Grant Cameron

Grant Cameron

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) has commended the federal budget tabled by the Liberals, saying in a press release that it has a number of crucial measures that will support strong communities.

The budget, released by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on March 19, is the final one before the federal election next October.

Click here view the federal budget.

CAFC President and Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block said several investments stood out for the association.

“The investments in municipal infrastructure and housing hold opportunity for rectifying vulnerabilities that have resulted in recent tragedies,” he said in the press release.

“The support for the Indigenous Fire Marshal’s office and the FireSmart program are needed and all hazards emergency response funding will be put to good use.”

The CAFC strongly commended an investment of $25 million over five years to create a pan-Canadian suicide-prevention service available 24/7 in all parts of the country.

“First responders not only respond to suicide calls, they also fall victim to them,” said Block. “I’m pleased to see this taking shape and the CAFC will be pleased to assist where we can.”

The association also was pleased to see opportunities for training, diversity, and apprenticeship.

The statement said that, in the coming weeks, the CAFC will be looking more closely at the budget and its implications and will remain available to all departments to assist in relevant files.

Following are the CAFC’s list of some of the highlights of the budget:
  • $25 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $5 million per year ongoing, to work with experienced and dedicated partners in the space to support a pan-Canadian suicide prevention service, in order to provide people across Canada with access to bilingual, 24/7, crisis support from trained responders, using the technology of their choice (voice, text or chat). This service will leverage and build on existing services and experiences of partners dedicated to suicide prevention.
  • $5 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to Public Safety Canada to develop all-hazard awareness-raising activities that are targeted to specific, at-risk audiences such as low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, and indigenous people.
  • $260 million over two years, on a cash basis, starting in 2019–20, to Public Safety Canada to support provincial and territorial disaster relief and recovery efforts through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program.
  • $151.23 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $9.28 million per year ongoing, to improve emergency management in Canada, including in Indigenous communities. This investment will improve Canada’s ability to predict and respond to threats through the use of early-warning systems, and enhance the understanding of the nature of the risks posed by floods, wildfires and earthquakes. In addition, this investment will help to assess the condition and resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure – including energy grids, water and food supplies and health services – in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
  • $65 million in 2018–19 for STARS to replace its aging fleet and acquire new emergency ambulance helicopters. This funding will be made available through Public Safety Canada.
  • $211 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $49.4 million per year ongoing to support increased resiliency and emergency management on-reserves, and $48 million over four years, starting in 2020–21, to renew funding for infrastructure projects on-reserve that will protect communities from climate-related hazards, which are stated to include support for the Indigenous Fire Marshalls Office and Fire Smart.
  • Over $1.7 billion over five years, and $586.5 million per year ongoing for a new Canada Training Benefit—a personalized, portable training benefit to help people plan for and get the training they need. 
  • $40-billion for the 10-year National Housing Strategy, which will help ensure that vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.
  • $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities. This will double the government’s commitment to municipalities in 2018–19 and will provide much-needed infrastructure funds for communities of all sizes, all across the country.
  • $1.7 billion over 13 years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a new national high-speed Internet program, the Universal Broadband Fund. The fund would build on the success of the Connect to Innovate program, and would focus on extending “backbone” infrastructure to underserved communities (backbone is the central channel used to transfer Internet traffic at high speed – the Internet equivalent of a major roadway or railway spur). For the most difficult-to-reach communities, funding may also support “last-mile” connections to individual homes and businesses.
  • $25 million over 10 years, starting in 2020–21, to fund Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research CIMVHR’s ongoing operations, the implications from which can often benefit first responders.
The CAFC is an independent, non-profit organization representing about 3,500 fire departments across Canada. The primary mission of CAFC is to promote the highest standard of public safety in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world to ensure the protection of the public through leadership, advocacy and active collaboration with key stakeholders.

The 2019 application period for MSA’s annual Globe Gear Giveaway is now open.

Thirteen fire departments will each receive four sets of new state-of-the-art turnout gear, for a total of 52 sets.

A department from Canada has won gear almost every year since the program’s inception in 2012. The New Victoria Fire Department in Nova Scotia was one of the winners of gear in 2018.

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

Now in its eighth year, the program works to enhance the safety and capabilities of small-town fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Winners will be announced monthly throughout the year

To be eligible to apply, departments must meet the following criteria:

·      be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (more than 50 per cent)

·      serve a population of 25,000 or less

·      be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law

·      demonstrate a need for the gear

·      department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC

To help departments meet the membership criteria, MSA will provide a complimentary NVFC membership to the first 500 applicants.

Deadline to apply is June 1, 2019.

To date, the program has delivered 455 sets of turnout gear to 95 fire departments.

Click here to learn more about the program.

MSA Safety Incorporated manufactures and supplies safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. DuPont makes safety products and materials that protect people. The NVFC is an association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services.











Steel River Group Inc. of Calgary, Alta., is now the Canada-wide distributor of a mass water deployment system to fight fires and flooding in remote and hard-to-access areas. The company signed a partnership recently with Fire & Flood Emergency Services to be the dealer and distributor in Canada.

The water delivery technology offers customers quick deployment and demobilization of equipment over any terrain and provides a new tool for dealing with devastating fires and flooding in areas that are not easily reached.

Steel River Group is a privately held and Indigenous-owned and operated company.

“As an Indigenous-owned company, Steel River Group feels a strong sense of responsibility to protect the land and people, which is why this is such a positive new service offering for our company and addition to our Indigenous ecosystem,” company president and CEO Trend Fequet said in a press release. “This impressive technology is ideal for major industrial, infrastructure and pipeline projects, as well as for fighting forest fires, other wildfires and floods.”

The system can provide access to water over vast distances in excess of 75 kilometres to build a water-curtain barrier as a buffer to slow firestorm activity.

The system can also tap into a mobile hydrant system through a manifold technology for further fire suppression activities, reducing water-shuttle intervals, as well as reducing manpower and personnel exhaustion.

The system consists of a series of pumps, hoses and manifolds that are deployed using specialized all-terrain trucks.

Fequet said with the system, construction companies, project owners and emergency response teams have an effective new tool to include in their emergency response plans and site-specific safety plans.

Click here for more information about Steel River Group.



The 2019 Security, Police, Fire Career Expo held March 7 at the International Centre in Mississauga on March 7 was a success. Those seeking a career in the fire service were able to meet and have one-on-one discussions with a number of fire chiefs and firefighters. The event was presented by Fire Fighting in Canada, Firehall Bookstore, Canadian Security, Blue Line and SP & T News.
Fire mentors included:


·      Richard Boyes, executive director of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and Helaina Mulville, administrative support coordinator at Ontario Fire Administration Inc.

·      David Cunliffe, fire chief of the Hamilton Fire Department.

·      Dave Pratt, fire chief of the Milton Fire Department.

·      Damond Jamieson, deputy fire chief of the Cambridge Fire Department.

·      Vannetta Tustian, a Toronto firefighter who is director of professional development – student recruitment for Fire Service Women of Ontario, and volunteer firefighter Taylor Wardaugh.

·      Chad Roberts, acting captain at the Oakville Fire Department and member of the extrication team.

·      Kory Pearn, firefighter with the City of St. Thomas and author of The Complete Guide to Becoming a Firefighter.

Jon Pegg, Ontario’s newly installed fire marshal, says he’s excited about working to protect firefighters and the public and promoting diversity in the fire service.

“I look forward to working with and hearing from our many stakeholders on the many challenges they face and coming up with collaborative and creative ways to address those problems,” he said in a statement prepared for Fire Fighting in Canada.

“Ultimately, I look forward to finding innovative ways to educate and protect our residents and to a day when fatalities caused by fire are virtually eliminated.”

Pegg took over the helm on Feb. 20, replacing Ross Nichols who retired. He is no stranger to public fire and life safety, as he has been chief of emergency management for the Province of Ontario for the past eight months.

Pegg has a long history in the fire service and started as a firefighter with the Richmond Hill Fire Department in 2000. He has been deputy chief and fire chief for the Innisfil Fire and Rescue Services as well as deputy fire chief for the Town of Georgina.

He said he’s looking forward to the job and challenges.

I think what I am excited about is actually the same as the biggest challenge – the diversity within the fire service across Ontario and recognizing that diversity,” he said, as well as how the Office of the Fire Marshal meets those often different needs.

He said his 23 years in various fire roles, as volunteer, career firefighter and captain, deputy chief and chief will help as he’s been fortunate to have been part of some amazing departments and teams.

“I have worked in the most common types of departments (volunteer, composite and career) we see in Ontario which I believe will be a great asset in this role.”

Pegg said he was drawn to the role of fire marshal because in that role he can help shape the fire service in Ontario.

“I am passionate about fire safety and protecting the residents within Ontario,” he said. “I am passionate about firefighter safety (physical and mental).

“I have greatly enjoyed each rank I have held as my career has progressed and I truly see being in the role of fire marshal as that next step. Being able to work with the municipal fire departments and stakeholders to shape the fire service with things like legislation, education and best practices is very exciting for me.”

He said the fire marshal’s office and office of emergency management are very fortunate to have incredibly intelligent and hardworking people working within the teams.

“I am excited to lead and work with these women and men to enhance fire safety throughout Ontario.”

Pegg said he’s incredibly fortunate to be taking over the role after Nichols, and he saw the incredible way his predecessor interacted and valued his staff.

“Although there are many great things I can say about Ross, this is something that will always stick with me. Ross was a very trusted and respected leader who put his people first 100 per cent of the time and this is something I hope I can continue to bring to the team.”

For the time being, Pegg also remains in his role as chief of emergency management.

Jon Pegg is the new fire marshal for the Province of Ontario. He started the job Feb. 20 and replaces Ross Nichols.

Pegg has been chief of emergency management for the Province of Ontario for the past eight months.

He has a long history in the fire service and started as a firefighter with the Richmond Hill Fire Department in 2000.

He left in 2011 to become deputy fire chief at the Town of Innisfil and remained there for 16 months. He oversaw the suppression, training and prevention divisions and assisted in the development of a council-adopted fire master plan.

He became deputy fire chief of the Town of Georgina in April 2013 and remained in that job for a year.

He was also Zone 4 rep for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs for a year at that time.

In March 2014, Pegg became fire chief and community emergency management co-ordinator of the Town of Innisfil, where he oversaw all components of the Innisfil Fire and Rescue Service.

His focus has been on constantly looking to find better, safer practices for fire fighting, to serve residents and protect staff, and create a 100-per-cent customer service environment where staff make going above and beyond expectations part of their daily routine to serve the public.

Pegg is the brother of Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg.

Click here to read more about Pegg's plans for the future.


On Feb. 18, his final day as Fire Marshal of Ontario, Ross Nichols thanked first responders for making Ontario a safer place to live.

He posted a public letter and statement on Twitter to the women and men on the front line, thanking them for their service.

“On this, my final day as Fire Marshal of Ontario, I’m sending out a thank you to all those in the first responder community who have chosen to serve,” he wrote. “To our police officers, firefighters, paramedics, call-takers and dispatchers … thank you for all you do. Be well, and play safe.”

In the letter, he said that each and every day first responders roll out into the unknown, putting themselves in harm’s way in service to the public.

“Whether it’s the middle of the night or in broad daylight, ridiculously hot or unbelievably cold, downtown in a major city or hours from the nearest community, paid or volunteering, you’re there for people on their most difficult days – helping them when they need it most.”

In these increasingly challenging times, he said, the role of first responder demands a great deal from those willing to put it all on the line to help their fellow citizens.

“You see and do the things most people don’t want (to) see and do … or simply aren’t able to do,” he wrote. “As a result, it’s vital that we support each other – not just physically, but mentally as well.

“Please look after each other both on and off the street,” he wrote.

Many from the first responder community responded to Ross’s tweet, congratulating him on his retirement and for his service.

Toronto Fire Services Fire Chief Matthew Pegg wrote, “Thank you Ross! I wish you all the best in your next adventure and thank you for your public service.”

Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie said, “Congratulations Ross and thank you for your leadership and service to Ontario and across Canada. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you. Best wishes from Newfoundland and Labrador Fire Service.”

The Ontario Provincial Police wrote, “Happy retirement! All the very best,” and the Police Association of Ontario wrote, “Thank you for your service! On behalf of the @PoliceAssocON’s 18,000 front-line police personnel members across the province, all the best in your future endeavours.”

Jon Pegg, chief of emergency management for the province, has been named as the new fire marshal.

Click here to see Ross’s tweet.





Hundreds of fire service leaders and human resources personnel gathered at an Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) labour relations seminar in Toronto, Ont., on Jan. 23 and 24 to get a rundown on the latest legal and bargaining developments and lay of the land on a variety of subjects.
Everybody, it seems, has an opinion on how to stop wildfires.
The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada (HFSC) is awarding stipends to 20 qualifying fire departments that demonstrate a plan to conduct a community event featuring a side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstration.

The stipend can be used to purchase materials to build a new display, rehab an existing display, produce educational materials distributed at the demonstration or to build an NFPA 13D display to be used at the event. Click here for more information about building an NFPA 13D display.

The deadline to apply for the stipend is March 1, 2019.

To qualify, applicants must be signed up for HFSC’s free Built for Life Fire Department program.

To apply for the stipend, Built For Life Fire Department representatives must agree to implement their department’s event and fulfill the event implementation requirements by the end of 2019. They must ensure the event contains home fire sprinkler educational outreach; endeavour to extend the educational benefits beyond the actual event (such as through local media or placement of photos or video on the fire department’s website and social media outlets, if any); evaluate the educational effectiveness of the event; and report event summary and evaluation findings to the HFSC.

Click here for more information and to enrol.

The HFSC is a charitable organiztion that was formed in 1996 to inform the public about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler protection in Canada. HFSC members include The Co-operators, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association and regional representation for the National Fire Protection Association.



Vector Solutions, a leader in industry-focused eLearning and performance support solutions, announced Feb. 6, 2019 that it has acquired Halligan, the innovative developers of a leading mobile application for public safety agencies that streamlines routine maintenance inspections of trucks, tools, medical supplies, drugs, and other items logged in inventory records. 

The addition of Halligan comes on the heels of Vector’s recent acquisition of CrewSense, reaffirming the company’s commitment to providing a single operational hub for clients and expanding its eLearning and training platform into a complete performance optimization solution. 

Halligan’s workforce management app is embedded in the everyday workflows of more than 450 fire and EMS customers, with features including mobile truck checks, communication tools for overdue checks and open work orders, asset barcode scanning, and cost and quantity tracking. Halligan’s fleet, inventory and asset solutions will be offered under Vector’s Public Sector business unit with whom Halligan has previously partnered to bring TargetSolutions Check It app released earlier in 2018. 

“This exciting acquisition benefits Halligan clients by providing the opportunity to integrate with the public sector’s leading learning and performance platform, TargetSolutions, and thousands of online courses from the Vector Solutions library,” said Marc Scheipe, Vector chief operating officer. “And, with Halligan’s continued commitment to quality, innovation and world-class support, this acquisition serves to increase modules for optimized performance, expand access to advanced technology, and maintain a singular focus on increasing productivity, reducing risk and driving smart decisions.” 

“We saw Vector Solutions’ vision for a single platform where public safety agencies can come to manage what is most important to their operations: their talented first responders and their life-saving equipment.” said Alex Montgomery, founder and CEO of Halligan. “Through the acquisition the Halligan team looks forward to providing more product solutions to our customers."

The company said clients of Vector Solutions and Halligan can expect to receive the same customer service to which they have been accustomed. 

The company is working to determine integration plans and more information will be available in the future. 

Vector Solutions provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education industries. Its brands, RedVector-Convergence Training, TargetSolutions, and SafeSchools, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance management solutions using the latest innovations in learning and technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library offers approximately 8,000 courses written by over 250 subject matter experts and reaches over seven million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information about the company go to www.vectorsolutions.com. 

Halligan is an easy and secure solution paid and volunteer fire departments across the nation trust for truck checks. With features ranging from apparatus checks, work orders, equipment management and budgeting, Halligan saves money while saving time. Complete mobile first truck checks from iOS, Android devices or web browsers. For more information about the company go to www.halligan.io.

Fire service leaders from across Ontario gathered at the Hilton Niagara Falls hotel Nov. 20 to 22 for the 2018 annual general meeting of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC).
It was a Friday afternoon in September – the 21st to be exact. Kim Ayotte, fire chief of Ottawa Fire Services, was relaxing at his cottage in the Otter Lake area, just over an hour’s drive from the capital.
Finally, it seems, the push to get a national Indigenous Fire Marshal’s Office (IFMO) up and running in Canada appears to be in the home stretch.
Alerting firefighters quickly and effectively is a crucial element in successfully dealing with any emergency situation. However, alerting volunteer firefighters can be a challenge on its own.

First, the recent switch from wideband to narrowband radio technology has led to a loss of paging coverage. Therefore, some dispatch calls are simply not received anymore. Furthermore, incumbent pagers often don't live up to today's expectations in terms of efficiency, quality and cost efficiency — a bar raised by cellular applications.

The s.QUAD Voice pager by Swissphone is an extremely rugged analog pager with radio sensitivity that allows fire services to extend the coverage of their existing paging networks significantly. The quality of the pager also helps reduce replacement and repair costs dramatically.

“With the s.QUAD Voice pager, my replacement costs and repair costs have dropped 97 per cent, compared to the old Minitors," said Fire Chief John Kramer of Monitor Township Fire Department in Bay City, Mich.

At the same time, the s.QUAD's Bluetooth interface allows it to be connected to your smartphone. With the smartphone serving as a gateway, this innovation allows you to receive alphanumeric messages on your pager long before the crystal-clear voice dispatch comes through.

A multi-colored flashing LED visually supports the alarm, further indicating the urgency of the alert.

In spite of its compact size, the s.QUAD Voice pager is water- and dust-proof and is one of the most rugged pagers in the world (6.5 feet drop test).

The pager is comfortable to wear and the screen is always protected. The s.QUAD Voice, with its alert volume of >95 dB(A) @ one ft, can be a rather boisterous companion.

If the pager needs to be used for a longer period of time and there is no power source available the s.QUAD Voice can also run on a single AA battery.

The s.QUAD achieves a sensitivity of < 2.0 µV/m. This high sensitivity means your pager will alert when others don’t have enough signal. No other pager on the market has been able to duplicate this result.

With a simple firmware update the s.QUAD Voice pager can be upgraded into a digital POCSAG pager. At the same time, the s.QUAD app also runs on a FirstNet ready Smartphone, allowing you to extend your alerting network coverage through FirstNet hybrid paging. s.QUAD Voice, therefore, provides great investment protection for many years.

Swissphone has been developing and producing high-quality alerting devices for more than 45 years. The family-owned business has more than 250 employees in the U.S. and Europe.

Click here for more information about the s.QUAD Voice pager and Swissphone.



The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) is thrilled to be working in partnership with Jenny's Heroes Canada once again to support volunteer firefighters across Ontario. 

Jenny's Heroes Canada has decided to offer three Fire Service Equipment Grant opportunities in 2019.

The majority of fire departments in Ontario rely on the services of volunteer firefighters to provide fire protection, education and emergency first response in their communities. Due to smaller populations, with a smaller tax base, many of these departments are challenged to purchase new equipment, gear and technology to protect these firefighters so they can provide the skilled, competent and caring services to the residents they are committed to protect.

Through Jenny’s Heroes Canada, the Jenny Jones Foundation is offering grants of up to $25,000 to provide safety equipment to Ontario’s volunteer fire departments. 

“I have a profound respect for anyone who chooses a life of service to the community,” says Jenny, “even more so when the risks are great.”

Jones grew up in London, Ont. and wishes to give back to her home province.

In May 2018, the Jenny Jones Foundation reached out to the OAFC with a vision to give back to those who serve in their communities, and where a financial contribution would make a significant impact.

The OAFC immediately recognized the potential to work with Jenny by providing a medium to reach those departments in Ontario where this opportunity would make a significant difference. In addition, the opportunity aligned well with the OAFC’s mandate to provide access to resources that help support its members’ role as fire and emergency service leaders in their communities. 

In July 2018, the OAFC and Jenny Jones launched Jenny’s Heroes Canada Fire Service Equipment Grant to support volunteer fire services in Ontario. There was an overwhelming response from departments across Ontario with more than 100 applications received.

Both the OAFC and Jenny were amazed at the incredible response and participation in such an exciting opportunity. After a final review and based on the significant need identified through the application process, Jenny decided to increase the amount of her Jenny’s Heroes Canada grant to $50,000 from the original amount of $25,000, offering grants to six departments that purchased an array of equipment to assist in their public safety efforts. 

“Wow. We received more applications than anyone expected,” says Jenny. “It’s clear the need is great, so I remain committed to continue providing safety equipment to Ontario’s volunteer firefighters. Let’s keep it going!”   

Jenny’s Heroes Canada has decided to offer three Ontario Fire Service Equipment Grant Opportunities in 2019, for up to $25,000 for each opportunity.

Click here for more information about the grants, criteria and the application process.









Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service (VFRS) recently received a $10,000 grant from TransCanada for its firefighter camp for young women ages 15 to 18 years. 
International Safety in Newmarket is introducing the Spartan Fire Hydrant manufactured by Sigelock. The company says it revolutionizes municipal firefighting with the first major overhaul to hydrant design in a century, and will reduce municipal budgets and increase operational readiness at the same time.

The company says the hydrant opens quicker and easier than standard fire hydrants, dramatically reduces the chance of freezing in winter due to a new patented lower valve and drain system, and has caps and nozzles that will not rust, seize or corrode – even in the harshest environments.

The hydrant is built from rugged ductile iron and coated with super-durable Thermoset powder coating paint which means there will be no cost of labour for painting.

Internal parts are made from marine-grade 304 stainless steel which means there will be no money spent on replacements.

The company also says there will be no more water loss from leaks or theft, as built-in security allows authorized access only.

The hydrant is made in the U.S. and comes with a 25-year limited warranty on material and workmanship. It is certified for use in Canada.

The hydrant has Dry Barrel Design and meets applicable parts of ANSI/AWWA C502 standard.

Click here more information about the hydrant.
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) is applauding the provincial government for introducing legislation that will allow full-time firefighters to volunteer as firefighters in their communities.

The legislation, known as Bill 57, the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018, was introduced in the Legislature earlier this week.

Presently, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA) prohibits full-time firefighters from serving as volunteer firefighters.

Firefighting full time and volunteering on the side is known as “two-hatting” or “double hatting.”

If passed, Schedule 18 of Bill 57 will amend the FPPA to, among other things, enhance protections for volunteer firefighters engaged in double-hatting and address collective bargaining and interest arbitration in the sector.

The OAFC maintains that the legislation, if passed, will protect firefighters who are employed full time and chose to volunteer as a firefighter in the community where they live.

 The OAFC said in a statement that it is also pleased to see proposed changes to reform the interest arbitration process, which will help municipalities' evidence “local economic realities to be fully considered” by the arbitrator.

“We commend the Ford government for acting on these long-standing issues, and look forward to continuing to work together, protecting our firefighters, and ultimately keeping Ontario's residents safe," OAFC president Stephen Hernen, who is fire chief for the Town of Huntsville, said in a statement.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli introduced the proposed move as part of the province’s 2018 economic outlook and fiscal review.

The changes would prevent firefighters from being disciplined, fined or suspended if they want to volunteer on the side.

Specifically, the legislation would amend the FPPA to prohibit employers and employers’ organizations from refusing to employ a person as a firefighter, refusing to assign a person to fire protection services or discharging a firefighter because the person has worked, is working, or intends to work as a volunteer firefighter.

The legislation’s enhanced protections for two-hatters are expected to provide all workplace parties – both associations and employers alike – with much needed clarity on their rights and responsibilities towards volunteer firefighters in relation to the longstanding issue.

If passed in its current form, Schedule 18 clarifies that working as a volunteer firefighter will not constitute “unlawful activity.” Accordingly, associations will not be permitted to require employers to discharge firefighters because they have, are or intend to work as a volunteer firefighter.
The legislation also proposes the FPPA be amended so that the present three-member arbitration boards be replaced with single arbitrators for dispute resolution.


The amendments also include new criteria to be taken into consideration in an arbitrator’s decision and a requirement that an arbitrator provide written reasons for a decision at the request of either party.

The OAFC represents more than 700 chief fire officers in Ontario, from across 442 municipalities, who are responsible for the management and delivery of fire, rescue and emergency response to 13 million residents.

Jeremy Inglis, deputy fire chief at the Fort Erie Fire Department in Ontario, is a man on a very specific mission.
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