Fire Fighting in Canada

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Comment by Haley

Fire fighting foam is an invaluable resource to the fire service and we doubt there is a fire chief out there who will dispute this. In this issue, Don Baird looks at its evolution in the emergency services field while Harold Harvey and his colleague Serge Leroux examine its efficiency and effectiveness

December 17, 2007
By Jim Haley

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Fire fighting foam is an invaluable resource to the fire service and we doubt there is a fire chief out there who will dispute this. In this issue, Don Baird looks at its evolution in the emergency services field while Harold Harvey and his colleague Serge Leroux examine its efficiency and effectiveness.

Thoughts are now turning to preparations for wildfire season as spring approaches, and Ed Brouwer writes on the mechanics of the wildland/urban interface fire and provides an excellent training exercise to refresh fire fighters in tactics against them.

A long-time columnist and fire service advocate in retiring this winter. Don Zolmer has been writing for this magazine and our sister publication the Canadian Firefighter & EMS Quarterly for a long time, detailing the work of the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs, for whom he has served as executive director for more than a decade. Don, who also served 30-plus years with the Saskatoon Fire Department, is stepping down from the SAFC and his column in April. We wish Don and his wife Mary Lynn all the best for his second retirement.

On the volunteer front, two Members of Parliament have been working on a private member’s bill (C-273) that has support from all parties and, if passed, will recognize the contribution of volunteer emergency responders by increasing their tax deduction. In a letter sent to fire departments across the country, Rick Casson of Lethbridge outlines his support of Cape Breton-Canso MP Roger Cuzner’s bill. Casson notes that under the amended version of the bill, a volunteer emergency responder will receive a $1,000 tax deduction from any income earned after completing a minimum of 100 hours of documented services, including call-outs and training. It also includes a $2,000 tax deduction after completing a minimum of 200 hours of service.

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This bill will come before Parliament in the next month or so. Casson urges volunteer fire fighters to write Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and Prime Minister Paul Martin with copies to your own MP and him. “We must leave no doubt that recognising this courageous, unselfish group of Canadians is long past due,” Casson, a former volunteer himself, says.

Send your letter in support of Bill C-273 to: The Hon. Ralph Goodale, Finance Minister, Room 607 Confederation Building, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 and The Right Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, Room 313 S Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6.

There is much support for this bill, C-273, from all quarters, including many fire services groups, in particular the Canadian Volunteer Fire Service Association. My letter is in the mail. How about you?
For more information, contact Casson at 613-996-0633 or e-mail cassor@parl.gc.ca. Copy your letter of support to him at Rick Casson, MP, 255 8th St. S., Lethbridge, AB T1J 4Y1.

* * * * *

Seems that there is a small confusion over the dates for this year’s Fire Prevention Week. Dates confirmed are Oct. 9-15, 2005, not 3-9, as some may have thought. The week always includes the date Oct. 9, as that was the day of the Great Chicago Fire. It falls on a Sunday this year, so depending on which day you think a week begins, Monday or Sunday, that may give you the wrong dates for this important public awareness week. In a telephone conversation with the NFPA’s Canadian regional manager, Sean Tracey (whose column, by the way, will return next month), backed up by e-mail confirmation with NFPA’s national office, it, like most standard calendars, uses Sunday as the first of the week. In 2005 Fire Prevention Week will run from Oct. 9 to 15. Let’s get the word out.

Yours in fire service safety and education,

Editor
Jim Haley


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