Fire Fighting in Canada

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Government reinforces commitment to public safety

May 3, 2012, Vancouver - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today re-affirmed the Harper Government's
commitment to support Canadian families through the allocation of 10 MHz of the 700 MHz bandwidth for the use of emergency responders including police, firefighters and paramedics.

May 3, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

"Our Government has recently allocated a portion of 700 MHz broadband spectrum for public safety use," said Minister Toews. "This lays the foundation for a national mobile broadband communications network that will help protect communities and save lives by improving emergency response across Canada."

The allocation of 10 MHz for public safety use supports the Communications Interoperability Strategy and Action Plan for Canada, which was released in January 2011 as a result of federal/provincial/territorial collaboration. It also supports the front line emergency responders who will be able to use state-of-the-art voice and data wireless communications tools in the performance of their response duties.

Firefighters, police, and paramedics will be able to link to their colleagues in other agencies across Canada and, when necessary, their counterparts along the Canada-U.S. border. The 700 MHz spectrum allows for large amounts of data to be carried at high speed over long distances, and it lessens the potential for communications failures during peak emergency periods.

"I would also like to remind all Canadians, especially as we approach the 17th annual Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, of the importance of being prepared for any emergency situation that may arise," added Minister Toews. "I would especially like to thank the men and women on the front lines, who put their lives on the line to keep our families and our communities safe."

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Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week runs from May 6 to 12. This national annual event is coordinated by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and other partners, and it encourages Canadians to be ready to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency.