Lauren Scott

Lauren Scott

From April 2-6, Fire Fighting in Canada will be hosting Wildfire Week sponsored by Waterax. 

During Wildfire Week, Fire Fighting in Canada will publish specialized wildfire content written by fire service professionals and wildfire experts to address innovative suppression strategies, training, and more. 

Fire Fighting in Canada will be sharing brand new content and bringing renewed attention to previously published wildfire articles that have stood the test of time. 

Stay tuned to the Wildfire Week page on our website by visiting the link under "Hot Topics" and join the discussion with colleagues across the country using the hashtag #WildfireWeek2018 on social media. 

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for #WildfireWeek2018 updates:

Twitter: @FireinCanada
From April 2-6, Fire Fighting in Canada will be hosting Wildfire Week sponsored by Waterax.

During Wildfire Week, Fire Fighting in Canada will publish specialized wildfire content written by fire service professionals and wildfire experts to address innovative suppression strategies, training, and more.

Fire Fighting in Canada will be sharing brand new content and bringing renewed attention to previously published wildfire articles that have stood the test of time.

Stay tuned to the Wildfire Week page on our website by visiting the link under "Hot Topics" and join the discussion with colleagues across the country using the hashtag #WildfireWeek2018 on social media.

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for #WildfireWeek2018 updates:

Twitter: @FireinCanada

March 8, 2018, Toronto - New regulations proposed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) under Ontario’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act could require firefighters to complete mandatory training and municipalities to conduct fire risk assessments. 

If passed, all firefighters employed or appointed to a fire department would need to meet mandatory training and certification requirements set out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). 

The requirements for suppression firefighters, pump operators, fire officers, and fire educators are set to come into force Jan. 1, 2019. Technical rescuers, for whom training and certification examination materials are still being developed, would have to meet requirements by Jan. 1, 2020

MCSCS is also proposing that existing firefighters currently employed in Ontario as fire inspectors, fire investigators, fire instructors, hazardous materials personnel, and dispatchers meet NFPA certification requirements. In order to give fire departments time to train and certify members, this regulation would be effective as of January 1, 2020. 

As of Jan. 1, 2019, municipalities would also be required to complete mandatory risk assessments for community fire protection service delivery. 

If passed, municipalities would need to conduct a standard risk assessment every five years, which would include data on demographics, geography, fire loss, fire event history and critical infrastructure. 

Each municipality would then review the risk assessment annually and update if there any significant changes are present, to help the municipality make informed fire protection and prevention decisions. 

The changes are based on recommendations made by the Fire Safety Technical Table, a consultation table that included members from MCSCS and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, the Toronto Fire Fighters Association, the Fire Fighters Association of Ontario and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

“The OAFC supports the Fire Safety Technical Table’s mandate, recognizing the proposed regulations are an important stride forward in the professionalization of the Ontario fire service,” the OAFC said in a statement to Fire Fighting in Canada. “And, we applaud the provincial government for taking steps to modernize the Fire Protection and Prevention Act (FPPA).”

However, the OAFC also shared some proposed amendments, for consideration of the Minister, to help make the draft regulations more realistic in terms of timing. And, the OAFC believes all fire departments will require funding assistance from the province to achieve compliance, even if the proposed amendments are adopted.

“The OAFC believes that the Mandatory Training and Certification regulation should not come into force until at least July 1, 2019, preferably January 1, 2020, to allow municipal councils and their fire services to make all the necessary training funding decisions.” 

MCSCS is encouraging the public to submit comments and recommendations on the proposed changes by March 11. 

In addition, MCSCS is seeking public input on a third proposed change under the FPPA for public reporting on response time requirements.

This proposed regulation, introduced in mid-February, would require all fire departments to report to OFMEM on a number of standard response times. In turn OFMEM would provide fire departments with calculated response time data, unless departments choose to calculate their own. 

If passed, it would be mandatory for each department to submit this data to municipal council. 

“The OAFC supports the intention of the proposed Public Reporting regulation, and its focus on standardizing data reporting, improving transparency and accountability, and clarifying definitions,” the OAFC said in a statement. “However, we believe that an overhaul of Ontario’s Standard Incident Reporting (SIR) framework is required before any legislation on public reporting, such as this, be implemented.”

The deadline for the public to submit input on the proposed public reporting regulation is March 18.
Quebec fire fighting equipment company WATERAX released an update to their HPO-2X collapsible backpack. The newest feature is the brass hand pump design, which has both a forward grooved grip and rear pistol grip. The backpack is made of nylon-fibrecoated with neoprene, which is UV resistant, fireproof, and oil and gasoline resistant. It can hold up to 19 litres of water (5 gallons) and has a collapsible design.

To learn more:

Spanish company DRONE HOPPER released a prototype for its fire fighting drone to American rescue services in July. The drone is designed specifically for use during wildfires and can hold up to 300 litres of water. Features include thermographic cameras, heat sensors and a navigation system. The product is expected to officially launch in Fall 2018.

For more information:

FLIR has released some of its most portable TICs, which are compatible with smartphones. Some features include nine different colour palettes, a small 6.5 centimetres wide design and an Andriod and iOS compatible mobile app. The FLIR One camera can show temperatures from -20 to 60 degrees Celsius, while the FLIR One Pro shows a range of -20 to 400 degrees Celsius. The Flir One and Flir One Pro were first announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2017 and were released to the public in June 2017.

For more information, please visit:

Alabama company Key Hose launched a new lightweight fire fighting hose that is designed to reduce kinks, nozzle whip and friction loss. The new TRU-ID attack hose is billed as a “true internal diameter” hose for the front lines, available in either 45 millimetres (1.75 inches) or 63.5 millimetres (2.5 inches). The hose has a double jacket construction and is designed fore use with low pressure/ high volume nozzles.

For more information:

First announced at the FDIC conference in Indianapolis last April, Pierce Manufacturing has launched its Ascendant class of aerial apparatus. The configurations showcased include a 32.5 metre (107 foot) tandem rear axle aerial ladder, a 32.5 metre tractor drawn aerial, and a 33.5 metre (110 foot) single rear axle quint aerial platform. All Ascendant class aerials include a weight-optimized structure design with a jack-knife angle of up to 60 degrees and a single set of H-style stabilizers.

To learn more:

Xeros Cleaning Technologies has created an eco-friendly polymer cleaning solution that is intended to extend the wear of turnout gear. The solution is NFPA 1851 compliant and is designed to work in low water levels and low temperatures. It uses polymer beads as the primary cleaning agent instead of water, which absorbs contaminants from the gear.

For more information:

Pierce Manufacturing first displayed its new High Flow Industrial Apparatus at the Fire Rescue International conference in Charlotte, N.C., in July. The truck is capable of flowing up to 10, 000 gallons per minute when connected to a hydrant. It has a Darley 2ZSM pump and a Husky 450 foam system. The vehicle is available on a Velocity or Arrow XT chassis. Each chassis model comes with a 600-hp engine.

To learn more:

Dragon Fire Gloves has released its Safety Equipment Institute certified Alpha-X glove. The glove was designed for structural firefighters and is compliant with NFPA 1971 standards. It has a leather outer shell that allows for easy gripping in wet and dry conditions. The gloves are abrasion resistant and has a thermal urethane barrier specifically designed for firefighters.

For more information, please visit:
The fire service in Parkland County, Alta., took delivery of a new pumper rescue under Chief Brian Cornforth. The black and red truck is built on a Spartan Gladiator chassis and has an emergency rescue body. It runs on a 450-hp Cummins L9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. The rig has a Waterous CSU 1500 pump with side-control pump panels. It comes complete with a 1000 imperial gallon Poly tank and a Waterous Eclipse compressed air system with Advantus 6 foam. 
The Yukon Government and fire marshal’s office received a Fort Garry-built wildland range truck under Fire Marshal Kevin Taylor in 2016. The truck is built on an International 7400 2-door cab 4x4 with a formed aluminum body. The truck runs on a 330-hp Navistar N9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. The red and white truck has top-mount pump panels that power a Darley LSPAH 1000 pump. It is finished with a hot-dipped galvanized 1000 imperial gallon tank. 

The Government of Nunavut took delivery of a pumper truck from Fort Garry Fire Trucks under Fire Marshal Robert Prima. The red rig is built on a 2018 Freightliner M2-106 chassis and has a MXV 3-Man Crown body type. The pumper runs on a 300-hp Cummins L9 engine, Allison EVS 3000 transmission, has enclosed pump panels, a Hale DSD 1050 IGPM pump and a 1000 imperial gallon CoPoly tank. Special features include an extreme insulation package, diesel-fired coolant heater, SCBA rack, Honda 5K Generator and a Whelen emergency light package. 

Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service in Ontario received a Smeal 32-metre rear mount aerial truck from Safetek. The truck is built on a Spartan Gladiator chassis with an aluminum body. It is powered by a Cummins ISX 500-hp engine and has an Allison EVS 4000-R transmission. There is a Waterous CSUC 7, 000 litre per minute pump and the truck hold 400 imperial gallons of water. Special features include an Akron StreamMaster II 3480 Monitor and Akron SaberMaster 1577 nozzle, EHL Hose Bed and a Smeal SG-09 Green Power auxiliary power unit.

The fire department in Amherst, N.S., took delivery of a Metalfab pumper under Fire Chief Greg Jones. The pumper is built on a Spartan Metro Star X chassis with an extruded aluminum body style. It runs on a 400-hp Cummins L9 and Allison 3000 EVS auto transmission. The rig has a 1250 imperial gallon Hale QMAX pump and a tank capacity of 600 imperial gallons. It comes complete with Foam Pro 2001 Dual Tank System. Special features include a Whelen LED warning light system, 6000-Watt hydraulic generator, FRC Spectra 12V LED telescopic flood lights and Amdor roll-up doors. 

The Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation in Valleyview, Alta., received a new pumper truck from Fort Garry Fire Trucks in November. The pumper is built on a Freightliner chassis with a Terminator body type. It is designed with a Darley PTO PSR1250 pump and a 1000 imperial gallon Pro-Poly tank. Special features include a Kussmaul Pump Plus 1000, Tornado quick-disconnect monitor, Hannay hose reel, Federal Signal lighting package and FRC scene lights.
March 6, 2018, Mississauga, Ont. - Kalpana Rajgopalan will be joining Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services as the department’s new assistant chief of professional development and accreditation, effective April 3. 

Reporting to Fire Chief Tim Beckett, Rajgopalan will be responsible for spearheading changes to the department’s professional development and accreditation section, which includes implementing upcoming training regulation changes happening across the province. 

“The community will greatly benefit from Kalpana’s exceptional work as a transformational leader,” said Fire Chief Tim Beckett in a press statement. “Her impressive work in the field of emergency services and specifically her experience with professional standards and training makes her, without a doubt, the best person for the job and we’re excited to have her as a member of the team.” 

Rajgopalan has varied experience working in emergency services, serving most recently as the manager of academic standards and evaluation with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM). At OFMEM she was responsible for the unit that managed professional standards and training in the Ontario fire service. 

Rajgopalan has worked for Emergency Management Ontario as a program manager for emergency management training. She has also led training and development programs at the private sector firms London Life Insurance and Transamerica Life. 

She holds a bachelor of commerce degree, certificates in teaching and training adults, and is currently enrolled in a master’s degree in public administration.
Feb. 28, 2018, Napanee, Ont. - The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has announced a $325,000 investment in a Napanee-based company that makes an eco-friendly fire fighting gel. 

FireRein created the first 100 per cent fully bio-sourced, food-grade water additive gel called Eco-Gel, designed to extinguish fires faster while using less water than traditional gel products. 

The government investment, announced on Feb. 22 by Hastings Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio, will help commercialize Eco-Gel for sale in domestic and international markets through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative. 

“The investment from FedDev Ontario allows us to significantly enhance our scale-up and business development activities,” FireRein president and CEO Rui Resendes said in a press release. “This support will accelerate the widespread adoption of Eco-Gel ultimately enabling firefighters to knock-down fires faster and with less water while safeguarding human health and the environment.”
Feb. 7, 2018, Surrey, B.C. - Emergency service officials across the country and the United States are looking to Surrey, B.C., for innovative ways to respond to the opioid crisis.

Last spring, the fire department in Surrey teamed up with Vancouver-based software developer GINQO to create a program that tracks overdoses in real-time.

The Surrey Fire Service began using the program last June to help deploy resources more proactively, helping firefighters to potentially save more lives.

Using the program, the department is able to mine data from overdose calls, while looking for patterns or clusters.

The software sends an alert email if overdoses are double or more the average daily rate, more than three overdoses occur within a square kilometre in a four-hour period within one square kilometre, or more than four overdoses occur within the same time period and radius.

The project was created shortly after Surrey firefighters responded to 17 overdoses over a 72-hour period in December 2016.

Throughout 2017, Surrey firefighters responded to an average of 7.5 overdose calls a day.

“With the strain the opioid crisis has put on our first responders, this business tool is helping us and our partners to be in the right place at the right time,” Chief Garis said.

As the opioid crisis continues on, government and public health agencies from across Canada and the United States are looking to Surrey’s overdose-tracking program for a solution.

Shortly after the program was introduced, the city began receiving information and presentations requests.

By August 2017, Surrey had signed an agreement to share information with healthcare service provider Fraser Health. The City was also in discussions about an agreement with Surrey RCMP.

In early December, the City of Surrey announced another data-based initiative, this time partnering with Statistics Canada to collect data that will help to strengthen the city’s response efforts.

The City of Surrey- Statistics Canada Opioid Project is a partnership between the City of Surrey, Statistics Canada, Surrey Fire Service, Surrey RCMP, Fraser Health, and the BC Coroners Service, among others, which will help generate data to identify primary risk factors for individuals at a high-risk for opioid use or overdose.

“With the data that will be collected by this multiagency project we will be able to create more precise interventions to help a population that has been widely impacted by the opioid scourge but little is known about,” Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said.

Both data-based intervention projects are posed to help Surrey, and other agencies looking to the city, to address the opioid crisis more proactively and with more accurate information.
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