Industry news
Written by Kirk Hughes
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.
Written by Grant Cameron
Jeremy Inglis, deputy fire chief at the Fort Erie Fire Department in Ontario, is a man on a very specific mission.
Written by Grant Cameron
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.”

Written by Laura King
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.
Written by IAFF Firefighters
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.
Written by CBC News
Sept. 9, 2016, Montreal - Investigators are trying to determine what caused Thursday afternoon's fire at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal. About 60 firefighters were called to the hotel at around 1:30 p.m. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Written by Maria Church
March 7, 2016 - Nozzle maker Task Force Tips, Inc., (TFT) has acquired AMKUS Rescue Systems, both companies announced on their websites last week.

Indiana-based TFT manufactures nozzles, monitors, valves and foam systems. Headquartered in Illinois, AMKUS’s line of rescue products includes cutters, spreaders, push-pull rams, power units, auxiliary pumps and rope-rescue systems.

AMKUS, according to a joint news release, will maintain its identity, distribution network and field managers, however all engineering, service and manufacturing operations will eventually transition to TFT’s headquarters in Valparaiso, Ind.

“Task Force Tips' passion for developing products that save lives and protect property is a perfect fit for the continued expansion of the AMKUS Rescue System's product line,” the company stated in the release.

Learn more at and
Written by Maria Church
March 3, 2016 - In 1991, Kip Cosgrove moved to Canada to fill a market niche: to provide a national insurance option for firefighters.

Cosgrove brought the United States-based insurance company VFIS north of the border and at the 1991 International Association of Fire Chiefs conference held in Toronto, VFIS of Canada was launched.

"Because the program was so successful in the United States," Cosgrove said, "they felt that, hey, the Canadian fire service is very similar. Fighting fires is no different in Canada than in the U.S."

Now in its 25th year of business, VFIS of Canada insures more than 2,100 fire departments across the country.

VFIS of Canada pioneered several benefits that are now market standards, Cosgrove said, including cosmetic disfigurement from burns, and heart and circulatory malfunction.

Cosgrove is well known in the industry thanks to his presence at many conferences and trade shows. VFIS sponsors several associations and charities, finances educational guest speakers, and offers free educational programs to its clients.

"Today the volunteer firefighters needs to grab everything they can, and we really are giving them access to a lot of these great tools free of charge," Cosgrove said in an interview.

"If they weren't buying my program, I wouldn't be able to offer back anything, but because our program is taking off, we want to give back to the fire service."
Written by Maria Church
March 3, 2016 - The Alberta government is spending $650,000 to support fire and emergency-preparedness training for first responders in 50 municipalities and four First Nations.

The funding is part of a Fire Services Emergency Preparedness Program aimed at volunteer and mutual-aid fire departments. The program will provide $500,000 for fire training and $150,000 for emergency management training in 2016.

The grant program, according to a government news release, will help first responders develop the skills needed to respond effectively during fire and emergency events.

“Local firefighters and emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities,” Danielle Larivee, Minister of Muncipal Affairs, said in the release. “Our government is proud to invest in emergency preparedness training as just one of the ways we will continue to help these individuals who help others.”

Municipalities and First Nations that have mutual-aid agreements were given application priority, according to the release.

For more information, including a list of the recipients, go to
Written by Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
Feb. 16, 2016, Snyder, Neb. – Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. announced today that Patrick Patton has been appointed to the newly-created position of director of chassis sales with responsibility for sales management, dealer and technical support, and chassis business development for Smeal's entire selection of custom fire chassis. Chassis available through Smeal include Smeal's Sirius, Sirius II, S450 and S600 models; Spartan, HME and Seagrave models.

Patton has more than 20 years of experience in the fire and emergency response industry. He worked for Spartan Motor Corporation since 2007 as a regional sales manager with responsibility for business development, dealer and OEM relationship management, and sales process management for a 22-state territory. Prior to joining Spartan, Patton was in direct sales and sales management roles with two fire-apparatus dealerships.

"Pat Patton comes to us with a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge in custom fire chassis, and customer, dealer, and OEM relationship management," said Jeff Wegner, Smeal's senior vice president of global sales. "In addition to his exceptional technical expertise, Pat truly understands the needs of our customers and dealers, and he is an ideal choice to spearhead our chassis programs in support of overall Smeal, LTC and UST fire apparatus sales."

"I couldn't be happier to become part of the Smeal team," Patton said. "Smeal is a company that's on the move. I've seen first-hand their development over the past few years, and it's a very exciting time to be a part of their growth. I'm looking forward to working with Smeal dealers, customers and team members to elevate the information and support we provide for the fire chassis integrated with our outstanding apparatus."

Patton took over his new role yesterday, and reports to Michael Bowman, Smeal's vice president of sales.
Written by City of Surrey, University of the Fraser Valley
Feb. 2, 2016, Surrey, B.C. - The City of Surrey, B.C., in partnerships with the University of the Fraser Valley, has published a third book in a series about evidence-based decision making for public-service professionals.

The Right Decision: Evidence-based Decision Making for Government manual and companion workbook are the third installments in the Right Decision series. The book brings evidence-based decision making down to the basics, providing government professionals with an effective tool to help them validate a particular approach or choice.

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, co-authored the manual and workbook with Paul Maxim, professor in the department of economics and Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, Darryl Plecas, professor emeritus and former head of the UFV's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Mona Davies, a legal analyst with a background in the public and private sector.

"These publications have great potential to help all levels of government serve the public better through effective decision making based on critical thinking," said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. "This project speaks directly to Surrey's culture of innovation, excellence and in helping to advance the public service in general."

Participants in the City of Surrey's Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) contributed to the development of both the manual and workbook. ELP participants provided feedback and helped developed content and case studies for the workbook.

"Every day, government professionals make decisions that determine if the public is getting the best value for its tax dollars," said Surrey city manager Vincent Lalonde. "Effective decision making is the key to ensuring that we are doing the right things, in the right ways."

Dr. Adrienne Chan, associate vice-president of research, engagement and graduate studies at UFV, said the university is pleased to work with the city and proud of its faculty members' work to help benefit public administration.

"The expertise inherent in this publication will help leaders make decisions that are practical and benefit their organizations and the public sector," Chan said.

All of the Right Decision manuals and companion workbooks may be downloaded for free from
Written by Maria Church
Nov. 27, 2015 – Fort Garry Fire Trucks has announced new regional sales managers in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.

Adam Baldwin, the fire chief for Kinkora and Area Volunteer Fire Department in P.E.I., is the new regional manager for Atlantic Canada. Baldwin has 19 years of experience in fire.

Al Anderson has been hired to manage the British Columbia sales portfolio. Anderson has 30 years of fire-trucks sales and service experience in the province.

Fort Garry also hired a new contract administrator, Taylor Young, who will operate out of the company’s headquarters in Winnipeg.

National sales manager Brian Nash said the company is looking to the United States for new dealers.

“We’re always expanding with agents in different parts of the world and looking for U.S. dealers right now to take advantage of the exchange rate,” Nash said.
Written by Maria Church
Nov. 20, 2015 – Quebec fire-truck manufacturer MAXIMETAL has partnered with Pierce Manufacturing Inc. to produce new pumpers and tankers beginning in the new year.

Based in Saint-Georges de Beauce, Que., MAXIMETAL Inc. designs and manufactures trucks under the MAXI Fire Truck brand. Under the new partnership, MAXIMETAL will use the Pierce Saber custom chassis to design and build a family of apparatuses for the Canadian Market.

Beginning next year, MAXIMETAL will offer pumper and tanker configurations – with new configurations to be added in the future – and will market the new trucks across Canada through the Pierce dealer network.

"The people at Pierce were looking for a Canadian partner to build fire trucks for them, and we wanted to expand our sales and distribution efforts across the country," Danny Dufour, president of MAXIMETAL, said in a news release. "It's a great fit and a win-win for both organizations."

Dufour called the Saber chassis, which features raised roofs, low, offset stair steps, and wrap-around windshields, well adapted to their market.
Written by Maria Church
March 5, 2015 – The retiring owner of Elkhart Brass, an Indiana-based manufacturer of firefighting equipment, says it’s business as usual for the company despite the announcement of a sale in ownership.

Hans Ashbaugh, CEO and owner of Elkhart Brass, said in a news release Wednesday announcing the acquisition of his company by Missouri-based Safe Fleet that little will change in terms of management and operation.

“Although I’m retiring in conjunction with the change of ownership to Safe Fleet,” he said, “the remainder of the Elkhart management and organization will continue to run Elkhart Brass.

“For our valued employees, customers and suppliers, it is business as usual.”

Brian Evans, a marketing representative for Elkhart Brass in Canada, says he does not expect the new ownership to affect him or his customers.

“I don’t sense any urgency at all from the people at the factory,” Brian said, “they’re saying no changes are needed.”

Elkhart Brass, which has been in operation for more than a century, manufactures thousands of firefighting products. Its innovations includes the first peripheral jet fog nozzle, the first pressure regulating nozzle, and the first wireless monitor.

In Canada, Elkhart Brass is distributed by Profire Emergency Equipment in Abbotsford, B.C., ABC Fire & Safety Equipment Ltd., in Winnipeg, Darch Fire Inc. in Ayr, Ont., Mic Mac/Safety Source in Fredericton and Dartmouth, N.S., Larsenal in Dummondville, Que., and Areo-Feu in Longueuil, Que.

According to John Knox, president and CEO of Safe Fleet, the acquisition of Elkhart Brass, combined with Safe Fleet’s ownership of FRC and Foam Pro, will allow the company to develop integrated firefighting products, and have one of the largest direct sales forces dedicated to the firefighting industry in North America.
Written by Maria Church
Feb. 24, 2015 - Good news for small, volunteer fire departments in need of new turnout gear: applications are now open for the 2015 Globe gear giveaway contest.

Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again this year to give away turnout gear to fire departments in Canada and the United States that serve populations of 25,000 or less, and are either all or more than 50 per cent volunteer.

This year, 13 departments will be chosen to receive four sets of Globe’s CLASSIX turnout gear for their members.

The giveaway contest, which launched in 2012 to mark Globe’s 125th anniversary, has provided 247 sets of turnout gear to 43 departments.

While eligibility includes the criteria that applicants are members of the NVFC, Globe is providing the first 200 non-members who apply with free department memberships.

The deadline to apply is June 1. Learn more at
Written by Maria Church
Feb. 20, 2015 - Canadian fire truck manufacturer Eastway911 Emergency Vehicles has a new head of company.

Carleton Place, Ont.-based Eastway911 revealed on Feb. 18 that Andrew Armstrong has replaced Neil Greene as president of the company.

The announcement comes two months after Gibraltar Foundation, an international private-equity group, invested an undisclosed amount in Eastway911. The small, Canadian manufacturing company was self-funded until that point.

Armstrong said in an email Sunday that Gibraltar has now acquired Eastway911, making it a separate, stand-alone company with its own management and board of directors.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Eastway911 than Andrew Armstrong,” Michael Cappy, managing director of Gibraltar Foundation, said in a news release.

Armstrong, whose background is in building brands and business, spent much of his career in product marketing and business management roles for various industries, including 911 dispatching. Prior to joining Eastway911, Armstrong ran his own consulting firm.

Under the new leadership, Cappy said in the release, Eastway911 will “take advantage of opportunities for growth through strengthened product development, the application of new technologies and through additional acquisitions both in Canada and the United States.”
Written by Maria Church
Feb. 9, 2015 - Avon Protection, the maker of the Deltair SCBA, has received an International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) for working with firefighters to develop the Deltair.

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) selected Avon – a United Kingdom- and United States-based company – as the 2014 gold winner in the research category of IDEA for its Deltair SCBA.

Avon was chosen, according to the IDSA website, because of its consultations with veteran firefighters across the United States. Working directly with firefighters, the website states, enabled the company to balance firefighter preferences with current industry standards in its design process.

The Deltair SCBA, according to Avon’s news release, is designed with a completely new platform that includes a single power supply, clearer communications, and an ergonomic design to evenly distribute weight and alleviate pressure on firefighters’ backs and shoulders. The new design also includes a low-profile mask for a greater field of vision.

Avon’s fire-service products are distributed in Canada by Canadian Safety Equipment Inc., CSE Incdendie ET Securite, K&D Pratt Group Inc., Northwest Safework Solutions, and Trans-Care.
Written by Maria Church
Dec. 23, 2014 – A Canadian fire truck manufacturer says it wants to create more jobs following the announcement of a private-equity group investment.

Carleton Place, Ont.-based Eastway911 Emergency Vehicles announced last week that Gibraltar Foundation, an international private-equity group, has invested an undisclosed amount in its company.

“We are looking to hire several key people to lead our manufacturing as well as our sales organization and in general management,” Neil Greene, president of Eastway911, said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Greene was introduced to Gibraltar Foundation through the Young Presidents’ Organization, a global network of young chief executives. Eastway911, which was self-funded up until that point, was looking for outside capital and took on an equity partner in lieu of a traditional bank loan, Greene said.

The investment in Eastway911 represents Gibraltar Foundation’s “initial entry into the fire and emergency vehicle industry,” Michael Cappy, managing director for Gibraltar, said in a press release.

While private-equity investment is unusual in small- and medium-sized businesses, Greene said the foundation saw high-growth potential in his company.

“They liked the product, they liked people, and they liked the industry,” he said.
Written by Maria Church
Nov. 25, 2014 - The wait is over for Canadian fire departments looking to buy the new G1 SCBA from MSA Safety Inc., following the company’s announcement Friday that the design complies with NFPA standards.

The Pittsburgh-based company unveiled its new SCBA design in April at FDIC in Indianapolis. The G1, the company says in its press release, is “the most technologically advanced, streamlined, balanced and customizable SCBA” it has ever produced.

After five years of development, MSA has approval to manufacture and sell the G1, after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Safety Equipment Institute confirmed the design is compliant to the 2013 edition of the NFPA’s 1981 and 1982 performance standards.

The G1’s platform includes central power from a single battery, smoke-piercing buddy lights, and improved voice amplification. While equipped with technology for Bluetooth, radio frequency (RFID) and near-field communication, the new design has removed any electronic components from the face piece.

William Lambert, MSA president and CEO, says in the release, the company based the G1’s design on feedback from firefighters and customers around the world. The mission, he says, was to develop the “most advanced, intelligent and user-friendly breathing apparatus the fire service has ever seen.”

In Canada, MSA is distributed by Rocky Mountain Phoenix, Safety West, Areo-Fire Ltd., Cumings Fire & Safety, A. J. Stone Company Ltd., Protection Incendie CFS Ltée, ABC Fire & Safety Equipment Ltd., and T & K Fire Equipment.

MSA will begin initial shipments of the G1 immediately and plans to ramp up its Pennsylvania-based production in 2015 to meet a “backlog of business.” Visit for more information.
Written by Maria Church
Nov. 25, 2014 - Scott Safety says it is now one of the largest global suppliers of thermal imaging cameras (TIC) following the company’s announcement Monday that it acquired ISG/Infrasys, a major developer of TIC technology.

Scott Safety, a Tyco International company based in North Carolina, says it now offers the broadest range of imagers on the market after the deal closed on Nov. 20. The acquisition, Scott Safety’s marketing director Jeff Emery said in a joint news release with ISG/Ingrasys, will accelerate new-product development, and expand both companies’ geographic presence, product offerings and service capabilities across North America.

Georgia-based ISG/Infrasys has produced thermal imagers for the fire service for more than two decades. “We look forward to working hand-in-hand to bring innovative new technologies that enhance firefighter safety,” ISG/Infrasys’s CEO David Little said in the release.

Scott Safety distributes and services thermal imaging cameras in western Canada though WFR Wholesale Fire & Rescue in Calgary, in Central Canada through M&L Supply in Ingleside, Ont., and L'Arsenal - Equipements Incendie CMP Mayer in Drummondville, Que., and in eastern Canada through MicMac Fire & Safety Source Ltd. in Fredericton and Dartmouth, N.S., and Levitt Safety Ltd. in Moncton.
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