Fire Fighting in Canada

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Ontario to merge emergency agencies

August 15, 2013, Toronto – Emergency Management Ontario and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) will merge into one organization called the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. The organization will be headed by Ted Wieclawek, who was appointed fire marshal in 2011.

August 15, 2013
By FFIC Staff

August 15, 2013, Toronto – Emergency Management Ontario and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) will merge into one organization called the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. The organization will be headed by Ted Wieclawek, who was appointed fire marshal in 2011.

The province announced the news Thursday afternoon, saying in a press release that the “integrated organization will strengthen the co-ordination and delivery of community safety programs, without impacting front-line services.”

The announcement comes as the inquiry into the collapse of the Algo
Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., begins to delve deeply into the
response by the province's emergency agencies to the incident.

The new organization will work to support municipalities in a number of ways, including the delivery of fire safety and emergency management programs and services, by advising local decision makers when necessary, and supporting response efforts when called upon in an emergency.

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In the press release, Madeleine Meilleur, minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said the merger will modernize the way that community safety programs are delivered.

“It will support public safety and provide a co-ordinated level of service to Ontarians and communities facing emergencies,” she said in the release.

In 2012, Emergency Management Ontario responded to 24 declared emergencies. The OFM regularly conducts about 600 on-scene investigations each year and consults with local fire services on an additional 550 investigations. The OFM also provides initial and ongoing training to about 5,000 students at the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst, Ont., and to another 6,700 at off-campus locations.

The new office will be located in the Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex in Toronto, which is set to open in the fall.