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Ottawa contributes $1 million to extend hazmat training

April 2, 2014, Toronto – Ottawa has extended funding for a program that provides free hazmat and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) response training for Canadian firefighters.

April 2, 2014
By Olivia D'Orazio

April 2, 2014, Toronto – Ottawa has extended funding for a program that provides free hazmat and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) response training for Canadian firefighters.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) said in a press release last week that the two-year extension to its Canadian hazmat/CBRN training initiative will help it expand the program into Quebec and other areas of the country that have not yet taken advantage of it.

The $1 million contribution from Public Safety Canada – $500,000 each year – ensures the program will run to the end of March 2016.

“Today is a great day for first responder and public safety in Canada,” said IAFF president Herald Schaitberger. “This funding extension is a testament to the quality of our program and our instructors, and the role of the IAFF as a leader in public safety. Hundreds more first responders will be able to protect Canada’s citizens and its infrastructure thanks to our continuing partnership with the Government of Canada.”

In 2007, Ottawa agreed to contribute $2.5 million over five years to implement the training program. Since 2009, the IAFF has trained almost 2,000 firefighters and other first responders in more than 200 communities – including departments in Dieppe, N.B., Blyth, Ont., Yellowhead County, Alta., and Mission, B.C., as well as Parks Canada and the Ottawa Airport, among many others.

The program, which is delivered on-site to municipalities that request the training, achieved Pro Board accreditation in 2013.

The IAFF says the initiative was introduced after its research revealed that 75 per cent of locals believed their departments were not adequately trained or equipped to respond to a CBRN incident. Many locals indicated that they were unprepared to respond to even basic hazmat emergencies.

“The testimonials we receive from students and emergency response authorities alike are overwhelmingly positive,” said Scott Marks, IAFF assistant to the general president for Canadian operations. “There is no question this program is filling a gap in Canada’s overall emergency preparedness, one municipality at a time.”

For more information on the program, including how to participate, visit www.iaff.org/et/HW/index.htm.


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