Grant Cameron

Grant Cameron

The Brantford Fire Department is honouring those who served in the First World War in a unique way, The Brantford Expositor reports  | READ MORE

Dräger has released a new series of single-gas monitors. The Pac 6000, 6500, 8000 and 8500 monitors detect not only standard gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and oxygen (Pac 6000 and 6500), but also special gases such as ozone, phosgene and nitrogen dioxide (Pac 8000).

In addition, the Pac 8500 is available with dual sensors for hydrogen sulfide/carbon monoxide or oxygen/carbon monoxide, and a hydrogen-compensated carbon monoxide sensor. This significantly reduces the influence of hydrogen on the indication of carbon monoxide.

As quick and reliable gas measurement is extremely important in an industrial environment, the Pac series detectors provide precise results, and are very easy to use.

Users can choose between 18 long-life sensors for the detection of up to 33 gases. The industrial battery used in the monitors enables a service life of two years without a battery change. Existing accessories can also be used with the new monitors.

An integrated "D-Light" shows the user whether the monitor is functional and ready for operation. In addition to the current gas concentration, a large display also provides other important information, such as remaining battery capacity, target gas or remaining service life.

The Pac series withstands harsh operating conditions. The sensors can be used in a temperature range from -40 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. An easily replaceable membrane filter protects the sensor against foreign substances such as dust or liquids.

The impact and chemical-resistant housing meets the requirements of IP68. Each sensor type is identified by a colour code. This means that mix-ups are practically impossible.

Pac series monitors display the respective highest concentration measured. Alarms are issued acoustically, visually and with a clearly noticeable vibration, and users can access acknowledged alarms at a later time. 

Click here for more information about Dräger’s product line of single-gas detection devices.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect firefighters. Studies have found that 17 to 22 per cent of first responders are struggling with the problem.
Fire chiefs and those aspiring to move up the ladder to become leaders of departments must be fully dedicated to the profession, embrace change and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, says Lyle Quan, an emergency services and risk management principal at LPQ Solutions in Guelph.
It was Nov. 17, 1990, a night that Tyler Pelke, deputy chief at Red Deer Emergency Service, will never forget.
Eight years ago, Christopher Howe hit rock bottom.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) held its Fire-Rescue Canada 2018 conference Sept. 16 to 19 in Ottawa, with a series of speakers, sessions and lightning talks to educate fire service leaders.
The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault is gaining traction around the world – and rightfully so.
Gayanne Pacholzuk, a fire prevention officer with the Kelowna Fire Department in British Columbia, will be bringing the message of fire safety to elementary school children in Ethiopia in November.

Pacholzuk is joining a medical team from RESTOR International that is going to the African country to provide free, life-altering surgeries to children and young adults with disabling and disfiguring contractures as a result of burns.

“I look forward to being a part of the RESTOR team this year and being able to share my knowledge with Ethiopian people in hopes that some of the burn injuries can be prevented in the future,” she said.

Pacholzuk, who has more than 21 years in the fire service, will work with the fire department in Bahir Dar and oversee the translation of fire prevention educational materials into Amharic, the official language in Ethiopia.

At the Kelowna department, she oversees fire inspections, fire investigations, and public education. She is very active in the push for fire prevention and awareness across Canada and is president with the Fire Prevention Officer’s Association of B.C.

Pacholzuk is on a committee for the National Building Code as well as two technical committees with the National Fire Protection Association, specializing in life safety in buildings and building construction.

She is also very active with the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund and has volunteered as a camp counsellor for the past six summers at a camp for children who are burn survivors.

RESTOR International said in a statement that the organization is thrilled to have Pacholzuk accompany the team to teach a sample program in elementary schools.

RESTOR is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that helps disadvantaged children and adults in developing countries.
The B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund celebrated its 40th anniversary Oct. 18 by hosting more than 40 local firefighters at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver.

The Burn Fund is a registered charity established in April 1978 by the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters and provides life-saving, life-supporting, and life-enriching services to the people in B.C.

Throughout its history, the Burn Fund has played a big part in enhancing the quality of care a burn and trauma patient receives from bedside through to recovery.
The Burn Fund and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park are linked by events that took place in 2007.

That year, severe winter storms caused major damage to Bright Nights Christmas lights display in Stanley Park, severely impacting donations to the Burn Fund. At the same time, a 46-ton tree fell onto Capilano Suspension Bridge, closing the park for five months.

To celebrate the bridge re-opening,
Nancy Stibbard, owner and CEO of Capilano Group, decided to hold a fundraiser for the Burn Fund to help replenish lost donations from its annual holiday event.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as partial proceeds from Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park have been donated to the Burn Fund ever since.
Through the generosity of donors such as the Capilano Group, the Burn Fund has achieved many significant accomplishments. This includes the notable achievement of completing a $13.1-million capital campaign to raise funds to build the new Burn Fund Centre in 2015 – a home away from home for burn and trauma survivors.

Stibbard's donations have exceeded $425,000 and her continued financial support through Canyon Lights has played a significant role in bringing awareness to the Burn Fund. She will be recognized at this year's Responder Dinner Gala on April 27, 2019.

The B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund has been providing prevention and survivor support programs and funding medical care and training for the people of B.C. and the Yukon for almost four decades. The Burn Fund is built by more than 3,800 professional firefighters from 53 communities in B.C. and the Yukon who dedicate their funds and time to the cause.

Click here to watch a video of the event.

Click here to learn more about the Burn Fund.





Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece has re-introduced the Rea and Walter Act (Truss and Lightweight Construction Identification) at Queen’s Park in an effort to improve firefighter safety.

The Act, known as Bill 33, will require commercial and industrial buildings, as well as certain multi-family dwellings using truss and lightweight construction (TLC), to be marked by an identification emblem.

Buildings containing TLC will be required to post 1 of 3 emblems:
  • “F” decals if only the floor of the building uses TLC.
  • “R” decals if only the roof of the building uses TLC.
  • “FR” decals if both the floor and the roof of the building use TLC.
The Act is in honour of two North Perth fire service members. Ken Rea and Ray Walter died in 2011 when the roof of a store constructed with TLC collapsed while fighting a fire.

“Firefighters need to know which buildings contain truss and lightweight construction,” Pettapiece said. “When a fire breaks out they need to know how to attack it safely.”

The Rea and Walter Act was wiped off the legislative agenda when the previous Liberal government prorogued the legislature in March 2018.

Pettapiece noted that a fire at Tim Horton’s in Arthur, Ont., on July 21 demonstrated once again the need for truss and lightweight construction identification.

In response to the incident Wellington North Fire Service Chief Dave Guilbault said, “We were not aware that the roof trusses were lightweight. There was no way of knowing. There could have been serious injuries or loss of life.”

Pettapiece said the Rea and Walter Act will restore trust and accountability between fire departments, municipalities and small business owners.

“I am hopeful this bill will again receive all-party support,” he said after tabling it in the Legislature. “I am looking forward to working with all of my colleagues and stakeholder groups across the province. It is the minimum standard our firefighters should expect.”

Lind Equipment of Markham, Ont., recently received honours in the 2018 Pro Tool Innovation Awards for two of its products, the Beacon LED Tower and the Beacon120 LED Highbay.

A panel of judges made up of tool and media professionals from across the United States and Canada weighed in on entries from top global manufacturers.

The Beacon LED Tower won the commercial site lighting category and the Beacon120 LED Highbay was a finalist in the temporary site lighting category.

Sean Van Doorselaer, CEO and chief designer officer at Lind Equipment, said the company is incredibly proud to earn accolades for the two products.

“Product design and innovation are key to what we do here at Lind Equipment,” he said. “Frankly, design matters, and building world-beating products is how we help our customers work confidently.”

The judges had some great praise for the Beacon LED Tower, saying, “What happens when you need a lot of light for exterior locations? Lind Equipment has broken the barrier and their Beacon LED Tower light puts out 120,000 lumens from four 200-watt LED lights.

“The system has a fuel tank that gives you up to 45 hours of runtime from a standard 2000-watt generator that you’ll need to supply. It’s designed to be transported and set up by a single person if necessary. When powerful lighting is what you need, you now have a legitimate LED option.”

Hundreds of power tools, hand tools, fasteners and accessories were judged, and winners were decided based on industry innovation.

Winners demonstrated achievement in any combination of the following: innovative features, advanced power delivery, groundbreaking ergonomics, technological advancements, and value.

The Pro Tool Innovation Awards recognize best-in-class products that are truly ahead of their time.

This year, more than 60 different tool manufacturers submitted nearly 300 tool entries in dozens of categories for a shot to win a 2018 Pro Tool Innovation Award.

Clint DeBoer, executive director of the Pro Tool Innovation Awards, said manufacturers are consistently improving their tools, but each year some exceed the norms and develop products which truly deserve recognition.

“Business owners, builders, contractors, and tradespeople really need to understand which products can help them work smarter and more efficiently,” he said. “Often, they can also save a lot of money in either material costs or time-savings. That innovation goes straight into their pocketbook."

The Pro Tool Innovation Awards are an annual awards program judged by a panel of professional tradesmen and trade media representatives in the electrical, plumbing, MRO, and concrete fields as well as general contractors and builders.

Lind Equipment is a leading manufacturer of portable LED lighting, hazardous location and industrial work lighting, portable power, static grounding, and GFCI products.

Click here for more information about the company and its products.





Toronto Fire Services has launched an advertising and public education campaign aimed at encouraging smokers in the Parkdale area of the city to stop tossing their cigarette butts. 

Data shows that Parkdale, over a five-year period, had more fires started from careless smoking than any other area of Toronto. Many of these fires occurred on balconies as a result of tenants discarding their lit cigarette butts by throwing them from their balconies. 

The campaign includes transit shelter posters, restobar (combined restaurant and bar) ads, posters on construction hoarding sites in the Parkdale neighbourhood, as well as geo-targeted social media and features two themes. The first campaign design depicts a hand holding a lit cigarette with the tagline, "Don't be a flicking idiot … tossed butts start fires." The second design shows a teddy bear on fire with the tagline, "Kill your butts, not your neighbours … tossed butts start fires." 

The advertising campaign will continue through November 11. A public education campaign will be carried out in conjunction with the ad campaign that will include firefighters visiting businesses and residents to convey the message that cigarette butts need to be completely extinguished before being discarded. 

"With this ad campaign, we're reminding residents that we all are responsible for keeping each other safe from fire," said Fire Chief and General Manager Matthew Pegg. "Our message is simple. Make sure your cigarettes are completely extinguished before you discard them, and discard them properly." 

"Parkdale is a tight-knit community that is known for being unique, colourful and diverse," said Gord Perks, the councillor of Ward 14. "What Parkdale should not be known for is the neighbourhood with the most fires due to careless smoking. This fire services campaign aims to change that fact and I'm confident we can reduce the number of fires started by improperly extinguished cigarette butts." 

To help highlight this issue, generic fire prevention messaging is being augmented with specific messaging to target residents who live in the fire-prone area of Parkdale. This campaign is the first done by Toronto Fire Services to focus on a specific area and target audience in an effort to deliver relevant, impactful and behaviour-changing communications. A public education risk assessment that included risks, geographic profiles, demographic profiles and marketing profiles aided in message targeting. 

Through this targeted ad campaign, Toronto Fire Services encourages Parkdale residents to understand the true cost of careless smoking and persuades them to adopt safer smoking habits. More information is available at 
toronto.ca/smokingsafety

For a video of the announcement go to https://mobile.twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1yNGaXYdOoRKj


Canada Post has unveiled a new stamp that honours the country's firefighters for saving lives and protecting property and the environment with their skills and courage.

The stamp is the fourth of five being unveiled this week to reflect Canada’s gratitude for all emergency responders.

The stamp was unveiled inHalifaxwith the participation of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency,Canada'soldest firefighting department, established in 1754.

Canada Post and the stamp designers consulted with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, whose members represent roughly 3,500 fire departments acrossCanada, to ensure the stamp accurately represents firefighters.

The other emergency responders stamps pay tribute to paramedics, the Canadian Armed Forces, search and rescue experts and police.

Canada Post said in a statement that few emergencies trigger such an immediate sense of threat as a fire breaking out in homes or communities, or being injured and trapped in a vehicle after a serious collision.

In situations that might make most people panic, firefighters arrive well equipped and trained to intervene as a cohesive team, the statement said.

“Able to respond to emergencies at a moment's notice, firefighters do much more than fight fires and rescue victims from burning buildings,” stated Canada Post. “They also provide emergency medical services and perform difficult technical rescues and extractions.

“They respond to vehicle collisions, overdoses, hazardous-material emergencies and other life-threatening events. As well, they makeCanada safer by educating people about fire prevention, investigating fires and enforcing fire codes.”

A stamp honouring paramedics was unveiled at the Ambulance New Brunswick headquarters inFredericton, N.B., on Sept. 10, and a stamp honouring members of the Canadian Armed Forces was unveiled at Base Valcartier inQuebec, on Sept. 11. A stamp honouring search and rescue experts was unveiled inBanff, Alta., on Sept. 13, and a stamp paying tribute to police officers will be unveiled inOttawaon Sept. 14.

The stamps will be available for purchase oncanadapost.caand at postal outlets acrossCanada as ofSept. 14.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is encouraging Canadians to take part in acts of service to commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I encourage Canadians to take part in acts of service today to remember those who lost their lives, and to honour the selflessness shown by so many on 9/11,” he said in a statement.


Trudeau said the events of 9/11 – the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States – will remain ingrained in the memories of people for generations.

"Today, on the 17th anniversary of this tragedy, we remember its nearly 3,000 innocent victims, including 24 Canadians. Hundreds of first responders lost their lives. We offer our deepest condolences to all those who lost loved ones, and live with pain and grief that will never completely go away.”

In the statement, Trudeau said Canadians must recognize and honour the incredible bravery of first responders who risked everything so others might live.

“They raced into smoke and flames, braved falling rubble, and charged up the stairs of the collapsing towers. They were firefighters, police officers, military personnel, and ordinary people – all heroes, extraordinary in their service and sacrifice.”

He noted that following the attacks communities across Canada banded together to help the U.S. – a neighbour and friend stricken by grief.

“Canadians opened their arms and homes to stranded airline passengers, joining an outpouring of generosity across North America that, to this day, reminds us to keep faith in the darkest hours – and know the best of us will always shine through.”

Looking for new ideas on how to best position yourself as a leader in your community and your fire department. Lyle Quan, who has been working in the field of emergency services for over 30 years and is retired as fire chief of the City of Waterloo, Ontario, recently presented a one-hour webinar entitled Marketing Yourself as a Fire Chief. Lyle continues to work with members of the fire service through consulting in the areas of fire service reviews and master planning and is presently working on an executive development program for the Ontario Fire College that is to be rolled out in 2019.
Click here for the webinar. You will have to enter your information to register.



The Maritime Fire Chiefs Association (MFCA) held its 104th annual conference July 13 to 16 in Moncton, N.B. and it was deemed a success by organizers.

“It’s gone really well,” Tory Rushton, newly elected president of the association, said on the final day of the conference. “We have a great trade show here and we have great speakers here every year.”

Rushton, chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Nova Scotia, was elected as president of the association to succeed Charles Kavanaugh, retired chief of the Grand Falls Fire Department in N.B.

Rushton has been in the fire service for 20 years and has served as chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Nova Scotia for the last 12. Prior to that, he spent five years as deputy chief of the department.

The four-day conference was held at Hotel Casino New Brunswick.

About 160 delegates, many with their spouses, attended the event, up slightly from the previous year.

The event featured information sessions and a slate of keynote speakers who dealt with myriad subjects.

Outside, a number of manufacturers and suppliers set up more than a dozen fire trucks.

Robert Krause, director of Emergency Services Consultants in Toledo, Ohio, led a talk called Leadership in Dangerous Situations and spoke about why it’s important for commanders to remain calm and make sound decisions at fire scenes because firefighters will feed off leaders’ actions.

Dave Wiklanski, owner of Alpha Omega Training Solutions in New Jersey, led a session on active shooters, noting most have an agenda and the shootings are likely to happen at a school, church or mall. He said such incidents can occur anywhere, but shooters do leave clues they might kill people.

Tanya Bettridge, director of communications at the Ontario Fire & Life Safety Education, talked about social media and how tools like Facebook and Twitter can be used by fire departments to promote safety messages. She urged fire departments to get on the bandwagon and adopt digital tools.

“If you don’t have social media in your fire department, get it,” she said in remarks to an audience of 120 people at a session.

In today’s world, social media is one of the best ways for fire departments to draw attention to the safety cause, she said.

Bettridge, who is public educator/administrative assistant at Perth East and West Perth fire departments in Ontario, was a driving force behind a farm fire safety program at the departments. The program has since been adopted by fire departments and agencies across North America.

Bettridge said social media has become a must-have tool for fire departments that want to get the public thinking more seriously about safety.

“It is the most inexpensive public education tool that you can use,” she said, noting a post on social media can be shared instantaneously around the world.

Bettridge said fire departments shouldn’t ignore online resources because three quarters of Canadians use at least one type of social media and nine billion videos are watched around the world each day.

“That’s where your audience is,” she said.

A trade show at the event featured vendors from across Canada and the U.S. They had specialized products and equipment on display, along with exhibits of new processes and techniques for fighting fires.



Stephan Rytz, a firefighter and director of training at Scene Safety Company in Saint John, N.B. which specializes in high-risk rescue operations, was a vendor. While he leads a busy life doing two jobs, he’s passionate about health and safety and said he feels good at being able to help save lives.

Jean-Michel Boisvert, of Pierreville, Que., Canadian sales manager at CET Manufacturing which makes portable pumps, was also one of the vendors. He travels regularly across Canada and the U.S.

There was also business to take care of at the conference.

Meetings of the MFCA were held each morning. One item discussed was whether or not the association should open its doors to all firefighters. Presently, only those who have the word ‘chief’ in their title are allowed to be active or voting members of the MFCA. Fire marshals, deputy fire marshals and fire commissioners are also allowed to cast ballots. Firefighters can attend the event but aren’t allowed to join the MFCA or vote.

A resolution to allow all ranks of fire service in the Atlantic provinces to become full-fledged voting members of the association – and run for executive positions – was put forward as a resolution.

The idea behind it was to make the association more inclusive of all ranks of the fire service.

While there was no vehement opposition to the idea, in the end members decided it would be better to wait another year before making a final decision.

The executive will work on a bylaw over the next year and come up with one that will be presented to the conference in 2019.

MFCA president Rushton said the idea of the proposal is to provide future leaders of the fire service an opportunity to gain more leadership experience through lectures, training and networking.

“We’re trying to open the doors for them to come in to this association and sit on the executive and start to grow with the executive as they grow,” he said.

Such a move, he said, would allow basic firefighters, lieutenants and captains to get more involved in the MFCA.

Rushton said the proposal comes at an exciting time for the association and, as president, he hopes to rejuvenate the organization, define where it’s going and bring more members into the fold.

“I want to grow the membership and maintain the relationships that we have with the other organizations, each provincial association and also the Canadian Fire Chiefs Association.”
Smoke had filled the building. Inside, it was dark, I recall, and oppressively hot. The bulky firefighting equipment I wore was heavy, very heavy, especially the helmet.
The New Victoria Fire Department in Nova Scotia has been named one of the winners of the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway program.

The program is a partnership of Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

The department will get four new sets of state-of-the-art turnout gear.

“Our members are dedicated and take much pride in our department,” said deputy chief Andrew Petrie. “Receiving this gear will be a great morale boost for our members. Thank you to Globe, DuPont, and the NVFC for this opportunity to help make our responders safe.”

The New Victoria Fire Department is on the mouth of Sydney Harbour in the most northeastern part of Nova Scotia. The department responds to an average of 120 calls a year, serving about 5,000 residents over 100 square miles.

Department personnel train hard to ensure they are ready to respond. However, about half of its 22 volunteers must wear gear that is more than 10 years old and not up to recommended standards.

This year, Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council are giving away 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 North American fire departments that serve populations of 25,000 or less.

Now in its seventh year, the program works to enhance the safety and capabilities of small-town fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Recipients are being announced monthly throughout the year.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFCs) has released its written pre-budget submission to the federal finance committee.

The submission, titled Ensuring Canada’s Competitiveness by Mastering Public Safety Risks, calls for, among other things, enhanced use of federal funds earmarked for first responder mental health.

The CAFC wants the federal government to adjust how it uses $30 million in funds that are set aside for first responder mental health. The recommendation is one of five in the six-page submission.

Specifically, the CAFC is asking the government to adapt and implement Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT) so that it’s nationally available to first responders rather than just develop a pilot.

Budget 2018 proposed to invest $10 million over five years, starting this year for Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) to develop an ICBT pilot as a means of providing greater access to care and treatment for public safety officers.

The CAFC supports the research levers and states that at least 13 ICBT models have been developed and evaluated, but notes pilots are known to be shelved at the end of the funding period.

“We ask that the project specifications be revised from developing and pilot testing, to adapting, evaluating and implementing, in order to ensure that the $10 million reaches as many first responders as possible,” the CAFC states.

According to the CAFC, the government also proposed to provide $20 million over five years to support a new national research consortium between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to address the incidence of post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers. The CAFC also commends such an initiative.

However, the association is asking that the intention be revised from studying the incidence to studying the implementation of innovations that could help first responders nationally.

“We respectfully disagree that more research to identify the problem is necessary,” the CAFC submission states, noting that many interventions have already been developed for first responders.

“We need to use the funding for implementation (of) science projects that make these interventions accessible in new, innovative, cost effective and appropriate ways to a larger number of responders.”

The CAFC submission asks that the CIPSRT, CIHR, Department of National Defence and Mental Health Commission of Canada work together to implement and evaluate the Road to Mental Health Readiness (R2MR) Program or an equivalent resilience training for all fire departments in the country.

“The federal government has the people, funding, mechanisms and levers. We are asking for the political will to make it happen,” the submission states.

In the brief, the CAFC also recommends that:
  • The government provide funding in the amount of $50 million per year for a fire sector research and innovation program to develop and test hazard responses to social and building code innovations. The CAFC states that Canada needs a more reliable and regular mechanism to respond to innovation.
  • The government implement continued ongoing funding for all Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) program teams and ensure national deployment strategies are in place. The federal government is providing $3.1 million annually and ongoing to establish the HUSAR program, but the CAFC wants to see stable and predictable funding moving forward.
  • That the government reinstate its Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) to enhance regional capacity for all types of emergencies. The JEEP, which offered matching funding for equipment, training and other infrastructure needed by the country’s fire departments, was terminated for reasons unclear to the CAFC.
  • The federal government implement a national fire advisor secretariat to provide substantive expertise in linking federal fire-related initiatives. The CAFC states it would be willing to help provide such a role with the appropriate funding.
The CAFC is asking its members to forward the submission to their federal MP and perhaps include a cover letter describing the importance of one or more of the recommendations to their communities.

Click here for the CAFC submission.

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