Association news
Written by Grant Cameron
The B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund celebrated its 40th anniversary Oct. 18 by hosting more than 40 local firefighters at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver.

The Burn Fund is a registered charity established in April 1978 by the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters and provides life-saving, life-supporting, and life-enriching services to the people in B.C.

Throughout its history, the Burn Fund has played a big part in enhancing the quality of care a burn and trauma patient receives from bedside through to recovery.
The Burn Fund and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park are linked by events that took place in 2007.

That year, severe winter storms caused major damage to Bright Nights Christmas lights display in Stanley Park, severely impacting donations to the Burn Fund. At the same time, a 46-ton tree fell onto Capilano Suspension Bridge, closing the park for five months.

To celebrate the bridge re-opening,
Nancy Stibbard, owner and CEO of Capilano Group, decided to hold a fundraiser for the Burn Fund to help replenish lost donations from its annual holiday event.

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as partial proceeds from Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park have been donated to the Burn Fund ever since.
Through the generosity of donors such as the Capilano Group, the Burn Fund has achieved many significant accomplishments. This includes the notable achievement of completing a $13.1-million capital campaign to raise funds to build the new Burn Fund Centre in 2015 – a home away from home for burn and trauma survivors.

Stibbard's donations have exceeded $425,000 and her continued financial support through Canyon Lights has played a significant role in bringing awareness to the Burn Fund. She will be recognized at this year's Responder Dinner Gala on April 27, 2019.

The B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund has been providing prevention and survivor support programs and funding medical care and training for the people of B.C. and the Yukon for almost four decades. The Burn Fund is built by more than 3,800 professional firefighters from 53 communities in B.C. and the Yukon who dedicate their funds and time to the cause.

Click here to watch a video of the event.

Click here to learn more about the Burn Fund.

Written by Grant Cameron
The Maritime Fire Chiefs Association (MFCA) held its 104th annual conference July 13 to 16 in Moncton, N.B. and it was deemed a success by organizers.

“It’s gone really well,” Tory Rushton, newly elected president of the association, said on the final day of the conference. “We have a great trade show here and we have great speakers here every year.”

Rushton, chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Nova Scotia, was elected as president of the association to succeed Charles Kavanaugh, retired chief of the Grand Falls Fire Department in N.B.

Rushton has been in the fire service for 20 years and has served as chief of the Oxford Fire Department in Nova Scotia for the last 12. Prior to that, he spent five years as deputy chief of the department.

The four-day conference was held at Hotel Casino New Brunswick.

About 160 delegates, many with their spouses, attended the event, up slightly from the previous year.

The event featured information sessions and a slate of keynote speakers who dealt with myriad subjects.

Outside, a number of manufacturers and suppliers set up more than a dozen fire trucks.

Robert Krause, director of Emergency Services Consultants in Toledo, Ohio, led a talk called Leadership in Dangerous Situations and spoke about why it’s important for commanders to remain calm and make sound decisions at fire scenes because firefighters will feed off leaders’ actions.

Dave Wiklanski, owner of Alpha Omega Training Solutions in New Jersey, led a session on active shooters, noting most have an agenda and the shootings are likely to happen at a school, church or mall. He said such incidents can occur anywhere, but shooters do leave clues they might kill people.

Tanya Bettridge, director of communications at the Ontario Fire & Life Safety Education, talked about social media and how tools like Facebook and Twitter can be used by fire departments to promote safety messages. She urged fire departments to get on the bandwagon and adopt digital tools.

“If you don’t have social media in your fire department, get it,” she said in remarks to an audience of 120 people at a session.

In today’s world, social media is one of the best ways for fire departments to draw attention to the safety cause, she said.

Bettridge, who is public educator/administrative assistant at Perth East and West Perth fire departments in Ontario, was a driving force behind a farm fire safety program at the departments. The program has since been adopted by fire departments and agencies across North America.

Bettridge said social media has become a must-have tool for fire departments that want to get the public thinking more seriously about safety.

“It is the most inexpensive public education tool that you can use,” she said, noting a post on social media can be shared instantaneously around the world.

Bettridge said fire departments shouldn’t ignore online resources because three quarters of Canadians use at least one type of social media and nine billion videos are watched around the world each day.

“That’s where your audience is,” she said.

A trade show at the event featured vendors from across Canada and the U.S. They had specialized products and equipment on display, along with exhibits of new processes and techniques for fighting fires.

Stephan Rytz, a firefighter and director of training at Scene Safety Company in Saint John, N.B. which specializes in high-risk rescue operations, was a vendor. While he leads a busy life doing two jobs, he’s passionate about health and safety and said he feels good at being able to help save lives.

Jean-Michel Boisvert, of Pierreville, Que., Canadian sales manager at CET Manufacturing which makes portable pumps, was also one of the vendors. He travels regularly across Canada and the U.S.

There was also business to take care of at the conference.

Meetings of the MFCA were held each morning. One item discussed was whether or not the association should open its doors to all firefighters. Presently, only those who have the word ‘chief’ in their title are allowed to be active or voting members of the MFCA. Fire marshals, deputy fire marshals and fire commissioners are also allowed to cast ballots. Firefighters can attend the event but aren’t allowed to join the MFCA or vote.

A resolution to allow all ranks of fire service in the Atlantic provinces to become full-fledged voting members of the association – and run for executive positions – was put forward as a resolution.

The idea behind it was to make the association more inclusive of all ranks of the fire service.

While there was no vehement opposition to the idea, in the end members decided it would be better to wait another year before making a final decision.

The executive will work on a bylaw over the next year and come up with one that will be presented to the conference in 2019.

MFCA president Rushton said the idea of the proposal is to provide future leaders of the fire service an opportunity to gain more leadership experience through lectures, training and networking.

“We’re trying to open the doors for them to come in to this association and sit on the executive and start to grow with the executive as they grow,” he said.

Such a move, he said, would allow basic firefighters, lieutenants and captains to get more involved in the MFCA.

Rushton said the proposal comes at an exciting time for the association and, as president, he hopes to rejuvenate the organization, define where it’s going and bring more members into the fold.

“I want to grow the membership and maintain the relationships that we have with the other organizations, each provincial association and also the Canadian Fire Chiefs Association.”
Written by Grant Cameron
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFCs) has released its written pre-budget submission to the federal finance committee.

The submission, titled Ensuring Canada’s Competitiveness by Mastering Public Safety Risks, calls for, among other things, enhanced use of federal funds earmarked for first responder mental health.

The CAFC wants the federal government to adjust how it uses $30 million in funds that are set aside for first responder mental health. The recommendation is one of five in the six-page submission.

Specifically, the CAFC is asking the government to adapt and implement Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT) so that it’s nationally available to first responders rather than just develop a pilot.

Budget 2018 proposed to invest $10 million over five years, starting this year for Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) to develop an ICBT pilot as a means of providing greater access to care and treatment for public safety officers.

The CAFC supports the research levers and states that at least 13 ICBT models have been developed and evaluated, but notes pilots are known to be shelved at the end of the funding period.

“We ask that the project specifications be revised from developing and pilot testing, to adapting, evaluating and implementing, in order to ensure that the $10 million reaches as many first responders as possible,” the CAFC states.

According to the CAFC, the government also proposed to provide $20 million over five years to support a new national research consortium between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment to address the incidence of post-traumatic stress injuries among public safety officers. The CAFC also commends such an initiative.

However, the association is asking that the intention be revised from studying the incidence to studying the implementation of innovations that could help first responders nationally.

“We respectfully disagree that more research to identify the problem is necessary,” the CAFC submission states, noting that many interventions have already been developed for first responders.

“We need to use the funding for implementation (of) science projects that make these interventions accessible in new, innovative, cost effective and appropriate ways to a larger number of responders.”

The CAFC submission asks that the CIPSRT, CIHR, Department of National Defence and Mental Health Commission of Canada work together to implement and evaluate the Road to Mental Health Readiness (R2MR) Program or an equivalent resilience training for all fire departments in the country.

“The federal government has the people, funding, mechanisms and levers. We are asking for the political will to make it happen,” the submission states.

In the brief, the CAFC also recommends that:
  • The government provide funding in the amount of $50 million per year for a fire sector research and innovation program to develop and test hazard responses to social and building code innovations. The CAFC states that Canada needs a more reliable and regular mechanism to respond to innovation.
  • The government implement continued ongoing funding for all Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) program teams and ensure national deployment strategies are in place. The federal government is providing $3.1 million annually and ongoing to establish the HUSAR program, but the CAFC wants to see stable and predictable funding moving forward.
  • That the government reinstate its Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) to enhance regional capacity for all types of emergencies. The JEEP, which offered matching funding for equipment, training and other infrastructure needed by the country’s fire departments, was terminated for reasons unclear to the CAFC.
  • The federal government implement a national fire advisor secretariat to provide substantive expertise in linking federal fire-related initiatives. The CAFC states it would be willing to help provide such a role with the appropriate funding.
The CAFC is asking its members to forward the submission to their federal MP and perhaps include a cover letter describing the importance of one or more of the recommendations to their communities.

Click here for the CAFC submission.

Written by Grant Cameron
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.
Written by Grant Cameron
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

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.

Written by Laura Aiken
The Northeastern Fire Education Conference and Trade Show (NEFEC) provided no shortage of discussion at its well-attended event.
Written by Ken McMullen
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.
Written by John McKearney
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.
Written by Ken Block
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.
Written by Paul Boissonneault
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.
Written by Rob Evans
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.
Written by Vince MacKenzie
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.
Written by Maria Church
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
Written by Laura King
May 4, 2016, Toronto – Hunstville Fire Chief Steve Hernen was elected president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Wednesday. Essex Chief Rick Arnel was voted executive vice president.

Minto Chief Chris Harrow, Brantford Chief Jeff McCormick, Warren Brinkman with Longbow Lake, and Clarington Deputy Chief Mark Berney won vice-president positions.

Changes to legislation for not-for-profit entities require elections for executive positions and, for the first time in years, there was considerable buzz around the vote.

Voting for 12 members of the OAFC board closed Monday afternoon; there were 15 candidates and high voter turnout. OAFC members choose a president, executive vice president and four vice presidents from among the elected board members.

After ballots were counted for board positions on Tuesday, vote results were posted publicly – a policy change instituted in 2015: Arnel (127), Hernen (125), Harrow (118), Ottawa Deputy Chief Kim Ayotte (111), Hamilton Township Chief Kelly Serson (97), Essa Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin (96), Berney (87), McCormick (81), Richmond Hill Deputy Chief Bryan Burbidge (80), Thunder Bay Chief John Hay (72), Ocean Wave Chief Les Reynolds (69).

Hernen, who was previously first vice-president, had been presumed to succeed outgoing Toronto Deputy Chief Matt Pegg, who finished his third year as president this week and said months ago he would not seek a fourth term.

Until Wednesday, it appeared that Hernen would run uncontested; some last-minute politicking and chatter about potential opponents turned out to be moot.
The new board meets Thursday.

The OAFC's awards gala this evening wraps up the five-day conference in Toronto.
Written by Paul Boissonneault
The new year provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on progress since we last provided an update around our Fire-Rescue Canada conference in September. In that spirit, I want to share some highlights from an exciting and productive end of 2015 for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC).

After increasing momentum during the successful conference in Victoria, the CAFC board wanted to hit the ground running. The results of a post-conference national membership survey were very positive. National issues of importance and the ability of the CAFC to take the lead in establishing member services and programs to address those issues has been, and will remain, our priority. 

The CAFC board and national advisory council, plus our partners – the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Mental Health Commission of Canada – met to form a firefighter mental-wellness advisory group. The team will meet during 2016 to lay out strategies and eventual activities and partnerships to bring the strategies to fruition.

In October I travelled to Gander for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services (NLAFS) annual conference; it was an opportunity to not only take in and learn about what is happening in Newfoundland and Labrador, but also to recognize outgoing NLAFS president and current CAFC board member Vince MacKenzie for his years of dedicated service to the association.

November was a busy month. After presenting at the National Energy Board conference in Calgary last spring, I was asked to speak to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association Board (CEPA) and to be engaged in a public-safety advisory role on behalf of the CAFC and first-responder community. Some of the key messages presented were: better collaboration on incident-management systems and necessary training in Canada; training of first responders on specific commodities such as class III flammable liquids specific to pipelines; and the transportation of dangerous goods. We all have a vested interest in public safety and municipalities cannot carry the cost of these required training initiatives. Similar to work CAFC has done with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, we will work as a key stakeholder to develop a memorandum of understanding with CEPA to enhance training, awareness and collaboration to protect  first responders and the communities they serve. I also had the honour of attending the annual FireSmart general meeting and provided a presentation. The group was very encouraged to have the CAFC at the event and wants to work together to look at an all-hazards approach to include wildland firefighting and emergency preparedness. At the end of the month I attended Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group along with my tri-service counterparts to build on key initiatives around the development of the 700-MHZ public-safety broadband spectrum.

The CAFC has initiated a lot of interaction with all political parties dating back to the 2015 government-awareness week and a pre-election questionnaire to all parties to communicate the priorities of its members. We were happy to see that many of the CAFC priorities were included in the Liberal mandate letters to cabinet ministers. As a sign of the recognition the CAFC is building, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a personal invitation to me on behalf of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to attend the throne speech on Dec. 4. Doing so was truly an honour and one to be shared by the entire fire service.

The new year not only brings these programs forward but also much other exciting news that provides continuous building blocks for the CAFC and its sustainability and success. The development of a new strategic plan, meeting with new and key parliamentarians, the launch of a new and updated initiative such as the Chief Fire Officer program, a national version of the recruitment and retention program Answer the Call and the national fire-incident database will keep us busy. Government-awareness week in Ottawa in March will be especially important with new elected representatives, and the success of the event is always propelled by the attendance of chief officers from coast to coast to coast.

The CAFC is working full steam ahead on behalf of its members and the Canadian fire service and is being recognized for its public-safety advisory status – exhibited by the number of requests it receives. Having boots on the ground is always a concern, so we need your assistance by having talented chief officers wanting to help the CAFC achieve its goals. We value all memberships and we need yours today. Be involved and make a difference.  

Paul Boissonneault is president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and fire chief for the County of Brant Fire Department in Ontario. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

L’ACCP entreprend divers projets
Par Paul Boissonneault

La nouvelle année est l’occasion rêvée pour faire une pause et pour réfléchir sur les progrès que nous avons réalisés depuis notre dernière mise à jour aux alentours de notre Conférence Secours-Incendie, en septembre. Dans cet esprit, je tiens à partager avec vous quelques points forts d’une fin d’année 2015 passionnante et productive pour l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP).

Fort de l’élan découlant de la fructueuse conférence à Victoria, le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP souhaitait prendre une longueur d’avance. Les résultats d’un sondage national effectué auprès des membres au lendemain de la conférence ont été très positifs. Les questions d’importance nationales et la capacité de l’ACCP à faire preuve d’initiative au moment d’établir des services aux membres et des programmes pour traiter de ces enjeux ont été, et resteront, notre priorité. 

Le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP, le Conseil consultatif national et nos partenaires, à savoir l’Association internationale des pompiers et la Commission de la santé mentale du Canada ont formé un groupe consultatif sur la santé mentale et le bien-être des pompiers. L’équipe se réunira en 2016 pour définir les stratégies et les activités éventuelles et pour construire des partenariats visant à concrétiser ces stratégies.

En octobre, je suis allé à Gander où j’ai assisté à la conférence annuelle de la Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services (NLAFS). Ce fut l’occasion d’en prendre plein les yeux et d’en savoir plus sur ce qui se passe à

Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. Ce fut aussi le moment de rendre hommage au président sortant de la NLAFS et membre du Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP, Vince MacKenzie, pour ses années de dévouement au service de l’Association.

Le mois de novembre a été fort occupé. Après ma présentation à la conférence de l’Office national de l’énergie, à Calgary, au printemps dernier, j’ai été convié à m’adresser à la Commission canadienne des pipelines de ressources énergétiques (ACPRÉ). J’ai accepté un rôle consultatif en matière de sécurité publique au nom de l’ACCP et de la communauté des premiers répondants. Parmi certains des principaux messages livrés, notons l’amélioration de la collaboration sur les systèmes de gestion des incidents et l’apprentissage nécessaire au Canada, la formation des premiers répondants sur des produits particuliers tels que les liquides inflammables de classe III spécifiques aux pipelines et le transport des marchandises dangereuses.

La sécurité publique revêt un intérêt pour tous et les municipalités ne peuvent pas assumer le coût de ces initiatives d’apprentissage. Tout comme avec l’Association canadienne des producteurs pétroliers, l’ACCP agira à titre de principale partie prenante pour développer un protocole d’entente avec l’ACPRÉ pour optimiser la formation, la sensibilisation et la collaboration afin de protéger les premiers répondants et les collectivités qu’ils desservent. J’ai également eu l’honneur de faire une présentation lors de l’Assemblée générale annuelle d’Intelli-feu. Le groupe s’est dit très encouragé par la présence de l’ACCP à l’événement et il souhaite examiner, ensemble, une approche tout risques devant inclure la lutte contre les feux de forêts et la protection civile. À la fin du mois, j’ai pris part au Groupe d’intérêt canadien en technologie de l’interopérabilité avec mes homologues des trois services. Nous avons pris appui sur les grandes initiatives portant sur le développement du spectre pour les applications large bande de sécurité publique 700-MHZ.

L’ACCP a beaucoup interagi avec tous les partis politiques par le biais de la Semaine de relations gouvernementales de 2015 et d’un questionnaire pré-électoral que nous avons envoyé à tous les partis pour leur faire part des priorités de nos membres. Nous sommes ravis que les lettres de mandat des ministres libéraux incluent les priorités de l’ACCP. Reconnaissant la valeur de l’ACCP, le Premier ministre Justin Trudeau m’a personnellement invité, au nom du ministre de la Sécurité publique Ralph Goodale, à assister au discours du Trône le 4 décembre, un véritable honneur qui revient à l’ensemble des services d’incendie.

La nouvelle année met ces programmes de l’avant tout en apportant d’autres nouvelles emballantes qui fournissent continuellement des pièces maîtresses à la durabilité et à la réussite de l’ACCP. Élaborer un plan stratégique, rencontrer de nouveaux parlementaires clés, lancer de nouvelles initiatives actualisées comme le Programme des chefs d’état-major et une version nationale du programme de recrutement et de rétention « Répondre à l’appel » ainsi que la base de données nationale sur les incendies nous tiendront occupés. La Semaine des relations gouvernementales qui aura lieu à Ottawa en mars sera particulièrement importante compte tenu des nouveaux élus. Le succès de l’événement dépend toujours du niveau de participation des chefs d’état-major d’un océan à l’autre.

L’ACCP travaille tous azimuts au nom de ses membres et des services d’incendie du Canada. Elle est reconnue pour son statut consultatif sur la sécurité publique comme l’indique le nombre de requêtes qu’elle reçoit. Assurer une présence sur place est toujours une préoccupation. Nous avons donc besoin de votre aide en tant que chefs d’état-major talentueux désireux d’aider l’ACCP à atteindre ses objectifs. Nous apprécions chaque membre et nous avons besoin de vous. Impliquez-vous et faites une différence.  

Paul Boissonneault est président de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers et chef de pompiers des services d’incendie du comté de Brant, en Ontario. Veuillez communiquer avec lui à This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Written by Erika Adams
Advocacy is one of the Canadian Association of Fire Chief’s (CAFC) pillars and a very important area of focus for members.

With the new government in power, the coming year will demand a government-relations approach that focuses on education – about the CAFC and its key issues – and that leverages the Liberals’ campaign promises and the content of the ministers’ mandate letters.

To meet the demands that the CAFC’s current government-relations success brings to the association, and to be responsive to the new political environment, the CAFC recognized the need to develop a robust, annual advocacy strategy. This strategy would enable the CAFC to use its resources more efficiently and effectively to communicate and influence the opinions and decisions of key stakeholders to advance policy priorities.

The strategy would include a formal annual schedule for tactical activities such as government-awareness week and budget asks, and an outline of types of advocacy products and activities in which the CAFC can engage. Taking into consideration the CAFC’s members and the multi-level nature of fire-service issues, the CAFC will strive to engage in three types of advocacy activities:
  1. Federal advocacy – being the voice of the fire service at the national level, developing evidence-based positions, and engaging in direct government relations.
  2. Provincial/local advocacy – being the national issue co-ordinator and promoter of consensus, supporting research at members’ requests, and engaging indirectly.
  3. Members’ advocacy capacity – being a source of advocacy tools that can be used by members to improve their own government-relations work.
As an initial step in the development of the strategy, the CAFC’s board of directors and the national advisory council (NAC) agreed to support an advocacy prioritization study.

During November, a brief, online advocacy-priorities-and-strategies survey was open to CAFC members. The content of the questions took into consideration the national focus of the CAFC’s mission, the current areas of work of the association, and the recognition that members face different challenges based on the size, type and location of their fire services. Ninety-one members completed the survey. In addition, during the same period, nine phone interviews were conducted with NAC and board members.

Members were asked which three issues the CAFC should focus on in 2016.

A broad range of issues identified by the respondents were summarized in 19 categories. The top 10 (in order of relevance) were: grants and funding; building codes; training; volunteer issues; emergency preparedness; HUSAR; national fire incident database; taxation; mental health; and national fire advisor.

Responders provided specific answers and gave insight into the various aspects of each issue; their responses make evident the complexity of government-relations efforts. The advocacy needs of the fire service are many, but time and resources make addressing all of them a challenge.

Members were then asked to indicate the importance of each of the several advocacy issues to their organizations.

The CAFC has been working on key advocacy issues for the fire service for many years. Taking into consideration previous advocacy work and emergent issues, the survey provided members a list of 10 issues and asked them to rate the level of importance to their organizations using a five-point scale.

The three issues with the highest ratings were firefighter safety, residential sprinklers within Canada’s National Building Code, and mental-health research and training. The three lowest-ranked issues were HUSAR funding, wildland/urban fire interface and First Nations fire protection.

To further refine the data, members were asked to rank 10 advocacy issues in order of priority.  

The three issues with the highest average rankings were firefighter safety and residential sprinklers within Canada’s National Building Code, mental health research and training, and volunteer firefighter recruitment and funding. The three issues with the lowest average rankings were wildland/urban fire interface, First Nations fire protection, and HUSAR funding.

While the priorities identified in the survey provide immediate actionable advocacy work, it is important to recognize that some of the issues that did not rank high on the list are issues that the CAFC must continue to address, such as First Nations fire protection and funding for HUSAR teams. In fact, a few members mentioned their ratings were based on the impact that each of these issues has for the jurisdiction of the respondent. While respondents said they might recognize the importance of the issue, if an issue did not directly affect the respondent or his or her department or jurisdiction, the respondent rated it low. This means that in order to fulfill its mission, the CAFC needs to always try to identify the national implications of the issues that affect members at the local level.

The CAFC will use the results of the survey to develop an overall advocacy strategy for 2016. The results of this survey are very valuable because they will guide, in the short term, the choice of issues that the CAFC brings forward during government-awareness week in March. In the medium term, the results will allow the CAFC to develop advocacy products that members identified as important to their government-relations work. Finally, in the long tern, the results will support a review of existing CAFC structures, for example, committees and working groups, to ensure they are aligned with the issue priorities.

The full survey report is available at

Erika Adams, PhD, is the CAFC’s director of policy and research.

Établir les priorités pour l’année 2016
Par Erika Adams

Les activités de plaidoyer sont l’un des piliers de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) et un domaine de concentration très important pour les membres.

Compte tenu la portée au pouvoir d’un nouveau gouvernement, il nous faudra, l’année prochaine, axer notre approche envers les relations gouvernementales sur la sensibilisation et les principales aires de préoccupation de l’ACCP. Nous devrons aussi tirer parti des promesses électorales faites par les libéraux et des lettres de mandat des ministres.

Pour répondre aux exigences du succès que nous apportent nos relations gouvernementales et pour être sensible au nouvel environnement politique, l’ACCP concède le bien-fondé d’élaborer une solide stratégie annuelle en matière de plaidoyer. Ainsi, nous pourrions utiliser nos ressources de manière plus efficace lorsqu’il s’agit de communiquer et d’influencer les opinions et les décisions des principales parties prenantes pour faire progresser les priorités politiques.

La stratégie comprendrait un calendrier officiel annuel des activités tactiques telles que la Semaine de relations gouvernementales et les demandes d’ordre budgétaire ainsi qu’un aperçu des types de produits que l’ACCP peut offrir et des activités de plaidoyer dans lesquelles elle peut s’engager.

Prenant en considération les membres de l’ACCP et la nature multi-niveau des questions ayant trait aux services d’incendie, l’ACCP cherchera à participer à trois types d’efforts de plaidoyer, à savoir :
  1. Le plaidoyer fédéral – être le porte-parole des pompiers du Canada au niveau national, élaborer des positions fondées sur des preuves et s’engager dans des relations gouvernementales directes.
  2. Le plaidoyer provincial/local – faire fonction de coordonnateur de questions nationales et de promoteur de consensus, soutenir la recherche à la demande des membres et s’engager indirectement.
  3. La capacité de plaidoyer de l’effectif – fournir des outils de sensibilisation susceptibles d’être employés par les membres pour optimiser leur propres relations gouvernementales.
Comme première étape de l’élaboration de la stratégie, le Conseil d’administration de l’ACCP et le Conseil consultatif national (CCN) ont convenu d’appuyer une étude de priorisation du plaidoyer.

En novembre, nous conviions les membres de l’ACCP à compléter un bref sondage électronique sur les priorités de plaidoyer et les stratégies afférentes. Les questions prenaient en considération l’intérêt national de la mission de l’ACCP, ses domaines de travail et l’acceptation que les membres doivent relever des défis différents en fonction de la taille, du genre et du lieu de leur service d’incendie. Quatre-vingt-onze membres ont répondu au sondage. En outre, dans le même laps de temps, neuf entrevues téléphoniques ont eu lieu avec les membres du CCN et du Conseil d’administration.

Nous avons invité l’effectif à identifier trois enjeux sur lesquels l’ACCP devrait se concentrer en 2016. Nous avons classé en 19 catégories un large éventail de questions identifiées par les répondants. Les dix premières (par ordre de pertinence) étaient les subventions et le financement, les codes du bâtiment, la formation, les volontaires, la préparation aux situations d’urgence, l’ELSARMU, la base de données nationales sur les incendies, l’imposition, la santé mentale et un conseiller national en matière d’incendies.

Les participants ont répondu précisément et ont donné un aperçu des divers aspects de chaque question. Leurs réponses mettent en évidence la complexité des efforts de relations gouvernementales. Les besoins en plaidoyer des services d’incendie sont nombreux. Mais, le temps et les ressources nous manquent pour tout traiter.

Nous avons ensuite invité les membres à indiquer l’importance que chacun des enjeux de plaidoyer revêt pour leur organisation.

Depuis de nombreuses années, l’ACCP se penche sur des enjeux essentiels pour les services d’incendie. En tenant compte des efforts de plaidoyer précédents et émergents, le sondage contenait une liste de dix questions. On y demandait d’évaluer le niveau d’importance pour leur organisation en utilisant une échelle de cinq points.

La sécurité des pompiers, l’inclusion des gicleurs résidentiels au Code national du bâtiment du Canada ainsi que la recherche et la formation en santé mentale sont les trois enjeux ayant obtenu les notes les plus élevées. Le financement d’ELSARMU, le plan d’intervention stratégique contre les feux en zone périurbaine et les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations sont les trois questions ayant obtenu les notes les moins élevées.

Pour affiner les données, les membres ont été invités à classer les dix questions de plaidoyer par ordre de priorité.  

La sécurité des pompiers, l’inclusion des gicleurs résidentiels au Code national du bâtiment du Canada, la recherche et la formation en santé mentale ainsi que le recrutement et le financement des pompiers volontaires sont les trois enjeux ayant obtenu les notes les plus élevées. Le plan d’intervention stratégique contre les feux en zone périurbaine, les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations et le financement d’ELSARMU sont les trois questions ayant obtenu les notes les moins élevées.

Même si les priorités identifiées par le sondage font ressortir des activités de plaidoyer immédiates, il faut reconnaître que l’ACCP doit quand même aborder certaines des questions qui ne figurent pas en haut de liste, comme les services de protection contre les incendies pour les Premières nations et le financement des équipes d’ELSARMU. En fait, quelques membres ont mentionné que leurs évaluations se fondaient sur l‘impact que chacune de ces questions avait sur la compétence de l’intimé. Bien que les répondants aient déclaré bien comprendre l’importance de la question, si celle-ci ne les concernait pas directement ni eux, ni leur département, ni leur juridiction, il s’ensuivait une faible cote. Autrement dit, pour s’acquitter de sa mission, l’ACCP doit continuer de cerner les implications nationales des enjeux qui touchent les membres au niveau local.

Forte des résultats du sondage, l’ACCP élaborera une stratégie d’ensemble pour l’année 2016. Ces dits résultats sont très précieux car ils guideront à court terme le choix des enjeux que l’ACCP soulèvera au cours de la Semaine des relations gouvernementales en mars. À moyen terme, ils permettront à l’ACCP de développer des produits de plaidoyer que les membres ont identifié comme étant importants pour leurs relations gouvernementales. Enfin, par exemple, à long terme, les résultats étayeront un examen des structures de l’ACCP, des comités et des groupes de travail pour les aligner aux questions prioritaires.

Pour vous procurer le rapport intégral, veuillez consulter

Erika Adams, PhD, directrice des politiques et de la recherche de l’ACCP.

Written by Rob Evans
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he’s optimistic that benefits for firefighters promised by the Liberals during the 2015 election campaign will be in the government’s first budget, and that restored funding for heavy urban search and rescue teams will follow once consultation is complete.

Goodale wouldn’t commit to a timeline for HUSAR funding but he said in a phone interview that he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are focused on supporting the all-hazard teams.

“As members of Parliament in the opposition, we’ve been working on this for quite a while,” Goodale said.

“It’s obviously now important that we’re in government to do the consultation with other partners. It’s an important service, responding to everything from ice storms to floods to wildfires to building collapses – any other kind of disaster situation that you can imagine.”

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) has been advocating for restored funding for the country’s four remaining HUSAR teams – in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario – since the Conservatives announced in 2012 that the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program was to be eliminated.

During the CAFC’s government-relations week in February 2015, the then third-party Liberals made it clear to fire chiefs that a Liberal government would reinstate HUSAR funding, a position reinforced by Trudeau in April 2015.

“A future Liberal government would immediately reinstate federal funding to Canada’s four heavy urban search and rescue teams,” Trudeau said at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Canadian legislative conference last spring.

During the campaign for the October election, Liberal Party of Canada president Anna Gainey also maintained support of the all-hazard teams.

“Liberals know that being able to respond swiftly and effectively to whatever emergencies arise is in our national interest,” she said.

CAFC president Paul Boissonneault said the association is eagerly awaiting working with the new government.

“We are delighted that the Liberal party agreed with many of our key advocacy positions,” he said.

Boissonneault said it is important, as the voice of the Canadian fire service, for the CAFC to be at the table for talks centered on the all-hazard team funding.

“Public safety is a national priority. Supporting the all-hazard team funding as a federal responsibility has been identified by the elected government, and the CAFC will ensure that it remains a key advisory stakeholder on this national issue.”

Goodale’s mandate letter from the prime minister includes a directive to enhance compensation for public-safety officers who are permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty, restore funding to provinces and territories to support HUSAR teams, and create a national action plan for post-traumatic stress.

“There was some real concern [with stakeholders] a couple of years ago when the federal government announced they were going to withdraw from that service,” Goodale said of the HUSAR funding.

As a member of the opposition, Goodale said, cutting the funding just didn’t strike him as right; public safety, he said, is a core government function.

“One of the most important functions of the government, any level of government, is to keep your people [citizens] safe.”

The minister said it is important that consultation with provincial and municipal governments, to which the Liberals committed in opposition, come to fruition now that they have formed the government. But Goodale cautions that consultation will take time.

“The consultation is at a very early stage now but the instruction from the prime minister in his mandate letter to me was very clear.”

Goodale emphasized that restoring the capacity of the HUSAR teams across Canada is important but only after thorough review with all stakeholders has been completed.

“I admire what firefighters do, day in and day out,” he said, “and I hope that the compensation benefit would be in our first budget. That is the objective. And the funding for the HUSAR, just as soon as we get the consultation finished.”

Boissonneault said he is enthusiastic about future collaboration with the government.

“The CAFC is very encouraged by the mandate letter by the prime minister and the support of Public Safety Minister Goodale on the all-hazard teams as well as other key issues – PTSD with first responders, line-of-duty compensation benefits for first responders, and emergency management consultation with all levels of government and indigenous peoples are all extremely important public safety issues.”

Rob Evans chairs the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs editorial committee and is the chief of Redwood Meadows Emergency Service in Alberta. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

M. Goodale s’engage à tenir les promesses électorales
Par Rob Evans

Le ministre de la Sécurité publique, Ralph Goodale, s’est dit optimiste que les prestations pour les pompiers promises par les libéraux lors de la campagne électorale de 2015 seront inscrites au premier budget du gouvernement et que le rétablissement du financement des équipes de recherche et de sauvetage en milieu urbain à l’aide d’équipement lourd suivra, une fois la consultation terminée.

M. Goodale n’a pas voulu établir d’échéancier en ce qui a trait au financement d’ELSARMU. Mais, lors d’une entrevue téléphonique, il a affirmé que le Premier ministre Justin Trudeau et lui se concentrent sur le soutien des équipes tous risques.

« En tant que députés de l’opposition, nous avons défendu cet enjeu », de dire M. Goodale.

« Maintenant que nous formons le gouvernement, il nous impose de consulter les autres partenaires. Répondre à tout, qu’il s’agisse de tempêtes de verglas, d’inondations, de feux de forêt, d’effondrements des bâtiments ou de toute autre catastrophe imaginable est un service considérable ».

L’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) a préconisé le rétablissement de la prise en charge des quatre équipes d’ELSARMU restantes en Colombie-Britannique, en Alberta, au Manitoba et en Ontario depuis que les conservateurs ont annoncé en 2012 l’élimination du Programme conjoint de protection civile.

Pendant la Semaine des relations gouvernementale de l’ACCP qui se tenait en février 2015, les libéraux, troisième parti à l’époque, avaient clairement signalé aux chefs de pompiers qu’un gouvernent libéral rétablirait le financement d’ELSARMU, une position qu’avait réitéré M. Trudeau en avril 2015.

« Un futur gouvernement libéral rétablirait immédiatement la prise en charge fédérale des quatre équipes de recherche et de sauvetage en milieu urbain à l’aide d’équipement lourd », avait déclaré M. Trudeau lors de la Conférence législative de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers, au printemps dernier.

Pendant la campagne électorale d’octobre, la présidente du Parti libéral du Canada, Anna Gainey, a également réaffirmé le soutien des équipes tous risques.

« Les libéraux sont conscients que la capacité de répondre rapidement et efficacement à toute situation d’urgence est dans notre intérêt national » a-t-elle dit.

Le président de l’ACCP, Paul Boissonneault, a fait savoir que l’Association est impatiente de collaborer avec le nouveau gouvernement.

« Nous sommes ravis que le Parti libéral convienne de plusieurs de nos principales positions » a-t-il dit.

M. Boissonneault a ajouté qu’à titre de porte-parole des pompiers du Canada, il est primordial que l’ACCP participe aux discussions axées sur le financement de l’équipe tous risques.

« La sécurité publique est une priorité nationale. Soutenir la prise en charge de l’équipe tous risques au titre de responsabilité fédérale a été identifié par le gouvernement élu. L’ACCP veillera à demeurer un des principaux intervenants consultatifs sur cet enjeu national ».

La lettre de mandat que le Premier ministre a remis à M. Goodale comprend une directive visant à optimiser les prestations des agents de la sécurité publique qui sont handicapés de façon permanente ou tués dans l’exercice de leur fonction, rétablir le financement aux provinces et aux territoires pour soutenir les équipes d’ELSARMU et mettre au point un plan d’action national portant sur le stress post-traumatique.

« Il y a quelques années (les parties prenantes) se sont beaucoup inquiétées lorsque le gouvernement fédéral avait annoncé qu’il se retirerait de ce service » a dit M. Goodale en parlant du financement d’ELSARMU.

En tant que député de l’opposition, M. Goodale avait déclaré que de couper dans les budgets ne lui semblait pas être la chose à faire. La sécurité publique, avait-il dit, est une fonction fondamentale du gouvernement.

« Assurer la sécurité de notre peuple (des citoyens) est l’une des fonctions les plus importantes du gouvernement, de tout palier de gouvernement ».

Le ministre a déclaré qu’il est de bon ton que la consultation avec les gouvernements provinciaux et municipaux, envers laquelle les libéraux se sont engagés lorsqu’ils étaient dans l’opposition, se concrétise maintenant qu’ils forment le gouvernement. Mais, il met en garde que la consultation prendra du temps.

« Le délibéré en est à ses tout débuts. Toutefois, les directives que le Premier ministre m’a donné dans sa lettre de mandat sont on ne peut plus claires ».

M. Goodale a souligné qu’il est important de rétablir la capacité des équipes d’ELSARMU partout au Canada, mais seulement au lendemain d’un examen avec toutes les parties prenantes.

« J’admire ce que font les pompiers jour après jour et j’espère que les prestations consécutives seront inscrites à notre premier budget. Tel est l’objectif. Sans oublier le financement d’ELSARMU, dès que la consultation sera terminée » a-t-il dit.

M. Boissonneault s’est dit enthousiaste quant à la collaboration future avec le gouvernement.

« L’ACCP est très encouragée par la lettre de mandat du Premier ministre et par l’appui du ministre de la Sécurité publique, Ralph Goodale, en ce qui concerne les équipes tous risques ainsi que d’autres questions clés. Le SSPT chez les premiers répondants, les prestations consécutives aux blessures et aux décès dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions pour les premiers répondants ainsi que la consultation sur la gestion des situations d’urgence avec tous les paliers de gouvernement et les peuples autochtones sont toutes des questions de sécurité publique extrêmement importantes ».

Rob Evans préside le Comité de rédaction de l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers. Il est le chef des Redwood Meadows Emergency Service en Alberta. Veuillez communiquer avec lui au This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Written by Laura King
Long before departments from across Quebec responded to the Lac-Megantic train derailment, Fire Chief Daniel Brazeau had been working with the province to secure funding for training for the province's 18,000 part-time firefighters.

In December 2014, Brazeau's work – and that of many others – paid off; $19 million over five years.

Brazeau, the full-time chief of the career department in D'Autray (which includes nine departments) was honoured in September by his peers at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs conference in Victoria for his myriad achievements as a long-time fire chief and two-time president of the Association des chefs en securite due Quebec.

Brazeau and Chief Ted Bryan of the 82-member volunteer Ontanabee-South Monaghan Fire Department in Ontario were recognized for their passion and commitment to their departments, to fire fighting and, also, to training.

Bryan takes a hands-on approach: he is a certified master trainer and lead instructor with the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy in Norwood.

Brazeau has worked with municipalities in Quebec and encouraged investment in firefighter training and better regional response and coverage. Brazeau's department was the first in Quebec in which all firefighters completed 375 hours of training to receive a fire-safety diploma.

Brazeau joined the fire service in 1980 and became chief in the Town of Lanoraie in 1985. In 1996 he became chief in Lavaltrie, and in 2004 was made chief in D'Autray; there, he amalgamated nine departments in the county municipality into a regional fire service with 135 firefighters.

Brazeau sits on several provincial committees, is the emergency co-ordinator and an instructor and examiner for the National School of Quebec Firefighters.

Chief Bryan joined the fire service in 1975 and became chief in 1998.
Written by Len Garis and Karin Mark
A groundbreaking national fire-data project that is expected to be launched this fall will help fire officials make confident, evidence-based decisions about policy, resource use, and other critical matters affecting the safety of Canadian communities.

Federal funding was announced in June for a pilot national fire-information database project that will gather and unify 10 years of fire information from across the country and create Canada’s first national system for collecting fire statistics.

Co-ordinated by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners, the three-year, $850,000 project is funded by the Canadian Safety and Security Program, led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.

“Without trusted evidence-based data, first responders cannot act with confidence when making choices to improve policy, co-ordinate activity, or operate in the most impactful manner,” said Duane McKay, present of the council of fire marshals and commissioners.

CAFC president Paul Boissonneault said the database will help fire officials to better understand incident dynamics and actual and potential threats to public safety. Boissonneault said the benefits will extend to the broader public-safety community for years to come.

“This first-ever national perspective on fire data will reveal insights into the incidents, response and impacts of threats we face,” he said.

Evidence-based decision making has become increasingly important for government agencies following the economic downturn, said project researcher Paul Maxim, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.

“Fire officials are facing increasing pressure – from both the public and government decision makers – to justify their decisions and actions with hard data,” Maxim said.

“In meeting these demands, fire officials are often forced to use limited regional information. They have typically lacked comparable national data, or data linked to other relevant characteristics of the locations in which fire incidents take place.

“The lack of robust, available data also makes it difficult for them to identify and address emerging trends and issues.”

The national perspective on fire data that will be developed through the database project is expected to provide deeper insights into how, when, where and why fires take place. This information will enable fire services to strategically deploy resources and identify major trends that could lead to changes in fire policy and regulation.

At a national level, for instance, Canada-wide statistics could be used to build a business case for changing the national building code to require more sprinkler systems in residences. On a local level, a fire department could compare its own fire statistics to those of its region or province to identify gaps in service and to plan where to apply future resources. Initiatives such as these would help reduce fires, property damage, injury and death.

Many exciting possibilities for research could grow from this project, Maxim said. For example, layering fire statistics on top of other data – such as income, crime, health and demographics – could lead to a greater understanding of existing public-safety threats and how to address them.

Work on the concept began in 2011 when the CAFC launched a year-long project to explore the development of a database.

British Columbia’s University of the Fraser Valley co-ordinated the research and consultation on behalf of the CAFC. The project ultimately led to the successful grant application for the development of the database.

In the first year of the pilot, Statistics Canada will collect and standardize a decade of fire records from Canada’s provinces and territories. The database will be mapped against the variables established in the Canadian Code Structure on Fire Loss Statistics published by the fire marshals and commissioners in 2002.

The resulting database will provide the capacity to conduct evidence-based research on fire incidents across Canada with a high level of confidence and accuracy. Work on the database is expected to start this fall.

In the final two years of the pilot, the project team will test and apply the data and link it to other social databases to provide insights into risk, trends, vulnerable sectors and other factors that affect public safety.

The team will also consider how standardized data could align to the National Information Exchange Model – a standardized approach to exchanging data that is being adopted in Canada – to enable effective information-sharing and management.

The collected data will be made available to public safety and research communities through 24 regional data centres operating in academic and research facilities across Canada, along with a web-based portal.

New research is another key focus of the project. Funding will be provided to Canadian researchers and academics to look into priority topics related to public safety, security, risk management and related matters using the fire database and linked datasets. Potential topics will be collected from stakeholders at industry events, and a research funding oversight committee will be established to review submissions and oversee research projects.

The process by which the data from across the country will be aggregated, standardized and defined will mark a technical advance for Canada’s fire community; it will result not only in a new national fire dataset but also improved methods for collecting data.

The development of real-time remote access to the web-based portal by authorized users through any browser will improve access to the database and may lead to broader use and application of the data.

As well, national fire statistics have never been linked on this scale to other social datasets across Canada. The resulting information will reveal the full spectrum of public-safety and security trends, holding value not only for Canada’s fire community, but for all those working to promote public safety and security.

Progress on the project can be followed on the CAFC website,

Len Garis is the fire chief for the City of Surrey, B.C. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Karin Mark, based in Metro Vancouver, is a former award-winning newspaper reporter who writes for publications and corporate clients.

Un projet national révolutionnaire sur les données relatives aux incendies qui devrait être lancé cet automne permettra aux pompiers de prendre en toute confiance des décisions fondées sur des preuves sur les politiques, l’utilisation des ressources et autres questions critiques affectant la sécurité des collectivités canadiennes.

Le financement fédéral d’un projet pilote sur une base de données nationales sur les incendies qui permettra de recueillir et d’unifier dix ans d’information à ce sujet et de créer le premier système national de collecte de statistiques sur les incendies au Canada a été annoncé en juin.

Coordonné par l’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) et le Conseil canadien des directeurs provinciaux et des commissaires d’incendie, le projet de trois ans au coût de 850 000 $ est financé par le Programme canadien de protection et de sécurité dirigé par le Centre des sciences pour la sécurité nationale de Recherche et développement pour la défense Canada, en partenariat avec Sécurité publique Canada.

« Sans données fiables fondées sur des preuves, les premiers intervenants ne sont pas en confiance au moment de faire des choix lorsqu’il s’agit d’améliorer les politiques, de coordonner les activités ou de fonctionner de la manière la plus percutante qui soit » a déclaré Duane McKay, président du Conseil des directeurs provinciaux et des commissaires d’incendie.

Aux dires de Paul Boissonneault, président de l’ACCP, la base de données aidera les pompiers à mieux comprendre la dynamique des incidents et les menaces réelles et potentielles à la sécurité publique. Il a ajouté que les avantages s’étendront à la sûreté de l’ensemble de la communauté pour des années à venir.

« Ce premier regard national sur les données d’incendie révélera un aperçu de l’incident, de la réaction et de l’impact des menaces auxquels nous sommes confrontés » a-t-il dit.

Les décisions fondées sur des données probantes revêtent de plus en plus d’importance pour les organismes gouvernementaux au lendemain du ralentissement économique a déclaré le recherchiste du projet, Paul Maxim, professeur à l’Université Wilfrid Laurier, à Waterloo, en Ontario.

« De plus en plus, les autorités en matière de feu font face à des pressions accrues, à la fois des décideurs publics et gouvernementaux, pour justifier leurs décisions avec des donnée sûres à l’appui » a ajouté M. Maxim.

« En répondant à ses exigences, les autorités en matière de feu sont souvent contraintes d’avoir recours à une information régionale limitée. Elles manquent généralement de données nationales comparables ou jumelées à d’autres caractéristiques pertinentes sur les lieux des incendies.

« L’absence de données fiables fait qu’il leur est difficile d’identifier et de traiter les nouvelles tendances et questions ».

Un document de  recherche publié en 2011, intitulé Can We Develop National Canadian Fire Statistics for Emergency Planning?, signé par Rhéaume Chaput, chef des pompiers de Kingston (Ontario), récemment à la retraite, cite l’ancien directeur régional canadien de la NFPA, Sean Tracey : « Un des plus grands défis [pour] provoquer des changements dans l’industrie de la sécurité- incendie est l’absence de statistiques fiables à cet égard ».

Les perspectives nationales sur les données sur les incendies qui seront développées dans le cadre de la base de données provisoire devraient fournir un aperçu plus approfondi sur comment, quand, où et pourquoi les incendies se déclarent. Cette information permettra aux services d’incendie de déployer stratégiquement des ressources et d’identifier les grandes tendances qui pourraient conduire à une modification de la politique en matière d’incendies et la règlementation afférente.

Au niveau national, des statistiques pancanadiennes pourraient, par exemple, être utilisées pour former des arguments dans le but d’apporter des modifications au Code national du bâtiment afin d’exiger l’installation d’un plus grand nombre de systèmes de gicleurs résidentiels. Au niveau local, un service d’incendie pourrait comparer ses propres statistiques à celles des régions ou de la province pour identifier les lacunes et pour planifier où utiliser les ressources futures. Des initiatives de ce genre contribueraient à réduire les incendies, les dommages matériels, les blessures et les décès.

Selon M. Maxim, plusieurs possibilités de recherches passionnantes pourraient naître de ce projet. Superposer des statistiques sur les incendies à d’autres données, comme le revenu, la criminalité, la santé et la démographie, nous permettrait de mieux comprendre les menaces à la sécurité publique existantes et la façon de les aborder.

Les travaux sur le concept ont débuté en 2011 alors que l’ACCP lançait un projet d’un an pour explorer la possibilité de développer une base de données. Ceci comprenait une consultation auprès des départements des services d’incendie et des parties prenantes partout au pays, une recherche sur les systèmes de gestion de données canadiens existants publics et privés, sans oublier l’examen de modèles de pratiques exemplaires internationaux pour la collecte et la diffusion des données.

L’Université de la Colombie-Britannique de la vallée du Fraser a coordonné la recherche et la consultation au nom de l’ACCP. Le projet a finalement abouti à l’obtention d’une subvention pour développer la base de données.

Dans la première année du projet pilote, Statistique Canada recueillera et normalisera une décennie de dossiers sur les incendies provenant des provinces et des territoires du Canada. La base de données sera définie en regard des variables établies au Canadian Code Structure on Fire Loss Statistics publié par les directeurs provinciaux et les commissaires en 2002.

La base de données qui en résultera permettra d’effectuer des recherches fondées sur des preuves sur les incidents d’incendie à travers le Canada avec une grande confiance et précision. Les travaux sur la base de données devraient commencer à l’automne.

Dans les deux dernières années du projet pilote, l’équipe testera et appliquera les données et les reliera à d’autres bases de données sociales pour fournir des indications sur les risques, les tendances, les secteurs vulnérables et d’autres facteurs qui influent sur la sécurité publique.

L’équipe examinera également comment aligner les données normalisées au National Information Exchange Model, une approche normalisée pour l’échange de données qui est en cours d’adoption au Canada, pour permettre le partage efficace de l’information et de la gestion.

Les données recueillies seront mises à la disposition des communautés de la sécurité publique et de recherches par l’entremise de 24 centres de données régionaux opérant dans les établissements universitaires et de recherche partout au Canada, grâce à un portail en ligne.

La nouvelle recherche est un autre élément clé du projet. Un financement sera octroyé aux chercheurs et aux universitaires canadiens qui se pencheront sur la sécurité publique, la sûreté, la gestion des risques et les questions connexes à l’aide de la base de données sur les incendies et les ensembles de données jumelées. Des sujets potentiels seront sollicités auprès des parties prenantes lors d’événements de l’industrie. Un comité de surveillance du financement de la recherche sera mis sur pied pour revoir les demandes et superviser les projets de recherche.

Le processus selon lequel les données seront regroupées, normalisées et définies à travers le pays marquera une avancée technique pour l’industrie de la sécurité-incendie du Canada. Elle se traduira non seulement par un nouvel ensemble de données nationales sur les incendies, mais aussi par l’amélioration des méthodes de collecte de données.

L’accès en temps réel à distance sur le portail en ligne par les utilisateurs autorisés via un navigateur permettra d’améliorer l’accès à la base de données et pourrait conduire à une plus grande utilisation et application de la base de données.

En outre, des statistiques nationales sur les incendies n’ont jamais été jumelées à cette échelle à d’autres ensembles de données sociales à travers le Canada. Les informations qui en résulteront mettront à nu le spectre complet de la sécurité publique et les tendances en matière de sécurité, tenant valeur non seulement pour l’industrie de la sécurité-incendie au Canada, mais pour tous ceux qui travaillent à promouvoir la sûreté et la sécurité publique.

Pour suivre l’évolution du projet, veuillez consulter le site web de l’ACCP à

Len Garis est le chef des pompiers de la ville de Surrey, en Colombie-Britannique. Vous pouvez communiquer avec lui au  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Karin Mark, basée dans la région métropolitaine de Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique, est une ancienne journaliste primée qui écrit pour des publications et des clients corporatifs.

Written by CAFC
A program to help fire departments recruit and retain volunteers will be available across Canada in 2016.

“Basically, departments have been reinventing the wheel and creating their own recruitment systems,” said Peter Krich, president of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association.

“This program, known as Answer the Call, gives departments all the tools they need to get positive messages about recruitment to their communities and enables them to focus on the business of fire fighting.”

In 2010, Volunteer Alberta outlined the challenges associated with finding and keeping volunteers. The AFCA responded by developing the Answer the Call recruitment and awareness campaign. The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) has partnered with the Alberta association to expand the program nationally.

Essentially, Answer the Call was designed to celebrate the contributions of volunteer firefighters through stories and to inspire others to join local fire departments.

Andrew Kencis, a volunteer captain with Yellowhead County in Alberta, is one of several firefighters featured in the campaign.

“I still remember the feeling of passing through the police traffic control and being assigned to be with a senior [fire department] member helping out on an accident scene,” Kencis says in the campaign literature.

“It was that moment I realized that this was exactly what I was looking for . . . to be directly involved with helping our community and at the same time fulfilling a deep desire in my life to be active in situations where I would be tested and given different opportunities to grow in courage, resolve, determination, and strength.”

The goal of the campaign is to help departments attract more volunteers from various demographics and to bolster the ranks of volunteer firefighters.

For the most part, municipal fire departments have fended for themselves to recruit, screen and retain the best volunteers. Municipalities must seek out innovations and best practices, often through trial and error.

With the support of Answer the Call, recruiting will finally enter the digital age. Departments will be able to take advantage of online information resources, marketing materials and templates that support their activities. With time and resources already stretched, departments will be able focus more on running their departments, serving their communities and responding to fire and emergency calls, and spend less time worrying about effectively advertising their volunteer opportunities.

An Answer the Call logo featuring a firefighter with an axe will be available for all departments to use to promote volunteerism. The logo is also available as a window cling-on for local businesses that support volunteer firefighters.

The Answer the Call campaign will greatly enhance Canadians’ awareness about openings for volunteer fire fighting, Krich says.

The provincial campaigns are intended to reach people who may not have considered volunteer fire fighting, such as those who don’t realize such opportunities exist or those who assume volunteer fire fighting is limited to a certain demographic.

“Alberta recognizes the substantial number of volunteers in the province and the importance of maintaining the strength of our responder base,” said Krich, who is the fire chief in Camrose. “The high percentage of volunteers in Alberta is mirrored across the country.

“This collaboration with CAFC,” he said, “helps us build on our original vision of supporting and recruiting volunteers – extending beyond the Alberta border to help promote safety and protect people in communities right across the country.”

The Answer the Call campaign evolved from the recommendations in the 2010 report by Volunteer Alberta. A shortage of volunteers had forced some departments to suspend their readiness for emergencies during daytime hours, and others to shut down altogether.

The lack of volunteers also forced fire services in Alberta to take a hard look at themselves. The AFCA’s 2010 report on recruitment and retention states that, “The issue of recruiting and retaining firefighters is a worldwide issue that we in the Alberta fire service were naive enough to believe wasn’t affecting us.”

Ignoring the issues was no longer an option.

“During our 2008 annual conference,” the report states, “our membership debated a resolution on recruitment and retention and it became evident we did have issues. It was time to stop hiding our heads in the sand and look at who and what we are when it comes to recruiting new members and keeping the old.”

When the national campaign launches in late 2016, volunteer departments across Canada will see the benefits of Alberta’s farsighted initiative.

“Increasing the reach of this campaign will help us connect with Canadians from coast to coast to coast who may be looking to answer the call to serve as volunteer firefighters within their communities,” said CAFC president Paul Boissonneault.

“Fire departments across the country will benefit by being able to access tools to help develop their own hub for recruiting and celebrating volunteer firefighters.”

The campaign will also partner with corporations and interested community stakeholders to generate awareness of volunteer opportunities and celebrate the contributions these dedicated individuals make to their communities.

> Camrose Fire Chief Peter Krich outlines Alberta’s Answer the Call recruitment and retention program to BC chiefs in Victoria last June. The CAFC has embraced the program and is rolling it out nationally in 2016.

Un programme visant à aider les services d’incendie à recruter et à retenir des volontaires sera disponible partout au Canada en 2016.

« Fondamentalement, les départements réinventent la roue et créent leur propre système de recrutement » a déclaré Peter Krich, président de l’Alberta Fire Chiefs Association.

« Ce programme, connu sous le nom d’Answer the Call, procure aux départements tous les outils dont ils ont besoin pour susciter une réaction positive dans leurs communautés. Ils peuvent ainsi se concentrer sur la lutte contre les incendies ».

En 2010, Volunteer Alberta soulignait les défis associés au recrutement et au maintien des volontaires. L’AFCA a réagi en développant la campagne de recrutement et de sensibilisation Answer the Call. L’Association canadienne des chefs de pompiers (ACCP) a établi un partenariat avec l’Association de l’Alberta pour offrir le programme à l’échelle nationale.

Essentiellement, Answer the Call a été conçu pour célébrer la contribution des pompiers volontaires par l’entremise d’anecdotes et pour en inspirer d’autres à se joindre aux services d’incendie locaux.

Andrew Kencis, capitaine volontaire dans le comté de Yellowhead (Alberta), est l’un de plusieurs pompiers sous les feux des projecteurs.

« Je me souviens encore de mes émotions au moment de passer le poste de contrôle de la circulation de la police alors que j’étais affecté à un membre chevronné [des services d’incendie] prêtant main forte sur les lieux d’un accident » de raconter M. Kencis dans la brochure de la campagne.

« C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai réalisé que c’était exactement cela que je cherchais, à savoir aider notre communauté tout en réalisant un de mes désirs profonds de me retrouver dans des situations dans lesquelles je serais mis à l’épreuve et qui me donneraient l’occasion de croître en courage, en détermination et en force ».

L’objectif de la campagne consiste à aider les départements à attirer davantage de volontaires de diverses couches démographiques et de renforcer les rangs des pompiers volontaires.

Pour la plupart, les services se sont débrouillés seuls pour recruter, sélectionner et retenir les meilleurs volontaires. C’est souvent par essai et par erreur que les municipalités doivent trouver innovations et pratiques exemplaires.

Avec le soutien d’Answer the Call, le recrutement entrera finalement dans l’ère du numérique. Les départements seront en mesure de tirer parti des ressources d’information en ligne, des documents de commercialisation et de modèles qui soutiennent leurs activités. Compte tenu du temps et des ressources déjà utilisées au maximum, les départements pourront mieux se concentrer sur leur gestion, servir leurs communautés et répondre aux situations d’urgence et aux incendies, et consacrer moins de temps à publiciser efficacement leurs possibilités de bénévolat.

Un logo Answer the Call mettant en vedette un pompier, la hache à la main, sera mis à la disposition de tous les départements pour promouvoir le bénévolat. Le logo est aussi disponible en autocollants pour fenêtres pour les entreprises locales qui soutiennent les pompiers volontaires.

La campagne Answer the Call permettra de grandement conscientiser les Canadiens aux ouvertures dans la lutte volontaire contre les incendies, a déclaré M. Krich.

Les campagnes provinciales visent à atteindre les personnes qui peuvent ne pas avoir considéré se porter volontaire dans la lutte contre les incendies, comme celles qui ne réalisent pas que de telles possibilités existent ou qui assument que ce genre de bénévolat se limite à une certaine démographie.

« L’Alberta reconnaît le grand nombre de volontaires dans la province et l’importance de maintenir la force de notre base de premiers répondants » a ajouté M. Krich, chef des pompiers à Camrose. « Le pourcentage du nombre de volontaires en Alberta se reflète à travers le pays ».

« Cette collaboration avec l’ACCP », a-t-il dit, « nous aide à prendre appui sur notre vision originale qui consiste à soutenir et à recruter des volontaires au-delà des frontières de l’Alberta pour promouvoir la sécurité et protéger les communautés partout au pays ».

La campagne Answer the Call a évolué au fil des recommandations contenues au rapport 2010 de Volunteer Alberta. Une pénurie de volontaires avait obligé certains départements à suspendre leurs préparations à des situations d’urgence pendant les heures diurnes tandis que d’autres devaient mettre la clé sous la porte.

L’absence de volontaires avait également contraint les services d’incendie de l’Alberta à se regarder d’un œil critique. Le rapport de l’AFCA de 2010 sur le recrutement et la rétention stipule que « la question du recrutement et de la rétention des pompiers est un problème mondial. Et nous, au sein du service d’incendie de l’Alberta, avons été assez naïfs pour penser que cela n’avait rien à voir avec nous ».

Ignorer les problèmes n’était plus une option.

Toujours selon le rapport : « Lors de notre conférence annuelle de 2008, notre effectif a débattu d’une résolution sur le recrutement et la rétention. Il a fallu se rendre à l’évidence, nous avions des problèmes. Il était temps d’arrêter de se cacher la tête dans le sable et de chercher à savoir qui et ce que nous sommes quand vient le temps de recruter de nouveaux membres et de retenir les anciens ».

Lorsque la campagne nationale sera lancée à la fin de l’année 2016, les départements volontaires partout au Canada constateront les avantages de la clairvoyance de l’Alberta.

« Élargir la portée de cette campagne nous permettra de communiquer avec les Canadiens d’un océan à l’autre qui souhaitent peut-être se porter pompier volontaire dans leurs communautés » a déclaré le président de l’ACCP, Paul Boissonneault.

« Les services d’incendie de tout le pays bénéficieront de pouvoir accéder à des outils leur permettant de développer leur propre centre névralgique pour recruter et célébrer les pompiers volontaires ».

La campagne établira aussi un partenariat avec les entreprises et les parties prenantes de la communauté intéressées à sensibiliser l’opinion aux possibilités de bénévolat et à célébrer les contributions de ces personnes dévouées à leurs communautés.

> Le chef de pompiers de Camrose, Peter Krich, explique le Programme de recrutement et de rétention « Répondre à l’appel » aux chefs de pompiers de la Colombie-Britannique, à Victoria, en juin dernier. L’ACCP a adopté le programme et le déploiera à l’échelle nationale en 2016.

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