April 18, 2019, Bécancour, Que. - A fire broke out at the ABI aluminum plant in Bécancour Wednesday morning, where a lockout has been raging for more than 15 months.
April 18, 2019, Strathroy, Ont. - One man suffered minor injuries after fire ripped through a barn west of Strathroy Wednesday afternoon. Provincial police say someone was welding inside the barn in Adelaide-Metcalfe when the structure caught fire. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
April 18, 2019, Red Deer, Alta. - Up to 80 homes near an industrial fire in Red Deer were evacuated Wednesday morning. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
April 17, 2019, Pictou, N.S. - A stubborn fire in Pictou, N.S., destroyed a local store on Monday and left a gap in the Water Street downtown district. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
April 17, 2019, Montreal - A major blaze has gutted a commercial building in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, in Montreal’s West Island. Global News reports. | READ MORE
April 17, 2019, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. - Billowing black smoke filled the sky above wine country in Niagara-on-the-Lake Tuesday after a fire erupted at the Colaneri Estate Winery. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
April 17, 2019, Saskatoon - Fire crews were fighting a large brush fire just southwest of Saskatoon Tuesday night. The Saskatoon fire department says it got a 911 call just after 2 p.m. CST about trees on fire in a yard near Riverside Estates. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
April 16, 2019, Bradford, Ont. - Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze at the Bradford Greenhouse Garden Gallery in Bradford. Crews were called to the greenhouse around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday after an employee noticed flames coming from a shade curtain. CTV News reports. | READ MORE
April 16, 2019, Florence, N.S. - Long frustrated by the sheer volume of grass and out-of-control property fires they are called on to extinguish, Cape Breton firefighters are saying enough is enough. The Cape Breton Post reports. | READ MORE
April 16, 2019, Montreal - The Montreal fire department was fighting a blaze at a multi-unit apartment building in the Pierrefonds—Roxboro borough on Monday night. The fire department issued a statement on Twitter saying the blaze was a five-alarm, or general alarm fire just before 8 p.m. The Montreal Gazette reports. | READ MORE
Apr. 15, 2019, Oakville, Ont. - The Oakville Fire Department Auto Extrication team has been selected by the Transportation Emergency Rescue Committee to represent Canada and the U.S. at the World Rescue Organization Challenge in La Rochelle, France this September.The team is comprised of professional firefighters who develop their skills, represent their department and educate the community on their own personal free time. The team was started in 2003 and strives to contribute to the community, and skill development within the fire department.Competing and learning from other departments all over the world and some of the leading experts in the field of extrication will offer a great opportunity for the team members to gain some new knowledge. This will not only benefit the team members, but will be something the team can bring back to their department and the citizens and visitors of Oakville that we serve.What is Auto Extrication?The safe removal and treatment of victims who are trapped by some type of vehicle, machinery or equipment.Vehicle Rescue Challenges & Learning SymposiumsThese events are held across North America and provide emergency services an opportunity to come together and share techniques, new ideas and be exposed to new technology in the field of vehicle extrication. These events ensure departments keep up with changes in vehicle construction, and new innovations in safety. Participation in these events allows emergency responders to gain specialized life-saving knowledge that can be taken back and used in the community we serve. The Role of the Team:• Attend learning symposiums/rescue competitions where the team can learn about new car technology, methods, tool innovations and developments in vehicle construction and safety.• Practice, develop and apply these skills and techniques to be more efficient in extricating and treating patients at emergency calls.• Pass on this knowledge to their department so that all rescuers can also effectively rescue and treat victims in a timely manner. • Attend Oakville public events and educate the community on vehicle safety and what to do if you are involved in an accident.The Competition: • The team is comprised of six members. A captain, medic and four rescuers.• The team travels across North America to compete in Auto Extrication against other departments from around the world. There are two 20 minute events and one 10 minute event in which they compete. These events are Unlimited Pit (All tools permitted), Limited Pit (no powered hydraulics permitted. i.e. jaws of life) and the Rapid Pit (10 min event to simulate a patient crashing and needing immediate removal).• During the different pits, judges follow the team members and grade their performance. Marks are based on command presence and control, patient care, tool use, tool knowledge and overall safety.• Main Awards - first, second and third for all the pits, Overall award, Best Medic and Best Incident Commander.• Approximately 20 teams compete and from all over North America and Europe.Sponsorship Opportunities:Participation in Vehicle Rescue Challenges and Learning Symposiums requires a substantial commitment of time and money. The Town of Oakville, and the Oakville Professional Firefighters Association provide financial and operational support. In order to successfully train and attend Vehicle Rescue Challenges and Learning Symposiums, the team members must raise additional funds to help cover the costs involved. These expenses include entry fees equipment, travel costs and accommodations. These expenses average over $15,000 per year.For more information on sponsorship opportunities and how you or your department could help out visit the team’s Facebook page.
Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service (VFRS) recently received a $10,000 grant from TransCanada for its firefighter camp for young women ages 15 to 18 years.
The Brantford Fire Department is honouring those who served in the First World War in a unique way, The Brantford Expositor reports | READ MORE
Gayanne Pacholzuk, a fire prevention officer with the Kelowna Fire Department in British Columbia, will be bringing the message of fire safety to elementary school children in Ethiopia in November. Pacholzuk is joining a medical team from RESTOR International that is going to the African country to provide free, life-altering surgeries to children and young adults with disabling and disfiguring contractures as a result of burns. “I look forward to being a part of the RESTOR team this year and being able to share my knowledge with Ethiopian people in hopes that some of the burn injuries can be prevented in the future,” she said. Pacholzuk, who has more than 21 years in the fire service, will work with the fire department in Bahir Dar and oversee the translation of fire prevention educational materials into Amharic, the official language in Ethiopia. At the Kelowna department, she oversees fire inspections, fire investigations, and public education. She is very active in the push for fire prevention and awareness across Canada and is president with the Fire Prevention Officer’s Association of B.C. Pacholzuk is on a committee for the National Building Code as well as two technical committees with the National Fire Protection Association, specializing in life safety in buildings and building construction. She is also very active with the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund and has volunteered as a camp counsellor for the past six summers at a camp for children who are burn survivors. RESTOR International said in a statement that the organization is thrilled to have Pacholzuk accompany the team to teach a sample program in elementary schools. RESTOR is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that helps disadvantaged children and adults in developing countries.
Toronto Fire Services has launched an advertising and public education campaign aimed at encouraging smokers in the Parkdale area of the city to stop tossing their cigarette butts. Data shows that Parkdale, over a five-year period, had more fires started from careless smoking than any other area of Toronto. Many of these fires occurred on balconies as a result of tenants discarding their lit cigarette butts by throwing them from their balconies. The campaign includes transit shelter posters, restobar (combined restaurant and bar) ads, posters on construction hoarding sites in the Parkdale neighbourhood, as well as geo-targeted social media and features two themes. The first campaign design depicts a hand holding a lit cigarette with the tagline, "Don't be a flicking idiot … tossed butts start fires." The second design shows a teddy bear on fire with the tagline, "Kill your butts, not your neighbours … tossed butts start fires." The advertising campaign will continue through November 11. A public education campaign will be carried out in conjunction with the ad campaign that will include firefighters visiting businesses and residents to convey the message that cigarette butts need to be completely extinguished before being discarded. "With this ad campaign, we're reminding residents that we all are responsible for keeping each other safe from fire," said Fire Chief and General Manager Matthew Pegg. "Our message is simple. Make sure your cigarettes are completely extinguished before you discard them, and discard them properly." "Parkdale is a tight-knit community that is known for being unique, colourful and diverse," said Gord Perks, the councillor of Ward 14. "What Parkdale should not be known for is the neighbourhood with the most fires due to careless smoking. This fire services campaign aims to change that fact and I'm confident we can reduce the number of fires started by improperly extinguished cigarette butts." To help highlight this issue, generic fire prevention messaging is being augmented with specific messaging to target residents who live in the fire-prone area of Parkdale. This campaign is the first done by Toronto Fire Services to focus on a specific area and target audience in an effort to deliver relevant, impactful and behaviour-changing communications. A public education risk assessment that included risks, geographic profiles, demographic profiles and marketing profiles aided in message targeting. Through this targeted ad campaign, Toronto Fire Services encourages Parkdale residents to understand the true cost of careless smoking and persuades them to adopt safer smoking habits. More information is available at toronto.ca/smokingsafety. For a video of the announcement go to https://mobile.twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1yNGaXYdOoRKj
The New Victoria Fire Department in Nova Scotia has been named one of the winners of the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway program. The program is a partnership of Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council. The department will get four new sets of state-of-the-art turnout gear. “Our members are dedicated and take much pride in our department,” said deputy chief Andrew Petrie. “Receiving this gear will be a great morale boost for our members. Thank you to Globe, DuPont, and the NVFC for this opportunity to help make our responders safe.” The New Victoria Fire Department is on the mouth of Sydney Harbour in the most northeastern part of Nova Scotia. The department responds to an average of 120 calls a year, serving about 5,000 residents over 100 square miles. Department personnel train hard to ensure they are ready to respond. However, about half of its 22 volunteers must wear gear that is more than 10 years old and not up to recommended standards. This year, Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council are giving away 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 North American fire departments that serve populations of 25,000 or less. Now in its seventh year, the program works to enhance the safety and capabilities of small-town fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Recipients are being announced monthly throughout the year.
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.
Jon Pegg, Ontario’s newly installed fire marshal, says he’s excited about working to protect firefighters and the public and promoting diversity in the fire service. “I look forward to working with and hearing from our many stakeholders on the many challenges they face and coming up with collaborative and creative ways to address those problems,” he said in a statement prepared for Fire Fighting in Canada. “Ultimately, I look forward to finding innovative ways to educate and protect our residents and to a day when fatalities caused by fire are virtually eliminated.” Pegg took over the helm on Feb. 20, replacing Ross Nichols who retired. He is no stranger to public fire and life safety, as he has been chief of emergency management for the Province of Ontario for the past eight months. Pegg has a long history in the fire service and started as a firefighter with the Richmond Hill Fire Department in 2000. He has been deputy chief and fire chief for the Innisfil Fire and Rescue Services as well as deputy fire chief for the Town of Georgina. He said he’s looking forward to the job and challenges. “I think what I am excited about is actually the same as the biggest challenge – the diversity within the fire service across Ontario and recognizing that diversity,” he said, as well as how the Office of the Fire Marshal meets those often different needs. He said his 23 years in various fire roles, as volunteer, career firefighter and captain, deputy chief and chief will help as he’s been fortunate to have been part of some amazing departments and teams. “I have worked in the most common types of departments (volunteer, composite and career) we see in Ontario which I believe will be a great asset in this role.” Pegg said he was drawn to the role of fire marshal because in that role he can help shape the fire service in Ontario. “I am passionate about fire safety and protecting the residents within Ontario,” he said. “I am passionate about firefighter safety (physical and mental). “I have greatly enjoyed each rank I have held as my career has progressed and I truly see being in the role of fire marshal as that next step. Being able to work with the municipal fire departments and stakeholders to shape the fire service with things like legislation, education and best practices is very exciting for me.” He said the fire marshal’s office and office of emergency management are very fortunate to have incredibly intelligent and hardworking people working within the teams. “I am excited to lead and work with these women and men to enhance fire safety throughout Ontario.” Pegg said he’s incredibly fortunate to be taking over the role after Nichols, and he saw the incredible way his predecessor interacted and valued his staff. “Although there are many great things I can say about Ross, this is something that will always stick with me. Ross was a very trusted and respected leader who put his people first 100 per cent of the time and this is something I hope I can continue to bring to the team.” For the time being, Pegg also remains in his role as chief of emergency management.
Jon Pegg is the new fire marshal for the Province of Ontario. He started the job Feb. 20 and replaces Ross Nichols. Pegg has been chief of emergency management for the Province of Ontario for the past eight months. He has a long history in the fire service and started as a firefighter with the Richmond Hill Fire Department in 2000. He left in 2011 to become deputy fire chief at the Town of Innisfil and remained there for 16 months. He oversaw the suppression, training and prevention divisions and assisted in the development of a council-adopted fire master plan. He became deputy fire chief of the Town of Georgina in April 2013 and remained in that job for a year. He was also Zone 4 rep for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs for a year at that time. In March 2014, Pegg became fire chief and community emergency management co-ordinator of the Town of Innisfil, where he oversaw all components of the Innisfil Fire and Rescue Service. His focus has been on constantly looking to find better, safer practices for fire fighting, to serve residents and protect staff, and create a 100-per-cent customer service environment where staff make going above and beyond expectations part of their daily routine to serve the public.Pegg is the brother of Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg.Click here to read more about Pegg's plans for the future.
On Feb. 18, his final day as Fire Marshal of Ontario, Ross Nichols thanked first responders for making Ontario a safer place to live. He posted a public letter and statement on Twitter to the women and men on the front line, thanking them for their service. “On this, my final day as Fire Marshal of Ontario, I’m sending out a thank you to all those in the first responder community who have chosen to serve,” he wrote. “To our police officers, firefighters, paramedics, call-takers and dispatchers … thank you for all you do. Be well, and play safe.” In the letter, he said that each and every day first responders roll out into the unknown, putting themselves in harm’s way in service to the public. “Whether it’s the middle of the night or in broad daylight, ridiculously hot or unbelievably cold, downtown in a major city or hours from the nearest community, paid or volunteering, you’re there for people on their most difficult days – helping them when they need it most.” In these increasingly challenging times, he said, the role of first responder demands a great deal from those willing to put it all on the line to help their fellow citizens. “You see and do the things most people don’t want (to) see and do … or simply aren’t able to do,” he wrote. “As a result, it’s vital that we support each other – not just physically, but mentally as well. “Please look after each other both on and off the street,” he wrote. Many from the first responder community responded to Ross’s tweet, congratulating him on his retirement and for his service. Toronto Fire Services Fire Chief Matthew Pegg wrote, “Thank you Ross! I wish you all the best in your next adventure and thank you for your public service.” Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie said, “Congratulations Ross and thank you for your leadership and service to Ontario and across Canada. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you. Best wishes from Newfoundland and Labrador Fire Service.” The Ontario Provincial Police wrote, “Happy retirement! All the very best,” and the Police Association of Ontario wrote, “Thank you for your service! On behalf of the @PoliceAssocON’s 18,000 front-line police personnel members across the province, all the best in your future endeavours.”Jon Pegg, chief of emergency management for the province, has been named as the new fire marshal. Click here to see Ross’s tweet.
Vector Solutions, a leader in industry-focused eLearning and performance support solutions, announced Feb. 6, 2019 that it has acquired Halligan, the innovative developers of a leading mobile application for public safety agencies that streamlines routine maintenance inspections of trucks, tools, medical supplies, drugs, and other items logged in inventory records. The addition of Halligan comes on the heels of Vector’s recent acquisition of CrewSense, reaffirming the company’s commitment to providing a single operational hub for clients and expanding its eLearning and training platform into a complete performance optimization solution. Halligan’s workforce management app is embedded in the everyday workflows of more than 450 fire and EMS customers, with features including mobile truck checks, communication tools for overdue checks and open work orders, asset barcode scanning, and cost and quantity tracking. Halligan’s fleet, inventory and asset solutions will be offered under Vector’s Public Sector business unit with whom Halligan has previously partnered to bring TargetSolutions Check It app released earlier in 2018. “This exciting acquisition benefits Halligan clients by providing the opportunity to integrate with the public sector’s leading learning and performance platform, TargetSolutions, and thousands of online courses from the Vector Solutions library,” said Marc Scheipe, Vector chief operating officer. “And, with Halligan’s continued commitment to quality, innovation and world-class support, this acquisition serves to increase modules for optimized performance, expand access to advanced technology, and maintain a singular focus on increasing productivity, reducing risk and driving smart decisions.” “We saw Vector Solutions’ vision for a single platform where public safety agencies can come to manage what is most important to their operations: their talented first responders and their life-saving equipment.” said Alex Montgomery, founder and CEO of Halligan. “Through the acquisition the Halligan team looks forward to providing more product solutions to our customers."The company said clients of Vector Solutions and Halligan can expect to receive the same customer service to which they have been accustomed. The company is working to determine integration plans and more information will be available in the future. Vector Solutions provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education industries. Its brands, RedVector-Convergence Training, TargetSolutions, and SafeSchools, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance management solutions using the latest innovations in learning and technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library offers approximately 8,000 courses written by over 250 subject matter experts and reaches over seven million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information about the company go to www.vectorsolutions.com. Halligan is an easy and secure solution paid and volunteer fire departments across the nation trust for truck checks. With features ranging from apparatus checks, work orders, equipment management and budgeting, Halligan saves money while saving time. Complete mobile first truck checks from iOS, Android devices or web browsers. For more information about the company go to www.halligan.io.
The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition Canada (HFSC) is awarding stipends to 20 qualifying fire departments that demonstrate a plan to conduct a community event featuring a side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstration.The stipend can be used to purchase materials to build a new display, rehab an existing display, produce educational materials distributed at the demonstration or to build an NFPA 13D display to be used at the event. Click here for more information about building an NFPA 13D display.The deadline to apply for the stipend is March 1, 2019.To qualify, applicants must be signed up for HFSC’s free Built for Life Fire Department program. To apply for the stipend, Built For Life Fire Department representatives must agree to implement their department’s event and fulfill the event implementation requirements by the end of 2019. They must ensure the event contains home fire sprinkler educational outreach; endeavour to extend the educational benefits beyond the actual event (such as through local media or placement of photos or video on the fire department’s website and social media outlets, if any); evaluate the educational effectiveness of the event; and report event summary and evaluation findings to the HFSC.Click here for more information and to enrol.The HFSC is a charitable organiztion that was formed in 1996 to inform the public about the life-saving value of home fire sprinkler protection in Canada. HFSC members include The Co-operators, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association and regional representation for the National Fire Protection Association.
The concept of regionalization in the fire service has been around for a number of years now, but recent factors have accelerated the concept further.
Jeremy Inglis, deputy fire chief at the Fort Erie Fire Department in Ontario, is a man on a very specific mission.
Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece has re-introduced the Rea and Walter Act (Truss and Lightweight Construction Identification) at Queen’s Park in an effort to improve firefighter safety. The Act, known as Bill 33, will require commercial and industrial buildings, as well as certain multi-family dwellings using truss and lightweight construction (TLC), to be marked by an identification emblem. Buildings containing TLC will be required to post 1 of 3 emblems: “F” decals if only the floor of the building uses TLC. “R” decals if only the roof of the building uses TLC. “FR” decals if both the floor and the roof of the building use TLC. The Act is in honour of two North Perth fire service members. Ken Rea and Ray Walter died in 2011 when the roof of a store constructed with TLC collapsed while fighting a fire. “Firefighters need to know which buildings contain truss and lightweight construction,” Pettapiece said. “When a fire breaks out they need to know how to attack it safely.” The Rea and Walter Act was wiped off the legislative agenda when the previous Liberal government prorogued the legislature in March 2018. Pettapiece noted that a fire at Tim Horton’s in Arthur, Ont., on July 21 demonstrated once again the need for truss and lightweight construction identification. In response to the incident Wellington North Fire Service Chief Dave Guilbault said, “We were not aware that the roof trusses were lightweight. There was no way of knowing. There could have been serious injuries or loss of life.” Pettapiece said the Rea and Walter Act will restore trust and accountability between fire departments, municipalities and small business owners. “I am hopeful this bill will again receive all-party support,” he said after tabling it in the Legislature. “I am looking forward to working with all of my colleagues and stakeholder groups across the province. It is the minimum standard our firefighters should expect.”
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.
In February 2019, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) awarded 22 research grants totalling $2,955,782 for researchers to study issues related to post-traumatic stress injury (PTSI) in first responders and other public safety personnel. These funds flow from the 2017 federal budget announcement of $30 million to address mental health in all public safety personnel through a variety of means.
Richard Boyes, executive director of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), will be retiring at the end of May. The announcement was made following a board meeting of the association March 28. OAFC president and Essa Township Fire Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin said in a letter that Boyes will be missed. She thanked him for all his contributions to the improvement of the OAFC. “Richard has worked tirelessly over the past seven years, ensuring the OAFC has a solid government relations program, successfully implemented our candidate testing program through Ontario Fire Administration Inc., strengthened our member support services, leads a strong team of professionals that has grown and expanded our events, partnerships, programs and services, and has ensured our association is financially sound. “The OAFC is in a strong position due to Richard's leadership and dedication to our members, partners and stakeholders.” Boyes has more than 44 years of experience serving his community in both the volunteer and full-time fire service. He is an experienced fire services executive, having filled many roles, including fire chief, consultant and Office of the Fire Marshal fire services advisor. Boyes has been executive director of the association for more than six years. He was chief operating officer at the OAFC for six months prior to that. Before working at the OAFC, he ran his own consulting business and was fire chief for the Town of Oakville for six years. Prior to that, he was fire chief at Sarnia Fire Rescue Services for nearly eight years. He was fire services advisor with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office for six years. Between 2000 and 2011, he was on the board of directors of the OAFC and was president from 2007 to 2010.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) has commended the federal budget tabled by the Liberals, saying in a press release that it has a number of crucial measures that will support strong communities. The budget, released by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on March 19, is the final one before the federal election next October.Click here view the federal budget. CAFC President and Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block said several investments stood out for the association. “The investments in municipal infrastructure and housing hold opportunity for rectifying vulnerabilities that have resulted in recent tragedies,” he said in the press release. “The support for the Indigenous Fire Marshal’s office and the FireSmart program are needed and all hazards emergency response funding will be put to good use.” The CAFC strongly commended an investment of $25 million over five years to create a pan-Canadian suicide-prevention service available 24/7 in all parts of the country. “First responders not only respond to suicide calls, they also fall victim to them,” said Block. “I’m pleased to see this taking shape and the CAFC will be pleased to assist where we can.” The association also was pleased to see opportunities for training, diversity, and apprenticeship. The statement said that, in the coming weeks, the CAFC will be looking more closely at the budget and its implications and will remain available to all departments to assist in relevant files. Following are the CAFC’s list of some of the highlights of the budget: $25 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $5 million per year ongoing, to work with experienced and dedicated partners in the space to support a pan-Canadian suicide prevention service, in order to provide people across Canada with access to bilingual, 24/7, crisis support from trained responders, using the technology of their choice (voice, text or chat). This service will leverage and build on existing services and experiences of partners dedicated to suicide prevention. $5 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to Public Safety Canada to develop all-hazard awareness-raising activities that are targeted to specific, at-risk audiences such as low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, and indigenous people. $260 million over two years, on a cash basis, starting in 2019–20, to Public Safety Canada to support provincial and territorial disaster relief and recovery efforts through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program. $151.23 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, and $9.28 million per year ongoing, to improve emergency management in Canada, including in Indigenous communities. This investment will improve Canada’s ability to predict and respond to threats through the use of early-warning systems, and enhance the understanding of the nature of the risks posed by floods, wildfires and earthquakes. In addition, this investment will help to assess the condition and resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure – including energy grids, water and food supplies and health services – in the aftermath of a natural disaster. $65 million in 2018–19 for STARS to replace its aging fleet and acquire new emergency ambulance helicopters. This funding will be made available through Public Safety Canada. $211 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, with $49.4 million per year ongoing to support increased resiliency and emergency management on-reserves, and $48 million over four years, starting in 2020–21, to renew funding for infrastructure projects on-reserve that will protect communities from climate-related hazards, which are stated to include support for the Indigenous Fire Marshalls Office and Fire Smart. Over $1.7 billion over five years, and $586.5 million per year ongoing for a new Canada Training Benefit—a personalized, portable training benefit to help people plan for and get the training they need. $40-billion for the 10-year National Housing Strategy, which will help ensure that vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. $2.2 billion through the federal Gas Tax Fund to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities. This will double the government’s commitment to municipalities in 2018–19 and will provide much-needed infrastructure funds for communities of all sizes, all across the country. $1.7 billion over 13 years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a new national high-speed Internet program, the Universal Broadband Fund. The fund would build on the success of the Connect to Innovate program, and would focus on extending “backbone” infrastructure to underserved communities (backbone is the central channel used to transfer Internet traffic at high speed – the Internet equivalent of a major roadway or railway spur). For the most difficult-to-reach communities, funding may also support “last-mile” connections to individual homes and businesses. $25 million over 10 years, starting in 2020–21, to fund Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research CIMVHR’s ongoing operations, the implications from which can often benefit first responders. The CAFC is an independent, non-profit organization representing about 3,500 fire departments across Canada. The primary mission of CAFC is to promote the highest standard of public safety in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world to ensure the protection of the public through leadership, advocacy and active collaboration with key stakeholders.
Hundreds of fire service leaders and human resources personnel gathered at an Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) labour relations seminar in Toronto, Ont., on Jan. 23 and 24 to get a rundown on the latest legal and bargaining developments and lay of the land on a variety of subjects.
If you’ve been following my column, you may know we like top 10 lists. This list is about the 10 messages the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) said during 18 hours that representatives spent on Parliament Hill for government relations week Nov. 26 and 27, 2018.
Fire service leaders from across Ontario gathered at the Hilton Niagara Falls hotel Nov. 20 to 22 for the 2018 annual general meeting of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC).
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) is thrilled to be working in partnership with Jenny's Heroes Canada once again to support volunteer firefighters across Ontario. Jenny's Heroes Canada has decided to offer three Fire Service Equipment Grant opportunities in 2019. The majority of fire departments in Ontario rely on the services of volunteer firefighters to provide fire protection, education and emergency first response in their communities. Due to smaller populations, with a smaller tax base, many of these departments are challenged to purchase new equipment, gear and technology to protect these firefighters so they can provide the skilled, competent and caring services to the residents they are committed to protect. Through Jenny’s Heroes Canada, the Jenny Jones Foundation is offering grants of up to $25,000 to provide safety equipment to Ontario’s volunteer fire departments. “I have a profound respect for anyone who chooses a life of service to the community,” says Jenny, “even more so when the risks are great.” Jones grew up in London, Ont. and wishes to give back to her home province. In May 2018, the Jenny Jones Foundation reached out to the OAFC with a vision to give back to those who serve in their communities, and where a financial contribution would make a significant impact. The OAFC immediately recognized the potential to work with Jenny by providing a medium to reach those departments in Ontario where this opportunity would make a significant difference. In addition, the opportunity aligned well with the OAFC’s mandate to provide access to resources that help support its members’ role as fire and emergency service leaders in their communities. In July 2018, the OAFC and Jenny Jones launched Jenny’s Heroes Canada Fire Service Equipment Grant to support volunteer fire services in Ontario. There was an overwhelming response from departments across Ontario with more than 100 applications received. Both the OAFC and Jenny were amazed at the incredible response and participation in such an exciting opportunity. After a final review and based on the significant need identified through the application process, Jenny decided to increase the amount of her Jenny’s Heroes Canada grant to $50,000 from the original amount of $25,000, offering grants to six departments that purchased an array of equipment to assist in their public safety efforts. “Wow. We received more applications than anyone expected,” says Jenny. “It’s clear the need is great, so I remain committed to continue providing safety equipment to Ontario’s volunteer firefighters. Let’s keep it going!” Jenny’s Heroes Canada has decided to offer three Ontario Fire Service Equipment Grant Opportunities in 2019, for up to $25,000 for each opportunity. Click here for more information about the grants, criteria and the application process.
With the end of 2018 near, top 10 lists become irresistible. This top 10 list is a view from my office here in Ottawa at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) is applauding the provincial government for introducing legislation that will allow full-time firefighters to volunteer as firefighters in their communities. The legislation, known as Bill 57, the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018, was introduced in the Legislature earlier this week. Presently, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA) prohibits full-time firefighters from serving as volunteer firefighters. Firefighting full time and volunteering on the side is known as “two-hatting” or “double hatting.” If passed, Schedule 18 of Bill 57 will amend the FPPA to, among other things, enhance protections for volunteer firefighters engaged in double-hatting and address collective bargaining and interest arbitration in the sector. The OAFC maintains that the legislation, if passed, will protect firefighters who are employed full time and chose to volunteer as a firefighter in the community where they live. The OAFC said in a statement that it is also pleased to see proposed changes to reform the interest arbitration process, which will help municipalities' evidence “local economic realities to be fully considered” by the arbitrator. “We commend the Ford government for acting on these long-standing issues, and look forward to continuing to work together, protecting our firefighters, and ultimately keeping Ontario's residents safe," OAFC president Stephen Hernen, who is fire chief for the Town of Huntsville, said in a statement. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli introduced the proposed move as part of the province’s 2018 economic outlook and fiscal review. The changes would prevent firefighters from being disciplined, fined or suspended if they want to volunteer on the side. Specifically, the legislation would amend the FPPA to prohibit employers and employers’ organizations from refusing to employ a person as a firefighter, refusing to assign a person to fire protection services or discharging a firefighter because the person has worked, is working, or intends to work as a volunteer firefighter. The legislation’s enhanced protections for two-hatters are expected to provide all workplace parties – both associations and employers alike – with much needed clarity on their rights and responsibilities towards volunteer firefighters in relation to the longstanding issue. If passed in its current form, Schedule 18 clarifies that working as a volunteer firefighter will not constitute “unlawful activity.” Accordingly, associations will not be permitted to require employers to discharge firefighters because they have, are or intend to work as a volunteer firefighter. The legislation also proposes the FPPA be amended so that the present three-member arbitration boards be replaced with single arbitrators for dispute resolution. The amendments also include new criteria to be taken into consideration in an arbitrator’s decision and a requirement that an arbitrator provide written reasons for a decision at the request of either party. The OAFC represents more than 700 chief fire officers in Ontario, from across 442 municipalities, who are responsible for the management and delivery of fire, rescue and emergency response to 13 million residents.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) held its Fire-Rescue Canada 2018 conference Sept. 16 to 19 in Ottawa, with a series of speakers, sessions and lightning talks to educate fire service leaders.
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IAFC VCOS Symposium in the West
May 2-4, 2019
OAFC Annual Conference and Trade Show
May 3-4, 2019
B.C. Fire Training Officers’ Association Conference
May 25-30, 2019
Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC and BC Fire Expo
June 2-3, 2019