Fire Fighting in Canada

Features Blogs Flashpoint

Oct. 23, 2012, Toronto - During the presidential election debate last evening, Mitt Romney pointed out that the U.S. Navy has fewer ships today than it did in 1916. President Obama replied, as you may have seen tweeted or parodied, that it also has fewer horses and bayonets. Sarcasm for sure, but what a great way to make a point. Technology has changed and continues to change.

October 23, 2012 
By Peter Sells

In 1912, sprinklers had already been invented, motorized fire apparatuses were newly available and working their way into municipal fleets, and, essentially, all the basic hand tools familiar to modern firefighters were, well, at hand. The state of the art in fire hose was unlined circular woven linen yarns that swelled when wet to become watertight.

So here is the question: What technological advance in the last century has had the most profound effect on fire fighting?

Retired District Chief Peter Sells writes, speaks and consults on fire- service management and professional development across North America and internationally. He holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the University of Windsor. He sits on the advisory council of the Institution of Fire Engineers, Canada branch. Peter is president of NivoNuvo Consulting, Inc, specializing in fire-service management. Contact him at


Print this page


Stories continue below