Since January 2017, Ontario’s Fire Fighters – represented by President Rob Hyndman and Executive Vice-President Mark Train, along with Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association President Frank Ramagnano and Vice-President Kevin McCarthy – have been participating at the Fire Safety Technical Table created by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office.
The Table included representatives from associations representing municipalities, fire chiefs, volunteer fire fighters, professional fire fighters. Small, rural, northern, large, suburban, professional, composite, and volunteer were all represented at the table.
The Table met to consider the development of three new regulations concerning:
- Certification of firefighters;
- Community risk assessments to inform the delivery of fire protection services; and,
- Public reporting on fire department response times.
Today, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services announced that the regulations have been filed and will come into force over the next 2 years. This is a big win for fire fighters and for communities across Ontario.
We will see all Ontario fire fighters certified to the same international standard.
We will see municipalities conducting community risk assessments to ensure they are properly allocating their resources to mitigate the risk of fires.
We will see greater transparency with the public around fire response times.
The new regulations can be found here. They are the culmination of work done by a diverse group of subject matter experts and reflects decades of experience in public safety. Ontario’s Fire Fighters were pleased to participate in the Table, offering our perspective on the need for public safety in all communities.
Public support for these initiatives was also crucial. The Minister received thousands of emails and notes from people across the province. It is this sort of grassroots advocacy that ensures our government pays attention to what the public believes is most important.