé mentale et le bien-être des pompiers. L’équipe se réunira en 2016 pour définir les stratégies et les activités éventuelles et pour construire des partenariats visant à concrétiser ces stratégies.En octobre, je suis allé à Gander où j’ai assisté à la conférence annuelle de la Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services (NLAFS). Ce fut l’occasion d’en prendre plein les yeux et d’en savoir plus sur ce qui se passe à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. Ce fut aussi le moment de rendre hommage au président sortant de la NLAFS et membre du Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP, Vince MacKenzie, pour ses années de dévouement au service de l’Association.Le mois de novembre a été fort occupé. Après ma présentation à la conférence de l’Office national de l’énergie, à Calgary, au printemps dernier, j’ai été convié à m’adresser à la Commission canadienne des pipelines de ressources énergétiques (ACPRÉ). J’ai accepté un rôle consultatif en matière de sécurité publique au nom de l’ACCP et de la communauté des premiers répondants. Parmi certains des principaux messages livrés, notons l’amélioration de la collaboration sur les systèmes de gestion des incidents et l’apprentissage nécessaire au Canada, la formation des premiers répondants sur des produits particuliers tels que les liquides inflammables de classe III spécifiques aux pipelines et le transport des marchandises dangereuses. La sécurité publique revêt un intérêt pour tous et les municipalités ne peuvent pas assumer le coût de ces initiatives d’apprentissage. Tout comme avec l’Association canadienne des producteurs pétroliers, l’ACCP agira à titre de principale partie prenante pour développer un protocole d’entente avec l’ACPRÉ pour optimiser la formation, la sensibilisation et la collaboration afin de protéger les premiers répondants et les collectivités qu’ils desservent. J’ai également eu l’honneur de faire une présentation lors de l’Assemblée générale annuelle d’Intelli-feu. Le groupe s’est dit très encouragé par la présence de l’ACCP à l’événement et il souhaite examiner, ensemble, une approche tout risques devant inclure la lutte contre les feux de forêts et la protection civile. À la fin du mois, j’ai pris part au Groupe d’intérêt canadien en technologie de l’interopérabilité avec mes homologues des trois services. Nous avons pris appui sur les grandes initiatives portant sur le développement du spectre pour les applications large bande de sécurité publique 700-MHZ.L’ACCP a beaucoup interagi avec tous les partis politiques par le biais de la Semaine de relations gouvernementales de 2015 et d’un questionnaire pré-électoral que nous avons envoyé à tous les partis pour leur faire part des priorités de nos membres. Nous sommes ravis que les lettres de mandat des ministres libéraux incluent les priorités de l’ACCP. Reconnaissant la valeur de l’ACCP, le Premier ministre Justin Trudeau m’a personnellement invité, au nom du ministre de la Sécurité publique Ralph Goodale, à assister au discours du Trône le 4 décembre, un véritable honneur qui revient à l’ensemble des services d’incendie. La nouvelle année met ces programmes de l’avant tout en apportant d’autres nouvelles emballantes qui fournissent continuellement des pièces maîtresses à la durabilité et à la réussite de l’ACCP. Élaborer un plan stratégique, rencontrer de nouveaux parlementaires clés, lancer de nouvelles initiatives actualisées comme le Programme des chefs d’état-major et une version nationale du programme de recrutement et de rétention « Répondre à l’appel » ainsi que la base de données nationale sur les incendies nous tiendront occupés. La Semaine des relations gouvernementales qui aura lieu à Ottawa en mars sera particulièrement importante compte tenu des nouveaux élus. Le succès de l’événement dépend toujours du niveau de participation des chefs d’état-major d’un océan à l’autre.L’ACCP travaille tous azimuts au nom de ses membres et des services d’incendie du Canada. Elle est reconnue pour son statut consultatif sur la sécurité publique comme l’indique le nombre de requêtes qu’elle reçoit. Assurer une présence sur place est toujours une préoccupation. Nous avons donc besoin de votre aide en tant que chefs d’état-major talentueux désireux d’aider l’ACCP à atteindre ses objectifs. Nous apprécions chaque membre et nous avons besoin de vous. Impliquez-vous et faites une différence.  Paul Boissonneault est président de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers et chef de pompiers des services d’incendie du comté de Brant, en Ontario. Veuillez communiquer avec lui à This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Advocacy is one of the Canadian Association of Fire Chief’s (CAFC) pillars and a very important area of focus for members. With the new government in power, the coming year will demand a government-relations approach that focuses on education – about the CAFC and its key issues – and that leverages the Liberals’ campaign promises and the content of the ministers’ mandate letters. To meet the demands that the CAFC’s current government-relations success brings to the association, and to be responsive to the new political environment, the CAFC recognized the need to develop a robust, annual advocacy strategy. This strategy would enable the CAFC to use its resources more efficiently and effectively to communicate and influence the opinions and decisions of key stakeholders to advance policy priorities.The strategy would include a formal annual schedule for tactical activities such as government-awareness week and budget asks, and an outline of types of advocacy products and activities in which the CAFC can engage. Taking into consideration the CAFC’s members and the multi-level nature of fire-service issues, the CAFC will strive to engage in three types of advocacy activities: Federal advocacy – being the voice of the fire service at the national level, developing evidence-based positions, and engaging in direct government relations. Provincial/local advocacy – being the national issue co-ordinator and promoter of consensus, supporting research at members’ requests, and engaging indirectly. Members’ advocacy capacity – being a source of advocacy tools that can be used by members to improve their own government-relations work. As an initial step in the development of the strategy, the CAFC’s board of directors and the national advisory council (NAC) agreed to support an advocacy prioritization study. During November, a brief, online advocacy-priorities-and-strategies survey was open to CAFC members. The content of the questions took into consideration the national focus of the CAFC’s mission, the current areas of work of the association, and the recognition that members face different challenges based on the size, type and location of their fire services. Ninety-one members completed the survey. In addition, during the same period, nine phone interviews were conducted with NAC and board members. Members were asked which three issues the CAFC should focus on in 2016. A broad range of issues identified by the respondents were summarized in 19 categories. The top 10 (in order of relevance) were: grants and funding; building codes; training; volunteer issues; emergency preparedness; HUSAR; national fire incident database; taxation; mental health; and national fire advisor. Responders provided specific answers and gave insight into the various aspects of each issue; their responses make evident the complexity of government-relations efforts. The advocacy needs of the fire service are many, but time and resources make addressing all of them a challenge.Members were then asked to indicate the importance of each of the several advocacy issues to their organizations.The CAFC has been working on key advocacy issues for the fire service for many years. Taking into consideration previous advocacy work and emergent issues, the survey provided members a list of 10 issues and asked them to rate the level of importance to their organizations using a five-point scale.The three issues with the highest ratings were firefighter safety, residential sprinklers within Canada’s National Building Code, and mental-health research and training. The three lowest-ranked issues were HUSAR funding, wildland/urban fire interface and First Nations fire protection. To further refine the data, members were asked to rank 10 advocacy issues in order of priority.  The three issues with the highest average rankings were firefighter safety and residential sprinklers within Canada’s National Building Code, mental health research and training, and volunteer firefighter recruitment and funding. The three issues with the lowest average rankings were wildland/urban fire interface, First Nations fire protection, and HUSAR funding.While the priorities identified in the survey provide immediate actionable advocacy work, it is important to recognize that some of the issues that did not rank high on the list are issues that the CAFC must continue to address, such as First Nations fire protection and funding for HUSAR teams. In fact, a few members mentioned their ratings were based on the impact that each of these issues has for the jurisdiction of the respondent. While respondents said they might recognize the importance of the issue, if an issue did not directly affect the respondent or his or her department or jurisdiction, the respondent rated it low. This means that in order to fulfill its mission, the CAFC needs to always try to identify the national implications of the issues that affect members at the local level. The CAFC will use the results of the survey to develop an overall advocacy strategy for 2016. The results of this survey are very valuable because they will guide, in the short term, the choice of issues that the CAFC brings forward during government-awareness week in March. In the medium term, the results will allow the CAFC to develop advocacy products that members identified as important to their government-relations work. Finally, in the long tern, the results will support a review of existing CAFC structures, for example, committees and working groups, to ensure they are aligned with the issue priorities. The full survey report is available at Adams, PhD, is the CAFC’s director of policy and research.Établir les priorités pour l’année 2016Par Erika AdamsLes activités de plaidoyer sont l’un des piliers de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) et un domaine de concentration très important pour les membres. Compte tenu la portée au pouvoir d’un nouveau gouvernement, il nous faudra, l’année prochaine, axer notre approche envers les relations gouvernementales sur la sensibilisation et les principales aires de préoccupation de l’ACCP. Nous devrons aussi tirer parti des promesses électorales faites par les libéraux et des lettres de mandat des ministres. Pour répondre aux exigences du succès que nous apportent nos relations gouvernementales et pour être sensible au nouvel environnement politique, l’ACCP concède le bien-fondé d’élaborer une solide stratégie annuelle en matière de plaidoyer. Ainsi, nous pourrions utiliser nos ressources de manière plus efficace lorsqu’il s’agit de communiquer et d’influencer les opinions et les décisions des principales parties prenantes pour faire progresser les priorités politiques.La stratégie comprendrait un calendrier officiel annuel des activités tactiques telles que la Semaine de relations gouvernementales et les demandes d’ordre budgétaire ainsi qu’un aperçu des types de produits que l’ACCP peut offrir et des activités de plaidoyer dans lesquelles elle peut s’engager. Prenant en considération les membres de l’ACCP et la nature multi-niveau des questions ayant trait aux services d’incendie, l’ACCP cherchera à participer à trois types d’efforts de plaidoyer, à savoir : Le plaidoyer fédéral – être le porte-parole des pompiers du Canada au niveau national, élaborer des positions fondées sur des preuves et s’engager dans des relations gouvernementales directes. Le plaidoyer provincial/local – faire fonction de coordonnateur de questions nationales et de promoteur de consensus, soutenir la recherche à la demande des membres et s’engager indirectement. La capacité de plaidoyer de l’effectif – fournir des outils de sensibilisation susceptibles d’être employés par les membres pour optimiser leur propres relations gouvernementales. Comme première étape de l’élaboration de la stratégie, le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP et le Conseil consultatif national (CCN) ont convenu d’appuyer une étude de priorisation du plaidoyer. En novembre, nous conviions les membres de l’ACCP à compléter un bref sondage électronique sur les priorités de plaidoyer et les stratégies afférentes. Les questions prenaient en considération l’intérêt national de la mission de l’ACCP, ses domaines de travail et l’acceptation que les membres doivent relever des défis différents en fonction de la taille, du genre et du lieu de leur service d’incendie. Quatre-vingt-onze membres ont répondu au sondage. En outre, dans le même laps de temps, neuf entrevues téléphoniques ont eu lieu avec les membres du CCN et du Conseil d’administration. Nous avons invité l’effectif à identifier trois enjeux sur lesquels l’ACCP devrait se concentrer en 2016. Nous avons classé en 19 catégories un large éventail de questions identifiées par les répondants. Les dix premières (par ordre de pertinence) étaient les subventions et le financement, les codes du bâtiment, la formation, les volontaires, la préparation aux situations d’urgence, l’ELSARMU, la base de données nationales sur les incendies, l’imposition, la santé mentale et un conseiller national en matière d’incendies. Les participants ont répondu précisément et ont donné un aperçu des divers aspects de chaque question. Leurs réponses mettent en évidence la complexité des efforts de relations gouvernementales. Les besoins en plaidoyer des services d’incendie sont nombreux. Mais, le temps et les ressources nous manquent pour tout traiter.Nous avons ensuite invité les membres à indiquer l’importance que chacun des enjeux de plaidoyer revêt pour leur organisation.Depuis de nombreuses années, l’ACCP se penche sur des enjeux essentiels pour les services d’incendie. En tenant compte des efforts de plaidoyer précédents et émergents, le sondage contenait une liste de dix questions. On y demandait d’évaluer le niveau d’importance pour leur organisation en utilisant une échelle de cinq points.La sécurité des pompiers, l’inclusion des gicleurs résidentiels au Code national du bâtiment du Canada ainsi que la recherche et la formation en santé mentale sont les trois enjeux ayant obtenu les notes les plus élevées. Le financement d’ELSARMU, le plan d’intervention stratégique contre les feux en zone périurbaine et les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations sont les trois questions ayant obtenu les notes les moins élevées. Pour affiner les données, les membres ont été invités à classer les dix questions de plaidoyer par ordre de priorité.  La sécurité des pompiers, l’inclusion des gicleurs résidentiels au Code national du bâtiment du Canada, la recherche et la formation en santé mentale ainsi que le recrutement et le financement des pompiers volontaires sont les trois enjeux ayant obtenu les notes les plus élevées. Le plan d’intervention stratégique contre les feux en zone périurbaine, les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations et le financement d’ELSARMU sont les trois questions ayant obtenu les notes les moins élevées. Même si les priorités identifiées par le sondage font ressortir des activités de plaidoyer immédiates, il faut reconnaître que l’ACCP doit quand même aborder certaines des questions qui ne figurent pas en haut de liste, comme les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations et le financement des équipes d’ELSARMU. En fait, quelques membres ont mentionné que leurs évaluations se fondaient sur l‘impact que chacune de ces questions avait sur la compétence de l’intimé. Bien que les répondants aient déclaré bien comprendre l’importance de la question, si celle-ci ne les concernait pas directement ni eux, ni leur département, ni leur juridiction, il s’ensuivait une faible cote. Autrement dit, pour s’acquitter de sa mission, l’ACCP doit continuer de cerner les implications nationales des enjeux qui touchent les membres au niveau local. Forte des résultats du sondage, l’ACCP élaborera une stratégie d’ensemble pour l’année 2016. Ces dits résultats sont très précieux car ils guideront à court terme le choix des enjeux que l’ACCP soulèvera au cours de la Semaine des relations gouvernementales en mars. À moyen terme, ils permettront à l’ACCP de développer des produits de plaidoyer que les membres ont identifié comme étant importants pour leurs relations gouvernementales. Enfin, par exemple, à long terme, les résultats étayeront un examen des structures de l’ACCP, des comités et des groupes de travail pour les aligner aux questions prioritaires. Pour vous procurer le rapport intégral, veuillez consulter Adams, PhD, directrice des politiques et de la recherche de l’ACCP.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he’s optimistic that benefits for firefighters promised by the Liberals during the 2015 election campaign will be in the government’s first budget, and that restored funding for heavy urban search and rescue teams will follow once consultation is complete.Goodale wouldn’t commit to a timeline for HUSAR funding but he said in a phone interview that he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are focused on supporting the all-hazard teams. “As members of Parliament in the opposition, we’ve been working on this for quite a while,” Goodale said. “It’s obviously now important that we’re in government to do the consultation with other partners. It’s an important service, responding to everything from ice storms to floods to wildfires to building collapses – any other kind of disaster situation that you can imagine.”The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) has been advocating for restored funding for the country’s four remaining HUSAR teams – in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario – since the Conservatives announced in 2012 that the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program was to be eliminated. During the CAFC’s government-relations week in February 2015, the then third-party Liberals made it clear to fire chiefs that a Liberal government would reinstate HUSAR funding, a position reinforced by Trudeau in April 2015. “A future Liberal government would immediately reinstate federal funding to Canada’s four heavy urban search and rescue teams,” Trudeau said at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Canadian legislative conference last spring.During the campaign for the October election, Liberal Party of Canada president Anna Gainey also maintained support of the all-hazard teams.“Liberals know that being able to respond swiftly and effectively to whatever emergencies arise is in our national interest,” she said.CAFC president Paul Boissonneault said the association is eagerly awaiting working with the new government. “We are delighted that the Liberal party agreed with many of our key advocacy positions,” he said.Boissonneault said it is important, as the voice of the Canadian fire service, for the CAFC to be at the table for talks centered on the all-hazard team funding. “Public safety is a national priority. Supporting the all-hazard team funding as a federal responsibility has been identified by the elected government, and the CAFC will ensure that it remains a key advisory stakeholder on this national issue.”Goodale’s mandate letter from the prime minister includes a directive to enhance compensation for public-safety officers who are permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty, restore funding to provinces and territories to support HUSAR teams, and create a national action plan for post-traumatic stress. “There was some real concern [with stakeholders] a couple of years ago when the federal government announced they were going to withdraw from that service,” Goodale said of the HUSAR funding.As a member of the opposition, Goodale said, cutting the funding just didn’t strike him as right; public safety, he said, is a core government function. “One of the most important functions of the government, any level of government, is to keep your people [citizens] safe.”The minister said it is important that consultation with provincial and municipal governments, to which the Liberals committed in opposition, come to fruition now that they have formed the government. But Goodale cautions that consultation will take time. “The consultation is at a very early stage now but the instruction from the prime minister in his mandate letter to me was very clear.”Goodale emphasized that restoring the capacity of the HUSAR teams across Canada is important but only after thorough review with all stakeholders has been completed. “I admire what firefighters do, day in and day out,” he said, “and I hope that the compensation benefit would be in our first budget. That is the objective. And the funding for the HUSAR, just as soon as we get the consultation finished.”Boissonneault said he is enthusiastic about future collaboration with the government.“The CAFC is very encouraged by the mandate letter by the prime minister and the support of Public Safety Minister Goodale on the all-hazard teams as well as other key issues – PTSD with first responders, line-of-duty compensation benefits for first responders, and emergency management consultation with all levels of government and indigenous peoples are all extremely important public safety issues.”Rob Evans chairs the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs editorial committee and is the chief of Redwood Meadows Emergency Service in Alberta. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it M. Goodale s’engage à tenir les promesses électoralesPar Rob EvansLe ministre de la Sécurité publique, Ralph Goodale, s’est dit optimiste que les prestations pour les pompiers promises par les libéraux lors de la campagne électorale de 2015 seront inscrites au premier budget du gouvernement et que le rétablissement du financement des équipes de recherche et de sauvetage en milieu urbain à l’aide d’équipement lourd suivra, une fois la consultation terminée.M. Goodale n’a pas voulu établir d’échéancier en ce qui a trait au financement d’ELSARMU. Mais, lors d’une entrevue téléphonique, il a affirmé que le Premier ministre Justin Trudeau et lui se concentrent sur le soutien des équipes tous risques. « En tant que députés de l’opposition, nous avons défendu cet enjeu », de dire M. Goodale. « Maintenant que nous formons le gouvernement, il nous impose de consulter les autres partenaires. Répondre à tout, qu’il s’agisse de tempêtes de verglas, d’inondations, de feux de forêt, d’effondrements des bâtiments ou de toute autre catastrophe imaginable est un service considérable ».L’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) a préconisé le rétablissement de la prise en charge des quatre équipes d’ELSARMU restantes en Colombie-Britannique, en Alberta, au Manitoba et en Ontario depuis que les conservateurs ont annoncé en 2012 l’élimination du Programme conjoint de protection civile. Pendant la Semaine des relations gouvernementale de l’ACCP qui se tenait en février 2015, les libéraux, troisième parti à l’époque, avaient clairement signalé aux chefs de pompiers qu’un gouvernent libéral rétablirait le financement d’ELSARMU, une position qu’avait réitéré M. Trudeau en avril 2015. « Un futur gouvernement libéral rétablirait immédiatement la prise en charge fédérale des quatre équipes de recherche et de sauvetage en milieu urbain à l’aide d’équipement lourd », avait déclaré M. Trudeau lors de la Conférence législative de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers, au printemps dernier.Pendant la campagne électorale d’octobre, la présidente du Parti libéral du Canada, Anna Gainey, a également réaffirmé le soutien des équipes tous risques.« Les libéraux sont conscients que la capacité de répondre rapidement et efficacement à toute situation d’urgence est dans notre intérêt national » a-t-elle dit.Le président de l’ACCP, Paul Boissonneault, a fait savoir que l’Association est impatiente de collaborer avec le nouveau gouvernement. « Nous sommes ravis que le Parti libéral convienne de plusieurs de nos principales positions » a-t-il dit.M. Boissonneault a ajouté qu’à titre de porte-parole des pompiers du Canada, il est primordial que l’ACCP participe aux discussions axées sur le financement de l’équipe tous risques. « La sécurité publique est une priorité nationale. Soutenir la prise en charge de l’équipe tous risques au titre de responsabilité fédérale a été identifié par le gouvernement élu. L’ACCP veillera à demeurer un des principaux intervenants consultatifs sur cet enjeu national ».La lettre de mandat que le Premier ministre a remis à M. Goodale comprend une directive visant à optimiser les prestations des agents de la sécurité publique qui sont handicapés de façon permanente ou tués dans l’exercice de leur fonction, rétablir le financement aux provinces et aux territoires pour soutenir les équipes d’ELSARMU et mettre au point un plan d’action national portant sur le stress post-traumatique. « Il y a quelques années (les parties prenantes) se sont beaucoup inquiétées lorsque le gouvernement fédéral avait annoncé qu’il se retirerait de ce service » a dit M. Goodale en parlant du financement d’ELSARMU.En tant que député de l’opposition, M. Goodale avait déclaré que de couper dans les budgets ne lui semblait pas être la chose à faire. La sécurité publique, avait-il dit, est une fonction fondamentale du gouvernement. « Assurer la sécurité de notre peuple (des citoyens) est l’une des fonctions les plus importantes du gouvernement, de tout palier de gouvernement ».Le ministre a déclaré qu’il est de bon ton que la consultation avec les gouvernements provinciaux et municipaux, envers laquelle les libéraux se sont engagés lorsqu’ils étaient dans l’opposition, se concrétise maintenant qu’ils forment le gouvernement. Mais, il met en garde que la consultation prendra du temps. « Le délibéré en est à ses tout débuts. Toutefois, les directives que le Premier ministre m’a donné dans sa lettre de mandat sont on ne peut plus claires ».M. Goodale a souligné qu’il est important de rétablir la capacité des équipes d’ELSARMU partout au Canada, mais seulement au lendemain d’un examen avec toutes les parties prenantes. « J’admire ce que font les pompiers jour après jour et j’espère que les prestations consécutives seront inscrites à notre premier budget. Tel est l’objectif. Sans oublier le financement d’ELSARMU, dès que la consultation sera terminée » a-t-il dit.M. Boissonneault s’est dit enthousiaste quant à la collaboration future avec le gouvernement.« L’ACCP est très encouragée par la lettre de mandat du Premier ministre et par l’appui du ministre de la Sécurité publique, Ralph Goodale, en ce qui concerne les équipes tous risques ainsi que d’autres questions clés. Le SSPT chez les premiers répondants, les prestations consécutives aux blessures et aux décès dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions pour les premiers répondants ainsi que la consultation sur la gestion des situations d’urgence avec tous les paliers de gouvernement et les peuples autochtones sont toutes des questions de sécurité publique extrêmement importantes ».Rob Evans préside le Comité de rédaction de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers. Il est le chef des Redwood Meadows Emergency Service en Alberta. Veuillez communiquer avec lui au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Long before departments from across Quebec responded to the Lac-Megantic train derailment, Fire Chief Daniel Brazeau had been working with the province to secure funding for training for the province's 18,000 part-time firefighters.In December 2014, Brazeau's work – and that of many others – paid off; $19 million over five years.Brazeau, the full-time chief of the career department in D'Autray (which includes nine departments) was honoured in September by his peers at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs conference in Victoria for his myriad achievements as a long-time fire chief and two-time president of the Association des chefs en securite due Quebec.Brazeau and Chief Ted Bryan of the 82-member volunteer Ontanabee-South Monaghan Fire Department in Ontario were recognized for their passion and commitment to their departments, to fire fighting and, also, to training.Bryan takes a hands-on approach: he is a certified master trainer and lead instructor with the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy in Norwood.Brazeau has worked with municipalities in Quebec and encouraged investment in firefighter training and better regional response and coverage. Brazeau's department was the first in Quebec in which all firefighters completed 375 hours of training to receive a fire-safety diploma.Brazeau joined the fire service in 1980 and became chief in the Town of Lanoraie in 1985. In 1996 he became chief in Lavaltrie, and in 2004 was made chief in D'Autray; there, he amalgamated nine departments in the county municipality into a regional fire service with 135 firefighters.Brazeau sits on several provincial committees, is the emergency co-ordinator and an instructor and examiner for the National School of Quebec Firefighters.Chief Bryan joined the fire service in 1975 and became chief in 1998.
A groundbreaking national fire-data project that is expected to be launched this fall will help fire officials make confident, evidence-based decisions about policy, resource use, and other critical matters affecting the safety of Canadian communities.Federal funding was announced in June for a pilot national fire-information database project that will gather and unify 10 years of fire information from across the country and create Canada’s first national system for collecting fire statistics.Co-ordinated by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners, the three-year, $850,000 project is funded by the Canadian Safety and Security Program, led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.“Without trusted evidence-based data, first responders cannot act with confidence when making choices to improve policy, co-ordinate activity, or operate in the most impactful manner,” said Duane McKay, present of the council of fire marshals and commissioners.CAFC president Paul Boissonneault said the database will help fire officials to better understand incident dynamics and actual and potential threats to public safety. Boissonneault said the benefits will extend to the broader public-safety community for years to come.“This first-ever national perspective on fire data will reveal insights into the incidents, response and impacts of threats we face,” he said.Evidence-based decision making has become increasingly important for government agencies following the economic downturn, said project researcher Paul Maxim, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.“Fire officials are facing increasing pressure – from both the public and government decision makers – to justify their decisions and actions with hard data,” Maxim said.“In meeting these demands, fire officials are often forced to use limited regional information. They have typically lacked comparable national data, or data linked to other relevant characteristics of the locations in which fire incidents take place.“The lack of robust, available data also makes it difficult for them to identify and address emerging trends and issues.”The national perspective on fire data that will be developed through the database project is expected to provide deeper insights into how, when, where and why fires take place. This information will enable fire services to strategically deploy resources and identify major trends that could lead to changes in fire policy and regulation.At a national level, for instance, Canada-wide statistics could be used to build a business case for changing the national building code to require more sprinkler systems in residences. On a local level, a fire department could compare its own fire statistics to those of its region or province to identify gaps in service and to plan where to apply future resources. Initiatives such as these would help reduce fires, property damage, injury and death.Many exciting possibilities for research could grow from this project, Maxim said. For example, layering fire statistics on top of other data – such as income, crime, health and demographics – could lead to a greater understanding of existing public-safety threats and how to address them.Work on the concept began in 2011 when the CAFC launched a year-long project to explore the development of a database. British Columbia’s University of the Fraser Valley co-ordinated the research and consultation on behalf of the CAFC. The project ultimately led to the successful grant application for the development of the database.In the first year of the pilot, Statistics Canada will collect and standardize a decade of fire records from Canada’s provinces and territories. The database will be mapped against the variables established in the Canadian Code Structure on Fire Loss Statistics published by the fire marshals and commissioners in 2002.The resulting database will provide the capacity to conduct evidence-based research on fire incidents across Canada with a high level of confidence and accuracy. Work on the database is expected to start this fall.In the final two years of the pilot, the project team will test and apply the data and link it to other social databases to provide insights into risk, trends, vulnerable sectors and other factors that affect public safety.The team will also consider how standardized data could align to the National Information Exchange Model – a standardized approach to exchanging data that is being adopted in Canada – to enable effective information-sharing and management.The collected data will be made available to public safety and research communities through 24 regional data centres operating in academic and research facilities across Canada, along with a web-based portal.New research is another key focus of the project. Funding will be provided to Canadian researchers and academics to look into priority topics related to public safety, security, risk management and related matters using the fire database and linked datasets. Potential topics will be collected from stakeholders at industry events, and a research funding oversight committee will be established to review submissions and oversee research projects.The process by which the data from across the country will be aggregated, standardized and defined will mark a technical advance for Canada’s fire community; it will result not only in a new national fire dataset but also improved methods for collecting data.The development of real-time remote access to the web-based portal by authorized users through any browser will improve access to the database and may lead to broader use and application of the data.As well, national fire statistics have never been linked on this scale to other social datasets across Canada. The resulting information will reveal the full spectrum of public-safety and security trends, holding value not only for Canada’s fire community, but for all those working to promote public safety and security.Progress on the project can be followed on the CAFC website, www.cafc.caLen Garis is the fire chief for the City of Surrey, B.C. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Karin Mark, based in Metro Vancouver, is a former award-winning newspaper reporter who writes for publications and corporate clients.Un projet national révolutionnaire sur les données relatives aux incendies qui devrait être lancé cet automne permettra aux pompiers de prendre en toute confiance des décisions fondées sur des preuves sur les politiques, l’utilisation des ressources et autres questions critiques affectant la sécurité des collectivités canadiennes.Le financement fédéral d’un projet pilote sur une base de données nationales sur les incendies qui permettra de recueillir et d’unifier dix ans d’information à ce sujet et de créer le premier système national de collecte de statistiques sur les incendies au Canada a été annoncé en juin.Coordonné par l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) et le Conseil canadien des directeurs provinciaux et des commissaires d’incendie, le projet de trois ans au coût de 850 000 $ est financé par le Programme canadien de protection et de sécurité dirigé par le Centre des sciences pour la sécurité nationale de Recherche et développement pour la défense Canada, en partenariat avec Sécurité publique Canada.« Sans données fiables fondées sur des preuves, les premiers intervenants ne sont pas en confiance au moment de faire des choix lorsqu’il s’agit d’améliorer les politiques, de coordonner les activités ou de fonctionner de la manière la plus percutante qui soit » a déclaré Duane McKay, président du Conseil des directeurs provinciaux et des commissaires d’incendie.Aux dires de Paul Boissonneault, président de l’ACCP, la base de données aidera les pompiers à mieux comprendre la dynamique des incidents et les menaces réelles et potentielles à la sécurité publique. Il a ajouté que les avantages s’étendront à la sûreté de l’ensemble de la communauté pour des années à venir.« Ce premier regard national sur les données d’incendie révélera un aperçu de l’incident, de la réaction et de l’impact des menaces auxquels nous sommes confrontés » a-t-il dit.Les décisions fondées sur des données probantes revêtent de plus en plus d’importance pour les organismes gouvernementaux au lendemain du ralentissement économique a déclaré le recherchiste du projet, Paul Maxim, professeur à l’Université Wilfrid Laurier, à Waterloo, en Ontario.« De plus en plus, les autorités en matière de feu font face à des pressions accrues, à la fois des décideurs publics et gouvernementaux, pour justifier leurs décisions avec des donnée sûres à l’appui » a ajouté M. Maxim.« En répondant à ses exigences, les autorités en matière de feu sont souvent contraintes d’avoir recours à une information régionale limitée. Elles manquent généralement de données nationales comparables ou jumelées à d’autres caractéristiques pertinentes sur les lieux des incendies.« L’absence de données fiables fait qu’il leur est difficile d’identifier et de traiter les nouvelles tendances et questions ».Un document de  recherche publié en 2011, intitulé Can We Develop National Canadian Fire Statistics for Emergency Planning?, signé par Rhéaume Chaput, chef des pompiers de Kingston (Ontario), récemment à la retraite, cite l’ancien directeur régional canadien de la NFPA, Sean Tracey : « Un des plus grands défis [pour] provoquer des changements dans l’industrie de la sécurité- incendie est l’absence de statistiques fiables à cet égard ».Les perspectives nationales sur les données sur les incendies qui seront développées dans le cadre de la base de données provisoire devraient fournir un aperçu plus approfondi sur comment, quand, où et pourquoi les incendies se déclarent. Cette information permettra aux services d’incendie de déployer stratégiquement des ressources et d’identifier les grandes tendances qui pourraient conduire à une modification de la politique en matière d’incendies et la règlementation afférente.Au niveau national, des statistiques pancanadiennes pourraient, par exemple, être utilisées pour former des arguments dans le but d’apporter des modifications au Code national du bâtiment afin d’exiger l’installation d’un plus grand nombre de systèmes de gicleurs résidentiels. Au niveau local, un service d’incendie pourrait comparer ses propres statistiques à celles des régions ou de la province pour identifier les lacunes et pour planifier où utiliser les ressources futures. Des initiatives de ce genre contribueraient à réduire les incendies, les dommages matériels, les blessures et les décès.Selon M. Maxim, plusieurs possibilités de recherches passionnantes pourraient naître de ce projet. Superposer des statistiques sur les incendies à d’autres données, comme le revenu, la criminalité, la santé et la démographie, nous permettrait de mieux comprendre les menaces à la sécurité publique existantes et la façon de les aborder.Les travaux sur le concept ont débuté en 2011 alors que l’ACCP lançait un projet d’un an pour explorer la possibilité de développer une base de données. Ceci comprenait une consultation auprès des départements des services d’incendie et des parties prenantes partout au pays, une recherche sur les systèmes de gestion de données canadiens existants publics et privés, sans oublier l’examen de modèles de pratiques exemplaires internationaux pour la collecte et la diffusion des données.L’Université de la Colombie-Britannique de la vallée du Fraser a coordonné la recherche et la consultation au nom de l’ACCP. Le projet a finalement abouti à l’obtention d’une subvention pour développer la base de données.Dans la première année du projet pilote, Statistique Canada recueillera et normalisera une décennie de dossiers sur les incendies provenant des provinces et des territoires du Canada. La base de données sera définie en regard des variables établies au Canadian Code Structure on Fire Loss Statistics publié par les directeurs provinciaux et les commissaires en 2002.La base de données qui en résultera permettra d’effectuer des recherches fondées sur des preuves sur les incidents d’incendie à travers le Canada avec une grande confiance et précision. Les travaux sur la base de données devraient commencer à l’automne.Dans les deux dernières années du projet pilote, l’équipe testera et appliquera les données et les reliera à d’autres bases de données sociales pour fournir des indications sur les risques, les tendances, les secteurs vulnérables et d’autres facteurs qui influent sur la sécurité publique.L’équipe examinera également comment aligner les données normalisées au National Information Exchange Model, une approche normalisée pour l’échange de données qui est en cours d’adoption au Canada, pour permettre le partage efficace de l’information et de la gestion.Les données recueillies seront mises à la disposition des communautés de la sécurité publique et de recherches par l’entremise de 24 centres de données régionaux opérant dans les établissements universitaires et de recherche partout au Canada, grâce à un portail en ligne.La nouvelle recherche est un autre élément clé du projet. Un financement sera octroyé aux chercheurs et aux universitaires canadiens qui se pencheront sur la sécurité publique, la sûreté, la gestion des risques et les questions connexes à l’aide de la base de données sur les incendies et les ensembles de données jumelées. Des sujets potentiels seront sollicités auprès des parties prenantes lors d’événements de l’industrie. Un comité de surveillance du financement de la recherche sera mis sur pied pour revoir les demandes et superviser les projets de recherche.Le processus selon lequel les données seront regroupées, normalisées et définies à travers le pays marquera une avancée technique pour l’industrie de la sécurité-incendie du Canada. Elle se traduira non seulement par un nouvel ensemble de données nationales sur les incendies, mais aussi par l’amélioration des méthodes de collecte de données.L’accès en temps réel à distance sur le portail en ligne par les utilisateurs autorisés via un navigateur permettra d’améliorer l’accès à la base de données et pourrait conduire à une plus grande utilisation et application de la base de données.En outre, des statistiques nationales sur les incendies n’ont jamais été jumelées à cette échelle à d’autres ensembles de données sociales à travers le Canada. Les informations qui en résulteront mettront à nu le spectre complet de la sécurité publique et les tendances en matière de sécurité, tenant valeur non seulement pour l’industrie de la sécurité-incendie au Canada, mais pour tous ceux qui travaillent à promouvoir la sûreté et la sécurité publique.Pour suivre l’évolution du projet, veuillez consulter le site web de l’ACCP à Garis est le chef des pompiers de la ville de Surrey, en Colombie-Britannique. Vous pouvez communiquer avec lui au  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Karin Mark, basée dans la région métropolitaine de Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique, est une ancienne journaliste primée qui écrit pour des publications et des clients corporatifs.

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