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YOUR PENSION OPTIONS VOLUME 3

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ISSUE 3 | FALL 2007

Captain John A. Chappelle 1954 - 2007

Publications Agreement No: 41203011

FIREHALL SHOWCASE: Fire Station 315


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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 3

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ISSUE 3

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FA L L 2 0 0 7

IN THIS ISSUE 28

18

48

32

46

FIRE WATCH (ISSN 1715-5134) is published quarterly by the TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION 39 Commissioners Street, Toronto, ON Canada M5A 1A6 Tel: 416.466.1167 www.torontofirefighters.org E-mail: firewatch@torontofirefighters.org FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by Xentel DM Incorporated on behalf of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association CHIEF EDITOR Scott Marks MANAGING EDITORS Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail: firewatch@torontofirefighters.org ASSISTANT EDITORS Rayanne Dubkov, Marla Friebe, Rodney Johnston, Seonaid Lennox, Neil McKinnon ASSISTANT COPY EDITORS Alyssa Petrillo & Marcel Ramagnano DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION Xentel DM Incorporated FIRE WATCH PHOTOGRAPHER Keith Hamilton CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011 PRINTED IN CANADA Copyright © 2007 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association ADVERTISING Latoya Davis, Project Manager Tel: 416.646.3128 Ext. 104 Fax: 416.646.3135 Email: latoyad@xentel.com

Merchant Card Acceptance

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise without prior written permission from the publisher. FIRE WATCH is an official communication tool of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) does not assume responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by any contributor. Comments made by individuals may not reflect the official position of the TPFFA. Acceptance and publication of articles, advertisements, 3 products and services does not indicate endorsement of same by the TPFFA, and the TPFFA assumes no responsibility for their accuracy.

5

President’s Message

9

Secretary Treasurer’s Message

11

Vice President’s Message

13

Chaplain’s Corner

14

Letters to the Editor

16

Member Profile on Ed Werenich

18

History of the IAFF

20

Firehall Showcase—Station 315

22

How Sleep Works

24

The Provincial Election

26

Electoral Reform

28

Captain John A. Chappelle

30

Tony Stacey Centre for Veteran’s Care

32

Kilimanjaro Climb for Camp Bucko

36

Collective Agreement

38

Your Pension Options

42

Your Job as a Fire Fighter

44

Laying the TFS Wreath at Vimy

46

3888 Recent Happenings

48

Local 3888 Picnic

50

2008 Shift Calendar

51

Fit to Survive

52

Upcoming Events

53

Never Shall We Forget

54

Ad Index

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Captain John A. Chappelle

Photo by Keith Hamilton Full article on page 28

1954 - 2007

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THANK YOU to the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters'

If one little boy can change the world... Imagine what you can do.

Association for helping to make the 2006 Jacob's Ladder Giving Gala our most successful event to date!

The Giving Gala is an opportunity for children to discover the power and magic of giving... Last year, kids starred in their own music videos, delivered newscasts about the power of giving, were entertained by some of the best children's entertainers around, had the opportunity to meet celebrities like Darcy Tucker, Shane Corson, Canadian Idols and Sugababee, and had fun with the Toronto Zoo, Children's Technology Workshop, The Toronto Blue Jays, Mad Science, Sony Playstation 2, the Scotiabank Money Machine, Hockey Slapshot, Bulldog Interactive Fitness, Spin Master Zone, Barbie's Dress-Up Tea Party, balloon making, arts & crafts, clowns, carnival games and a ton of other amazing activities... Every child had a mission: to collect 2 HUGE bags full of prizes throughout the day. Upon exiting the Liberty Grand, they handed one of their bags to a Firefighter to give to a very special child in need! Jacob's Ladder is very excited and honored to have the support of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association again this year, as we plan on raising even more money and climbing even higher up that ladder towards a cure!

GIVING GALA IN SUPPORT OF

On November 4th, please join us at the Liberty Grand for the 2007 Jacob's Ladder Giving Gala -in support of Sick Kids Foundation. Give your kids the gift of a lifetime - the knowledge that they alone, have the power to make a difference! For more information on the event and how to obtain tickets, please visit www.jacobsladder.ca

J c ob'ss L adder cob Ladder THE CANADIAN FOUNDATION FOR CONTROL OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

T

he fall issue of Fire Watch always signifies the end of summer and our entry into fall. With that change of season there are always a number of events that follow.

Fall is our time for remembrance. By the time you receive this; many of our events will have been posted in the work place and already have taken place. September 9th marks the Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial in Ottawa. This event has grown and become part of the fabric of fire fighting in Canada over a very short period of time. The Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums Band is a mainstay at this event and have become well known and well regarded by the people of Ottawa for their amazing impromptu performances in various locations throughout the city during their weekend stay. The next weekend of September is the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs. This solemn ceremony is one that is totally ours. The experience of attending this event makes one proud to be a member of this profession and the IAFF. Fire fighters from throughout North America make the journey to attend this event as flag presenters, honour guards, pipes and drums bands or some simply to experience the event. Many attend to be a flag presenter in case a family does not have a fire fighter from their own Local on hand to present the flag. Many attend the rehearsals in the hot September sun only to have a presenter from the Local show up at the end and replace them. They go into the event with the knowledge that this may happen. None complain, as the sole purpose of the event is to ensure the families are treated with the utmost respect and that the sacrifice of their lost family member is properly honoured. Many fire fighters make the journey on motorcycles or trailer their bikes to

the event to take part in the ride by procession that began informally but is now part of the event. Hundreds of fire fighter’s on motorcycles thunder by the fire fighter memorial site immediately prior to the start of the ceremony. The memorial site stands in the shadow of the mountains and anyone who has attended is touched by the location and the somberness of the event. The Ontario Memorial is held on September 30th this year at the corner of Grosvenor Street and Queens Park in Toronto. The OPFFA and the Provincial Government share in putting on this event which honours fire fighters

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Scott Marks

on their ability to be open, provide us access and be understanding of our issues. You cannot expect to get your issues dealt with if the politicians do not know what they are or do not understand them. The current provincial government under Dalton McGuinty has moved decisively on our key issues in this term of government. WSIB presumptive legislation and OMERS autonomy have been

THE MEMORIAL SITE STANDS IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOUNTAINS AND ANYONE WHO HAS ATTENDED IS TOUCHED BY THE LOCATION AND THE SOMBERNESS OF THE EVENT.

throughout the province who have died in the line of duty over the past year. Our involvement has become integral but our attendance needs to improve. This memorial, held in our own backyard, should be attended by far more of our own members. The other event that the fall has become known for is elections. This year will prove to be no different as we enter a provincial election. Most Toronto Fire Fighters know very well my position on being involved in elections and FIREPAC. Maintaining a high level of political action is essential if we are to continue to have a say in the legislation that touches our lives and also create an environment for positive labour relations. Regardless of anyone’s political bent, we, as the Association, evaluate a government or politician’s support based

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important issues for fire fighters for the past fifteen years. They had received nothing but lip service from the previous governments. The McGuinty Liberals acted quickly and decisively to address these long standing fire fighter concerns. They faced tremendous opposition, not only from other political parties, but also from the Association of Municipalities (AMO) and CUPE. McGuinty did not cave to AMO as his predecessors have done. And his comments to Syd Ryan in the house will forever stay with me as one of the defining moments of a politician that has stood tall for fire fighters. It is for this reason that the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association has endorsed Dalton McGuinty as Premier for the upcoming election. While I recognize that all of you may have your individual views on FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH

5


President’s Message ... Continued from page 5

McGuinty’s government, none can deny that he has delivered on our issues. As always, we do not endorse any political party, and instead support candidates based on their willingness to address fire fighter issues. This year will be no different and in all likelihood we

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will support candidates from all three major parties. Loyalty is something fire fighters understand and we must stand for those that have stood with us. The fall brings again an opportunity to remember those that continue to stand tall with us and

those that have fallen protecting the communities we serve.

Scott Marks President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.F.F. Local 3888

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2006 TPFFA Media Awards ������������������������������ �����������������������������

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Due to popular demand, we will be offering a subscription service to all those who do not currently receive a copy of Toronto Fire Watch or would like more than one copy of each issue.

Spotlight on the Mechanical Division

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The total cost of the subscription will be $20.00 per year to cover shipping and handling. You will receive, to the address specified on the card below, 4 issues of Toronto Fire Watch (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter).

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Captain John A. Chappelle 1954 - 2007

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SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE

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n June 14th, I attended the OMERS Administration Committee and senior management annual stake holders meeting in Toronto. Its purpose was to communicate the 2006 Plan’s performance to OMERS stake holders; employers, members and retirees, and to outline future priorities and to provide attendees with a chance to ask questions and provide input.

2006 PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS

actuarial valuation with the government. The actuarial valuation is a study and valuation of the assets and liabilities of the fund. This valuation must be filed a minimum of once every three years. If it were to be filed, we would be looking at a OMERS contribution increase. It must be filed next year however and we could see an OMERS contribution increase for January 1, 2009. The decision was made to wait a year to file, as the smoothing of the losses will be less and the smoothing of the gains will be increased. Also, if the plan matches its performance of the last three years, then the contribution increase to combat the actuarial deficit would be less or not required at all. I reported last year that I thought OMERS was utilizing the correct strategy and it appears that they are, as the deficit has decreased. If the same rate of return for 2006 is achieved again in 2007 then the actuarial deficit would be wiped out.

• OMERS posted a 16.4% total fund return in 2006, exceeding the benchmark return of 13.7%; • Fair market value of net assets increased by 15.8% to total $47.6 billion; • OMERS had a net investment income of $6.5 billion; • Satisfaction rating of 91% in pension services. Despite the strong returns, the deficit still remains, due to assets still recognizing losses from 2001 and 2002. This is the result of an actuarial smoothing process that combines market fluctuations over the previous five years, as well as gains from strong returns over the past four years, and defers them in order to smooth out these variances. It is because of the above noted highlights that the OMERS Sponsors Corporation has decided not to file the

Frank Ramagnano

Below is an updated chart for 2007. It is a rough estimation, as I am not an accountant but I did my best to try and make it as accurate as possible. I used the actual salaries paid and placed them in the OMERS formula to figure out the pension. To get a true reflection of your pension, you should contact OMERS, as well as monitor your annual personalized report that is mailed to you each year.

Frank Ramagnano Secretary - Treasurer, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888

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VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE National Fire Protection Association 1710 Standard Sets Staffing Levels

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n 2001, after ten years of research and much debate, the NFPA endorsed a set of minimum standards for the staffing of fire crews. This committee brought together stakeholders from the various jurisdictions and has achieved a consensus on the staffing of fire apparatus as well as many other issues relating to fire fighter and public safety. Representatives from management, unions and other interested parties were part of a ‘Technical Committee’ to wrestle with this critical concern for fire fighters in Canada and the United States. The Chair was Alan V. Brunacini from the Phoenix Fire Department and the Secretary was Richard M. Duffy from the International Association of Fire Fighters. Jim Lee, a past president from our own Local, and the present IAFF Assistant to the General President for Canadian Operations was also included. On December 1, 2000, the International Association of Fire Chiefs also endorsed this standard. Although the document that has been agreed upon is approximately twenty pages long, and includes issues ranging from Airport Rescue to Incident Management Systems, I am concerned with present staffing levels in the Toronto Fire Services. The 1710 Standard calls for a minimum of four personnel on each apparatus. Also, the fire fighters should arrive on the scene of an emergency within four minutes of the dispatch centre receiving the call. I believe that it is time for the Toronto Fire Services to review its staffing requirements. The call numbers for emergency services are staggering, but since amalgamation, the total complement of fire fighters is down by seven personnel, while the Toronto Police have added 742 officers, and TEMS is up by 319 hires. In fact, from 1998 to 2006 fire fighting is the only City

Department which has had declining staff. From my point of view, this is not acceptable. In a recent budget request, the Fire Chief requested the hiring of five additional mechanics to keep up with the increased work load of repairing and maintaining the present fleet. Local 3888 does have some authority with regards to staffing levels. Article 49.01 (Filling of Vacancies) states that; ‘a recruit class would be initiated when vacancies in the present work force created by death, retirement, resignation or discharge reaches forty (40). Also, the parties have, in good faith, signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ which, among other things, mandates that a joint committee will be formed to study staffing levels. It goes on to state, “The parties understand and agree that the initial objective of the committee shall be to develop a clear definition and common understanding of what NFPA recommends and how the standard may apply to the TFS workplace...Staffing review with the objective of keeping all apparatus in service and improving morale.” The directive of the above letter of intent will indeed be stretched as a result of a letter from the City, dated August 10, 2007, in response to their present budget situation. It institutes a hiring freeze and notes that, “any staffing that does proceed will require the approval of either the Deputy City Manager or City Manager and will take place only in cases where staffing of the position is required to meet legislative or health

Ed Kennedy

and safety requirements or is critical to service delivery”. It goes on to advise that there will be a decrease in proactive inspections and public education programs. I would strongly argue that sufficient staffing is very much a public and fire fighter safety issue and a critical priority for the delivery of our emergency service. It is time for our Local to make sufficient staffing and adherence to the NFPA 1710 standard a priority issue. Fire fighting is a dangerous occupation and we deserve to be protected with adequate staffing in emergency situations. As well, I believe that the citizens of Toronto are entitled to the best possible protection that our union, the fire administration and city council can provide. The 1710 Standard has taken a very long time to develop but its research has demonstrated that by responding quickly and with enough personnel, property damage, injury and death are minimized. When combined with a myriad of other benefits, all parties should be working towards its implementation at the earliest possible opportunity. If done in good faith by the City and the Association, it will be a win/win situation for both; not to mention the benefit to the community at large.

Ed Kennedy Vice-President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 11


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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER BY TODD RILEY, WEST COMMAND CHAPLAIN

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fter several years of lobbying, my wonderful wife gave me the green light to build a shed in the backyard.

On what turned out to be the hottest days of the summer, I cut down several trees and dug out their stumps. The immediate benefit was that I had temporarily lost several pounds. Since then, I have made numerous trips to Home Depot to buy supplies. As of August 21st, I now have, what I consider to be a beautiful shed. Yes, I still have a long way to go—the siding needs to be attached, the door and windows need to be installed and half a roof remains to be shingled. However, the exciting news is that with a few more dollars and hours, I’ll be done. I love building things. In particular, I like to build things out of wood. The reason has to do with the fact that at the end of every session, I can see concrete, measurable results. Your work in the TFS involves concrete, measurable results. When a fire is extinguished, that’s a measurable action; when an accident victim is extracted from a vehicle, that’s concrete; when someone in the Mechanical Division fixes a vehicle, one can see, feel and touch what they’ve done. No doubt, all of these actions are gratifying to some extent. Most of us like things that are measurable. To look at something and say, “Yesterday I was at stage X and today I’m at stage Y,” this is most satisfying. While I can look at my shed every day and see beautiful changes, the same is not always so in my life. When I look at

the life of Christ, who is my ultimate mentor, I’m challenged by his call, which is found in the Bible, to be content in every situation; to think upon things that are right; to serve others; to be truthful, trustworthy, and loyal. I’m also called upon to grow in patience, kindness, goodness and forgiveness, while forsaking envy, anger, boastfulness, and pride. These are all character issues that, at times, I really struggle with in terms of making headway. Having a good character and being a mature person is an important thing. We are known by our character. By our character, we build a reputation for ourselves. Long term success in our jobs and relationships depend on it. In short, character counts. Our character can open doors or slam them shut in our faces. Ralph Waldo Emerson describes character in this way, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become deeds. Watch your deeds, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Character is everything.” The preacher D.L Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” Albert Einstein also has chimed in on the subject of character, saying, “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is the character.” As mentioned, on the character front,

Rev. Todd Riley

WEST COMMAND Rev. Todd Riley 416.236-8801 triley@sympatico.ca sometimes I feel like I’m going backward and sometimes I feel like I’m going forward. Compounding the issue is the fact that, in the short term, character development is very hard to measure. Character growth is not like a mushroom that sprouts up over night. Lasting and transforming character growth takes time, effort, steps forward, steps backward, and yes, God’s help. A good friend or mentor, to help keep you accountable and be honest with you, is helpful for developing character as well. In a few short weeks, my shed, unlike me, is going to be perfectly complete. Although my shed will be complete, it will eventually deteriorate with age, weather, and who knows, some delinquent might even burn it down. Opposed to this, a life lived focusing on character development may be slow and tedious but character lasts forever. Let’s persevere in developing character and becoming life long learners; that we might, with God’s help, make an impact that will not be affected by such things as weather, rot, or fire. Blessings.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 13


 e  Le TO THE EDITOR

A SAD DAY MADE BETTER

A HEARTFELT THANKS

President Marks, I just wanted to let you know how a small effort made a big difference to one of our members and his family. Captain Paul Richardson’s (Station 421B) father passed away on March 13th and the funeral service was held on March 19th. I contacted the union office and with Marilyn’s help she guided me to Rayanne Dubkov of the executive. After I left her a message, she promptly called me back. I was asking if we could arrange to borrow some white gloves for our crew from 421B shift so we could attend the service in dress uniform and make our appearance that much more professional. This was done as Paul’s father participated in London England during WW2 in the Firewatch Brigade. This was an important part of his dad’s life, and Paul said it would have meant a lot to him. I know Paul and his family were touched as the crew set up an ‘honour guard’ after the service. Why am I writing? We usually think of our Association when all the ‘big issues’ arise. Contracts, health and safety, etc. The effort put forth by Rayanne was over and above what I expected including arranging a floral arrangement at the funeral home for visitation (she offered—I did not ask/expect), and had a set of white gloves ready for pick up from the union hall. This ‘small’ effort put forth by our executive shows our Association really does work hard for each of our members.

Dear Captain Robinson and the crew of pump 111: On behalf of St. John’s Rehab Hospital, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you for attending our 69th annual Garden Party on June 2, 2007. Year after year, this event is a wonderful success because of the active participation of our community. We have always valued the Toronto Firefighters’ contribution to our events and your ongoing support of our efforts to serve the Willowdale community. Thank you for your valuable contribution to our Garden Party. Your commitment to St. John’s Rehab is sincerely appreciated.

Doug Harper

JOHN CHAPPELLE TRIBUTE Would you please extend a sincere thank you to Rayanne, the C & B Committee, the Executive Board, and Dave and Andrew for all their hard work in making, what for me was, an excellent day in our tribute to John Chappelle. I have been to many LODD Services but this one really affected me differently and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the special effort that goes into making these sad days also ones that we can be proud of.

Lisa Sykes, Coordinator, Strategic Communications St. Johns Rehab Hospital

On behalf of my family and many other members who attended yesterday’s picnic, a well deserved thank you and congratulations on a well run and enjoyable day for all. Many I spoke to were very pleased at the efficiency and organization of all the days events. This day serves as a fine example of what our Association provides for all our members. The hats for the kids was a great touch as many people commented on them throughout the day. Thanks for a great day!

Damien Walsh

July 18, 2007

Mr. Scott Marks ciation l Fire Fighters’ Asso Toronto Professiona St. 39 Commissioners 1A6 5A M ON Toronto, Dear Mr. Marks,

ard as field-Lion is on bo n is thrilled that Star tio re da ce un sin Fo l th ita wi sp r. It is ret Ho re Fighter Calenda The Princess Marga the 2008 Toronto Fi of ution of $25,000 in r rib so nt on co sp us m ro nu ne ge eir the plati th r fo n t Hospital. ank Starfield-Lio at Princess Margare nd Fu ch gratitude that we th ar se Re er Fighters’ Canc t support of the Fire 5 million to suppor dation raised over $6 Margaret un Fo l ita sp Ho t re cess cess Marga on programs at Prin Last year The Prin nt care and educati uld be possible tie wo pa , is ch th ar of se ne re No gh breakthrou arch hospital. se re er nc sors, volunteers ca sp ng di lea erous donors, on m nu r ou Hospital, Canada’s of t or pp tic and loyal su without the enthusias ers. rtn and community pa orter been a strong supp ciation has always so As s’ e ter th d gh Fi an u re yo sional Fi press our thanks to The Toronto Profes l. I would like to ex ur kindness and ita sp Yo . Ho t er re nc ga ca ar st M ain ag ht fig e of Princess th to mitting yourselves Conquer Cancer. firefighters for com eving our vision: To hi ac to r se clo e ov m generosity help us Sincerely,

Ernie Thorne

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AN ENJOYABLE DAY FOR ALL

Paul Alofs President & CEO


GRATEFUL FOR THE SUPPORT Early in the morning on August 4, 2007 I answered the door to two uniformed police officers who informed me that our eldest son Brent was killed in a car accident. It was surreal, unbelievable and then shocking. Brent would have turned 21 on September 12. He and two of his friends were out late on Friday night of the August long weekend. After a full Brent at Lake Kennesis this summer week at work we understand the driver fell asleep and the car left the road and hit a tree just minutes from home. Both the driver and Brent, who was in the passenger seat, succumbed to their injuries. Unfortunately the vehicle was a 1988 Oldsmobile and was not equipped with airbags. The other passenger, Brent’s friend Corey, survived and we are hopeful he will make a full recovery. Our family is devastated by the loss of our son. Brent was really coming into his own. He was an honours student at York University and was set to head off to England on September 16 on a scholarship and exchange program. Prior to the morning of August 4, my wife Jackie and I were probably at the proudest point in our lives as parents. We were finally seeing the benefits after some hectic years of running to hockey arenas, challenging report cards at school and those other issues young families have to deal with. Being our eldest, we were so proud of the example Brent was setting for his sister Stephanie, brother Brian T and all his younger cousins. We know they will all honour his legacy. I somehow always thought with my experience as a firefighter I had instilled in my children an appreciation of such risks to ensure that something like this would never happen to our family. I guess my point is it can happen to any of us and by sharing our experience, hopefully you will take the time to give your children that extra embrace and warning before they head off to do whatever it is they may be doing. These last few weeks have been a substantial test for our family. We could never have made it through this period without the support of family, friends, and colleagues. The support that Toronto firefighters provided our family was overwhelming. The many people who took time out of busy summer schedules to attend the visitation and funeral was greatly appreciated. The flowers from Brent, his girlfriend Jamie and “Stewy” at the association and the donations to the Stn.223 on fathers day this year Uxbridge Cottage Hospital meant a lot to our family. The contingent of firefighters in uniform at the funeral, on a very hot summer afternoon, made me proud to be a Toronto firefighter. As I have said to many of you in the last few weeks, there are no words that can explain our loss. I also don’t know if there are words that can adequately convey our thanks. Sincerely, Brian, Jackie, Stephanie and Brian T. The Fosters

FIRE WATCH accepts Letters to the Editor, articles, essays, and photographs from Local 3888 Members, active and retired. We will also accept fire related submissions from outside authors or photographers. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MAY BE FORWARDED TO: Letter to the Editor FIRE WATCH 39 Commissioners Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M5A 1A6 LETTERS POLICY You may email your letter to: firewatch@torontofirefighters.org FIRE WATCH welcomes letters to the editor to give you – Local 3888 members – an opportunity to express your views, concerns, ideas, or gripes. We can’t print every letter and in some instances letters will have to be edited due to space limitations.

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We do not accept attachments. Please paste your letter into the body of your email and use the subject line “Letter to the Editor.”

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ARTICLES Before sending a full article submission, we suggest that you forward an outline or suggestion for an article to the Editor. FIRE WATCH is your magazine, and as such, we will accept articles on any subject related to Local 3888 and the fire community. Subjects could include but are not limited to: health issues, history, sporting events, equipment, training issues, personal essays, etc. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS/QUERIES MAY BE FORWARDED TO: Articles FIRE WATCH 39 Commissioners Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M5A 1A6

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You may email your submission/query to firewatch@torontofirefighters.org We do not accept attachments. Forward your suggestion in the body of an email and use the subject line “Article submission or query”. PHOTOGRAPHY Please contact the Editors before forwarding your photographic work for consideration. FIRE WATCH does not offer payment for submissions.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 15


Member Profile on BY TONY MACDONALD, TORONTO FIRE CAPTAIN, STATION 445A

son who later rose to the top of the curling world; people like Bruce Monroe, John Cushing, and Rick Jones. In their first try, these guys from Ryerson made it to the Ontario Championships. Ed light-heartedly comments that his friends from Ryerson went on to make large salaries in the business world while he made less money, but had a wonderful life working on the fire department.

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ire fighters from all over the world followed the exploits of Ed “The Wrench” Werenich for almost three decades as he competed professionally at the sport of curling. When we would see Ed competing on television and beating the world’s best curlers, we were all very proud as we pointed him out to our friends and told them that he was a fire fighter too. Many of the years that Ed curled, Neil Harrison, who is also a Toronto Fire Fighter, was on his team. Fire fighters could not have been more proud of them. Ed Werenich was born in Benito, Manitoba and was raised on his parents’ farm. He started curling when he was ten and remembers curling on ponds with barn hinges frozen into ice formed in cans to make rocks. When he graduated from high school, Ed moved to Toronto and began his first job in Ontario at the American Can Company, which was close to the Toronto Airport. In Toronto, Ed enrolled at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, taking business administration. He met a few people there who had a profound affect on his life. There were people attending Ryer16

Ed became a Scarborough Fire Fighter in September of 1974. Many years went by where he did not have any summer vacation because he would work all summer for other guys and they would pay him back by working for him in the winter. Ed has 33 years on the job now and presently works at Station 212 on “D” shift. In the course of his high profile career, Ed won ten Ontario Championships, two Canadian Championships (Briers), and two World Championships. In 1983, Ed was playing against the Ed Lukowich team in the finals of the Brier, while Don Wittman and Don Duguid were the television personalities covering the game. This was one of the first times where a TV network wired an athlete with a live microphone while a game was being played. When faced with a tough shot that no one expected to be successful, Ed was overheard, over international TV, saying, “all we can do is throw it out there, and sweep the piss out of it.” The TV audience was treated

to silence as Wittman and Duguid practically swallowed their microphones. Ed has always been known by the fans as a blue collar guy and the media knew him as someone they could get a good quote from on a slow day. He learned his values and work ethic growing up on the farm, getting up early to start on the day’s chores. He also had a reputation for not always agreeing with some of the decisions made by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA). In 1990, he was playing in a tournament in Sault Saint Marie. He continually told Toronto Star reporter Tom Slater that he would have a special comment if he won. Sure enough, when they won, he gave the quote that the CCA appointed coach of the team, Warren Hansen, was fired. This started an uproar and media frenzy that took a long time to die down. The CCA later instituted a policy that players could not fire the CCA appointed coach. The team that wins the Brier represents Canada at the world champion-


Ed Werenich ships. In 1990, the worlds were in Sweden. Ed had been to Sweden before and announced to the CCA that he didn’t want to go to Sweden. When pressed for reasons, Ed said that “fifteen dollars for a beer and twenty dollars for a screwdriver” was too expensive. One of their sponsors, Labatt Breweries, stepped up to the plate and sent thirty cases of beer to the site. Ed thought that this solved the problem, but when he told team mate John Kawaja, John said that thirty was not enough; so Labatt called their plant in England to send ten more cases. Ed’s team won their second world championship that year, beating Scotland’s rink, skipped by David Smith, in the finals. Ed had a number of disagreements with the CCA over the years, but two stuck out in his mind. Ed says that the CCA would sometimes bring “umpires” onto the ice in tournaments, who were politically appointed. This allowed friends of the sport to have their way to a tournament paid. The problem would come when an umpire made a bad decision that affected the outcome of a game. Another problem was played out in the media when, in 1987, curling was being introduced in the Winter Olympics as a demonstration sport. The CCA said that Ed would be disqualified if he did not shed a few pounds. This was a very hurtful way to treat a world champion. Occasionally the guys still get together to enjoy watching videos that Neil Harrison kept from the old days. Ed and his team mates have the distinction of being the first curling team to reach one million dollars in winnings. They won a lot of “cash spiels,” and given the

choice between a car, and cash, they chose the cash. When Ed retired from competitive curling, he began to give back to the community by lending his name to, or by personally attending charity events. He vividly remembers a charity dinner in Barrie where, as he entered a hospi-

Wayne Izumi to greet him. Each guy got a professional guide and his own boat to go fishing for the day. Ed was amazed by the fact that every one of the celebrities he met, from all different sports, were down to earth, regular guys. One of Ed’s favourite moments came when he was 15 years old. He was up to

tality room, he looked up and saw NHL legend Bobby Hull. He was hoping to get a chance to say hi to “Mr. Hull” but when Bobby looked up and saw Ed, he yelled out “Hey Wrench” as he ran over to shake Ed’s hand and talk with him about his curling. At another event, Ed was about to approach Bobby Orr to ask “Mr. Orr” for an autograph. When Bobby Orr saw him, he also wanted to talk with Ed, who ended up walking away with an autographed hockey jersey. Ed went to the Ferguson Jenkins charity golf event where 16 celebrities would golf with people to raise money. The day before the event there was an optional fishing trip that Ed chose to attend. When he walked out to the hotel parking lot to go fishing, there were 16 Ranger boats sitting there with Bob and

bat for the Benito Braves baseball team, and the pitcher he faced was the very famous Satchel Paige. Satchel hung a “knuckler” and Ed hit it for a base hit. Ed stood on first base and thought he had “won the world,” after getting a hit off Satchel Paige. Ed’s wife Linda also comes from Benito, Manitoba. They met in high school and were married in 1972. She has been supportive of Ed’s work throughout their marriage. Ed spoke about how important it is to have that type of relationship. He would be away from home quite often, either at the fire department or at curling tournaments, and she was often left alone to handle their home and two boys. Without that kind of support, we would not have been able to witness the wonderful accomplishments that Ed has shown to the world. FA L L 2 0 0 7 | F I R E WATCH 17


History of the IAFF A LEGACY TO HONOUR

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he IAFF was established on Feb. 28, 1918, for the sole benefit of rank-and-file fire fighters in the United States and Canada. It was on this date that 36 fire fighter delegates attended the first IAFF Convention and adopted the IAFF Constitution and ByLaws. The objectives incorporated into that Constitution remain in its preamble to this day. At that meeting, the delegates decided to dedicate their union to the following objectives (modified only slightly over time): f To organize all fire fighters and emergency medical or rescue workers; f To secure just compensation for their services and equitable settlement of their grievances; f To promote as safe and healthy a working environment for fire fighters as is possible through modern technology; 18

f To promote the establishment of just and reasonable working conditions; f To place the members of the Association on a higher plane of skill and efficiency; f To promote harmonious relations between fire fighters and their employers; f To encourage the formation of local unions, state and provincial associations and joint councils; f To encourage the formation of sick and death benefit funds; f To promote the research and treatment of burns and other related health problems common to fire fighters; f To encourage the establishment of schools of instruction for imparting knowledge of modern and improved methods of fire fighting and prevention; and f To cultivate friendship and fellowship among its members.

[From the Preamble of the Constitution and By-Laws of the International Association of Fire Fighters AFL-CIO, CLC] Throughout the last 83 years, the members and staff of the IAFF have worked tirelessly to fulfill each of these charges. As a result of their work, the IAFF was the driving force behind nearly every advance in the fire and emergency services in the twentieth century, from the introduction of shift schedules early in the century to the enactment of the 2in/2-out safety regulation near its close. With extremely active political and legislative programs, and with recognized experts in the fields of occupational health and safety, fire-based emergency medical services and hazardous materials training, the IAFF has long occupied a special place in the North American fire service. Today, the IAFF is the primary advocate for providing fire fighters and para-


medics with the tools they need to perform their jobs. The union also provides a strong voice in the development and implementation of new training and equipment, and has worked hard to advance the proper staffing of fire and EMS departments.

Building for the Future The IAFF is actively engaged in all facets of the modern fire service and domestic preparedness. While always respecting the past, the union is focusing with single-minded purpose on preparing its members for the challenges they face today and will confront tomorrow. Nothing better exemplifies the IAFF’s efforts than the successful six-year campaign to enact a comprehensive staffing and deployment standard for professional fire departments. The entire fire service coalesced behind NFPA 1710, with the IAFF leading the way. The standard was endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (including both its career and volunteer sections), the National Association of State Fire Marshals, and numerous other fire organizations. Now the IAFF is working with its affiliates to implement this historic standard.

But that’s just the beginning of the IAFF’s current work. Since the mid-1980s, under grants from several U.S. federal agencies, the IAFF has developed the nation’s premier

hazardous materials training program for first responders. The IAFF has directly trained more than 160,000 professional and volunteer fire fighters. More than 400,000 emergency responders have received hazardous materials training from course materials developed by the IAFF. The IAFF is also seeking to prepare its members for developing a new program to train fire fighters and paramedics in responding to situations involving the use of weapons of mass destruction. Because fire fighting is still one of the most dangerous occupations in North America, with nearly one in three fire fighters injured in the line of duty each year, the IAFF remains a leading voice for fire fighter health and safety issues. The IAFF sponsors a major biennial conference on occupational health and safety in the fire service, as well as a comprehensive conference on emergency medical service issues. This year EMS conference took place in Houston, Texas. The next Redmond Symposium on Occupational Health and Hazards of the Fire Service will be in Chicago, Illinois.

The members of the IAFF are fully committed to the political process. They understand that they can only achieve so much without engaging their elected leaders and holding them accountable for the policy they make. Thanks to its total commitment to politics, the IAFF has secured, and continues to fight for, heart, lung and other disability laws at the local, state and federal levels to protect fire fighters who become ill from on-the-job hazards. The union also won enactment of federal benefits for the survivors of fire fighters killed or totally disabled in the line of duty, as well as a host of other advances that affect every citizen. IAFF members work for others off the job as well. The IAFF and its 2,700 affiliates support numerous charitable activities at the local and national levels. The union is the largest national sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, having contributed more than $150 million to MDA over the last 45 years. The IAFF also underwrites scholarships for the children of fire fighters killed in the line of duty, and the organization’s Burn Foundation gives more money for burn research than any organization outside of the federal government. It also sponsors an annual National Children’s Burn Camp in Washington, D.C. and provides funding to many of the 40 regional burn camps across North America. As the IAFF moves ahead with its ambitious agenda to build a better future for its members and the public they serve, it does so always with an eye on its proud legacy and on the brave work of those who came before. FA L L 2 0 0 7 | F I R E WATCH 19


STATION 315 BY JON LASIUK, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER

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nyone who has ever travelled along College Street in downtown Toronto has surely noticed the majestic clock tower of one of the province’s oldest in-service fire stations Located at 132 Bellevue Avenue, near both Little Italy and the heavily-congested streets of Kensington Market, Fire Station 315 serves a diverse community. Street upon street of tightly-packed Victorian homes ensure a steady stream of challenging fires, while the nearby University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital keep the fire fighters of Station 315 on their toes with the special challenges that these large facilities present.

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The original fire hall was constructed by the Toronto Fire Department in 1878. Consisting of a single apparatus bay with living quarters above, “# 8 Hose Station” was one of three stations constructed that year as the T.F.D.—only four years a professional force—struggled to provide adequate fire protection to a quickly growing city. The first apparatus assigned to # 8 Hose was a locally-built two-wheeled hose cart, pulled by a single horse. Water was supplied directly from the hydrants or from one of the department’s few steampowered engines. In what would be the first of many “firsts” for the station, # 8 Hose received one of the first fourwheeled hose wagons purchased by the T.F.D. in 1896. The bigger carriage allowed for more men to be carried on top of the relative safety of the wagon. At the same time, the amount of hose that could be carried was more than doubled. For the time being, there were still four legs attached to the front end though. All that would change with the turn of the century. The internal combustion engine was all the rage and the T.F.D. was eager, yet apprehensive, to try the new technology on its apparatus. In an experimental move, the department purchased a single Seagrave Model AC-80 gasoline powered hose wagon in 1911. The apparatus carried 1000’ of hose, two ground ladders, as well as a separate bed for 200’ of hose attached to a large chemical extinguisher mounted behind the driver and officer. The department chose # 8 Hose to receive this new rig, reasoning that it would receive a lot of fire work in this area, but if it failed to start, there would still be several other companies close by pulled by the trusted horses. Needless to say, motorization was a resounding success, and the days of the horses were numbered. Several famous photographs exist of # 8 Hose Station during the early years of horse-power and motorization. Common throughout all of them was the man in the driver’s seat. William Slaght joined the Toronto Fire Department on January 6th, 1891. His skills as a horseman must have made an impression as he is pictured

at the reins of the two-wheeled wagon just a couple of years later. In 1896 he is again holding the reins of the new 4wheeled hose wagon. On October 16th, 1911 an older William Slaght sits proudly behind the wheel of the first motor wagon on its first day of service. Department records show that after making Captain in December of 1930, he retired from the Quartermaster shop on January 3rd, 1946 after an astounding 55 years on the job!

As the city progressed to the north and west throughout the teens, the need for an additional ladder company in the area soon became evident. In 1922, the T.F.D. constructed a new one-bay ladder station adjacent to the hose station on Bellevue Avenue. A new 1922 LaFrance Type 33 city-service hook & ladder truck was

assigned to the company. Although physically connected, the two stations operated independently. The ladder company station was even given its own number - # 29 – until 1946. This is one of three instances where Toronto fire halls operated independently while situated beside each other. After almost 100 years of service, the old hose station was beginning to show its age. The introduction of much larger motor apparatus also required the department to consider enlarging the original bay doors. As an alternative it was decided to tear down the 1922-vintage aerial station and construct a new two-bay add-on for both the pump and aerial. Renovations began in 1972 but, before they could be finished, an arsonist set fire to the vacant quarters, resulting in the destruction of much of the original 1878 building. A lengthy reconstruction followed, with the new station finally opening for service in November of 1973. In the pumper bay sat another revolution for the T.F.D., one of the first four diesel-powered pumpers ever purchased by the department—a 1971 Ford/King-Seagrave. The 1990’s saw Fire Station # 8 involved (almost) in yet another experiment. In order to alleviate the problems that modern fire apparatus have in negotiating the narrow streets of areas such as Kensington Market, the T.F.D. sought to purchase two pumpers designed to smaller European specifications. Stations # 8 and # 3 (on Grosvenor Street) were chosen to receive these experimental apparatus. Shortly after the first one entered service at Station # 3 several shortcomings were recognized in the attempt to meld European design with Canadian equipment and tactics. It was removed from service after only a few weeks. The rig assigned to Station # 8 never did enter service and both were later sold to a fire department in the Caribbean. Upon the amalgamation of the Metropolitan Toronto fire Departments in 1998, T.F.D. Station # 8 was renumbered as Toronto Fire Services Station # 315. Today, visitors to this historic building can get a sense of 129 years of tradition while visiting a modern, functioning fire station. FA L L 2 0 0 7 | F I R E WATCH 21


RE-PRINTED COURTESY OF WWW.HOWSTUFFWORKS.COM

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f you have ever wondered about why people have to sleep or what causes dreams, then read on. In this article, you’ll find out all about sleep and what it does for you.

Characteristics of Sleep

We all know how sleep looks—when we see someone sleeping, we recognize the following characteristics: • If possible, the person will lie down to go to sleep. • The person’s eyes are closed. • The person doesn’t hear anything unless it is a loud noise. • The person breathes in a slow, rhythmic pattern. • The person’s muscles are completely relaxed. If sitting up, the person may fall out of his or her chair as sleep deepens. • During sleep, the person occasionally rolls over or rearranges his or her body. This happens approximately once or twice an hour. This may be the body’s way of making sure that no part of the body or skin has its circulation cut off for too long a period of time. In addition to these outward signs, the heart slows down and the brain does some pretty funky things (we’ll get to this later). In other words, a sleeping person is unconscious to most things happening in the environment. The biggest difference between someone who is asleep, and 22

HOW SLEEP WORKS someone who has fainted or gone into a coma, is the fact that a sleeping person can be aroused if the stimulus is strong enough. If you shake the person, yell loudly or flash a bright light, a sleeping person will wake up. For any animal living in the wild, it just doesn’t seem very smart to design in a mandatory eight-hour period of near-total unconsciousness every day. Yet that is exactly what evolution has done. So there must be a pretty good reason for it! Reptiles, birds and mammals all sleep. That is, they become unconscious to their surroundings for periods of time. Some fish and amphibians reduce their awareness but do not ever become unconscious like the higher vertebrates do. Insects do not appear to sleep, although they may become inactive in daylight or darkness. By studying brainwaves, it is known that reptiles do not dream. Birds dream a little. Mammals all dream during sleep. Different animals sleep in different ways. Some animals, like humans, prefer to sleep in one long session. Other animals (dogs, for example) like to sleep in many short bursts. Some sleep at night, while others sleep during the day. Sleep has a profound effect on your brain.

Sleep and the Brain

If you attach an electroencephalograph to

a person’s head, you can record the person’s brainwave activity. An awake and relaxed person generates alpha waves, which are consistent oscillations at about 10 cycles per second. An alert person generates beta waves, which are about twice as fast. During sleep, two slower patterns called theta waves and delta waves take over. Theta waves have oscillations in the range of 3.5 to 7 cycles per second, and delta waves have oscillations of less than 3.5 cycles per second. As a person falls asleep and sleep deepens, the brainwave patterns slow down. The slower the brainwave patterns, the deeper the sleep —a person deep in delta wave sleep is hardest to wake up. At several points during the night, something unexpected happens—rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occurs. Most people experience three to five intervals of REM sleep per night, and brainwaves during this period speed up to awake levels. If you ever watch a person or a dog experiencing REM sleep, you will see their eyes flickering back and forth rapidly. In many dogs and some people, arms, legs and facial muscles will twitch during REM sleep. Periods of sleep other than REM sleep are known as NREM (non-REM) sleep. REM sleep is when you dream. If you wake up a person during REM sleep, the


person can vividly recall dreams. If you wake up a person during NREM sleep, generally the person will not be dreaming. You must have both REM and NREM sleep to get a good night’s sleep. A normal person will spend about 25 percent of the night in REM sleep, and the rest in NREM. A REM session—a dream—lasts five to 30 minutes. Medicine can hamper your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Many medicines, including most sleeping medicines, change the quality of sleep and the REM component of it. Missing out on a good night’s sleep can seriously affect what happens when you’re awake.

Missing Sleep

One way to understand why we sleep is to look at what happens when we don’t get enough: • As you know if you have ever pulled an all-nighter, missing one night of sleep is not fatal. A person will generally be irritable during the next day and will either slow down (become tired easily) or will be totally wired because of adrenalin. • If a person misses two nights of sleep, it gets worse. Concentration is difficult, and attention span falls by the wayside. Mistakes increase. • After three days, a person will start to hallucinate and clear thinking is impossible. With continued wakefulness a person can lose grasp of reality. Rats forced to stay awake continuously will eventually die, proving that sleep is essential. A person who gets just a few hours of sleep per night can experience many of the same problems over time. Two other things are known to happen during sleep. Growth hormone in children is secreted during sleep, and chemicals important to the immune system are secreted during sleep. You can become more prone to disease if you don’t get enough sleep, and a child’s growth can be stunted by sleep deprivation. But the question remains—why do we need to sleep? No one really knows, but there are all kinds of theories, including these: • Sleep gives the body a chance to repair muscles and other tissues, replace aging or dead cells, etc.

• Sleep gives the brain a chance to organize and archive memories. Dreams are thought by some to be part of this process. • Sleep lowers our energy consumption, so we need three meals a day rather than four or five. Since we can’t do anything in the dark anyway, we might as well “turn off” and save the energy. • According to Science News Online: Napless cats awaken interest in adenosine, sleep may be a way of recharging the brain, using adenosine as a signal that the brain needs to rest: “Since adenosine secretion reflects brain cell activity, rising concentrations of this chemical may be how the organ gauges that it has been burning up its energy reserves and needs to shut down for a while.” Adenosine levels in the brain rise during wakefulness and decline during sleep. What we all know is that, with a good night’s sleep, everything looks and feels better in the morning. Both the brain and the body are refreshed and ready for a new day.

Dreams and Improving Sleep Habits

Why do we have such crazy, kooky dreams? Why do we dream at all for that matter? According to Joel Achenbach in his book Why Things Are: The brain creates dreams through random electrical activity. Random is the key word here. About every 90 minutes the brain stem sends electrical impulses throughout the brain, in no particular order or fashion. The analytic portion of the brain—the forebrain—then desperately tries to make sense of these signals. It is like looking at a Rorschach test, a random splash of ink on paper. The only way of comprehending it is by viewing the dream (or the inkblot) metaphorically, symbolically, since there’s no literal message. This doesn’t mean that dreams are meaningless or should be ignored. How our forebrains choose to “analyze” the random and discontinuous images may tell us something about ourselves, just as what we see in an inkblot can be revelatory. And perhaps there is a purpose to the craziness: Our minds may be working on deep-seated problems through

these circuitous and less threatening metaphorical dreams.

Here are some other things you may have noticed about your dreams:

• Dreams tell a story. They are like a TV show, with scenes, characters and props. • Dreams are egocentric. They almost always involve you. • Dreams incorporate things that have happened to you recently. They can also incorporate deep wishes and fears. • A noise in the environment is often worked in to a dream in some way, giving some credibility to the idea that dreams are simply the brain’s response to random impulses. • You usually cannot control a dream— in fact, many dreams emphasize your lack of control by making it impossible to run or yell. (However, proponents of lucid dreaming try to help you gain control.) Dreaming is important. In sleep experiments where a person is woken up every time he/she enters REM sleep, the person becomes increasingly impatient and uncomfortable over time.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Most adult people seem to need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. This is an average, and it is also subjective. You, for example, probably know how much sleep you need in an average night to feel your best. The amount of sleep you need decreases with age. A newborn baby might sleep 20 hours a day. By age four, the average is 12 hours a day. By age 10, the average falls to 10 hours a day. Senior citizens can often get by with six or seven hours a day.

Tips to Improve Your Sleep

• Exercise regularly. Exercise helps tire and relax your body. • Don’t consume caffeine after 4:00 p.m. or so. Avoid other stimulants like cigarettes as well. • Avoid alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol disrupts the brain’s normal patterns during sleep. • Try to stay in a pattern with a regular bedtime and wakeup time, even on weekends.

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FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 23


October 10, 2007 – The Provincial Election and Your Association’s Involvement WE NEED YOUR HELP!

BY RICK BERENZ, CHAIR, LOCAL 3888 GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

B

y the time you have received this latest edition of Fire Watch, the Government Relations and FirePac Committees will have put in countless hours supporting fire fighter friendly candidates. Many of these candidates approached the Association early in the summer months, asking us for support in this Provincial election. Why? It is quite simple—due to the work of this union, we have proven our value in electing many successful candidates. In order for you to understand the process involved in the candidate/party 24

evaluation, the following outlines the procedure: Candidates that requested the Association’s support will have had an opportunity to answer our questions that we feel are important to fire fighters. These questions will have allowed the candidate an opportunity to explain their respective positions on issues important to this Association and to the fire fighters in the province of Ontario as a whole. The answers to these questions provide key information for the Association to assist us in determining who to support

through FirePac. In addition, the Association will review the record of the candidates, if applicable, as to how they have previously supported our issues and concerns at the provincial level. Our job is to select candidates based on who will make sure the gains we have achieved in the past are retained, and who will work with us to further enhance working conditions, pensions, funding, etc. Hopefully this process will allow us to find the reality through the perception. Another important part of this puzzle


is to determine which candidate is most likely to win in any given race. While this does not always dictate who we will support, it would be naïve to believe it does not have an impact on the overall decision process. Many Members believe that since we are a union, our support is only towards the NDP and/or the Liberals. The fact is this Association has a strong record of supporting those candidates who support our issues, regardless of the party. We have been successful due to the relationships we have developed in all political parties. Our non-partisan approach has allowed us to advance our agenda to a level that has become the envy of all other organized labour groups. Through your continued support of FirePac, this Association will continue to provide this same level of commitment. Discussing politics in a fire hall can, at

times, be compared to walking through a mine field—believe me I know. We all have personal opinions as to why one would support one candidate/party over another. What the Association provides for you is the support to the candidate/ party most conducive to enhancing your career as a professional fire fighter. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if endorsing the candidate/party this Association has researched and recommended is in the best interests of your career and ultimately your livelihood. In the summer 2007 edition of the Intrepid, OPFFA President Fred LeBlanc posed the question, “Why endorse Premier Dalton McGuinty?” President Leblanc’s report outlined the numerous successes that fire fighters in this province have enjoyed during this past term with the Liberals in power. The facts are indisputable! Never before have the fire fighters in this province received the

level of respect and recognition as we have from the Provincial Liberals under McGuinty’s leadership. Our mandate has always been to, “Support THOSE that Support US.” This must hold true when it comes to the Premier as well. Although, as previously stated, we take a non-partisan approach to politics, it is very difficult not to endorse the Provincial Liberals—their track record with us speaks for itself. If you enjoy the benefits of being a professional fire fighter in this province, I implore you to heed the call from the Association to get involved in this final week before the vote. All of our achievements need to be retained and we need to continue working with the only Government that has listened to us. The Association needs a small portion of your time to deliver flyers and put up signs to “Support those that Support Us”. Let’s make this happen—again!

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Electoral Reform W

e would like to inform you about your choices in Ontario’s first-ever referendum on electoral reform. It’s a big decision. We want you to be clear about your choices so you can make an informed decision about Ontario’s future. When you vote during the advance polls or on Election and Referendum Day you will be given two ballots. One for voting for a candidate in the general election, the other will ask you to consider: Which electoral system should Ontario use to elect members to the provincial legislature? One of the electoral systems you are being asked to consider is called FirstPast-the-Post. It is the system used in Ontario now.

26

What is First-Past-the-Post and how does it work? Ontario is divided into 107 electoral districts. In each district each voter gets one vote to choose which candidate they feel should win a seat in the provincial legislature. One vote. One ballot. In an election using the First-Past-thePost system, the candidate with the most votes wins and will be the representative for the electoral district in the provincial legislature. After the election, the political party that wins the most electoral districts is normally asked to form a government. The other electoral system you will be asked to consider during Ontario’s referendum is called Mixed Member Proportional. It is called a mixed system, be-

cause it combines two voting systems: a First-Past-the-Post system and a Proportional Representation system. How does Mixed Member Proportional work? If this system is accepted, Ontarians will have two votes in future elections: one for a ‘Local Member’ and one for a political party. The provincial legislature would have 129 seats: Local Members’ would fill 90 seats while ‘List Members’ would fill 39 seats. The political party with the largest number of seats in the legislature, including ‘Local Members’ and ‘List Members’, is asked to form a government. In each electoral district, one vote would be used to elect a ‘Local Member’ using a First-Past-the-Post system. The candidate with the most votes in an electoral district wins. The other vote would be for a political party. Votes for parties will be used to determine the number of ‘List Members’ each party gets. This is the proportional representation part. If a political party is entitled to more seats than it won locally, ‘List Members’ are elected to make up the difference. ‘List Members’ can only be elected from a political party that received more than 3% of these votes. In the end, a political party’s overall share of seats will roughly equal its share of the total votes for parties in the province. Anyone who meets the rules for eligibility can become a candidate for


election as a ‘Local Member’. Some candidates are called “independents” while others represent a political party. ‘List Members’ are candidates from any registered political party. Before an election each political party prepares an ordered list of candidates they would like considered as ‘List Members’. These lists, and the way they are created, would be made public well in advance of any election in a Mixed Member Proportional system. Here are some common questions being asked about the referendum: What is a referendum? A referendum is an event when the government asks voters an important question. All voters are asked to indicate which choice they prefer, using a ballot. When is the referendum being held? The next provincial election will happen on October 10, 2007. A referendum will be held at the same time. Can I vote in the referendum but not vote for an election candidate? Yes. Can I vote for an election candidate but not vote in the referendum? Yes.

Are there other provinces within Canada that use the Mixed Member Proportional System? A Mixed Member Proportional system is not used by any other province. The Mixed Member Proportional system recommended by the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly is one type of Mixed Member Proportional system. In Canada, it would be unique to Ontario, but types of Mixed Member Proportional systems are used in other places around the world. What happens if I vote for First-Pastthe-Post or the alternative electoral system? If at least 60% of all the referendum ballots across the province choose the alternative system recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly AND 50% of the voters in at least 64 electoral districts vote for Mixed Member Proportional, then the Mixed Member Proportional system would be put forward as Ontario’s electoral system in future. By December 31st, 2008, the new government would have to introduce a law to officially make Mixed Member Proportional Ontario’s

new system. If this does not happen, Ontario will keep using the same system used now to elect members to the provincial legislature (First-Past-the-Post). Do I qualify to vote in the referendum? To vote in the referendum, you must be 18 years of age or older, and a Canadian Citizen, and a resident of Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Labour and the Toronto and York Labour council both are in favour of Mixed Member Proportional: For more information and balance please visit these sites: Favour for Mixed Member Proportional: Site for www.voteyesformmp.ca Not In Favour for Mixed Member Proportional: www.nommp.ca For official explanation: www.your bigdecision.ca

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  FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 27


Toronto Line of D Captain

John A.

LODD Chappelle

1954-2007 John was an

ageless man, a generous soul, with an open ear and a

warm heart.” 28

BY MARLA FRIEBE, TFS INFORMATION SECTION Just around the corner from Station 443 where he had served as Captain for the last seven years, family, friends, and coworkers gathered at Etobicoke’s Islington United Church to celebrate the life and Last Alarm of Captain John A. Chappelle. Captain Chappelle valiantly served the former Etobicoke Fire Department and the Toronto Fire Services for 27 years. Sadly, he was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma) and after a ten month battle, died on September 5th, at 53 years of age, leaving behind his wife and soul mate, Jayne, and daughter Alyson. Captain Chappelle’s death from brain cancer has been recognized by the WSIB Occupational Disease Unit after a standard medical review and a review of the documented exposures to dangerous substances during his career as a fire fighter.

As pumper 443 sat outside the church at his funeral on September 10th, individuals who had shared in his life, expressed their thoughts on the many happy years he spent with his family and on his career as a professional fire fighter. The church was tightly packed with more than 500 mourners, with an exceptional turnout by Toronto, Mississauga, Guelph, Vaughan, Kitchener and London Fire Fighters who filled every available pew and even spilled out into the reserve hall at the rear of the church. Friends remembered him as friendly and full of life, often with a twinkle in his eyes, framed by bushy eyebrows. He was recalled as having lived his life to the fullest; skiing, curling, golfing, swimming, and even studying art history, which was a passion he shared with Jayne. When asked by a


Duty Death

fellow university student and good friend as to why he was studying art history when he already enjoyed a successful career as a fire fighter, John responded, “I want to have something to talk about with my wife in our retirement years!” Compassionate, caring, and devoted to his wife and daughter, friends commented that John was the kind of friend that, “the longer you knew him, the better the friendship got—like aging scotch.” Fellow fire fighter and crew member, John Getty, recalled how in the thick of one fire they had fought, Captain Chappelle was there to guide him and provide support. During this apartment fire, visibility was hampered by the thick black smoke and Fire Fighter Getty called out to him, “Where are you, John?” “Over here,” he replied. “I felt him pat me on

the back,” stated Getty. “I hope he’s receiving that same support now.” During the ceremony, John’s wife, Jayne, was presented with the Medal of Honour for death in the line of duty, by Local 3888 President, Scott Marks. Toronto Fire Chief, William Stewart, also presented Jayne with a folded Canadian flag that had been draped over her husband’s casket. The church was silent as the mourners listened to John’s nephew, who was visiting from Ireland, play a guitar and sing the vocal version of Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up, while his niece later performed a separate violin solo of Ashokan Farewell, a Scottish style lament. The celebration concluded with the ringing of the bell three times, marking the end of the fire and a return to the

station, as well as the Fire Fighter’s Prayer, read by Chaplain Ron Nickle. At the end of the ceremony, everyone recessed from the Church and gathered outside where the body of Captain Chappelle was raised aboard Pumper 443 for his final alarm, while the Toronto War Veterans’ Colour Guard stood at arms and the Toronto Pipes and Drums Band played Amazing Grace. The contingent proceeded through a double line of senior officers and fire fighters, while a huge Canadian flag blew in the wind in the background, hoisted high between two aerials. A finer send-off could not be imagined. Farewell, Brother John Chappelle… your duties well done, your last alarm completed, you are now going home.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 29


Our Association was first approached by “ fire fighter friendly” Liberal MP Dan McTeague, wh ny sort of assistance to the Centre since it is in need of both funding and man hours for the num ng the facility, it was easy for us to recognize their needs and we responded accordingly. Our Asso strong political ally for the Stacey Centre. Dan asked if the TPFFA could offer any sort of obs that need to be done. After meeting the Directors of the Stacey Centre and touring the facili irst approached by “ fire fighter friendly” Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who has been a strong po o the Centre since it is in need of both funding and man hours for the numerous odd jobs that n asy forBYusRICKtoBERENZ, recognize needs BOARD and we responded accordingly. Our Association was fi LOCAL their 3888 EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Tony Stacey Centre E

arly in August, Union Notice 07043 announced the Association’s affiliation with the Tony Stacey Centre for Veteran’s Care. This Centre allows Canada’s war veterans to spend their golden years with their spouses and comrades in a unique, dignified, home-like environment. There was a time when many involved with the Centre wondered if the facility would close down, as the number of aging veterans dwindled with time. However, with the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, coupled with Canada’s ever increasing involvement and the resulting casualties, there will be a

30

need to provide housing for these modern day “peace keepers” just as was required after the conflicts in WWI, WWII and Korea. Our Association was first approached by “fire fighter friendly” Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who has been a strong political ally for the Stacey Centre. Dan asked if the TPFFA could offer any sort of assistance to the Centre since it is in need of both funding and man hours for the numerous odd jobs that need to be done. After meeting the Directors of the Stacey Centre and touring the facility, it was easy for us to recognize their needs and we responded accordingly.

On August 19th, the Stacey Centre hosted their annual Open House but with a new addition—The Toronto Professional Fire Fighter’s Association. This was the event at which the Association announced our affiliation with the Stacey Centre to both the Community and Media. Joining us was Liberal MPP Mary Anne Chambers. On hand, we had TFS Fire Apparatus C21, RP214 and A215, along with the respective B Platoon crews, the TPFFA inflatable bouncer for the kids and our BBQ and popcorn machine. In addition, we sold the “Support our Troops” stickers and T-shirts, with all the proceeds going

There was a time when many involved with the Centre wondered if the facility would close down, as the number of aging veterans dwindled with time.


ho has been a strong political ally for the Stacey Centre. Dan asked if the TPFFA could offe merous odd jobs that need to be done. After meeting the Directors of the Stacey Centre and tou ociation was first approached by “ fire fighter friendly” Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who has bee f assistance to the Centre since it is in need of both funding and man hours for the numerous od ity, it was easy for us to recognize their needs and we responded accordingly. Our Association wa olitical ally for the Stacey Centre. Dan asked if the TPFFA could offer any sort of assistanc need to be done. After meeting the Directors of the Stacey Centre and touring the facility, it wa

for Veteran’s Care directly to the Centre from the TPFFA. On that day, $545.00 was presented to the Stacey Centre from these sales. The “Support our Troops” T-shirts and stickers are available for sale at the union office. All the proceeds from these sales will be directed to the Tony Stacey Centre. Please do your part and purchase one or both. The TPFFA has committed to assist the Tony Stacey Centre with both funding initiatives and by providing volunteers from our Membership to do various jobs within the facility that the Centre does not have the funds to complete. Our first project was sanding and painting an aluminum fence that surrounds a grassy area under the shade of trees. With the assistance of three Executive Officers, one retired member and one active member, we were able to complete this task in short order. The next project will require much more time and effort. The intent is to convert the enclosed grassy area into a sitting area, complete with gardens and leveled with patio stones. Wheel chair access to the area today is impossible since the ground is very uneven and thus unsafe. For this project we will need much more assistance and I will put out the call for volunteers when we have been able to secure the required materials by soliciting businesses for these donations. As professional fire fighters, I believe there is a direct connection between our profession and that of our Canadian Peace Keepers. The Veterans presently living at the Tony Stacey Centre sacri-

ficed much, and at a very young age when the call went out. Today’s Peace Keepers are presented with a very different world. Over 100,000 Canadian men and women stand ready to answer when called. The Tony Stacey Centre, with its mission to serve veterans as they have served us, exists to ensure that this country will always be able to respond in kind. At some point in time in their lives, today’s Peace Keepers may need to rely

on a facility like the Tony Stacey Centre to provide them with a home. Today, the Centre needs help in assuring that the legacy started back in 1976, when the doors of the Centre first opened and welcomed its first 14 residents, is continued. Helping the Veterans is a very rewarding experience and they greatly appreciate the TPFFA’s involvement. Please find some time for the Tony Stacey Centre. FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 31


Kilimanjaro Climb for

Camp BUCKO

BY PATRICK HAYTER, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER, STATION 333

O

n October 10, 2006, seven Toronto Fire Fighters and two friends would soon have our physical and mental ability tested as we ascended from Kilimanjaro base camp to the highest peak on the African continent! The journey actually started on June 15, 2005 at the Toronto Fire Academy when people said I was crazy for having worked and lived in East and South Africa. They questioned my survival, as the television paints such an ugly picture of famine, tribal conflicts, crime and disease. I promised anyone who wanted to go to Africa and see for themselves, that I would be more than happy to take them to see for themselves what the “bad, dark continent” has to offer; the greatness still out weighs the badness! Eleven Toronto Fire Fighters and nine friends and family embarked on a two week safari through Kenya and 32

Tanzania, ending on the tropical Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. That is another story altogether! We said our farewells to all but seven Toronto Fire Fighters and two friends, as the nine of us would attempt to climb up the highest single mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro. What was the big deal? Thousands of people have trekked and conquered Kili in the past. What could we do for a little added challenge and a little incentive to get to the top? How about for a little added difficulty, we do it in fire fighting bunker gear? And for a little added incentive to push us higher, let’s get pledges and raise money for a very worthwhile cause—Camp Bucko! So, with the help of Debbie Higgins and Scott Andrews, we were off to fire

station 223 to get sized up with decommissioned bunker gear. We were all out soliciting pledges from family and fellow firefighters. We kept it fairly low key as we wanted to help out Camp Bucko but not be handling huge amounts of money at the same time. We decided on Camp Bucko to be the recipient of our funds because


we talked to people who had volunteered at the camp and told us how important Bucko is to these children from all over the province. We also knew some of the directors and their enthusiasm and passion for the camp was infectious and inspirational to all of us. I still remember the nervous energy as we drove north from Dar es Salaam with the large silhouette of Kili looming in the afternoon light getting closer and closer. Finally, we were at the last village before base camp, where we would try and get some rest before our team’s deployment to the gates of the Kilimanjaro National Park where our trek to the roof of Africa would begin! We were told that our team of four guides, eight cook staff and ten porters, all from the villages at the base of this dormant volcano would meet us at 8:00am—we saw them just before noon! “Hakuna Matata,” they would say with their huge African smiles; “No hurries in Afreeeka, you are on Africa time now.” “Africa time” is usually much later than the originally set time and is never any earlier. It can be frustrating but you get used to it. Finally we were on a matatu (small bus) and heading with our sleeping bags and bunker gear to the base camp. We

paid our $520.00 USD each in park fees and off we went through lush green jungle to our first night stop. We took the Marangu route, the most popular route. Our first night stop was at 2,700 meters named Mandara Hut. Everyone was in good spirits and feeling healthy. The only problem encountered so far were the Colombus monkeys harassing the cooks! The next day, our goal was Horombo Hut at 3,700 meters. We left the tropical jungle behind and entered a zone of giant heather and moorland. Starting to feel the affects of altitude, headaches and clumsiness were creeping up on the group. “Pole Pole” and “Pole Sana” were heard every few minutes from the guides, it means “slowly, slowly” in Swahili. The next day, it was up to Kibo Hut at 4,700 meters—this is where all vegetation ceases and it is just a baron land above the clouds. Now affecting us were severe headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, and tired sore muscles. There was less walking and more shuffling amongst the group. Finally at Kibo Hut; a bowl of soup and some crackers—if you could keep them down. Then a short nap until 11:30pm (5 hours after arriving at Kibo.) We were to start our summit bid at midnight and climb

to Gilmans Point of 5,680 meters for sunrise. Even the people on altitude medication were in the same boat as the rest of us; in the freezing cold and blowing wind you could hear the faint sounds of dry heaves and splatter. The pain in your legs was enough to make you wince. It was at this point where we regretted the extra weight of our otherwise warm bunker gear. Our legs burned so bad because you would take one step up and then sink down in the volcanic scree; we didn’t seem to make any head way at all. We all gave it our best and fought through the pain as best as we could. Personally, I don’t even remember getting close to the top; I only have photographic evidence. We all survived and no one was carried down in a stretcher. Two days to get back down and everyone felt so much better with every meter of descent. Back at the hotel, we had what we all agreed was the best tasting beer we ever had the pleasure of drinking. Next it was off to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with our scheduled visit to Nairobi Fire Headquarters to give them our cleaned bunker gear. As we were swinging the truck in to the tight lane way at Headquarters a minibus whisked up the blind side of the truck and I turned

We decided on Camp Bucko to be the recipient of our funds because we talked to people who had volunteered at the camp and told us how important Bucko is to these children from all over the province.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 33


S N S

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Kilimanjaro Climb for Camp BUCKO ... Continued from page 33

right into it smashing all the glass out of the side windows and basically pushed the whole side of the bus in. This is not a good thing to have happen in a very seedy part of town, which drew a crowd of hundreds. Thankfully, no one was injured. Thank you to Aerial 125 Captain, Jim Dowling, for his negotiating skill and patience! Thank you as well to the Toronto Fire Services staff and fire fighters who kindly donated money for Camp Bucko to the climbers, who did an amazing job of raising just under $6000.00 for Bucko! The seven Toronto Fire Fighters who did the climb were:

JASON BODI 333 JIM DOWLING 125 JEN MILLER 113 TONY BUONFIGLIO 116 ROB PATTERSON 322 CHRIS COSTANTE 333 PAT HAYTER 333

Well, all those wise people were right on the mark; it was go, go, go right from the start. The first night at the opening camp fire, some of the kids came up to the front of the crowd and grabbed a stick they call a “talking stick.” When they were holding the stick, they could say anything they felt like saying. One little boy came up and said thank you to all the volunteers and how awesome this camp is. Then, one after the other, kids came up and spilled their heart out on how great Camp Bucko is and the fact that it is the best week of their year. One little 6 year old girl wrote the most amazing song I have ever heard, about how everyone is beautiful and beauty is only skin deep. She played her guitar

and sang the whole song in front of everyone at closing campfire; it was something that everyone should listen to— absolutely unforgettable! It was a week of outdoor adventure; a carnival, a dance and a great talent show, full of performances by each cabin. I learned a lot during the week I was there. The learning curve is very steep but BUCKO has a great support system and the councilors who keep going back year-after-year are more than happy to guide you. The kids at this camp are so courageous and so full of character that sometimes you forget they may have physical limitations. Their personality and their enthusiasm for life make you completely forget it. This camp is not a want for these kids who stare adversity in the face everyday; it is a need! A need, for one week of the year, where they can be around lots of other kids and not have to worry about their scars or about being teased or questioned. A need, for one week of the year, to just have fun and be a kid. I cannot think of a more worthwhile charity to support, right here in our own backyard. I will never forget my first Camp Bucko week. For the next challenge, wherever that may be...Bucko will be my inspiration!

The climb was a great physical and mental challenge but the real challenge would come in August at Kinark Outdoor Center where Camp Bucko was being held. From the orientation weekend, I had a bit of an idea of what to expect at camp. I was still quite nervous however, as I don’t have any children of my own. Advice from former volunteers was, “You won’t have time to be nervous. Once those kids step off the bus, it is full-on just have fun...it is camp you know!”

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 35


COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT REVIEW Article 45 – Requests for Transfers THIS ARTICLE OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT WAS MODIFIED IN THE LAST MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT. WE WILL HIGHLIGHT THOSE CHANGES (RED WRITING) AS WELL AS REVIEW THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. Experience categories set out the preferred makeup of an apparatus; one captain, one acting captain, a fire fighter greater than 10 years, one 6-10 years and one 0-5 years. No one is ever moved or reassigned to meet this makeup, but when vacancies are created the makeup of the crew is reviewed and the empty categories become available. SOME BASIC RULES APPLY TO FILLING THE VACANCY BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE CATEGORY. THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS: • An experience category is assigned to the vacancy. There may be more than one experience category assigned to a single vacancy. Example - An apparatus has a captain, an a/c, and 2 fire fighters over ten years. This vacancy would be listed as having the 0-5 and 6-10 experience categories open. • The most senior fire fighter within the open experience category(s) will be assigned to fill the vacancy. • If no one from the open experience category requests the vacancy, then it will be assigned to the senior most person that has requested the position.* The one exception to the above rule is where a 0-5 vacancy has been designated for an employee with 0-5 years and/or a recruit. The department is allowed to 36

designate five positions in each command (for a total of twenty (20) over the four platoons) that can only be filled by a 0-5 person. Therefore, if a vacancy occurs in the 0-5 category and the department designates that vacancy, then even if no one in the 0-5 category requests it, it will not be filled by more senior personnel requesting it. The department has the right to reserve those positions for 0-5 personnel. These spots are not specifically reserved for recruits. If a 0-5 person requests it they will get it and the department can then move their designation to another apparatus that has a 0-5 vacancy. Cross command transfers are now filled on a quarterly basis, prior to the placement of recruits and when promotions are done. Transfers in command are always done before the cross command transfers are administered. So a vacancy at a specific location may not be available to you if you are coming cross command and someone in the command has already requested it. You could be more senior to that person in the experience category of the vacancy but the person in command will be placed first and the cross command transfers are done after. Example - A vacancy in the 10-15 category exists on P324. A fire fighter with 11 years from A312 has put in a request for P324 and a fire fighter with 24 years from

P426 has put in a request for south command with a preference listed for station 324. The fire fighter from A312 will go to P324 and the fire fighter from P426 will be moved to A312. SOME OF THE OTHER BASIC RULES APPLYING TO CROSS COMMAND TRANSFERS ARE AS FOLLOWS: • You can request a specific platoon(s) you wish to be transferred to. If the vacancy is not on the platoon that you requested then you will not be transferred. You can specify more then one platoon. • You cannot specify a specific location or apparatus. You may state your preference for a station or apparatus. If there are two or more apparatus that have a vacancy in your experience category they will place you on your preference. However, if the vacancy exists in the command you want, on the platoon you have requested, you will be transferred, even if it is not to your preferred location. There is no requirement to put a preferred location on your request. • If you are promoted into another command you have a preference to return to your former command. You must file your transfer request within thirty (30) days of being promoted and you will be transferred back once a vacancy


A GOOD RULE TO FOLLOW IS; IF THERE IS A LOCATION IN YOUR COMMAND THAT YOU WISH TO WORK AT, PUT IN A REQUEST EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO VACANCY. THEN YOU ARE ASSURED THAT IF A VACANCY IS CREATED YOU WILL HAVE YOUR REQUEST IN ON TIME. is available. The transfer request must state that you are applying your preference based on being promoted outside of command. The preference to return overrides someone else that is senior. There may be other people with a similar priority to return and you will return based on the order that you were promoted. Example – An acting captain from west command is promoted and assigned to Station 114. S/he files a transfer request within the thirty days, requesting to return to west command. A vacancy opens at Station 415. The captain with the preference will be transferred even though there may be a captain with more seniority requesting to go to West command. When utilizing your preference you do not have a choice of apparatus or platoon. If you do not put your request in within thirty days of being promoted, or remove your transfer request, or put in a new request to another location in any of the other commands, you loose your entitlement to the preference. • Being moved into a permanent acting position is NOT a promotion. Therefore, personnel are not entitled to the preference. • When two acting personnel have the same start date and both want to return to the same command or request the same apparatus in command, placement on promotional list will set the order. For non-acting personnel that have the same start date the decision is made by a toss of the coin. • Personnel being assigned a permanent acting spot get the vacancy left over after all in command transfers and cross command transfers of acting personnel are done. This applies the same to a person being promoted. • Example - Bob, Bill and Frank - all from the same class of 89 - Bob and Bill are A/C’s in south but want to go North a vacancy comes open in north. Frank

is next on the list to be picked up and is currently a fire fighter in North. Bob finished ahead of Bill on the Captains process and thus would get the position in North - Frank goes South to fill the resulting vacancy. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER A FEW BASIC RULES THAT APPLY TO ALL TRANSFERS. THEY ARE: • Transfer requests are kept on file until December 31 of the year following when you put the request in. Example – One fire fighter puts in a request on March 3, 2007. Another fire fighter puts in a request on December 27, 2007. Both requests remain active and on file until December 31, 2008. • You may only have one transfer request on file at a time. Putting in a second request will automatically negate your earlier request including preference requests. • When two Fire Fighters mutually agree to a transfer, they will assume the vacation and lieu day schedule of the person they replace. Mutual transfers between fire fighters will only be approved if the fire fighters’ seniority is within five years of each other. For mutually agreed upon transfers, in the event one of the parties retires, resigns, transfers between divisions, is promoted or attains an acting position within twelve (12) months of the transfer the other party will be transferred back to their original location. • You do not have the right to turn down a transfer that has been made based on a valid transfer request being on file • If you change your mind about a transfer request that you have put in. Send a memo or letter asking that the transfer request be rescinded. • Transfer requests must be submitted twenty-eight (28) days prior to the Monday of the week of the effective date of the transfer.

• Any fulfilled request for transfer (including mutual’s) to the following identified apparatus (towers, squads, heavy hazmat) will be for a period of 2 years before another transfer request can be submitted, with the exception of a transfer request to the crew rotation apparatus in the same station. • Any fulfilled request for transfer (including mutual’s) to apparatus other than apparatus identified above will be for a period of 1 year before another transfer request can be submitted, with the exception of a transfer request to the crew rotation apparatus in the same station. Note: With the exception of cross command transfers (which includes priority to return after promotion), all other transfers that meet the requirements of the transfer request will be considered as fulfilled request for transfer and the preceding rules will apply. You must request the transfer for the restriction to apply. A good rule to follow is; if there is a location in your command that you wish to work at, put in a request even when there is no vacancy. Then you are assured that if a vacancy is created you will have your request in on time. Another good rule is; if there is a specific location in another command that you want, put in a request to get to that command a.s.a.p. Once in the appropriate command you will get the vacancy over anyone from another command provided you meet the experience category. New transfer language trying to mirror the operation language was also developed for Fire Prevention, Communication and Quartermaster Section and Mechanical Division. As always, if you are not sure of the rules when filing a transfer request, contact a member of the Executive Board for assistance.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 37


Your Pension Options

When Leaving Employment BY FRANK RAMAGNANO, OPFFA PENSION COMMITTEE MEMBER

T

he association gets many calls and questions as to an individuals’ options when leaving employment as it pertains to their pension. OMERS has seven choices that you may exercise and I will describe each option.

OPTION #1: YOU OPT TO RETIRE Your normal retirement age is 60. You can retire within 10 years of your normal retirement age regardless of how much service you have.

OPTION #2: CONTINUED OMERS MEMBERSHIP If you go to work for another OMERS employer anywhere in Ontario, you may elect to continue your OMERS membership with your new employer.

OPTION #3: TRANSFERRING CREDITED SERVICE If your new employer is another Canadian public sector employer, you may be able to transfer all or part of your OMERS credited service to your new employer’s plan. (OMERS currently have transfer agreements with a number of Canadian public sector plans, this list can be viewed on the OMERS website on the online version of the members’ handbook)

OPTION #4: KEEPING PENSION WITH OMERS If your new employer is not part of OMERS, you can keep your pension with OMERS as a deferred pension. Keeping your pension with OMERS gives you a future stream of OMERS retirement income for life. Your OMERS pension is inflation protected, and includes early retirement options and survivor benefits. 38

OPTION #5: CASH REFUND (IF BENEFIT IS NOT LOCKED IN) You may elect a cash refund of any portion of your total contributions plus interest to your termination date, that is not locked in (see note“When does my pension benefit become lockedin?”). You may also be able to transfer the cash refund to your RRSP. NOTE- When does my pension benefit become “locked in”? Under Ontario law, when your OMERS pension is locked in, you must use it as future retirement income. You cannot cash it out, except in very rare cases. Locking-in rules • Your pension benefit earned after December 31, 1986, becomes locked in when you have two years of OMERS membership (including any service you purchased or transferred into OMERS). • Your pension benefit earned before 1987 becomes locked in when you reach age 45 and have at least: o 10 years of service with your current OMERS employer; or o 10 years of OMERS membership; or o 10 years of OMERS credited service. Any portion of your OMERS pension benefit that is locked in cannot be cashed out. If you leave your employer, your pension must:

• stay in the OMERS plan as a deferred pension; • be transferred to a locked-in retirement account (LIRA); • be transferred to another approved pension plan; or • be used to purchase an annuity (available through an insurance company—it provides regular income payments to you upon retirement).

OPTION #6: TRANSFERRING COMMUTED VALUE If you are within 10 years of your normal retirement age, this transfer option does not apply. You may choose to transfer the commuted (present day) value of your OMERS pension: into a locked-in retirement account (LIRA)—this is done as a lumpsum payment to your financial institution;


or to an insurance company to purchase an annuity (provides regular income payments to you upon retirement); or to another pension plan that can accept the transfer. With any choice, you end your OMERS membership. If you transfer your commuted value into a LIRA, you also assume all responsibility and risk for the investment of this lump-sum amount. The commuted value of a pension is the amount of money that must be put aside today to grow with investment earnings to provide your pension at a future date. Notes: - “50% Rule”—If the contributions you have made since January 1, 1987, plus interest, are greater than 50% of the commuted value amount, OMERS refunds the excess to you. - “Pre-1987 test”—If the contributions you have made before January 1, 1987, plus interest, are greater than the commuted value for the same period, OMERS will increase the value of your pension to make up the difference.

- The Income Tax Act limits the amount that may be transferred on a tax-sheltered basis to your locked-in retirement account. If this limit applies, OMERS will send you a cheque for the excess amount, which you may be able to transfer into your RRSP, or take in cash (which is taxable). (Note B)

benefits to which the member is entitled, either absolutely or contingently, under a defined benefit provision of the plan as registered,

- If you leave your employer in 2007 and your annual deferred pension is less than 2% of the 2007 Canada Pension Plan earnings ceiling of $43,700, you may take the commuted (present-day) value of your benefit as a cash refund or transfer it to your RRSP.

d) the amount is transferred directly to

Note B Income Tax Act And Regulations Any transfer from a defined benefit provision of a registered pension plan must be in accordance with subsection 147.3(4) of the Income Tax Act. The necessary conditions are: a) the amount does not relate to an actuarial surplus, b) the amount is transferred on behalf of a member in full or partial satisfaction of

c) the amount does not exceed a prescribed amount (as specified in Income Tax Regulation 8517); and i) a money purchase provision of a registered pension plan, ii) a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), or iii) a registered retirement income fund (RRIF). Subsection 147.3(4) is applicable to transfers occurring after 1988 except that the direct transfer to a RRIF as outlined in d) iii) above was not available until August 30, 1990. Maximum Transfer Amount The maximum transfer amount is prescribed in Income Tax Regulation 8517 by the formula A x B: where A is the amount of the individual’s lifetime retirement benefits under the defined benefit provision commuted in connection with the transfer, and B is the present value factor that corresponds to the age attained by the individual at the time of the transfer, determined pursuant to the Income Tax table. Here is the figure that applies to 3888 members: Attained Age Under 50

Value Factor 9.0

For non-integral ages, the present value factor is to be determined by interpolation. The amount of lifetime retirement benefits is an annual amount which is determined as a “normalized” pension by making minor technical adjustments with respect to features such as form of pension, pension commencement date, early retirement reduction, etc. as described in Income Tax Regulation 8517.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 39


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YOUR SCBA THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

AGAINST TOXIC EXPOSURE.

When you wear your SCBA, you’re protecting yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals that can kill you. You’re also protecting the people who care about you from pain and suffering. Wear it for yourself. Wear it for the ones you love. Originally developed by: Office of the Fire Marshal, Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, International Association of Fire Fighters, The Fire Fighters’ Association of Ontario, Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Municipal Health and Safety Association, Ontario Section 21 Committee, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). © 2006, WSIB – all rights reserved. Printed in Canada. #5066A (07/06). To order posters, contact WSIB: 1-800-663-6639, or WSIB Marketing: 1-800-387-0750 / 5540 (Outside Ontario / Canada).


Your Pensions Options When Leaving Employment ... Continued from page 39

Example: Assume a plan member is 49 years old and the annual retirement pension earned would be $32 900. The “value factor” for a 49 year old is “9”. The maximum transfer value therefore be $32 900 x 9 = $296 100. If the commuted value of the pension was $800 000, then only $296 100 could be transferred to a locked in plan. The excess amount of $503 900 would be paid to the plan member as a taxable benefit. A portion of this excess amount could be tax-sheltered only if the member had RRSP carry-forward room available. Comments: Under most circumstances, the commuted value of a defined benefit pension amount is calculated in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries’ (CIA) Recommendations For The Computation Of Transfer Values From Registered Pension Plans. Since there is no similar maximum transfer rule applicable to transfers between two defined benefit provisions, it has been suggested by some pension practitioners that implementing another defined benefit plan through a pension plan member’s own incorporated company will circumvent the maximum transfer rule. We will explore that in option # 7.

OPTION #7: TRANSFERRING COMMUTED VALUE TO AN INDEPENDENT PENSION PLAN

the provincial pension authority and with Canadian Revenue Agency. - Once the IPP is established the full commuted value of the individual’s prior pension is transferred to the IPP. - The IPP provides pension benefits based on the individual’s service with the former employer. - The commuted value transfer, funds the cost of the IPP benefits. Since the commuted value is being transferred from one defined benefit pension plan to another, the maximum transfer value rule would not normally apply. The individual would still be able to commute his/her pension plan benefits, but would have no immediate tax consequences. The key considerations would then be: - does the benefit of the additional tax deferral achieved by such a maneuver justify the costs of implementing and maintaining a plan? - is the company going to be generating sufficient revenue for the member to be paid an employment income and for the company to make ongoing pension contributions? Canada Revenue Agency may decline registration of the new plan if it is perceived to be a “shell” plan. (Rule of thumb; is the new established company making greater revenue then the individuals past employment)

private

The plan registration is subject to review post-registration (e.g. after 2 years) to determine whether primary purpose fulfilled/maintained.

- The individual is “hired” by the corporation and the corporation sponsors an IPP for the individual that recognizes the prior service under the public sector pension plan.

❏ Primary purposes of a RPP is to provide retirement benefits to individuals in respect of their service as employees. If not for this reason, then registration denied.

- Individual corporation.

establishes

a

- Actuaries required to set up plan and file documents. - The corporation registers a defined benefit Individual Pension Plan (IPP) with

❏ CRA looks at legitimacy of the employee/ employer relationship: if missing then primary purpose is not met and plan is considered only to be set up for tax deferral purposes—no registration.

❏ Even if employee/ employer relationship does exist, then arrangements may still contravene ITA rules. ❏ IPP can only base benefits on actual earnings. If earnings are significantly lower than basis of benefits determined by prior plan, then benefit in respect of service reduced substantially. ❏ If benefits reduced, a large surplus is generated on forgone benefits. ❏ CRA sees this as failing primary purposes test since plan holds primary surplus and the transfer clearly set up only achieve tax deferral. Failing Primary purpose plan’s registered status can be revoked as of the original effect date. All the assets of the plan would become taxable. There have been warnings in regards to IPP’s from two government agencies. Financial Services Commission of Ontario is aware that the CRA is concerned that transfers from registered pension plans to IPP’s may not always comply with federal Income Tax (ITA). They are concerned that some transfers to IPP’s do not satisfy the requirement under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) that amounts transferred must be administered as a pension or deferred pension. This means that the eventual payment from the IPP must be made only in the form of a pension. Money that should be paid as a pension must not become surplus and subsequently be paid out in cash. Members considering any of the above options should obtain independent legal and financial advice. We have placed relevant information on this topic plus links to various articles and agencies under the pension tab.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 41


Your JOB as a

FIRE FIGHTER

What The Public Really Thinks!

BY MICHAEL SHUSTER, CIVILIAN

H

ave you ever wondered what the public really thinks about the work that you do? Do they think it’s easy or difficult, fun or stressful, exciting or boring, rewarding or unfulfilling? This civilian is about to highlight the differences between your reality… and the public’s perception. As a specialist in helping private businesses assess and improve their levels of customer service, the Co-Editor of Fire Watch, Frank Ramagnano, asked if it was possible to assess what the public really thinks of the service that fire fighters provide. Equally intrigued with the idea, I suggested that the most informative, yet cost effective way to investigate, would be to spend a day in the life of a fire fighter; and so began my education. I’ve often felt that the largest cause of failure in business is the lack of adherence to processes. Processes have been proven over time and if employees would just follow them, customers would receive much better service. As a fire fighter, you don’t have the option to deviate from the systems that are in place; people’s lives are at stake. I was so pumped (pardon the pun) 42

once I returned home from my day as a fire fighter, that I told my wife all about my experiences. I was describing a second alarm fire that we responded to, while she was viewing a few photos of the twelve or more fire vehicles that lined the street. Her first question was, “When all of the fire trucks and all of those fire fighters arrive, how do they each know what their role is?” What an excellent question! I explained the different Incident Management Systems and roles that I had learned about during the day. On the particular call mentioned above, our truck was assigned as the RIT team. I explained the different roles

to her, such as lobby control, elevator control, RIT, the ventilation officer, the attack officer, the water officer, entry control, search and rescue, the liaison officer, etc. This all seems to be second nature to fire fighters, but to the public, we just think a bunch of guys show up in heavy gear with hoses and attack a fire by spraying water. We don’t realize how much planning, organization, and accountability goes into each and every call. If only private business would do the same! As well, I don’t believe that the public has any idea as to how hot and heavy the bunker gear can be on a hot summer day,


especially in the midst of a fire. During our first fire of the day, I perspired more than I do after an entire week of workouts at the gym—combined. There is also little public knowledge about the care and effort that goes into maintaining simple equipment such as a fire hose. I had no idea prior to this experience that they must be cleaned & dried thoroughly after every call or else the resulting acid in the rubber jacket will eventually destroy them. My next reality check came during our response to a basement fire in a house. We (the public) can’t imagine what it is like for a fire fighter to enter a house where the entire floor plan is completely unknown, and then to proceed through black smoke and total darkness in order to locate the fire, without seeing stairs, holes in the floor, or other very dangerous conditions and hazards. In this particular case, the fire was in the basement and there was only one staircase leading down to it. If the fire should affect the integrity of the staircase, any fire fighter on the stairs could potentially fall to injury or death without expecting it. One fire fighter described it to me as starting at the top of a chimney and going down the chimney to fight a fire. I thought that was a great analogy—and a very scary one at that! I’ve seen the Jaws of Life in movies and during a demonstration by my local fire department at a seasonal public event. Aside from the risk of speeding cars on the side of the highway, I would never have imagined the amount of planning that goes into how the vehicle will be opened in order to allow for the easy and safe removal of the victim(s) inside. Furthermore, in order to complete the extraction in a timely fashion, the fire fighters I observed seemed to know how each and every vehicle was assembled; as if they were the original manufacturer. I learned about deactivating un-deployed airbags and how to cut the frame of a car while avoiding cutting through certain things that might not be easy to

cut through. The public has no idea that all of these details are taken into account by fire fighters on every call. As a sales trainer, I’ve often asked clients if their store managers recap their strategies or action plans with employees before every shift. They look at me as if I fell off a spaceship. Their response is always, “If these people don’t know what they’re supposed to do by now, then they should be fired!” I think, as a five-year veteran of the Toronto Fire Services—as two of the guys on the apparatus were—you should also know what is required. Yet, what really impressed me, was that on-route to each call, the Captain summarized the circumstances that the team was responding to and reminded them of what to look for, what to be careful of, how to prepare for certain things, and how to respond upon arrival. I’m sure they knew this stuff but recapping the details only ensures that everyone is working in sync towards a mutual goal, and in the most effective manner possible. Is fire fighting hard work? We did have a busier day than usual at the hall but when I returned home I was exhausted. I never considered having to wear the heavy bunker gear, carry equipment to fire scenes, or run up seven flights of stairs with all of this stuff during a high rise fire; which alone was a workoutand-a-half for me. Many employers think that new hires simply need a brief period of training and then they are ready to show up for work, day after day, and do a great job, without managers ever doing their part to help their team improve and develop. If that were the case for fire fighters, people’s lives would be at stake. I was very impressed to witness the ongoing training that fire fighters are continually involved in. During my single shift as a fire fighter, I attended a classroom briefing where the Captain reviewed possible scenarios with his team, as well as observing a fire fighter on the computer, completing online courses that were required of him.

Ask any of your friends or family if they like their bosses. Chances are, if they say “yes”, their boss is not very strict and gives them too much autonomy. If they say “no”, their boss is too strict and doesn’t make their job rewarding enough for them. What I witnessed during my day as a fire fighter, was a Captain (Dan) who exemplified the ideal ‘leader’. He took command, gave his team direction, and in times of need, was strict and in control. Yet when warranted, he knew how to have fun with his team and help them to enjoy their jobs and enjoy coming to work for him every day. In case I haven’t made my opinion obvious by now, I think the team I worked with (Frank, Vince, and Mark) did an awesome job, under the superb leadership of their captain Dan.

Mikes’ calls for his 16 hour shift 12:38 First aid call 13:01 High rise fire, first truck in, 2nd alarm 15:07 Detached house basement fire, 2nd alarm 17:12 Car accident 401 19:19 Low rise fire, sent as RIT Team, 2nd alarm 22:23 Car accident 401 22:53 Domestic situation with multiple patients, pepper spray used

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 43


Laying the TFS Wreath at Vimy BY MIKE SNETSINGER, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER, STATION 134A

I

went to Vimy, France with my fifteen year old son and some 40 other kids from Henry St. High School in Whitby. This was part of a larger tour of some 5,000 students who travelled to Europe to attend the 90th anniversary of the World War I battle for Vimy Ridge, and to learn about what the Canadian soldiers did during the First and Second World Wars.

With a little persuasion, I convinced my dad, Ross, and my father-in-law, Ron Burgess, to come with us. I was glad that I did because neither of them had been overseas, and having them on-board added a whole new dimension for the stu44

dents to consider; these gentlemen were going over to pay their respects as well and they are old. All of the kids were great throughout the entire tour; they really impressed me. Also, another reason for making this a family affair was that my grandfather fought in WW I. According to my dad he never spoke about his experiences when he returned to Canada and when I was growing up, it was understood that we didn’t ask about it. Interestingly enough, for several years now my son had shown quite an interest in his late great grandfather. He learned that he was a sapper or combat engineer. This was going to be a chance for three generations to say thanks to a fourth. A few days before we left, I had a discussion with the organizer of the tour. He’s a history teacher from Port Perry High School and he suggested that anyone who belonged to a uniform force would be welcome to wear their uniform and participate in the ceremony. With a bit of trepidation I contacted the TFS brass and the Union and with only a few days before departure, they kindly gave me permission to wear my uniform and

provided me with a TFS Local 3888 wreath to lay. I also spoke with a member of the TFS Colour Guard who gave me a good idea of what was involved in the laying of a wreath. The overall tour was eleven days long and covered London, the Chunnel, Belgium, France, Vimy, Normandy (D-Day landings), Paris and Lucerne Switzerland. It was a whirlwind tour and most of the time spent in transit was nap time. The first place that I wore my TFS uniform was at the Menin Gate at Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. This place was incredible. It’s an arch that was opened in 1927. It lists the names of the fallen Commonwealth soldiers who died in this area during WW I and who were never found. There are 54,896 names inscribed there. From time to time the body of a soldier is unearthed and with a lot of forensic identification work sometimes the individual can be identified. This happened last year with two Canadian soldiers. My understanding is that they managed to identify one of the men. They would then have a proper military funeral and the name would be removed form the Gate. Also every evening at


2000 hrs, buglers from the local fire brigade shut down road that passes underneath and they play the Last Post. With the exception of the German occupation in WW II, this ceremony has been going on there every evening since July 1928! These are folks who didn’t forget what our Commonwealth soldiers sacrificed. The other location where I represented the TFS was at the Vimy Memorial. The place is huge. The land is a gift from the French in perpetuity to people of Canada and there are many areas that are off limits because there are still unexploded munitions in the ground. According to one museum, the area around France and Belgium where the battles took place are loaded with bombs. To this day, the military still have to deal with about 200 tons of old unexploded munitions from both wars every year. I imagine that these are found when excavating or they just work their way to the surface over time and farmers bump into them with their ploughs. The actual wreath laying ceremony occured at the Canadian Cemetery No. 2 before the rededication of the Vimy Memorial. This is in the vicinity of the Memorial. I lined up behind dozens of high school students with wreaths who were representing their schools and several Durham Regional Police officers. My dad on the left of me wearing his fathers dress cap and my son on my right carrying his great grandfathers medal on an

improvised red pillow. We looked good. When it was our time to lay the TFS wreath, we marched smartly up to the cenotaph, my dad and son stopped at a prearranged spot and I continued forward to place the wreath. I stepped back a pace or two and then snapped a salute which I held for several moments and then we all wheeled around like we had practiced (one of the students on our tour was with the cadets so he taught us how to do it) and we march out. That was about it for my part. There were veterans, bag pipes (one of pipers was retired from the TFD), dignitaries, speeches, students decked out in replica uniforms, families and tourists all there to see this part of the ceremony. Later in the day was the rededication of the Vimy Memorial with all its pomp and ceremony. The Memorial is an incredible structure. The scale is huge and the detail and carving is amazing. No wonder it took eleven years to build. I have done some travelling in the past and I’d have to say that this is one of the most impressive things that I’ve seen. I guess being a Canadian might have something to do with that. We had the Queen, Prime Minister Harper, the French President and some 5000 high school students marching down the road into the front of the Memorial like in the Olympics. This time there was singing, trumpets, a violin that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up, more speeches and jets

flying over. It was all quite something, but it was the memorial—and the thought behind it—that was really important. Carved into the front of the memorial are the words:

To the valour of their Countrymen in the Great War And in memory of their sixty Thousand dead this monument Is raised by the people of Canada I understand that several WW I veterans who later joined the Toronto Fire Department began an association so I know there is a direct and appropriate connection to laying the TFS wreath but I think most people, such as myself, know of relatives who fought during the wars or perhaps are overseas now. For me, the wars were something in history books and on TV, but this trip made it very real. I think the one thing that I couldn’t get my head wrapped around are the numbers of fallen soldiers. They are huge. If you have a chance, go and tour the war monuments and the cemeteries in that part of Europe. It will be emotional and you can learn about what they did over there and then perhaps later, you’ll shake hands with a veteran. And don’t forget, I’m sure that that’s the last thing that they would want.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 45


3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS

Nineteen Toronto Fire Fighters attended one of two luncheons, held on March 30 and April 17, and received medals in recognition of their 25 years of active service with the Toronto Fire Services.

Toronto Fire Fighters from Station 312, in full dress uniform, salute as a procession carrying the bodies of soldiers killed while serving in Afghanistan passes through the downtown core.

46


Toronto Fire Fighters, including Fire Chief Bill Stewart, assemble in Ottawa for the annual Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial. This year’s event on Parliament Hill was held on September 9th.

Toronto Fire Fighters Damien Walsh, James Reed, Paul Beames, and Jim Morache prepare to clock the 3rd fastest time of the day in the 2007 Toronto General Hospital Bed Races, held during the Taste of the Danforth celebrations this past August.

President Scott Marks, Executive Officer Jim Morache, and Deputy Chief Frank Lamie accept a cheque for $25,000 from the platinum sponsor for the 2008 Toronto Fire Fighter Calendar, Starfield-Lion.

Toronto Firefighter, Jamie Reilly, poses with his family, his MP, and Governor General, Michaelle Jean, after receiving the Medal of Bravery. Jamie risked his life on December 19, 2005, while attempting to rescue a woman from 18 Rangoon Road in Etobicoke.

Premier Dalton McGuinty, surrounded by fire fighters and other public service workers, tells the crowd gathered at this campaign press conference that, “Public employees are the backbone of this great province.”

On July 6th, members of the 3888 Executive Board are on-hand to swear in 45 new recruits who began 26 weeks of training on July 2nd. FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 47


L CAL 3888 PICNIC BY KEITH HAMILTON, LOCAL 3888 EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICER

L

ocal 3888’s Annual Picnic was held at Center Island on July 18th this year and was well attended by children of all ages. Meteorologists were threatening rain and thunderstorms on this particular day, yet hundreds of parents and children came to Center Island anyway. And why not? The weatherman isn’t always right; and in this case, the weather was fantastic for the duration of the TPFFA Picnic. The Toronto Islands are always a nice place to visit in the summer time because of the moderate temperatures provided by Lake Ontario. The Fire Department Employees Credit Union representative was handing out necklaces with sunscreen that were very popular due to the sunny weather. The kids also received their annual picnic t-shirts with the “first fire truck” moose on the back. 48

The annual picnic was returned to the Toronto Islands this year after members requested the change through questionnaires handed out at previous picnics. The majority of families attending the picnic travelled to the island on the eleven o’clock ferry and were treated to a water display by the fireboat. The ferry ride is always a fun ride for the kids. Once on the island, there was plenty to do for kids and adults alike. There were four large bouncers for the kids to play on. Bouncers were age appropriate so that children of all ages could play, and they were well used throughout the entire day. The Fire Prevention Public Education members brought out fun games for children to try as well. Kids were dressed up in bunker gear


The Fire Prevention Public Education members brought out fun games for children to try as well. Kids were dressed up in bunker gear and used hand pumps and a hose line to hit targets and have fun. and used hand pumps and a hose line to hit targets and have fun. Children’s races were held in the afternoon and all children four years old and younger received a prize at the end of their race. For children between the age of five and sixteen, medals are awarded for the first three places of each race. Parents and children also had the opportunity to play together in the ever-popular and sometimes comical wheelbarrow races. After the races, the adults entertained the children with shoe kicking, frisbee tossing, tug-of-war and watermelon eating contests. The four women’s teams and four men’s teams provided great entertainment during their contests and the winners and runners-up were given coveted t-shirts for their heroic efforts. For those families with older kids, or for those times before and after the scheduled events, there were discount tickets available for the rides at Centerville. For members that did not plan for a picnic lunch, food tickets were available at the registration tent to get food in Centerville as well. To help with the warm weather, Executive Officers and helpers worked at Box 12 handing out bottles of water, freezies, popcorn and watermelon slices. At the end of the scheduled events, once the games were complete and the air was let out of the bouncers, the sky did turn a little dark. But the threatening skies stayed over the city and did not have any affect on the day’s events. Most families did not leave at the end of the games but stayed longer to enjoy the many opportunities for fun on the islands. For those that attended they know what a good time was had; for those that didn’t or couldn’t attend this year, make sure you prepare to attend next year’s picnic. FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 49


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BLUE: C WORKING

YELLOW: D WORKING

Please also find 4 wallet shift cards enclosed in the polybag in which FireWatch was mailed 50


Fit to SURVIVE

The fire fighter’s guide to health and nutrition Fit to Survive is your source for a healthier life, brought to you by the IAFF’s Fire Service Joint Labour Management Wellness/Fitness Initiative. You’ll find expert advice and practical information on staying fit and healthy, as well as recipes and nutrition tips to make your next firehouse meal wholesome and delicious. Articles reprinted in FireWatch have been taken from the IAFF’s Fit To Survive web site, which we encourage all members to visit regularly. It can be found at www.foodfit.com/iaff/.

Indoor Cycling Offers Benefits On and Off the Bike Spinning—or indoor cycling—is a form of exercise using a stationary exercise bicycle in a classroom setting. The concept was created in the 1980s by ultra-endurance athlete Jonathan Goldberg (“Johnny G.”). Participants set goals based on their perceived rate of exertion or heart rate using a heart rate monitor. Several indoor cycling programs exist, including “Spinning,” administered by Mad Dogg Athletics, “Studio cycling,” operated by Reebok, and “Power pacing,” from Keiser. Indoor cycling is a great workout and an excellent way to maintain or improve fitness and reduce stress. This combination mind-andbody workout also helps develop mental discipline and creates a calming and peaceful effect even as the body is being pushed to its limits. A typical class involves a single instructor at the front of the class who leads the participants in a number of different types of cycling. The routines are designed to simulate terrain and situations encountered on actual bicycle rides, including hill climbs, sprints and interval training. Coasting downhill, however, is not simulated. The instructor uses music and enthusiastic coaching to motivate the students to work harder.

Each person in the class can choose his or her own goals for the session. Some participants choose to maintain a moderate aerobic intensity level, while others drive their heart rates higher in intervals of anaerobic activity. Classes generally use specialized stationary bicycles. Features include a mechanical device to modify the difficulty of pedaling, speciallyshaped handlebars and multiple adjustment points to fit the bicycle to a range of riders. The pedals are equipped with toe straps to hold the foot to the pedal, enabling powerful upstrokes. They may also have cleats for use with specialty bicycling shoes. The difficulty of the workout is regulated by varying the resistance on a flywheel attached to the pedals and changing the cadence (the speed at which the pedals turn). The resistance is controlled by a knob, wheel or lever that the rider operates, causing the flywheel brake (a common bicycle brake) to tighten. Tightening the brake makes pedaling more difficult while loosening it makes pedaling easier. Indoor cycling is very energetic and causes a lot of sweating, so it’s important to bring and drink plenty of water.

PUMPKIN SOUP This very zesty, flavourful, and nourishing soup is sure to please! This recipe serves: 4 Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 50 mins Per serving: 206 calories, 5g fat and 803mg sodium

SUGGESTIONS * Note: The pumpkin used in this soup is not “jack-o-lantern” pumpkin. Use smaller pumpkins such as kabocha or jap squash. These are soft skinned and sweeter with a denser flesh. HEALTHY SUBSTITUTIONS By replacing heavy cream, flour and regular chicken stock with potatoes (for thickening), spices and low-sodium chicken stock, this healthier soup ups the nutrition and downs the calories, fat and sodium of many restaurant-style squash soups. INGREDIENTS

1 1 2 2 1 1 3 5 4 4

Tbsp olive oil onion, finely chopped cloves garlic, crushed chilies, seeded and sliced tsp ground cumin small pumpkin* (or medium butternut squash), seeded, peeled and chopped medium potato, peeled and chopped cup low-sodium chicken stock tsp nonfat sour cream tsp chives, to garnish

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chilies and cumin. Sauté until onion is soft. Stir in pumpkin, potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until pumpkin and potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally. 2. Purée soup in a food processor. Return soup to saucepan to reheat. Top with a dollop of nonfat sour cream and sprinkle with chives, if desired. Serve immediately.

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 51


2007 UPCOMING EVENTS October 1 - October 4

OPFFA “Dr. Eric G. Taylor” Fall Seminar

Niagara Falls, Ontario

October 7-13

Fire Prevention Week

Various locations, Toronto

October 10

Provincial Election

Various voting Stations, Ontario

October 11

Toronto FF Calendar Launch

Bay, Queen & Yonge

Saturday, October 13 (1000-1600)

Fire Prevention Open House

TFS & EMS Training Centre, 895 Eastern Ave.

October 16, Tuesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

October 17 - 19

Toronto HazMat Conference

Toronto - Crown Plaza

October 21 -25

IAFF 2207 Redmond Symposium

Chicago, IL

Wednesday, November 7

Take Kids to School Day- Grade 9 (FCC 209)

Toronto

November 21, Wednesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Friday, November 23

2 Magic shows at 1730, 2000 Hrs.

Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School

Saturday, November 24

Local 3888 Children’s X-mas Party

Variety Village

Saturday, November 24

3 Magic shows at 1300, 1600 & 1900 Hrs.

Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School

November 26-29

OPFFA Legislative Conference

Toronto

Wednesday, November 28

Stewards Meeting

3888 Union office

Tuesday, December 4

2 Magic shows at 1730 & 2000 Hrs.

Toronto - Ryerson Theatre

Wednesday, December 12

2 Magic shows at 1730 & 2000 Hrs.

North York - Lawrence Park CI School

December 18, Tuesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Friday, Dec. 21 (1200 Hrs) To/Incl. Jan 1, 2007

Union Office will be closed

39 Commissioners Street

Thank You 52

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Albert Gilbert July 16,1884 Toronto Fire Department On July 16, 1884, at approximately tenthirty p.m., an alarm of fire was sounded for the stable at the rear of T. Hall’s grocery store on the southeastern corner of Parliament and Sydenham Streets, in the east end of Toronto. Horse-drawn apparatus responded from Court, Berkeley, Wilton and Bay Street stations, which made up the eastern section of the Toronto Fire Department at that time. The hayloft above the stables was on fire, but quick work with several hose streams from the outside kept the fire from spreading to the store. When it became possible, several fire fighters entered with lanterns to try and save two horses reported to be still inside. Other crew members brought in another stream to confirm extinguishment and conduct overhaul. Fire fighter Albert Gilbert, from the Court Street Hook & Ladder, was about to use his pike pole—or “hook,” as it was

called then—to open up the hay for better water application, when suddenly the roof and hayloft collapsed, burying the fire fighters under tons of hay. About a dozen fire fighters were inside the building, trapped under the debris, including Deputy Chief Graham and Gilbert. Fire Chief Richard Ardagh, whose son Charles was also trapped, organized the rescue effort and they immediately began digging the men out one by one while extinguishing the fire that had been stirred up by the collapse. Fire fighter Tom Pointon’s life was saved by fire fighter Tom Worrell, who was later killed in the line of duty in 1905. Pointon was trapped up to his neck by the enormous weight of the wet hay but fire fighter Worrell held his head up until help arrived to dig him out. Charles Ardagh was rescued forty-five minutes later and it was thought he was the last of the trapped men. The reels began to return to their stations when Captain Frank Smith of the Court Street hall took roll call and determined that fire fighter Gilbert was missing. Some thought

he had come out already, but Deputy Chief Graham remembered Gilbert had been near him inside the building when it collapsed. The search was resumed and after an hour of hard work a pike pole and the legs of a man were discovered under debris and a heavy beam. Thirty minutes later the crushed body of Albert Gilbert was removed. His helmet was crushed and he still held the pike pole, broken, in his hand. Under the light of the stars a procession of fire fighters and their apparatus followed the ambulance with the body of their comrade back to the Court Street hail from where he had responded a couple of hours earlier. Albert Gilbert was forty-nine years of age, a widower, and left four children. He had been a fire fighter for about fifteen years and now rests in the Necropolis Cemetery. At his funeral a wreath on the casket read “rung out”—an 1800s phrase meaning “last alarm.”

can take no more. And such was the case with Fire fighter Thomas Charters. His last call was a relatively minor one; the kind of call that we go to every day. Just after 1:30 P.M. a stovepipe became clogged at Southworth’s Second Hand Store, 651 Yonge St. With the store filling up with smoke, an employee ran to the corner of Yonge and Isabella and pulled Box 42. With Yorkville not yet annexed,

the Yonge Street section was first in. Only $500 damage was incurred as the stovepipe was opened up and the store cleared of smoke, and crews were soon clear. It would turn out to be one call too many, though, for Tom Charters’ heart. He died later that night at his home, despite his physicians attempts. He would be the 10th Toronto Fire Fighter to die in the line of duty.

* Re-printed with permission from the book Their Last Alarm by Robert B. Kirkpatrick.

BY JON LASIUK – TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER

Thomas Charters April 14,1881 Toronto Fire Department As is often the case with fire fighting, the dangers of the job creep up to you without warning. With every breath of toxic smoke, with every strain and pain, fire fighting wears at a man until sometimes his body

FALL 2007 | FIRE WATCH 53


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JIFFY LUBE ................... OUTSIDE BACK

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THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES

CANADIAN ASSOC OF MOVERS........ 7

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ROYAL LEPAGE–BLAIR BUGGE ........... 8

DANIEL DRAGAN GAVRILOVIC ........ 54

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SCARBORO SUZUKI .......................... 10

GREEN WAY NATURAL THERAPY..... 34

PHARMA MEDICA RESEARCH ............ 8

SEAGHER MEDICAL GROUP ............. 34

CREDIT UNION ............. INSIDE FRONT TRAVEL SOURCE NETWORK .............. 8 WIRELESS/BELL MOBILITY .............. 10

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Fire Watch (Fall 2007)