Maria Church

Maria Church

Look around at the faces during your next station training night. That guy – how long has he been here? And him – is he close to retirement? Are there any new faces? How many are women, or represent visible minorities?
July 27, 2016 - Public education at the Calgary Fire Department has gone to the dogs – and it's helping draw attention to fire-safety messages. 

Paul Aziz, a community safety officer with the Calgary Fire Department, shared with us a fire-safety video that stars Flint, a retired search and rescue dog. The video has already been viewed almost 1,500 times on YouTube.

". . . we are finding it is getting the message across to kids as well as adults," Aziz said in an email, adding that he is more than happy to share the video with fire services across Canada.
La Ronge Regional Fire Rescue Service in Saskatchewan, under Fire Chief Keven Thomson, took delivery in May of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built pumper. The unit is built on an International 4400 chassis and powered by a 330-hp Navistar N9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. It features a 1,250-gpm Darley PSP pump, a 1,200-gallon Poly water tank, a Waterous Advantus 6 A/B foam system, an Akron Fire Fox bumper turret, Honda 5000-watt generator on a roll-out tray, Spectra 20K Lumen LED telescopic lights, Federal Signal LED emergency light package and a Zico overhead ladder rack.
Clarington Emergency and Fire Services in Ontario, under Fire Chief Gord Weir, took delivery in June of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built emergency rescue pumper. Built on a Spartan Gladiator chassis and powered by a 450-hp Cummins ISX12 engine and an Allison 4000 EVS transmission, the unit features a Hale DSD1250 pump, a 500-igallon Pro-Poly water tank and a Foam Pro 1600 Class A foam system.
Halton Hills Fire Department in Ontario, under Fire Chief Brent Marshall, took delivery in May of a Dependable Emergency Vehicles-built rescue. The unit is built on a 2016 Freightliner M2-106 commercial chassis, 18.5-foot walk-in rescue body. It features seating for two in the cab and four in the body, a 12,000-pound front bumper winch, Honda portable generator, FRC Evolution LED scene lights and Whelen warning lights.
Minnesota-based EarthClean Corporation – a maker of non-toxic products for fire management – has introduced a new formal for its TetraKO firefighting water enhancer. The new TetraKO XL-P is a biodegradable corn starch-based granulate that, when mixed with water, can be poured into a range of fire fighting equipment such as air-pressurized extinguishers, backpack sprayers, skid units and utility vehicles. The mixed solution provides Class A firefighting and fire management performance. Learn more at
Safety Components, a manufacturer of firefighting fabric technology, has created a new line of thermal liners that are engineered with DuPont heat and flame-resistant fiber to help firefighters handle hotter fires. Called Glide Ice, the liners are designed to feel cool with a weave that combines 60 per cent DuPont Nomex filament yarns with 40 per cent DuPont Nomex/Lenzing FR spun yarns. The liners allow for breathability, freedom of movement, comfort, heat-blocking capability, moisture management and fast dry times. Glide Ice thermal liners are fully UL approved, and will be available beginning in late 2016. Learn more at
Hurst Jaws of Life has introduced four new spreaders to the market that are lighter and stronger than their predecessors. Two of the spreaders have launched as part of the eDRAULIC line and two within the 10,000-psi high-pressure offering. All four include Shark Tooth removable tips and four rows of teeth for grip, and squeezing plates integrated into the arms. The SP 55E2, one of the four new spreaders, is one of the strongest portable spreaders on the market – 16 per cent lighter and 4 per cent stronger than its predecessor. Find more information at
July 12, 2016 - The Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) has selected a new provincial director to represent Manitoba on the national stage.

Bradley Davidson, a company officer with the Hudbay Minerals Fire Department in Flin Flon, Man., assumed a seat on the CVFSA board on July 1.

Davidson fire experience includes 28 years with Hudbay Minerals – where he is involved as an instructor and investigator – as well as nine years as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Flin Flon Fire Department.

In an email to Fire Fighting in Canada, Davidson said some issues he’d like to help address include line of duty deaths, continuing education for volunteer firefighters, and health concerns including post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Continuing education, training and financial support are key factors for volunteer fire services continued success in Canada,” Davidson said. “We also now know that our members are exposed to many toxins at fires and some members suffer in silence with PTSD. Thankfully we have many great fire-service leaders stepping up to educate everyone on these health issues to better serve members by raising awareness and funding for support services.”

Another item on Davidson’s mind is recognition of Manitoba firefighters.

“Our organization – CVFSA – has an award process and to my knowledge no firefighter in the province of Manitoba has received our awards and my aim is to change that,” he said.

Davidson holds a fire service management certificate in fire service leadership from Dalhousie University, and has met the NFPA standards for professional qualifications as a fire investigator, fire and life safety educator, emergency services instructor and incident safety officer.

The new board member said he’s looking forward to working with the team at the CVFSA to represent Manitoba’s volunteer firefighters, and encouraged members to contact him at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lintlaw and District Fire Fighting Association in Saskatchewan, under Fire Chief Greg Smith, took delivery in March of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built pumper. The unit is built on a Freightliner four-door M2 chassis and powered by a 300-hp Cummins ISL engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. It features a 1,250-gpm Hale DSD pump, and an 800-igallon Propoly water tank.
Starland County Morrin Fire Department in Alberta, under Fire Chief Darcy Davidson, took delivery in April of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built pumper. Built on a Freightliner M2 106 chassis and powered by a 350-hp ISL engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the unit features a 1,250-gpm Darley PSP pump, a 1,000-igallon Propoly water tank, Akron FireFox monitor, FRC Q-65 LED 900 body-mounted scene lights and FRC Optimum 1,000-watt push-up scene lights, and Sigtronics Intercom System.
Central Frontenac Fire Department in Ontario, under Fire Chief Bill Young, took delivery in June of a Eastway Fire and Rescue Vehicles-built mini rescue. The unit is built on a Ford F550 chassis and is powered by a 300-hp 6.7 Power Stroker engine and a Torqshift six-speed select shift transmission.
Siksika First Nation Fire Department in Alberta, under Chief Tom Littlechild, took delivery in March of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built tanker. Built on a Freightliner 108 SD chassis and powered by a 330-hp ISL engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the unit features a 750-gpm Hale MBP pump, a 3000-igallon Propoly tank, a Kussmaul Pump Plus 1000, FRC LED scene lights, and air actuated dump chute control.
County of Two Hills Fire Department in Alberta, under Fire Chief Brad Straty, took delivery in February of a Fort Garry Fire Trucks-built tanker. The unit is built on a Ford F-650 chassis and powered by a 362-hp 6.8-litre Triton V10 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. It is equipped with a 1,350-igallon galvanized steel tank and a 20-hp Honda pump.
Oro–Medonte Fire Department in Ontario, under Fire Chief Hugh Murray, took delivery in May of a Dependable Emergency Vehicles-built rescue. The unit is built on a Freightliner M2-106 chassis and powered by a 300-hp engine and an Allison 3000 EVS transmission. It features a walk-in body and a Whelen light package.
Coquitlam Fire Rescue in British Columbia, under Fire Chief Wade Pierlot, took delivery in March of four Wholesale Fire and Rescue Ltd./Pierce-built pumpers. Built on Enforcer chassis and powered by 450-hp Detroit Diesel DD13 engines, the units feature 2,000-gpm Waterous PTO pumps, 600-gallon water tanks, Husky 12 Hercules CAFSs, 24-volt Wilburt LED light towers, hydraulic ladder racks, and hard hose-bed covers.
June 3, 2016 - A team of firefighters, EMS and mental-health professionals in Saskatchewan is offering relief to first responders who have experienced traumatic events in the workplace.

Thirty volunteers so far have been trained in critical-incident stress management (CISM) in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association (SVFFA) spring and fall training events, known as fire schools, and the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs.

Paynton Fire Chief Ellery Russell, who is a CISM team committee member and director with the SVFFA, said the provincial government recently indicated it will provide funding to support the CISM team, although the amount has yet to be determined.

"Critical incident stress management has been going on for ages," Russell said, "but it hasn't been provided to volunteers free of charge. The volunteer fire departments have had to pay for someone to come out and do the intervention."

Three members of the CISM team deployed following the school shooting in La Loche in January, to offer support to the first responders.

Training will continue for CISM team members over the next three years, and organizers hope to eventually have 80 or so fully trained volunteers dispersed across the province to provide peer support as needed, and reduce travel costs for the team.

Russell said she is interested is seeing the Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) program, being rolled out across the country by various municipal and first-responder groups, offered in Saskatchewan to help volunteers build resilience to traumatic events.

"We would like to have more prevention because if they have the tools to deal with what they are seeing at the time, they may not need as much intervention, and it might stop PTSD from being an issue in the first place," she said.
June 3, 2016 - Caseworkers with the Children's Aid Society in Huron and Perth Counties in Ontario now carry carbon-monoxide alarms in their vehicles to distribute to families as part of a new program to protect vulnerable residents.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada donated 150 CO alarms to the Huron Perth Hoarding Collation, which is working closely with the Huron Perth Children's Aid Society to ensure families are not at risk of CO poisoning.

The alarms have LED displays that show continuous levels of CO within a home and track peak levels – both features that help reduce the instances of false alarms, which will lower call volume for the fire department.

"We are responding to calls with carbon monoxide present about once every three months," North Huron Fire Chief David Sparling said in a new release.

"It is these kinds of partnerships that offer a means of educating and achieving compliance," Sparling said. "In knowing these units will all be protecting children, who are the most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, makes it all the more rewarding."

In 2014 Ontario passed legislation that requires all homes to have a working carbon-monoxide alarm on every level.
June 3, 2016 - Three programs run by fire-service members across the country are helping encourage young women to join fire services. 

Camp Ignite in British Columbia, Ember Fire Academy in Yukon and Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters In Training) in Ontario are taking place this summer and organizers say the camps are helping add women to the fire-service recruitment pool.

Capt. Haida Siegmann, a director with Camp Ignite and member of North Vancouver City Fire Department, said the camp, going into its sixth year, gives young women confidence to challenge their boundaries.

"It's not unusual to hear girls at the end of the camp say that they can do anything they set their minds to," Siegmann said.

This year's four-day Camp Ignite in August will welcome about 20 new girls as well as a returning peer mentor. Campers learn about search and rescue, dispatch, and live fire, and connect with female firefighter role models.

In Ontario, Camp FFITs, run by Fire Service Women of Ontario, are happening in Ottawa, London and Hamilton. More than 220 girls aged 15 to 19 have participated in Camp FFITs since the first in 2010 and the application pool is growing each year, said Sue Jones, Ottawa fire prevention officer and Camp FFIT director.

"I think the reason that the camp is encouraging people to join is simply that they're recognizing that [fire fighting] is an option where maybe they hadn't recognized it before," Jones said.

She said she often receives emails and calls from women in their 20s and 30s who have heard of the camp and are curious how they can start the process to become a firefighter.

This year in Ottawa alone, 19 women who have been to Camp FFIT are applying for full-time positions.

Three more cities in Ontario and one in Alberta are planning to hold Camp FFITs in 2017.

Ember Fire Academy, held each year in Whitehorse, is run by the Yukon Fire Marshal's Office and offered to females of all ages, for free. Whitehorse firefighter Kiara Adams said fire fighting appeals to young women, but also women who are looking for a career change.

"It's neat because everyone develops friendships over the week and the older ones are supporting the younger ones," Adams said.

Ember runs for five days in late July for 12 successful applicants. Several of Ember's past participants have gone on to volunteer in Yukon fire services and some are pursuing fire fighting as a career.

Find more details about all three camps by searching them on Facebook.
FLIR has introduced a mountable OEM thermal imager designed specifically for aerial apparatus applications. The KF6 proves a high-angle thermal view of rooftops and other elevated structures to help teams see clearly through thick smoke to more efficiently target the hottest areas and direct firefighting efforts. The KF6 is easily and securely fixed-mounted under or atop aerial platforms, and features 640x480 IR resolution and 69-degree field of vision. Learn more at 
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