News

Aug. 17, 2018, Waterloo, Ont. - Waterloo firefighters responded to reports of a fire at a furniture factory on Thursday afternoon. Fire officials say the blaze started in a large dumpster full of paper and wood waste. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
AUg. 17, 2018, Vernon, B.C. - When emergency strikes, fire dispatchers take the information and send out the crews. Currently, in Vernon, B.C., that work is done within sight of the fire trucks at Vernon’s main fire hall, but soon the city’s dispatch will be moving 50 kilometres south to Kelowna. Global News reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 17, 2018, Kelowna, B.C. - Two West Kelowna homeowners are facing devastation after their homes were gutted by a fire on Thursday afternoon. The Vernon Morning Star reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 17, 2018, Calgary - A haze blanketed Calgary on Thursday as smoke from more than 500 forest fires burning in British Columbia drifted east, reaching as far as Winnipeg. In parts of Alberta, the air quality index hit 10, the worst possible rating. In Manitoba, the index is only expected to hit a 3 by the end of the week, but Winnipeg residents expecting a hot summer day on Thursday were greeted with cooler temperatures. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 16, 2018 - Calgary fire crews treated a record number of people who overdosed on opioids last month. The fire department logged 144 opioid overdose calls in July, the most it says it has ever seen in one month. The Calgary Herald reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 16, 2018, Vancouver - The British Columbia government has declared a provincewide state of emergency in response to the ongoing wildfire situation. Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth made the declaration on Wednesday morning. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 15, 2018, Kamloops, B.C. - Firefighters from around the world are battling wildfires across B.C., with more help on the way from the Canadian Forces. But there are concerns the province's requests for help took too long. Bill Miller, the regional district board chair for the B.C. Interior's Bulkley-Nechako region where dozens of fires are burning, said firefighting efforts in the area have been hampered by a lack of resources. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 15, 2018, Edmonton - A garage fire in northeast Edmonton Monday night is being considered suspicious, said Edmonton Fire Rescue. The Edmonton Journal reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 15, 2018, Winnipeg - Winnipeg firefighters used an aerial drone Tuesday night to help battle a fire in the city's North End. A spokesperson for the city said the drone was deployed to survey the blaze, to help ensure the safety of firefighters. No injuries were reported in the fire. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 14, 2018, Sudbury, Ont. - The forest fire situation across northeastern Ontario continues to improve, with some residents being allowed to return home and assess the damage to their properties. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says that as of Sunday, there were 41 active fires in the region, five were not yet under control and no new fires had been reported. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 3, 2017, Barrie, Ont. - Barrie and Springwater fire services are warning businesses and home owners to be on alert for a fake fire inspector known to frequent the area. The fire department in Springwater was recently made aware of an unlicensed person claiming to be a fire inspector. The fire department said his license to inspect fire equipment has not been verified. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
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.
June 24, 2016, Vancouver - Many fire departments have a diversity agenda, but few have an outreach team to help encourage diverse communities to join fire services. What can those who are not decision makers do to further diversity in our departments? How about getting a group of your fire pals together, and creating a firefighting camp for teenage girls?That is exactly what a group of female firefighters from the Metro Vancouver area did in 2011. Modeled after a similar program in New York state, Camp Ignite is an annual four-day/three-night camp in the Metro Vancouver area for teenage girls of all cultures. Now in its sixth year, Camp Ignite is organized by a volunteer committee of female firefighters and delivered in partnership with several fire departments as a co-operative instruction venture between volunteer mentors and fire department duty crews.Up to 20 teenage girls complete the program annually. Participants develop new skills such as CPR and fire-extinguisher training, and, through participating in challenging fire-training scenarios, surpass their personal expectations, explore where they thought their boundaries were, and have the opportunity to surpass them. The young women climb a 100-foot aerial ladder, rappel down the outside of a building, ride a fire truck and take a hydrant, don a full hazmat suit, use auto-extrication tools on a wrecked car, as well search a smoke house, locate and rescue a victim. Completing those tasks can help boost a young woman's self esteem, and it's something they will never forget.For the fire-department mentors, the opportunity to influence and support these young women is beyond fulfilling. To hear a young woman say that she can do anything she wants to do in this world fills a mentor with pride and helps keep the flame of passion for community service flowing. Many of these young women complete camp and want to be firefighters – how could they not!Camp Ignite not only provides young women with opportunities to empower themselves, but they have fun, make new friends, and learn from strong female role models."Over the years I have had the privilege of receiving the guidance and mentorship from many men and women across the fire service," said former peer mentor Ashley Lewis. "Programs such as the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Youth Academy and Camp Ignite have allowed me to meet and learn from the men and women that have been my inspiration while pursuing a career in the fire service. I will be forever grateful for all the guidance I have received and aspire to be as great as the men and women who have inspired me."Fire departments involved with Camp Ignite can participate by sponsoring a camper, hosting the event, and promoting their department to young women who may be interested in pursuing a career in fire fighting. A hosting department may have up to 30 young women and female firefighters on site participating in firefighting activities.To date Camp Ignite has been hosted by 10 different municipalities in the Vancouver area with two new fire departments hosting in 2016 – Mission Fire/Rescue Service and Langley Township Fire Department. A live-fire training day is offered in conjunction with the Justice Institute of BC Fire & Safety Division at the Maple Ridge campus. The camp offers no shortage of opportunities to cultivate cultural growth in the fire service and showcase men and women working together successfully.Each year the number of firefighting camps for young women taking place throughout North America grows. In 2013, Camp Ignite hosted a firefighter from Cal Fire – California's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – who was interested in organizing a program in her state. Camp Cinder is now in its third year in California. In 2015, a team from Spokane, Wash., visited Camp Ignite to look into starting a camp in the region. More and more people in the fire service recognize camps as an effective way to give back and be proactive in a diversity initiative.Camp Ignite provides a venue that encourages more women to explore the fire service as a career choice, whether it is directly through participation, through conversations about the camp with family, friends and relatives, or as a result of raising the profile of women and men successfully working together in the fire service.Will this grassroots initiative result in an organic increase in recruitment? Time will tell, but the young women who participate in Camp Ignite are moving into the fire services. Camp Ignite's first campers are getting serious about careers and a number of them are now volunteer firefighters, or are following a path to become first responders. Some former campers are exploring other male-dominated careers. A 2011 peer mentor, who is currently working as a volunteer firefighter, is in the final stages of the hiring process with a large career department – she will be the first participant of Camp Ignite to realize a position as a full-time firefighter.Twenty campers may not sound like a large number, but it is significant, especially in a province that currently has about 80 female full-time firefighters. Camp Ignite is successful, and the results are making a difference, yet it is just one solution in a path to a diverse fire service. More importantly, Camp Ignite is a solution brought to you by the members of the fire service who are on the front lines supporting communities each and every day.For more information about Camp Ignite, please visit www.campignite.com or follow on Facebook at CAMP IGNITE.Haida Siegmann is captain of the fire prevention office for North Vancouver City Fire Department. Jennifer Dawkins is a firefighter for Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services.
April 22, 2016 - Camaraderie, brotherhood and the passing on of knowledge were themes discussed at the second annual Honour Guard Convention held in Niagara Falls, Ont., in February.Close to 60 firefighters from 14 departments took part in the convention – more than double the number of participants in the inaugural year.Organizer Jan-Michael Reyner, a member of the Kitchener Fire Honour Guard in Ontario, said the event aims to celebrate the tradition of honour guards and to lend a hand to new departments."There are a lot of departments that are just getting involved in honour guard and they're just trying to get one established and there is no where to go to do that, whether it be learning about your uniform set up, your marching, the tools required," Reyner said.Guest speakers included Tim Bohr, a 10-year firefighter with the Westbury Fire Department in New York, as well as Jordan Paris, a 14-year firefighter with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, and John Clare, Brampton district chief and a director with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.The speakers emphasized the role of comradeship, passed on tips and lessons learned from years of service, and discussed the annual CFFF memorial service.The convention included a uniform display and attendees were encouraged to bring a complete honour guard uniform and other items from their departments."I had all these tables set up to display things, and when I left the room at about 3 p.m. – the venue started at five – there were only two tunics hanging there," Reyner recalled. "When I came back down at 4:55, the whole room was full and they had actually used the tables that were supposed to have our food on for more display. It was a proud moment for me to see that there were so many more people who were that enthusiastic about bringing their stuff and showing it off."Kitchener Fire Department Deputy Rob Martin said the only component missing at this year's convention was sponsorship from vendors."There's a lot of honour and tradition that goes into the fire service and the honour guard is really the tip of that spear representing us," Martin said. "When a vendor shows up and supports something like that, it's supporting the entire fire service."Reyner hopes to grow the convention to include honour guards from departments across North America and is working on forming an organizing committee. The next convention will be held in February 2017.Learn more about the honour guard convention at www.hgconvention.com
April 5, 2016 - A partnership among Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies and the United-States-based National Volunteer Fire Council is once again giving away gear to 13 North American departments. Canadian Firefighter reports. | READ MORE
April 5, 2016 - The Surrey Fire Service in British Columbia has created a brochure to teach firefighters what they can do to reduce their risks for cancer. Canadian Firefighter reports. | READ MORE
Feb. 24, 2016 - An assistance-based program that offers low-income families and homeowners with physical barriers free combination smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms is helping a northern Ontario department keep its community and firefighters safe.Thunder Bay Fire Rescue partnered with Union Gas and the Fire Marshal's Public Fire Safety Council though Project Zero to launch the SAFE (Smoke/CO alarms for everyone) program late last year.Union Gas donated $3,000 towards combination smoke/CO alarms that will be installed in about 100 homes in the community. Residents qualify for the program based on demonstrated financial or accessibility needs.Ontario passed legislation in 2014 that requires all homes to have a working carbon monoxide alarm on every level.Fire Chief John Hay said compliance in the community is growing, but increasing awareness of the dangers of CO is an ongoing challenge for the department."Any medical call we go to now, all our firefighters on their medical bags carry CO detectors; it's turned on before they go into the building," Hay said. "There have been firefighters and paramedics who have been hurt and hospitalized after going to a call for an unconscious [person] and finding extremely high levels of CO."Hay said the SAFE program is also another method for fire prevention and public-education staff to engage with the community and encourage compliance."It does bring a little bit more awareness," he said, "but our prevention activities with our fire trucks with our suppression staff is getting the most value."The SAFE program runs until the department hands out all its combination alarms, but Hay said he hopes to create a similar program in the future with other sponsors.
Feb. 24, 2016 - Roomy is a good way to describe the new fire station that is now home to members of Belleville Fire & Emergency Services in Ontario.Firefighters moved into the new 22,500 square-foot hall in June last year, and Chief Mark MacDonald said, they brought more than 60 years worth of equipment that was previously stored in a 5,000 square-foot station."It was an adjustment," MacDonald said. "Over the years you adapt to shoehorn in to fit what you can. You get used to being crammed in."The new six-bay, two-storey station – one of four operated by the department – is now the operational hub and houses suppression, prevention, public education, administration and training staff all under one roof.The building is the city's first post-disaster construction, is fully wheelchair accessible, and includes a storefront."We're finding people are really enjoying that they can come in the front door," MacDonald said. "There's a waiting area, there are meeting rooms, there are offices and everything is fully accessible with a full-size elevator."Another addition is a hose tower that doubles as a five-storey training tower for high-angle rescues and high-rise ladder scenarios. The tower can also duplicate the Scott FireFit challenge. Belleville has an active FireFit team that has placed internationally in firefighter combat challenges.The station is centrally located in the city, which has significantly decreased response times, MacDonald said. Most notably, crews are now closer to the 600-acre industrial park."Belleville is very active with economic development for industry," MacDonald said. "Quite often industry looks at emergency response capabilities for their insurance companies and they look to what services cities can offer . . . we were able to improve our response time and that's a big bonus for encouraging businesses to come to town."The two-year project cost about $7.5 million, and stayed within budget, MacDonald said. The department is also building two more stations and both are expected to open within the year.
Feb. 18, 2016 - Canada's Office of the Secretary to the Governor General is reminding fire chiefs to nominate members of their departments who have served 20 years or more for the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal.According to the Governor General's office, more than 31,000 medals have been awarded since its creation in 1985. The medals are given to full-time and volunteer firefighters, as well as wildfire firefighters, who have served 20 years or more, to recognize their outstanding service to their communities and to the country."An important component of the Canadian Honours System, the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal is a tangible and lasting way to honour you, the men and women of our fire services, who dedicate yourselves to preserving Canada's public safety, thus improving the quality of your fellow citizens' lives and sense of security," the office states. "Not only is the medal intended to recognize your dedicated service, but it also pays tribute to your good conduct, industry and efficiency."For more information on the program, and to access the new electronic nomination form, visit www.gg.ca/esm
Feb. 8, 2016, Chester, N.S. - Chester's Fire Chief Dave Richardson says he fears for the future of his department if a fire services contract between the District of Chester and the Village of Chester isn't renewed by March 31. Chief Richardson says the Chester Volunteer Fire Department could be significantly reduced with higher costs to residents if the municipality has to use other departments to respond to fires outside the village. The Chronicle Herald reports. | READ MORE
Aug. 1, 2017 – Fire-service equipment provider MSA has completed its $215-million acquisition of gear maker Globe.MSA chairman and CEO William Lambert said Monday the transaction boosts the company's position as a leader in the North American market for firefighter personal protective equipment ."Globe is a highly recognized and respected brand of firefighter turnout gear, which very nicely complements our own line of firefighter protective equipment," Lambert said in a press release."With virtually no product overlap, the acquisition aligns well with our corporate strategy in that it expands our core product portfolio in a key customer segment."Lambert said MSA can now help to protect firefighters from head to toe, with Cairns Helmets, the G1 self-contained breathing apparatus, and Globe turnout gear and boots.MSA said Globe Manufacturing's management team, including previous owners Don Welch, Rob Freese and Gef Freese, will continue to work for the company over the short term to ensure an effective transition.Pittsfield, N.H.-based Globe is North America's oldest and largest maker of firefighter protective clothing, having been founded in 1887. Globe launched its Athletix line of bunker gear in April.MSA entered the breathing apparatus market in 1917; it has focused in the last few years on the customizable G1 SCBA and integrated thermal imaging camera.MSA is based north of Cranberry Township, Pa.; it employs about 4,300 people worldwide, and has revenues of U.S. $1.15 billion in 2016.Welch said when the deal was announced June 28 that it is a good fit for both parties, and ensures a solid future for Globe.
The IAFF welcomes the federal government’s announcement of $80 million for a national Community Heroes Benefit for the families of Canada’s fallen fire fighters and other public safety officers. Ottawa's Mar. 22 announcement, is the culmination of a longstanding IAFF lobby for a public safety officer compensation (PSOC) benefit.The IAFF commends Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Government and Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, for listening to the IAFF and other first responder agencies and for following through on a commitment to address this longstanding and important issue.Goodale has been a long-time champion of the benefit. It was a key element of his private member’s motion, M-388, which was adopted in the House of Commons in 2012, and he moved the item forward swiftly after he was appointed Minister in 2015.Thanks also go to the many IAFF members who helped lobby the issue on Parliament Hill at every edition of the IAFF Canadian Legislative Conference since 1992.“The IAFF commends the Liberal Government for keeping its promise and for establishing a Community Heroes Benefit in Budget 2017,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “This benefit will allow a grateful nation to formally recognize the sacrifices made by fallen fire fighters and other public safety officers and will ensure once and for all that their families don’t have to worry about their immediate financial security.”The benefit, a one-time, tax-free and direct payment to the surviving family of fire fighters, police, paramedics and other public safety officers who die in the line of duty, establishes a minimum baseline of compensation that the survivors of all public safety officers across Canada are entitled to, regardless of the city or province in which they worked.Budget 2017 provides $80 million over five years beginning in 2018-2019 for the benefit and $20 million thereafter.
Sept. 9, 2016, Montreal - Investigators are trying to determine what caused Thursday afternoon's fire at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. About 60 firefighters were called to the hotel at around 1:30 p.m. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
March 7, 2016 - Nozzle maker Task Force Tips, Inc., (TFT) has acquired AMKUS Rescue Systems, both companies announced on their websites last week. Indiana-based TFT manufactures nozzles, monitors, valves and foam systems. Headquartered in Illinois, AMKUS’s line of rescue products includes cutters, spreaders, push-pull rams, power units, auxiliary pumps and rope-rescue systems. AMKUS, according to a joint news release, will maintain its identity, distribution network and field managers, however all engineering, service and manufacturing operations will eventually transition to TFT’s headquarters in Valparaiso, Ind. “Task Force Tips' passion for developing products that save lives and protect property is a perfect fit for the continued expansion of the AMKUS Rescue System's product line,” the company stated in the release. Learn more at www.tft.com and www.amkus.com
March 3, 2016 - In 1991, Kip Cosgrove moved to Canada to fill a market niche: to provide a national insurance option for firefighters.Cosgrove brought the United States-based insurance company VFIS north of the border and at the 1991 International Association of Fire Chiefs conference held in Toronto, VFIS of Canada was launched."Because the program was so successful in the United States," Cosgrove said, "they felt that, hey, the Canadian fire service is very similar. Fighting fires is no different in Canada than in the U.S."Now in its 25th year of business, VFIS of Canada insures more than 2,100 fire departments across the country.VFIS of Canada pioneered several benefits that are now market standards, Cosgrove said, including cosmetic disfigurement from burns, and heart and circulatory malfunction.Cosgrove is well known in the industry thanks to his presence at many conferences and trade shows. VFIS sponsors several associations and charities, finances educational guest speakers, and offers free educational programs to its clients."Today the volunteer firefighters needs to grab everything they can, and we really are giving them access to a lot of these great tools free of charge," Cosgrove said in an interview."If they weren't buying my program, I wouldn't be able to offer back anything, but because our program is taking off, we want to give back to the fire service."
March 3, 2016 - The Alberta government is spending $650,000 to support fire and emergency-preparedness training for first responders in 50 municipalities and four First Nations. The funding is part of a Fire Services Emergency Preparedness Program aimed at volunteer and mutual-aid fire departments. The program will provide $500,000 for fire training and $150,000 for emergency management training in 2016. The grant program, according to a government news release, will help first responders develop the skills needed to respond effectively during fire and emergency events. “Local firefighters and emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities,” Danielle Larivee, Minister of Muncipal Affairs, said in the release. “Our government is proud to invest in emergency preparedness training as just one of the ways we will continue to help these individuals who help others.” Municipalities and First Nations that have mutual-aid agreements were given application priority, according to the release. For more information, including a list of the recipients, go to www.ofc.alberta.ca/grant-funded-training
Feb. 16, 2016, Snyder, Neb. – Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. announced today that Patrick Patton has been appointed to the newly-created position of director of chassis sales with responsibility for sales management, dealer and technical support, and chassis business development for Smeal's entire selection of custom fire chassis. Chassis available through Smeal include Smeal's Sirius, Sirius II, S450 and S600 models; Spartan, HME and Seagrave models.Patton has more than 20 years of experience in the fire and emergency response industry. He worked for Spartan Motor Corporation since 2007 as a regional sales manager with responsibility for business development, dealer and OEM relationship management, and sales process management for a 22-state territory. Prior to joining Spartan, Patton was in direct sales and sales management roles with two fire-apparatus dealerships."Pat Patton comes to us with a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge in custom fire chassis, and customer, dealer, and OEM relationship management," said Jeff Wegner, Smeal's senior vice president of global sales. "In addition to his exceptional technical expertise, Pat truly understands the needs of our customers and dealers, and he is an ideal choice to spearhead our chassis programs in support of overall Smeal, LTC and UST fire apparatus sales.""I couldn't be happier to become part of the Smeal team," Patton said. "Smeal is a company that's on the move. I've seen first-hand their development over the past few years, and it's a very exciting time to be a part of their growth. I'm looking forward to working with Smeal dealers, customers and team members to elevate the information and support we provide for the fire chassis integrated with our outstanding apparatus."Patton took over his new role yesterday, and reports to Michael Bowman, Smeal's vice president of sales.
Feb. 2, 2016, Surrey, B.C. - The City of Surrey, B.C., in partnerships with the University of the Fraser Valley, has published a third book in a series about evidence-based decision making for public-service professionals.The Right Decision: Evidence-based Decision Making for Government manual and companion workbook are the third installments in the Right Decision series. The book brings evidence-based decision making down to the basics, providing government professionals with an effective tool to help them validate a particular approach or choice.Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, co-authored the manual and workbook with Paul Maxim, professor in the department of economics and Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, Darryl Plecas, professor emeritus and former head of the UFV's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Mona Davies, a legal analyst with a background in the public and private sector."These publications have great potential to help all levels of government serve the public better through effective decision making based on critical thinking," said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. "This project speaks directly to Surrey's culture of innovation, excellence and in helping to advance the public service in general."Participants in the City of Surrey's Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) contributed to the development of both the manual and workbook. ELP participants provided feedback and helped developed content and case studies for the workbook."Every day, government professionals make decisions that determine if the public is getting the best value for its tax dollars," said Surrey city manager Vincent Lalonde. "Effective decision making is the key to ensuring that we are doing the right things, in the right ways."Dr. Adrienne Chan, associate vice-president of research, engagement and graduate studies at UFV, said the university is pleased to work with the city and proud of its faculty members' work to help benefit public administration."The expertise inherent in this publication will help leaders make decisions that are practical and benefit their organizations and the public sector," Chan said.All of the Right Decision manuals and companion workbooks may be downloaded for free from http://cjr.ufv.ca
Nov. 27, 2015 – Fort Garry Fire Trucks has announced new regional sales managers in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia. Adam Baldwin, the fire chief for Kinkora and Area Volunteer Fire Department in P.E.I., is the new regional manager for Atlantic Canada. Baldwin has 19 years of experience in fire. Al Anderson has been hired to manage the British Columbia sales portfolio. Anderson has 30 years of fire-trucks sales and service experience in the province. Fort Garry also hired a new contract administrator, Taylor Young, who will operate out of the company’s headquarters in Winnipeg. National sales manager Brian Nash said the company is looking to the United States for new dealers. “We’re always expanding with agents in different parts of the world and looking for U.S. dealers right now to take advantage of the exchange rate,” Nash said.
Nov. 20, 2015 – Quebec fire-truck manufacturer MAXIMETAL has partnered with Pierce Manufacturing Inc. to produce new pumpers and tankers beginning in the new year.Based in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Que., MAXIMETAL Inc. designs and manufactures trucks under the MAXI Fire Truck brand. Under the new partnership, MAXIMETAL will use the Pierce Saber custom chassis to design and build a family of apparatuses for the Canadian Market.Beginning next year, MAXIMETAL will offer pumper and tanker configurations – with new configurations to be added in the future – and will market the new trucks across Canada through the Pierce dealer network."The people at Pierce were looking for a Canadian partner to build fire trucks for them, and we wanted to expand our sales and distribution efforts across the country," Danny Dufour, president of MAXIMETAL, said in a news release. "It's a great fit and a win-win for both organizations."Dufour called the Saber chassis, which features raised roofs, low, offset stair steps, and wrap-around windshields, well adapted to their market.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has announced winners of the 2018 IAFC Fire Chief of the Year awards, sponsored by Pierce Manufacturing Inc. Volunteer Fire Chief Herbert Leusch of the Glen Echo Fire Department in Bethesda, Maryland, and career Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White of the San Francisco Fire Department are this year’s winners. A selection committee appointed by the IAFC reviewed nominations for active chiefs of departments that have shown exemplary contributions in the areas of leadership, innovation, professional development, service to the public and contributions to the fire service community as a whole. The award recipients will be recognized during a presentation Aug, 9 at Fire-Rescue International’s general session at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas,Texas. Pierce Manufacturing Inc. is the leading global manufacturer of custom fire apparatus. “I look forward to the captivating moment each year when we share the nominations for the two Fire Chief of the Year award honourees,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “Chief Leusch and Chief Hayes-White have had distinguished careers. These two leaders have shown how to lead with grace, professionalism, and devotion that inspires others. On behalf of the Pierce Manufacturing team, we’d like to share heartfelt congratulations to Chiefs Leusch and Hayes-White.” Chief Leusch has been at the helm of the Glen Echo Fire Department for 10 years. The department has 70 personnel and responds to more than 2,200 calls a year. Some of Leusch’s accomplishments include establishing a bicycle emergency response team, developing a heavy-apparatus driver-training program, building advanced life-support capabilities, and co-leading a firefighting task force in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In his day job, he is senior principal at General Dynamics Information Systems. Chief Hayes-White has been chief of the San Francisco Fire Department since 2004. The department is the largest urban fire department in the world with a female chief. The mother of three has instituted many changes, including introducing a random on-duty alcohol and drug testing policy, the reconfiguration of emergency medical services and the restoration of promotional examinations.
TV personality Jenny Jones is working with the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) to offer up to $25,000 to help a volunteer fire department purchase new safety gear, equipment or technology. Jones, who is best known for hosting a nationally syndicated talk show until 2003, grew up in London, Ont., and wanted to give back to her home province. She got in touch with the OAFC in May and launched the Jenny’s Heroes Canada Equipment Grant through the Jenny Jones Foundation. A program called Jenny’s Heroes has donated close to $2 million to communities across 50 states in the U.S. “I have a profound respect for anyone who chooses a life of service to the community, even more so when the risksare great,” Jones said in a statement. Grant submissions opened July 23 and close Friday, Aug. 31. The successful applicant will be selected by Sept. 24. Applications will be reviewed by a validation committee from the OAFC and shared with Jenny’s Heroes Canada. OAFC executive director Richard Boyes is encouraging all volunteer fire departments to make grant submissions. Notices have been sent to all departments across the province. “This is very unique, especially in Ontario, that someone comes along and does this,” he said. “There’s been nothing like this to the best of my knowledge.” Boyes said Jones reached out to the OAFC out of the blue and “the next thing I knew I was on the phone with Jenny and she said, ‘Okay, this is just what I’m looking for.’ “She wants to help out a department that needs it. She wants to make a difference in the community. That’s what she wants to do.” Boyes said the OAFC will validate the requests, but it will be up to Jones which department gets the money. “We’ll help facilitate it, but it will be Jenny’s decision at the end of the day. It’s her money, so she has the ultimate say.” Boyes said volunteer fire departments in Ontario have many needs and it will be up to the applicants to make a compelling case as to how the equipment will make a difference. To be eligible and considered for a grant, volunteer departments must be a fire department in Ontario, either municipal or regulated by a fire services board, whose full complement of suppression firefighters are volunteer-based. Only one grant request application per fire department is permitted. For a list of the full requirements and to download an application form go to http://www.oafc.on.ca/jennys-heroes-canada-supporting-volunteer-firefighters-across-ontario. Questions regarding the grant can be sent to Michelle O’Hara at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or by calling 905-426-9865, extension 222.
The Northeastern Fire Education Conference and Trade Show (NEFEC) provided no shortage of discussion at its well-attended event.
Over the last several years, the recognition of the importance of psychological health and safety in the fire service and all emergency services has risen to the point at which there is consensus that it is a top priority. Many fire, police and emergency-medical services across Canada have taken steps to increase awareness of the issue and have created plans to address the risk that the nature of these professions poses to emergency responders.
In September 2016, delegates to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) annual general meeting in Newfoundland approved a new strategic plan that sets a new direction and vision for the association.
From an organizational, strategic perspective, 2016 could well be remembered as a significant year in the history of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. A working group consisting of the president, executive director and a director of the CAFC as well as the chair and three provincial presidents representing the national advisory council  (NAC) of the CAFC gathered in Ottawa with a consultant to review, revise and ultimately draft an updated new vision and mission statement for our CAFC.
It’s hard to believe it has been almost year since I have provided a synopsis to members within the Canadian fire service through Fire Fighting in Canada. Operationally, our CAFC activities have remained consistently busy however, one of the challenges we continue to face is communicating that information. Advocacy at the federal level is extremely important.
National fire statistics have been lacking in Canada for as long as we have been a country. A program was first funded in 2011 as a year-long project to examine the development of a web-based database that would be available to fire departments and organizations across Canada.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is about to launch a national volunteer firefighter recruitment program. Answer the Call will feature a variety of initiatives to help Canada’s volunteer fire departments with the challenges surrounding the process of recruiting.
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

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