Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott

Experienced firefighters and service hopefuls got the chance to learn from industry experts and expand their skillset at a unique educational event.
Department needs across Canada can be as diverse as the country itself. As the nature of the service continues to change, and fire crews respond to more medical and rescue calls, municipalities are adding features to their apparatus that address community-specific needs.
It has been quite a transitional time here at Fire Fighting in Canada.
On July 11, Richard Wells, a volunteer firefighter with the Hope Fire Department in British Columbia, was sent to aid in structural-protection efforts in Williams Lake along with a colleague. Wildfires in the surrounding mountain area had the town on evacuation alert for two weeks prior to Wells’ arrival.
Aug. 17, 2017, Mississauga, Ont. - Firefighters in Mississauga, Ont., will be the first in Canada to train using a new fire hydrant designed to increase firefighter safety and efficiency.

The Spartan hydrant was unveiled Aug. 17 at the Garry W. Morden Centre in Mississauga, home to the training and mechanical divisions of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services.

According to inventor and former New York firefighter George Sigelakis, the Spartan hydrant fixes common issues that create difficulties for departments, such as freezing and unreliable pressure.

"We've eliminated the shaking, the vibration, the water hammer, the leaking, the freezing, the undermining the soil and pressure drains, the painting and peeling . . . ," Sigelakis said.

Sidelakis said traditional hydrants "put the firefighters at risk," because they can be unreliable at the scene of an emergency. Sigelakis said after losing one of his colleagues, he was inspired to redesign hydrants to put firefighters' lives first.

"It's going to [help firefighters] put the fire out much quicker . . . and [give] the ability to do their jobs instead of having to stand around with millions of dollars of fire equipment because they can't get water," he says. "It's like sending a guy in the military to go fight without his gun . . . You can't fight a war without weapons."

In a year-long pilot project with the city, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services will test the hydrant to assess whether it will save time and water, while increasing firefighter and community safety.

Assistant Chief Jamie Zimmerman said Mississauga Fire is excited to be the first department in Canada to use such an "innovative product."

"I think we're quite proud," Zimmerman says. "Time will tell as we go through and we put our staff through the evolutions with the hydrant . . . but at the end of the day, that's what the [fire] business is about, is improvement."

"We're just really proud that they picked Mississauga Fire and the Garry W. Morden centre to be the test facility."

Members from Milton, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Vaughan, and Stratford departments also attended Thursday's event.

Unlike conventional hydrants, Sigelock Systems' Spartan hydrant has a water-theft resistant clamshell design made of a stainless steel and ductile iron mix, with a durable powder coating to withstand weathering.

Sigelakis said the Spartan hydrant was "built to last. "

Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the Spartan hydrant, ". . . will better allow Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services to do their jobs, keeping our residents and our community safe."

To learn more about how the Spartan hydrant works, check out this video on Sigelock's YouTube page:
Aug. 8, 2017, Toronto - Toronto Fire Services has hired Jim Kay at its new deputy chief of training and technical operations. Prior to his move to Toronto, Kay served as Ontario's deputy fire marshal. Kay began his career in the fire services as an operations firefighter in Burlington, Ont., later filling various roles from chief training officer to deputy fire chief. In 2000, he became a deputy chief with the Hamilton Fire Department. In 2004, he was promoted to fire chief of Hamilton Emergency Services, overseeing both fire and paramedic services for the city. Kay will begin his new role with Toronto Fire Services on Sept. 11.
The Saskatoon Fire Department received a custom pumper from Fort Garry Fire Trucks in May. The red and white truck is constructed on a Spartan Metro Star chassis with a 400-hp Cummins ISL9 engine and an Allison EVS 3000 transmission. The vehicle has an emergency rescue body with a TME electronic pump panel. It was a 1500 imperial gallon Waterous CSU pump and a 600 imperial gallon WP Co-poly tank. It comes complete with a Class A Foam Pro 2002 foam system. 

The Southwest Oxford Fire and Emergency services have taken delivery of a new rescue pumper by Metalfab Fire Trucks in early July. Chief Jeff VanRybroeck ordered the truck from Carrier Centers Emergency Vehicles, which is built on a four door Freightliner chassis. It comes with 1050 imperial gallon Hale DSD pump with a 1000 imperial gallon water tank. The truck has a FoamPro 2001 foam system and 20 imperial gallon foam cell. It has custom features such as an extruded aluminum body design, Amdor rollup doors, Whelen warning light package and a Zico powered ladder rack.
The Nakusp Volunteer Fire Department in the BC Interior added a Fort Garry-built pumper tanker to its fleet on June 10. The red vehicle is built on a Freightliner M2 106 4x4 chassis. A 350-hp engine keeps the truck running, while an Allison 3000 EVS transmission allows for simple gear shifting. It has a Crusader body with side-control pump panels. It gets the job done with a Hale PTO MBP 1000 pump made of 5052 marine-grade aluminum and a 1700 imperial gallon Pro-Poly tank.
Comox Fire Rescue on Vancouver Island received a black and white pumper from Fort Garry Fire Trucks on June 11. The truck is constructed on a Freightliner M2 106 chassis and has an emergency rescue body. It runs on a 350-hp Cummins L9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. The 2000 imperial gallon Hale QMAX pump, which is made of 5083 saltwater marine-grade aluminum, is controlled by side-control panels. The truck comes complete with Foam Pro 2001 foam. 

The St. Catharines Fire Department in southern Ontario recently purchased a new pumper from Fort Garry Fire Trucks, which was delivered in October of last year. It has a Spartan Metro Star MFD 10” RR chassis and an emergency rescue pumper body. A powerful 400-hp Cummins ISL9 engine keeps the red and white truck running, while an Allison EVS 3000 transmission allows firefighters to shift gears. The pumper has side-control aluminum panels and a 1050 imperial gallon Waterous CS pump. The truck uses a Poly 600 imperial gallon tank and Foam Pro 2001 foam.  

The fire department in the City of Summerside, P.E.I., welcomed a new Fort Garry pumper to its fleet on October 31, 2016. The truck is built on a Spartan Metro X MFD 10 RR chassis and has a Crusader Pumper body. It runs on a 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine with an Allison EVS 3000 transmission. Side control pump panels power a 1250 US gallon Hale QFlo pump with a 960 US gallon tank made of Poly 800 IG. The red truck is made of 5052 Aluminum and is outfitted with Foam Pro 1600 foam. 

The Conne River Fire Department in southern Newfoundland received a delivery of a new Fort Garry- built pumper on May 28. The red vehicle is constructed on an International 7400 chassis with a Cummins ISL 9 300-hp engine and Allison 3000 EVS transmission. It has side-control MXV pump panels, which control a 1000 imperial gallon Darley PSP1250 pump made of Pro-Poly. The truck is made of 5083 saltwater marine-grade aluminum and comes complete with Foam Pro 1600 foam. 

The Opaskwayak Cree Nation volunteer fire department in western Manitoba welcomes a new pumper tanker to its fleet in late March. The red and white truck from Fort Garry Fire Trucks was built on a Freightliner 108SD two-door chassis and has a four-man crown full-framed fire tanker body. It is powered by a 380-hp Cummins ISL engine and Allison 3000 EVS transmission. The 2500 imperial gallon Co-Poly Darley LDM 1250 pump has an enclosed top control panel. The truck has a Foam Pro 2001 A&B System with two 25 imperial gallon foam cells. There a number of custom elements to make the truck unique, including an electric fold-down ladder rack, four heaters, a heat pan, air conditioning in the crew area, four SCBA seats in the crew enclosure, low speedlay discharges, an electric rewind hose reel, and a Deckmaster electric monitor located above the Pumphouse. 

The Miminegash Fire Department on Prince Edward Island added a Fort Garry-built fire pumper to its fleet in July. The red truck was built on a full frame International 7400 chassis and is made of 5083 saltwater marine-grade aluminum. It features a 300-hp Cummins ISL9 engine and Allison EVS 3000 transmission. The pumper has cross-control panels that employ a Pro-Poly 1500 imperial gallon Hale DSD 1250 pump. It comes complete with Foam Pro 1600 foam. 

The Beaumont Fire Department in the Edmonton Capital Region was delivered a new Spartan Metro-Star pumper on May 3. The white truck, built by Fort Garry Fire Trucks, has an emergency rescue body type with a 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine and Allison EVS 3000 transmission. It is constructed of 5083 saltwater marine-grade aluminum. It has side control panels, a 600 imperial gallon Hale DSD 1250 pump made of Pro-Poly. It has custom features added, which include a power ladder rack, power hosebed covers and a Setcom six-person headset system.

The fire department in Lucan Biddulph near London, Ont., recently purchased a Melfab pumper built on a two-door Freightliner chassis. The truck has an extruded aluminum body construction and a Hale PTO pump with an 1800 gallon water tank. It is finished with special features including rear swivel dump, dual hose reels complete with 200 feet of hose each, TFT Tornado monitor with controls in the cab, a Zico hydraulic portable tank rack and a Federal Signal warning package.

The Acadia Valley Fire Department, a southeastern Alberta hamlet located near the Saskatchewan border, added a new tanker to its fleet on May 10. The department received a Crusader Tanker built on a Freightliner M2 chassis from Fort Garry Fire Trucks. The truck has a 450-hp Cummins ISL engine and Allison 3000 EVS transmission, and is constructed of 5052 marine-grade aluminum. The Pro-Poly Hale Sidekick 750 pump has side control panels and a capacity of 3000 imperial gallons. 

The Gliechen Fire Department in southeast Alberta was the recipient of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built Crusader Tanker in early April. The tanker is a 2017 M2-106 Freightliner model made with 5052 marine-grade aluminum. It has a regular two-door cab and runs on a 350-hp Cummins ISL engine. The truck comes complete with a Hale Sidekick pump, which has a 2000 imperial gallon Copoly Tank, and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission.

May 23, 2017, Oakville, Ont. - My average day involves sitting in front of a computer, editing stories, and lots of coffee. What it doesn't involve is crawling through smoke, cutting up cars or running hoses. But the day I spent at the Oakville Fire Department was not an average day.

Before I suited up in editor Laura King's gear, I was given a truck tour and shown around the training facility. The alarm went off and the firefighters had to race off to a nearby school. It seemed as if it took no more than 30 seconds for the guys to suit up and drive off.

It probably took me 15 minutes to put on my turnout gear. Just as I was feeling comfortable in the gear, and feeling the weight of the SCBA on my back, Training Officer Darren Van Zandbergen slipped a smoke-simulation screen into my helmet and I was once again uncomfortable . . . and essentially blind.

I never realized how little is visible through smoke. I assumed some light would peek through; crawling on the floor feeling my way around walls and fallen beams I realized how wrong I was. It was nerve-wracking to blindly feel my way through the training building, but ironically it was an eye-opening experience.

I have edited Extrication Tips columns for Canadian Firefighter, but I finally got to experience what it's all about. The tools were much heavier than I expected, my previous extrication experience having been limited to on paper. It was tough, but I managed cut through the windshield and the sedan door.

By the time I attended the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs conference that weekend, I felt I had a better understanding of the job. I was enrolled in the municipal officials seminar and attended a training day at the Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) in Mississauga.

That day I spent in Oakville made me seem like a total pro at FESTI, so many thanks to everyone in Oakville!

With "KING" on my back and looking like a pro, a few people at FESTI asked if I was from the King City Fire Department. Funnily enough, I was born, raised and still live in King City. What a way to represent my hometown!

There's only so much you can learn in front of a computer. Getting out from behind my desk was one of the most valuable experiences to help me edit the work of fire chiefs and firefighters to the best of my abilities. I have so much more to learn about fire, but hopefully with your help, Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter readers, I will get there. I'll never be able to understand the ins and outs like you do, but it's worth trying.

I feel really lucky to be able to report on the fire industry. Even more so, I feel lucky that I can edit knowing that I am safe because my local fire department has that under control. After each training session, I was reminded not to take emergency services for granted.

So, the least I can do is bring relevant and informative stories to the fire service industry! Let me know what matters to you as a fire service professional? What do you want to read about? I am looking forward to learning more about the industry as an assistant editor, and maybe I will get to attend a few more training sessions in the process.

Lauren Scott is the assistant editor of Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter magazines. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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