Hall SHowcaSe on Station 325 VOLUME 6
ISSUE 3 | Fall 2010
Helping Hands in Haiti
Member Profile on tFS acting captain, Gerald Brinston
the netherlands 2010
tFS Pipes & Drums Visit for 65th anniversary of liberation
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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION
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Secretary Treasurer’s Message
Vice President’s Message
Letters to the Editor
Fire Fighter Survival & Rescue
The Netherlands 2010
Ottawa Fire 2010 Symposium
You’ve Come a Long Way Baby!
Fire Fighter Exchange Program
Another Hot Local 3888 Annual Picnic
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Station 134 Makes for an Impressive Lego Build
Scott Marks’ Retirement Dinner
Member Profile on Gerry Brinston
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Firehall Showcase - Station 325
Never Shall We Forget
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Behind the Mask
3888 Recent Happenings
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tio n 325
ISSUE 3 | Fall 2010
On The Cover On Tuesday January 12th, 2010, at 4:53 pm, a 7.0 Mw earthquake devastated Haiti. Its epicenter was near the town of Leogane, which is 25 km west of Haiti’s Capital, Port-Au-Prince. One of our own, Gerry Brinston, was there to help.
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PReSiDent’S MeSSaGe negotIatIons Update
n my opinion, there is nothing more important than the bargaining that takes place between the City and the Association with regard to the renewal of our Collective Agreement. To this end, I want to update you on the current state of negotiations. Since September 30, 2009 we have participated in over forty meetings with the city in an effort to come to an agreement on a new contract. At our last meeting on April 23, 2010, we learned that the Bargaining Committee representing the city did not in fact have a mandate to offer Local 3888 Fire Fighters the same wage proposal as the Toronto Police for the year 2010. We requested that the City’s negotiators appear in front of their Employee and Labour Relations Committee and seek an alteration to their mandate in order that meaningful bargaining could continue. Members of our Bargaining Committee were in attendance when this meeting occurred on May 19, 2010, but unfortunately, no modification was allowed. Accordingly, I immediately applied for Conciliation, a process demanded by the ‘Fire Prevention and Protection Act’, Bill 84, before we can proceed to Arbitration. The Conciliation procedure on July 12th was not helpful and I requested that the conciliation officer issue a ‘no board report’ and quickly applied for Arbitration. Our nominee will be Jeff Sack, who has many years of experience representing fire fighters in Ontario at boards of arbitration, and our advocate will be Jeff Nester. Jeff is one of our own, a Toronto Fire Fighter who has gained much knowledge while doing Boards of Arbitration for numerous Locals within the Province of Ontario. We are awaiting confirmation of an Arbitrator and dates for our first hearing. My preferred avenue to settle a new contract would always be at the bar-
gaining table. However, without a clear mandate to negotiate police parity, the City has made binding Arbitration our only recourse.
InternatIonal assocIatIon of fIre fIghters conventIon
The 50th Convention of the IAFF took place in the City of San Diego, California from August 23 – 26 of this year. I was proud to lead the delegation from Local 3888, which is the 5th largest local in the International. Several resolutions came to the floor designed to improve the health of fire fighters and protect our retirement benefits, which are coming under greater scrutiny and attack by employers and city councils in
tion closures, layoffs or other public safety threats are anticipated. The present system is very out-of-date. However, the new system will allow the IAFF to purchase the most up-to-date street map data anywhere in North America. We will be able to appear before council or the public and demonstrate how budget cuts to Fire Department resources will adversely affect our ability to pro-
This money will be used To hire new sTaff and arrange for pension experTs To creaTe a web-based resource for affiliaTes.
both Canada and the United States. From my point of view, it was significant when the delegates present unanimously approved a resolution which reallocated 12 cents from current funding and added 8 cents per capita in new funding to assist Locals in protecting their pension plans. This money will be used to hire new staff and arrange for pension experts to create a web-based resource for affiliates. For the first time, this capital will permit the IAFF to establish a list of preferred actuaries and pension experts who will create a database, using information collected in the same way that wage statistics are now gathered. Another significant Resolution that was accepted by the delegates will enhance and improve one of the key tools that assist Locals in fighting station closures and staff cutbacks. Resolution 26 will ensure funding for a web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) that we will be able to access when sta-
tect our communities. These GIS reports have been used hundreds of times in the past to prevent station closures and layoffs and the new system will be even better and more current. There were a number of key note speakers at the convention. Of interest to Canadians was Jack Layton; the Leader of the Federal NDP Party spoke to the delegates on Thursday morning. He noted that fire fighters are by far the best organized and efficient labour group involved in political action. He noted that political action is essential at all levels of government in order to make positive changes for fire fighters. With a municipal election close at hand we must ensure that we support our Local 3888 Political Action Committee.
Ed Kennedy President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.F.F. Local 3888
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SecRetaRY tReaSUReR’S MeSSaGe “What should we expect when we have Public Sector Workers living off the public dime, setting their own compensation, benefits and perks.” “Invite some Taxpayers to the table and the Gravy Train will stop.” “Why is it still seen as acceptable for public sector workers to receive Defined Benefits pension programs? This is a slight to all taxpayers within Canada, and something that needs to be fixed. I truly believe that we need to grandfather all current workers as Defined Benefits, but switch all new workers to Defined Contributions. Make people responsible for their own retirements, and not force the taxpayer, most without guaranteed pensions, to cover this financial burden.”
The quotes above appeared in a blog after the OMERS contribution increases were announced in a newspaper article. The article, like many I read, was poorly written, as it did not ask the hard questions and dig deep enough into the story on public pension plans. A few days later, a friend sent me an article that I thought put this issue, and unfortunately other social issues we deal with, into context. I thought it was such an appropriate analogy that I just had to share it.
one of those genies whose almost relentless habit it is to pop out of bottles. The Englishwoman says that a friend of hers has a charming cottage in the Cotswolds, and that she would like a similar cottage, with the addition of two extra bedrooms and a second bath and a brook running in front of it. The Frenchman says that his best friend has a beautiful blonde mistress, and he would like such a mistress himself, but a redhead instead of a
The Russian word zavist, roughly translated, means envy of the meanest, most black-hearted kind. In his 2003 book, “Envy,” scholar and critic Joseph Epstein relates a joke of the sort that Russians tell on themselves that perfectly captures the meaning of zavist: “An Englishwoman, a Frenchman, and a Russian are each given a single wish by
blonde, and with longer legs and a bit more in the way of culture and chic. The Russian, when asked what he would like, tells of a neighbour who has a cow that gives a vast quantity of the richest milk, which yields the heaviest cream and the purest butter. ‘I vant dat cow,’ the Russian tells the genie, ‘dead.’” Thus, in reading the reactions to public pension plans, I think the Russian joke is an appropriate comparison.
Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association Income Tax Summary - (Cost of Retirement) ESTIMATE Assumption Date December 31, 2010 (Assumption: Single - TD1 Code 1) 30 years service Fire Fighter Active Income: Salary or Pension (1) Association Dues
35 years service Fire Fighter Active
30 years service Captain Active
35 years service Captain
30 years service District Chief
35 years service District Chief
OMERS Pension Plan
Canada Pension Plan
Total Deductions Net Annual Pay (Take home Pay) Net HR Rate (2) (Take home Pay) Cost of Retirement Yearly Cost/retirement HR Rate (2)
NOTES: (1) Information above based on; 30 or 35 years completed service as of December 31, 2010. (2) Hourly rates based on 1,788 hours per annum. Salary based on 2009 rate. This is a rough estimation, all the same factors have been used throughout the chart for comparison purposes. Please consult with OMERS to get a true reflection of your pension.
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OPTIONS VOLUME 3
ISSUE 3 | FALL 2007
Captain John A. Chappelle
1954 - 2007 VOLUME 4
2008 ISSUE 1 | SPRING
FIRE HALL SHO
41203011 WCASE: Fire Station 315
TFS Demographics Where do you fit in?
ISSUE 2 | SUMMER 2008
Would You Escape a Fire in An d thHom e?ard e Aw Your
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Local 388 Station 116 Fire 8 hos FIREHALL SHOWCASE: ts annual Media Awards
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Who Helps Chi ldre Who Set Fires?n A look at the TAPP -C Program
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Mail to: 39 Commissioners Street, M5A 1A6, Toronto Make Cheques payable to the T.P.F.F.A.
Secretary Treasure’s Message ... Continued from page 7
Two out of every three private sector workers in North America are no longer covered by traditional pension plans. Such attacks have contributed to a crisis in retirement security. We have all read in the IAFF magazine, of the attacks that fire fighters are facing on their pension plans. Social Security will pay most of us about a third of what we made before retirement. Most Canadians - 90 percent by some estimates - aren’t saving nearly enough money to make up the difference. Instead of changing that fighting to salvage pensions, pushing for reforms in retirement savings funds and insisting that policymakers don’t sell out workers - we want to spread the misery. The guy with the pension? We want his cow dead! So to speak. Before World War II, pensions were almost unheard of. Indeed, before Social Security, old-age security was considered the individual’s problem. If there was no family to help, older Canadians often lived in poverty. With prices and wages frozen during the war, pensions were a benefit that companies could offer to attract and keep employees. For much of the next 40 years, Canadians could count on
On August 24th, 2010, the OMERS Sponsorship Corporation finalized the means that the 2011 contribution increase will take. They did not follow immediate past practice and used the straight addition method. This was the method that was urged by the Fire and Police representatives on the board. This means, in dollars and cents that fire fighters, on the average NRA 60 salary, will see an increase in contributions which are approximately $350 less than they would have been under the past practice pro-rata method. Thus, on a salary of $85,000, the increase will be an additional $850 in annual contributions, minus the tax benefit of $279; thus, the out-of-pocket increase will amount to $571. The new contribution rate, as of January 1, 2011, will be 7.9% on earnings up to the CPP limit (YMPE) and 13.1% on earnings over the YMPE. Currently. the YMPE is $47,200 but will be higher in 2011. Further increases to rates will also be necessary in 2012 and 2013, plus changes to benefits calculations earned after January 1. 2012. Please see OMERS website for more information. Examples based on 2010 YMPE, thus, as the 2011 limit will be higher, the actual dollar increase in contribution rates may be slightly less than those indicated.
ries in return for a comfortable - and sometimes early - retirement. All of that began to change with the introduction of RRSP’s and reporting Pension Adjustments. It was intended to make pensions more secure and to allow
some people are beTTer-off. more and more, These people are public employees -public employees who sTill have pensions.
working a lifetime for the same company and retiring with a pension and a measure of comfort. Provincial and local governments couldn’t compete with private employers’ salaries; so, they tried to ‘close the gap’ by offering more generous pension plans. Fire fighters, teachers and other government employees took lower sala-
individuals to set aside tax-free income in, “individual retirement accounts.” However, it was shot through with loopholes that employers began to exploit. Some people are better-off. More and more, these people are public employees -public employees who still have pensions. They are the ones with the cows that a lot of people want dead and, be-
cause they are paid with tax dollars, they are the ones who are the target of pension attacks. We need to stop the race to the bottom. I also see this ‘zavist’ response when teachers are mentioned; the typical retort being the amount of time off they have. The reply to these and similar benefit criticisms should be, “They deserve to keep them and we deserve to also have them.” We should all wish for our friends and ourselves to have great performing cows and remove Zavist from our lives.
Frank Ramagnano Secretary - Treasurer, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH
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Vice PReSiDent’S MeSSaGe laBoUr daY
n august 27th, union notice 10-042 was issued regarding the 2010 labour day parade. sadly, the parade was attended by less than 25 of our off-duty members.
As stated in the notice, paid holidays, medical insurance, Workmen’s Compensation, unemployment insurance, pensions, fair hours, union wages, etc. are all things we take for granted today, but were hard won battles going back to the first parade for workers rights on April 15, 1872. In a column by Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director of the United Steelworkers, in the Toronto Star on May 5, 2009, he talked about the importance of unions during economic downturns. “Generally, unionized workers have better job security and they are part of an entire structure focused on standing up for working people and defending them against arbitrary treatment, including various forms of discrimination and favouritism.” Again, benefits such as these have been won through negotiation, arbitration and in some cases, through work stoppages. Recently, members of your Executive attended the 50th IAFF Convention and heard stories of the attacks that our brothers and sisters in the United States are involved in. Fire fighters are being attacked as the “haves” and many critics are attacking the benefit plans and pension plans that have been negotiated with their cities and municipalities. General Presi-
dent Schaitberger’s State of the Union Address at the opening of the convention can be seen in its entirety on the IAFF website. During the convention, one town, ironically named Uniontown, Pennsylvania, announced it will be attempting to lay off all of it’s fire fighters and go with a volunteer department as of January 1, 2011. Watching the videos that are available
with the Government Relations Committee, will be posting a list of labour friendly candidates within the City of Toronto. As well, OPFFA Vice President, Mark McKinnon, is working on a list for the OPFFA website identifying labour friendly candidates across the province.
fire fighTers are being aTTacked as The “haves” and many criTics are aTTacking The benefiT plans and pension plans ThaT have been negoTiaTed wiTh Their ciTies and municipaliTies.
on the IAFF website, and reading the news articles, gives you insight into how the economic downturn has been, and is still, hurting our brothers and sisters south of the border and makes you realize that we are not that far removed from many of the issues. That is why every one of us should be questioning the various people running for municipal office in the areas in which we live, to see if they are “labour friendly” and what they will do to protect, to the best of their ability, the hard fought benefits won by our locals and brothers and sisters in the labour movement. Brother Damien Walsh, in conjunction
Please watch for these lists in the upcoming weeks and if you can, volunteer some time to help your candidate with signs, canvassing or any other request the candidate may have. As always, there is the ability to contribute financially through the TPFFA FIREPAC or the OPFFA PROPAC.
Ian Hamilton Vice-President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
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FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 11
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BY TODD RILEY, WEST CommANd CHAPlAIN
While in the process of posting a note on their closet door I decided in my anger to kick the door. Not only did I hurt my knee, but God spoke to my heart at that very moment, bringing this Bible verse to mind: “Anger does not produce the righteous life that God requires.” Convicted, I asked God’s forgiveness and for more patience in my relations with our tenants. A lot of folks struggle with anger. What types of things stretch your patience and make you angry? Do people that cut the line irritate you? How about cell phone talkers in the movie theatre? Maybe it’s your kids shoes all over the entrance floor to your house? Not all anger is bad. There are some things that we should be angry about angry enough to do something positive and good to fix the problem. We should be angry about injustice, abuse, the treatment of the poor, unfaithfulness, and things like crime. People express anger in a variety of ways. For some, it’s a temper tantrum replete with cursing, throwing things, and flaring nostrils. Others withdraw, entertain thoughts of revenge, become critical or abusive in their speech, become chronically irritable, are sarcastic, or put others down. When I think about anger, I can’t help but think that a lot of anger has to do with our inability to control what other people are doing. Because we can’t get our own way - with our children, spouse, co-workers, our situations - we get frustrated, we get irritated, we withdraw, and sometimes we lapse into a stoney si-
lence. The fact is, we can’t control other people. The only person we can control is ourself. Remind yourself that you can’t control other people. I also think that a lot of anger has to do with the issue of forgiveness. When we make a decision to hold a grudge, to not forgive, to be resentful, or to be bitter, that’s a decision that sours and poisons us. Refusing to forgive makes for chronically angry, judgmental, irritated people - short fused people. Anger is a temporary emotional response that we have control over. We are always responsible for how we respond whether we are sick, in pain, had a long day, or have been offended.
Rev. Todd Riley
weSt coMManD Rev. Todd Riley 416.236.8801 firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts and feelings. Get proper sleep and rest. Make friends with calmer people. On the subject of friends, the Bible says, “Do not make friends with a hot tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” Pray for patience. Get counseling. Forgive those who wrong you and when you are wrong, go and apologize. Let go of your bitterness and your grudges. When confronted by an angry person, don’t escalate the situation by matching
There are some Things ThaT we should be angry abouT - angry enough To do someThing posiTive and good To fix The problem. we should be angry abouT injusTice, abuse, The TreaTmenT of The poor, unfaiThfulness, and Things like crime.
Before mentioning some positive ways of dealing with anger, here’s some advice on what not to do when angry: Do not explode in a rage. This will only get you in trouble. Letting it all out is not a good thing. Bad behavior only leads to more bad behavior. Here’s a Bible verse that you might find helpful: “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise person keeps them self under control.” If you want to keep your reputation, marriage, friendships, and job intact, don’t freak out when you’re angry. Now for some healthy ways to handle anger or anger inducing situations: Take a time out. Count to 10, 100, a million. Exercise. If you like to write, journal
their intensity. Again, in the Bible it says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If you head out now and find that someone left the dome light on in your car or someone cuts you off when driving or you notice that someone looks at you sideways with a strange look or talks too long in the grocery store line, or whatever it might be, remember this: a wise person keeps them self under control and it is to our glory to overlook an offense. Thanks for you time and please don’t forget that I’m always willing to get together for coffee sometime.
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 13
rs e tt e L to tHe eDitoR
donlands’ family donaTions
Many thanks for your very generous donation to the Donlands’ families who were affected by the recent fires in four homes. I witnessed the fire and the courageous effort on behalf of the fire service and I have to say that you are awesome! All the very best and keep up the great work! Also please convey my appreciation for what was donated. –Jane Pitfield
babes for babes Thanks Thanks to those of you who supported Babes for Babes. Thanks to all of our walkers, to you for coming out to the 30th annual Preemie picnic and to those staff who were so very helpful at this event. What a great team!! A Big thanks to Greig Cooke, Gretchen Skidmore and Brett (Maria’s BF in the food tent) and Fran.A big thanks to Janos and his fire fighter team. Thanks to Dave H. for the support and the team of fire fighters who filled our dunk tank. –Laura Borges RN
Thalia’s journey On behalf of our family, we just wanted to say a sincere thank you to the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association for your generosity and support. We have now had two back-to-back successful fundraising events! Contributing to this success is the generous donations made by organizations, including the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. Our two events and donations to date have brought our current fundraising total to $27,500. Just a coincidence?...our journey from Toronto to Düsseldorf is 4000 miles...and we need to raise $40,000. That translates as a mile into our journey for every $10 we raise. A few short weeks ago, we were sitting on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport and now, between both events/donations
and $27,500 raised...we are 2,750 miles into our journey! We are flying over the Atlantic with 1250 miles to go! Thank you for being part of Thalia’s Journey...and bringing us a step closer to making
the journey “from disability to possibility,” a reality. Sincerely, –The Avgousti Family Andy, Flory, Johnathan & Thalia
many Thanks for anoTher greaT picnic I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank your organization for running the Toronto Fire Family Picnic day at Centre Island on July 8th. Being the wife of a fire fighter with two small children, I am in awe at the sense of goodwill, commitment and devotion that your members have toward our families. It is a day (along with the Christmas Party
of course!) that my children and I look forward to every year and enjoy. Years from now, I am certain that my daughters and I will look back at these picnics with many fond memories. A special thank you goes out to the older children of your members who volunteered with food/drink distribution and supervising the bouncers. Your help is very much appreciated! –Nada Drozd
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: email@example.com 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.
We do not accept attachments. Please paste your letter into the body of your email and use the subject line “Letter to the Editor.”
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
You may email your submission/query to firstname.lastname@example.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.
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 15
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DEALING WITH WIRE ENTRAPMENT Reprinted from the winter 2006 issue of Fire watch
By fire fighters Geoff Boisseau, John McGill, and Brian Mcalinden, along with the technical expertise of francis hardy and steve sMith, safety specialists, electrical safety authority
SINCE THERE IS ALWAYS THE POSSIBILITY THAT ELECTRICAL WIRES MAY BE ENERGIZED ON A FIREGROUND, ANY FIRE FIGHTER THAT BECOMES ENTANGLED IN ELECTRICAL WIRE SHOULD CONSIDER CUTTING THESE WIRES ONLY AS A LAST RESORT â€” WHERE DEATH IS IMMINENT. CUTTING LIVE WIRES IS NOT A RECOMMENDED PRACTISE AND COULD RESULT IN ELECTRICAL SHOCK CAUSING DEATH!
ire fighters should always be aware of potential entanglement hazards such as drop ceilings, grow-op paraphernalia, and light weight construction materials. Where possible, fire fighters should try to avoid going through any area that contains an entanglement hazard and find another way in or out. If a fire fighter has no other option, they must create a defendable space which will aide in their navigation through the hazard. If a fire fighter does become entangled, they must be able to recognize and identify what has caused the snag. Any entanglement should be considered a fire ground emergency and, therefore, the firefighter should call a MAYDAY. Any fire fighter that finds themselves in an entanglement situation has two important factors that they must consider before determining a course of action these include:
Any prolonged entrapment will result in a significant consumption of air which may substantially reduce the ability of others to affect a successful rescue and may result in asphyxiation and death.
Cutting into potentially energized wires could result in electric shock and may be fatal.
***Be aware, there are ALWAYS CONSEQUENCES if you cut into live wires! Shock and electrocution are very real consequences when dealing with the cutting of live wires*** Fire fighters must also be aware of other consequences when cutting electrical wires, such as:
Conductivity hazards that exist in the presence of water.
A cut wire may drop or whip and energize other conductive material such as t-bars, rebar or steel beams â€” resulting in electrocution.
An electrical flash may ignite other combustible material.
Disentanglement ProceDures There are various methods of disentanglement fire fighters may attempt when faced with a fire ground emergency involving entanglement with electrical wires. They include:
swim technique A fire fighter should announce a MAYDAY upon entanglement. Once the fire fighter recognizes that they are entangled, they should maintain tension on the entanglement. This will
enable the fire fighter to recognize the type of entanglement and its location:
1. helmet 2. top of scBa 3. scBa valve, bell or bottom 4. other The fire fighter will reach down and bring their arm forward in a swimming motion until it comes into contact with the tensioned wire. With a grip on the entangled wire, the fire fighter will back up while lowering their body position to try to remove the problem. If the entanglement is removed, update command and exit the immediate area.
Partial scBa harness removal Once the fire fighter recognizes that they are entangled and has tried the swim technique with no success, they may have to partially remove their SCBA to escape. To do so they must: 1. Undo the chest strap, loosen the waist belt, and remove their right arm from the right shoulder strap. 2. Protect the regulator hose and face piece by gripping the left shoulder strap and regulator hose. FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 17 WINTER 2006 | FIRE WATCH
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Survival & Rescue ... Continued from page 17
3. Turn their body towards the left shoulder strap and face the SCBA. Attempt to sweep their free arm around the cylinder and harness to find the entanglement and work to remove the entanglement. If the entanglement is removed, update command and exit the immediate area.
Complete SCBA HArneSS removAl Once the fire fighter recognizes that they are entangled and has tried the swim technique and partial SCBA removal with no success, they may have to completely remove their SCBA to escape. To do so they must: 1. Undo the chest strap, undo the waist belt, and remove their right arm from the right shoulder strap. 2. Protect the regulator hose and face piece by gripping the left shoulder strap and regulator hose. 3. Turn their body towards the left shoulder strap and face the SCBA. While turning, slip their left arm out of the left shoulder strap. The fire fighter will now be completely free of their SCBA and facing the back frame. Fire fighters should always maintain a firm grasp of the SCBA’s left shoulder strap and regulator hose to avoid problems with the face piece connection. Once the SCBA is removed and fire fighter has rotated it so that they are facing the harness, they should work to remove any entanglement by sweeping an arm around the cylinder and harness to find the hazard (keeping a grasp of the left shoulder strap). Once the entanglement has been identified, they should attempt to remove the entanglement hazard. If the entanglement is removed, update command and prepare to exit the immediate area.
Prior to moving, package the waist belt and shoulder straps on the back plate. Move away from the hazard area by pushing the SCBA in front with the cylinder valve first, cylinder down, back plate up and with a firm grip on the low pressure (regulator) hose. When exiting, the fire fighter must ensure that they take the same route as their removed SCBA. Remember that they are attached to the harness by the regulator hose and if that regulator hose is compromised, it may result in the loss of breathing air to their face piece, leading to serious injury or even death.
tHe lASt reSort – Cutting entAnglementS A fire fighter should first attempt to become disentangled from a wire using the steps listed above. When the situation is at the point where there are no other options and life is at risk, a fire fighter should try to cut the wires with an axe rather than wire cutters. The reason for this is to maximize the distance between the wires and the fire fighter’s body when cutting. If this is not a viable option and time and air supply are becoming factors, then cutting the wires using wire cutters may be the only option (THE LAST RESORT). When cutting wires, it is recommended that you follow these steps: 1. Free yourself from touching any grounded surface (i.e. metallic or conductive surface) if possible.
2. Ensure your bunker suit collar is done up with your flash hood in place and on air. 3. While cutting, (if possible) keep any other part of your body from contacting any object that could return the path to ground (i.e. any metal). If possible, cut the cable with both hands on the cutter for additional leverage. This will also reduce the possibility of touching a grounded surface. If the cable jacket is of a conductive type (i.e. BX cable), do not hold the conductive jacket while cutting as the possibility of shock is increased. If the cable has a plastic insulation jacket or covering (i.e. Romex), one hand can be used to cut while the other can hold the insulated jacket of the wire to prevent any whipping action, since there is no return path. 4. When cutting, ensure your face piece is in place; completely covering exposed areas, and close your eyes to eliminate potential temporary “arc flash blindness”. If your face piece is not completely protecting you, turn your head away from the wires. 5. Remember to consider water as a conductor in this equation. Either directly, such as standing or laying in it, or through contamination such as soak REMEMBER – all electrical wires should be considered energized at all times. Choosing to cut an electrical wire should be done as a last resort only. It should only be done after attempting other disentanglement methods first.
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The Netherlands 2010 By Dave archer, ToronTo Fire FighTer and PiPes & drums Band memBer
n May of 2010, after two years of planning, rehearsing and fund raising, the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums embarked on a remarkable tour of the Netherlands. This tour was in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation by Canadian Forces during World War II. During this time of celebration and remembrance, many ceremonies were held throughout Holland to honour Canada’s fallen and to celebrate Holland’s liberation from five years of Nazi occupation. Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums was honoured and proud to have the privilege to participate in such profound ceremonies, memorials and observances throughout the Netherlands.
Netherlands Occupied by the Nazis In 1939, Great Britain and France had declared war against Germany. During this time, the Netherlands was a neutral country. That all changed on May 15, 1940, 20
when the German army had completely occupied the Dutch nation. The Netherlands was valuable to the Nazis for various strategic reasons (air field installations for the Luftwaffe, V1 rocket launch sites and its close proximity to the sea). Immediately following the invasion, the Dutch government and the Dutch Royal Family were exiled to England. Back in
Holland, the Dutch people were subject to oppressive and cruel treatment by its Nazi occupiers. Almost 110,000 Dutch Jews were collected and taken to extermination camps within Germany. Over 300,000 Dutch labourers and technicians were deported into Germany and forced to work in factories to help support the German war effort. The locals were subjected to Gleichschaltung “enforced conformity” which prohibited the Dutch from participating in any activities deemed inappropriate by the Nazis. Failure to conform would result in imprisonment, deportation or execution. Many Dutch citizens who helped hide Jews or participated in any form of resistance were executed. The German occupiers plundered all possessions and food supplies from the Dutch. The food was taken to feed German soldiers in Holland and sent back to Germany. By the winter of 1944, over 30,000 Dutch civilians died due to hunger, exposure, disease, and exhaustion; this would be known as the
Hongerwinter (hunger winter). By the end of the five year Nazi occupation, over 205,900 Dutch had died.
canada in the Netherlands Canada brought liberty and life to the Netherlands at the end of WWII. Between October 1944 and May 1945, with fierce fighting and heavy causalities, the Canadian military opened the Scheldt estuary and the port of Antwerp to Allied supplies, cleared much of the country of the enemy, and fed a Dutch people left starving by the Nazi occupier. On May 5, 1945, in Wageningen, the Germans surrendered to the Canadians. During the initial days of the invasion, Queen Wilhelmina, her royal family and the Dutch Government took refuge in England. Princess Juliana (the sole heir to the throne) was sent to Ottawa with her two daughters. Her third daughter, Princess Margariet was born in Ottawa. To ensure the Dutch citizenship of Princess Margariet, the Canadian Government decreed a special law that temporarily declared Princess Juliana’s suite at the Ottawa Civic Hospital to be extraterritorial. By the spring of 1945, Canadian forces engaged in harsh fighting in various towns throughout Holland, with the assistance of American and British troops. On April 28, 1945, Canadians made a truce with the Germans so that food could be air-dropped over Holland to feed the many starving Dutch. To show their appreciation to the pilots who dropped food from the air, many Dutch painted “Thank you Canadians” on their rooftops. By May 5th 1945, the Netherlands was liberated. The German Army surrendered to Canadian forces in Wageningen. Once the occupation was over, much needed food, supplies, and support was brought in by Canadians. A deep, long-lasting bond of friendship was forged between Canada and the Netherlands. In honour of their gift of freedom, the Dutch people donate 10,000 tulips each year to Canada. Every year since liberation, the Dutch hold annual memorial services and liberation celebrations. Every five years, they have a “welcome veterans” event where hundreds of veterans come back to Holland as guests of Dutch citizens who gladly open their homes to their liberators and their families, and participate in the victory parade in Apeldoorn.
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The netherlands 2010 ... Continued from page 21
almelo, base of operations
Queen`s Day celebrations
The band arrived in the Town of Almelo, which is located 150 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam in the Twente Canal Area about 30 kilometres west of the German border. During the occupation, Almelo had a strong Nazi presence throughout the town and surrounding area. There were four V1 rocket (doodlebug bomb) launch sites in the area. On April 4, 1945, the Lake Superior Regiment tanks entered the town by crossing the railroad bridge. There was heavy fighting in the town centre and along the canal. By the morning of April 5th, the Germans had pulled out and Almelo was liberated. There are numerous memorials and plaques all over the city, commemorating the actions and losses of Canadian military during this fight. The Pipe Band was based at the Theatre Hotel, located in the older part of Almelo, which was in the sector where the most fierce fighting took place for Almelo`s liberation. Many of the old building are still present with some still showing obvious damage from gun fire and shelling. Most of the celebrations and memorials that the band was to participate in were to be in the Almelo area.
April 30th is the Dutch national holiday known as Queenâ€™s day. On this day, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their Queen Beatrix. It is much like what Victoria Day is to Canada. The band was invited to participate in two celebrations: one in the town of Weirden and the other in the village of Hoge Hexel.
Wierden Wierden is a small town located approximately 5km west of Almelo. Like many Dutch towns, Wierden was under harsh Nazi occupation, as this was the location of one of the many V1 rocket launch sites. On April 6th/7th, under heavy fighting, the Canadian forces liberated the town and destroyed the ski jump styled launch sites. This victory opened a corridor for the Canadians and Allies to advance west towards Holten. Almost every town person was out to see us play. We played in the town square and then marched through the streets. As we passed through the town, there were many reminders of what had happened here. There were memorials with the names of Wierden citizens (who were with the resistance) that were executed by the
Nazis. There were was also a monument to honour what Canada had done there. Following the performance, there was a reception where we got to meet the local people; they were very hospitable, genuinely friendly and very appreciative of what Canada had done for them.
hoge hexel Next on our agenda was the village of Hog Hexel, which is 3 kilometres north of Wierden. This village was the drop zone for Canadian paratroopers who landed on April 6, 1945. These paratroopers were part of the offensive that led to Wierdenâ€™s liberation. The band marched and played through the streets of this quaint village. As we marched through town, one could sense the appreciation the Dutch have for what Canada did. Every home within the village proudly displayed a large Canadian flag and a large poppy on each lawn. They also decorated every tree in town with toy soldiers attached to parachutes, to symbolize the air drop and the many Canadian paratroopers who got caught in trees as they attempted to land. Throughout town, there were displays with mannequins dressed in Canadian WWII uniforms staged in vari-
ous themes on the lawns of many homes. Some displayed medics in action; others had sentries, snipers and even a life-sized paratrooper hanging from a flag pole. As we walked through the village, you could see children stuffing their mannequins and staging them on their lawns. A local child explained that they were decorating their home just like others in honour of the Canadian landing that eventually liberated their town and their country. It was impressive that these young children, who are now 4th generation, were so aware of the events that happened during the war and were appreciative of what Canada did for their country 65 years ago. I later learned form one of the townsfolk, that from an early age, the Dutch children are taught about what happened during the occupation and are encouraged to take part in the celebrations and memorials, so that the next generation will remember what happened long after the original survivors are gone. We were then invited to a reception where we met the locals and were received with Dutch hospitality and genuine friendship once again. Just like Wierden, the citizens of Hog Hexel expressed their gratitude for what our country had done 65 years earlier.
arrival of the canadian veterans Although the Dutch conduct annual ceremonies of remembrance and celebration to mark their liberation; every five years, something very special happens across the Netherlands. The Welcome Veterans Committee in the Netherlands organizes the many ceremonies and events that welcome back their Canadian liberators and concludes with a victory parade. As this was the 65th anniversary, hundreds of Canadian veterans returned back to the Netherlands to pay their respects to their fallen comrades, celebrate the liberation with the Dutch and renew old friendships with their host families. The Dutch citizens open their homes to the veterans and their families. It is considered a privilege to host a Canadian veteran. Some veterans have returned many times while staying with the same Dutch families, as their families too have become long-time friends. We received word that there would be three Canadian veterans arriving in Almelo. These three men were in the Netherlands and fought for its liberation. As a surprise, the band formed up FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 23
The netherlands 2010 ... Continued from page 23
and as the bus came down the street in Almelo, the entire band marched and escorted the bus to its destination. As these men disembarked from the bus, the band made a static presentation and played for them. This was a surprise as none of the vets were used to having such a reception. Through the week, we would be at the same ceremonies as these veterans. As we got to know them and hear their incredible stories, a bond was formed and we still keep in touch with them today. We were very privileged and honoured to have met these great men: Don White of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Edgar Bedard of the Cameron Highlanders and Arthur Webster of the South Alberta Regiment. We later learned that Arthur (after the war) joined TFD and served as a fire fighter for 32 years, most of that at old station 31 on Runnymede (424).
almelo city hall The office of the Mayor of Almelo invited the veterans and the band for a welcome reception at Almelo City Hall. The mayor welcomed the three veterans and presented them each with the 65th anniversary medal. The band performed for the veterans and the city hall staff. 24
Directly outside the City Hall is a monument honouring the Lake Superior Regiment of the Grenadier Guards, who entered Almelo on April 4th and, after heavy fighting, liberated the town on April 5th. The pipe band conducted a wreath ceremony on behalf of the Canadian Legion Branches 614 & 617, who help support the band and provided the wreaths to be laid.
taste of chocolate. Another lady told of the sad tale of her grandfather who starved himself so there would be enough food to feed her mother, who was pregnant at the time. It was a heartfelt pleasure to have been able to meet and briefly entertain these incredible people.
Senior home visits
holten canadian War cemetery
On numerous occasions, we visited local nursing homes for seniors, where we played for the residents. The Dutch are not familiar with traditional pipe music but as soon as we started playing amazing grace their faces lit-up and they all sang in their Dutch version. We would mingle with the seniors and hear of many stories of survival during the occupation. Most of these seniors would have been children during the occupation. One lady, aged 70, (was five during liberation) told how they were starving and had nothing but tulip bulbs to eat. She told us of the time she saw her first Canadian soldier. He offered her an odd looking brown coloured item to her. She didn`t know what it was but the soldier gestured her to eat it. As soon as she bit it, she smiled, as this was her first ever
May 4th â€“ Day Of the DeaD May 4th is known as `Day of the Dead`. On this day of remembrance, the Dutch commemorate the Allied Soldiers who died while liberating the Netherlands and the Dutch civilians, resistance, and military who lost their lives to the Nazis. During the day, there are ceremonies at all Allied war cemeteries. We were assigned to be at the Holten Canadian War Museum. The town of Holten was occupied by Germans protecting a V1 rocket site. British Bombers destroyed the V1 launch site on March 30. On April 8, the 48th Highlanders liberated the town. The town of Holten is adjacent to the Dutch National Forest. It was within this pine forest that a cemetery would be placed for Canadians who were killed in action; 1382 men are buried there.
As we drove through the narrow streets of Holten heading to the cemetery, we notice that every pole on the right side of the streets was covered in Canadian flags and Dutch flags along the left. All the windows had `Thank you Canada!` signs in the windows. We were assigned, along with the Fire Marshal Band, to play at the entrance to the cemetery. We played for the veterans, politicians, royalty and ordinary people as they entered the cemetery. During the ceremony, speeches were made from both governments and the Dutch Royal Family. There were fly-by`s of vintage spitfires, and a helicopter that dropped thousands of red poppies as they flutter down from the sky. Children play a major role in these ceremonies. Local children will recite poems and place flowers on each soldier`s grave. It was learned, that each grade seven student is assigned a Canadian soldier grave and it is their responsibility to maintain it for one year. Every Christmas Eve the children will place candles on the soldierâ€™s grave in order `to keep their soles warm`. Before we came to the Netherlands, each band member was given the name and grave site location of a fallen Canadian
soldier. At the end of the Holten ceremony, we were to locate the grave and honour this soldier in our own individual way. The scene was awe-striking as you walk through the endless rows of countless white headstones all in precise alignment.
Night of remembrance Every March 4, at 8:00 PM the Dutch commemorate their civilians and military who were killed during the war. Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums was honoured to have been invited to participate in this ceremony. The entire town was present. During the two minutes of silence, all public transportation including traffic comes to a halt.
Liberation day On May 5th, 1945 the German Army surrendered to the Canadians, thus, ending the occupation of the Netherlands. Every May 5th, Liberation day is celebrated through the Netherlands. The liberty flame was brought to Almelo by a group of cyclists who escort the flame to each town in the region. The TFS Pipes & Drums proudly piped the Liberty Flame through the streets of Almelo to city hall. Once at city hall, we were greeted by the
Mayor, Almelo citizens and our three veteran friends. The liberty flame was passed to the veterans, who lit the liberty flame in front of city hall.
victory parade Every five years, a huge victory parade with Canadian and Allied Forces Veterans is held in the town of Apeldoorn. Hundreds of thousands of Dutch line the streets of Apeldoorn to view the parade and to once again show their thanks to the men who fought and won their freedom. The victory parade begins at the Dutch Royal Palace and then meanders along the streets of Apeldoorn. There were pipe bands and marching bands from all over the world. There was even a steel drum band from Trinidad and Tobago that easily won over the crowd for their unique sounds. As each band marched by, there would be a convoy of vintage WWII vehicles following behind them, carrying veterans who stood proudly on top, waving to the crowds. There was an estimated 650,000 people who attended to greet their liberators and get a chance to see a true hero; I know we did.
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OTTAWA FIRE 2010 SYMPOSIUM
WHY GO? By hugh DOherty, Chair, LoCaL 3888 heaLTh & saFeTy CommiTTee
n February 12, 2007, a brisk but sunny day, Ottawa Fire received a call of a suspected fire at 189 Forward Ave. ‘D’ Platoon, out of Station 11 responded to a row housing complex, typical to one which we have all fought fires in. Within nine minutes of arrival, one civilian was rescued and five fire fighters were critically injured. This day would forever change the lives of these five Ottawa fire Fighters. Indeed, it turns out that it was not the “normal town house complex” that we have all responded to. An incident report was compiled by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association with the objective of gathering information on how and why these injuries occurred at 189 Forward Avenue. Further, Ottawa wished to ensure that lessons learned were shared with other fire services, so that all fire fighters would never experience a day with five critically injured fire fighters again. From May 17 to May 21st, 2010, the Ottawa Fire 2010 symposium was held. This symposium brought together the academic world and front-line fire fighters to share the latest in techniques and science. The theme of this five-day symposium was “Moving Forward”. The Ottawa Fire 2010 Symposium was organized by the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association, in conjunction with the Ottawa Fire Services, National Research Council of Canada, and Carleton University Industrial Chair in Fire Safety Engineering. The objective of the symposium was to discuss the challenges facing fire fighters, legislators, engineers and researchers to increase fire safety. The many complex issues we face in the fire service can be addressed by building relationships, education, discovery and advocacy. As author Ed Hartin wrote, “This effort was a rousing success.”
DAYS 1 & 2
F I R E
Firefighting Instruction Research Engineering
Cameron McCartney’s discussion on the past, present and future of fire science challenged many tactics that all fire services use today. Ontario Fire Marshal, Pat Burke, spoke of the investigation, research and engineering practices in the Province of Ontario. Mr. Casey Grant spoke of the dramatic increase in fire fighter safety research. Many presenters spoke on behaviours, characteristics and traits that included detection and prevention of fire. As well, during a very interactive round table discussion, we were challenged as a group to answer the question, “As a fire service, do we motivate members of the service to educate the public as to the greater engineering of fire safety?” Fire Chief Stewart spoke on behalf of the Institute of Fire Engineers and the role which this organization can play in the education and sharing of ideas around the world for fire fighters.
DAYS 3 - 5 Days three to five of the symposium stressed a combined approached to fire science and the role of a fire fighter. The opening presentation was from a young Ottawa Fire Fighter, Carissa Campbell-Darmody, titled, “First One Out”. Her vivid account of the Forward Avenue fire from her experience of being trapped with intense heat and smoke was compelling. She shared her personal thoughts as she and her crew were having to bail out of a third story window to the concrete below. The description of her account of the fire only cemented the reasons of why we were all at this symposium.
The first two days of the symposium hosted the third International Fire Instructors Workshop. During these two days we heard Additional topics covered over the next few days were: speakers from Germany, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, USA, Bel•Wind Driven Fires gium, and New Zealand. Clearly the theme F-I-R-E in the symposium •Analysis of Fire Operations name became very evident: •Understanding the Fire Environment and Ventilating Today’s 26
ers to look at tactics and building codes to save fire fighters lives, Residential House Fires reduce injuries and decrease the fire damage loses. •Structural Fire Performance This National Fire Laboratory facility will enhance the future of •Enhancing Fire Service Safety •Fire Behaviour Case Studies-Use of the Case Methods for Fire the fire service, both in legislation and tactics we utilize on the fire ground. Behaviour Training This symposium was the complete package. We were able to •Fire Department Training-What are you doing? forge relationships with fire service individuals across the world. •Compartment Fire Behaviour and Suppression The networking and sharing of information has been invaluable to •Managing the Mayday responding to your questions on fire safety. As Ottawa Fire Chief DeHooge stated when asked about the conference, “The intent is DAY 4 Day four of the conference was a tour of the National Fire Labo- to bring some intelligent forward thinking people together to talk ratory. This facility is located in Almonte, Ontario. It houses the about fire sciences and fire behaviour. Are we viewing the fire dyUniversity of Carlton and the National Research Centre, which namics the way we should, but under the tradition of doing it the jointly share the facility. This is a tremendous state of the art facility same way, or do we need to look at it a different way so that we can and will provide valuable research information regarding building protect our fire fighters and educate the public to some extent on construction, fire behaviour and fire fighter safety. This is a facility some of the behaviours of fire? That sounds sort of geeky in some which we can utilize to gather scientific statics, information and the ways but fire behaviour changes as we build things out of differre-enactments of tactics utilized at a fire(s) we have experienced. ent materials. We are trying to learn, because the world around us changes, because construction materials are different, because how and where they construct homes are different. We have to evolve. The participants were able to witness: • The results of a full-scale investigation of a smouldering sofa These are some of the things we need to continually train on. It isn’t fire, which resulted in the death of a Montréal Fire Officer on just once you have learned to use an axe you always know how to January 21, 2007. This included a scientific re-enactment of use an axe. The world around us changes and we’re the ones that have to adapt to that environment” the fire. I would add one additional critical comment missing from Chief • Fire performance/growth in a typical 1950 bedroom and a DeHooge’s comments, and that is a continuation of funding by fire 2010 bedroom. services to ensure Chief Officers, Training Officers and Fire Preven• Fire safety sciences - past, present and the future tion Staff are able to attend these symposiums. Further, a willingWe were shown the testing methods, data collection and the vari- ness from all parties to adapt to the science and recommendations in the fire service to further public and fire fighter safety is mandaous research projects that were underway. These included: • Testing of steel construction and the failure rate of steel as a tory. The old status quo is no longer acceptable. support for walls and floors. To the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association and the City • A sofa burning with variations of the fire load examining the impact on fire fighters’ arrival times from five to eight minute of Ottawa, the symposium was a tremendous opportunity to build relationships and see the critical role which research has on our intervals, • Sprinklers and their effectiveness below grade in conjunction daily routine as fire fighters. It was truly a one of a kind symposium and will be tough for others to match or exceed. Thanks to the with truss floors. Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters for taking the risk in hosting this This timely research will force legislative authors and fire fight- conference.
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 27
ElEction 2010 ElE Measuring our Political iinvolveMent
s we inch closer to the end of this marathon municipal campaign, your Association representatives are asked, on a daily basis by our members, if our Association will be supporting or endorsing a mayoral candidate this time around. It is a credit to our member’s political savvy and this Local’s history of involvement that this topic remains at the forefront of our membership’s concerns. Perhaps a brief recounting of history is in order for our newer members to fully understand the impact of Toronto’s fire fighters in the electoral process. While some locals in the pre-amalgamated city were politically active, it was certainly the struggles faced through amalgamation that galvanized the will of our membership to be a part of the decision making process at City Hall. Your Association representatives, along with a small but motivated group of members, initiated an aggressive political agenda to address the many problems associated with our newly amalgamated Toronto Fire Services. Your Toronto FIREPAC committee was created in 2000-01, to assist the Association in having a voice at City Hall. Our members were now fully engaged in the political process and that led to success on many issues including an improved fleet, a portable radio for every firefighter, an impact on the Fire Chief selection process and freely negotiated collective agreements. Toronto fire fighters were now a significant political player and our input was sought out on issues affecting fire fighter and community safety. Positive strides that our Association had achieved would now have an impact in other municipalities as “a high tide lifts all boats.” In the 2003 municipal campaign, our Local took a bold step when, for the first time in our history, we formally endorsed a Mayoral candidate- David Miller. Regardless of any individual political 28
leaning or stance on external issues, it is inarguable that this move led to significant improvements in our relationship with Council and our ability to improve the lives of Toronto fire fighters on all levels. It is important to re-state that this decision was based on the candidate’s understanding and willingness to work together with your Association on issues that Local 3888 deemed important. It is not the goal of your Association to make choices on who would be the better Mayor or Councillor. It is not to focus on issues which don’t affect firefighters or to tell our members how to vote. That is a decision that each voter must make of their own accord at the ballot box. Members who live within the city must weigh factors affecting their residence and daily life with those of fire fighter and community safety. It is a difficult decision and one that must be considered a responsibility and a duty to make every four years. So what is the difference between support and a full endorsement? We have supported many candidates over the years. When we do this, we have our members assisting candidates with their campaigns while maintaining a high visibility in the community. This demonstrates to voters that we are willing to support a candidate who has shown he/she will support us in our time of need. We assist with literature drops, canvassing and sign installation. A full endorsement would consist of all these efforts in addition to a public declaration, via the mainstream media, of our support for a candidate. It openly declares that we believe a certain candidate has superior knowledge and understanding of our issues and has clearly demonstrated a willingness to work with us in finding solutions to these issues. It is not blind support for a candidate’s entire platform but it is a bond of mutual trust and respect that we pledge to build over the entire term of Council.
It is unlikely any candidate has all the answers to the myriad of issues facing our city. Our only concern is working toward addressing our issues together. Our other key issue will always be fair compensation for Toronto fire fighters as, without question, no other local in the province, perhaps the country, faces the challenges and difficulties that we face on a daily basis. It is important to note, Toronto is larger and more populous than Montreal and Vancouver combined. It is often described as being the most ethnically diverse city in the world. This size and diversity creates challenges for each and every worker whose job it is to provide service for the citizens of Toronto. Without a doubt, emergency services workers are held to a high standard and providing a first class delivery of the service we perform on a daily basis can take a huge toll on our members. Your Association will always strive to ensure that the elected leaders in the City of Toronto are constantly aware of the service we deliver and the challenges we face. In order for us to remain at the forefront of political action, it is critical for us to maintain our involvement in this campaign. It is evident that the Toronto Professional Fire Fighter’s Association is a recognized and significant player in any political campaign. Our previous efforts have been described as “the gold standard of political action” and “legendary” by sitting members of Council. Those accolades don’t come easy and should serve not just as a reminder of past successes but a call to action in future campaigns. The winners in this election will have a large impact on the future of Local 3888 for the next 4 years and beyond. There has been much debate already about significant changes planned for the delivery of city services. These will have an effect on us. It would be beneficial for all of us to have strong, positive relations with those who will be implementing these changes. While it would be an easier road to remain on the sidelines and await the outcome, our history has shown that our greatest successes have come about as a result of bold moves and initiative on the part of our Association’s leadership. It is incumbent on our organization to carry on that legacy of courageous direction. Our parent organization, the IAFF, under the guidance of current General President Harold Schaitberger, has forged an aggressive path of member engagement in the political process. This has led to tremendous advances in improved livelihoods for fire fighters across North America. It has not always been an easy path. There have been successes and failures along the way but without question fire fighters have given notice that we will be part of any conversation regarding our profession and the safety of the communities that we are committed to protect. As always, the level of our involvement will be at the direction of the membership. Our efforts are guided by our true democratic process, through the floor, at our General Member’s meetings. I urge any member with concerns, questions or ideas regarding our Local’s political direction to make an effort to attend these meetings and be heard. It is only through dialogue with the membership and our ongoing communication that we can continue to move ahead successfully. October 25th, 2010 will be a watershed moment in the future of our Local. We will follow the direction given to us by the membership and look forward to continuing our bold path in municipal elections. Let’s work together as we lead the way toward a bright future. FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 29
You’ve Come A Long Way Baby! By KeN MagiLL, reTired Former ToronTo Fire deParTmenT disTriCT ChieF
hen I first joined the Toronto Fire Department, I was assigned to Station 14 at Dufferin and Dupont. It was a large station which housed two pumpers, an aerial, rescue squad and a Chief’s car. When I entered the kitchen, it was at the change of shift. There were two long tables which accommodated about 30 fire fighters. Each table was littered with full ash trays. Second hand smoke blanketed the room and about 80% of the fire fighters were smokers. There were even ash trays in the bathrooms, dorm and floor watch room. Even the ash tray in the Chief’s car was full. As a non-smoker I hated emptying the dirty ash trays and every once in a while when no one was around I would throw them out in the garbage pail. 30
There were no fatigues. We even went to fire calls in our dress uniforms, with our ties on. Dry cleaning became expensive and there was no cleaning allowance. There was no way that we could show up for duty in anything other than our dress uniform. Our turnout gear consisted of a long canvas coat, long rubber boots, and a leather helmet. In order to keep warm, you had to buy an inside coat and gloves at your own expense. There were no safety shoes or clothing allowances and a uniform was issued every three years. There were no flashlights, ear protection, or man down alarms. There was no accountability officer or I.D. tags, nor were there any portable radios. Every man had to look after himself. There were no seat belts in the trucks, or pole covers in the
There were no seaT belTs in The Trucks, or pole covers in The dorm. There was no air condiTioning and we used smoke ejecTors off The Trucks To circulaTe The sTifling air upsTairs during The summer monThs. dorm. There was no air conditioning and we used smoke ejectors off the trucks to circulate the stifling air upstairs during the summer months. We raced out of the hall on all calls and had to get dressed enroute, hanging on to a leather strap. There were times when fire fighters fell of the trucks and some were badly injured. There were only two air masks on the pumpers and the junior man didn’t get one. The masks were not positive pressure and it was extremely difficult to breathe without cracking the by-pass valve. Even when the younger fire fighters did wear a mask they were ridiculed and laughed at and called a sissy by the senior personnel. Many of those old smoke eaters died of different types of cancers. There was no compensation for the families as there is now, as exposure to toxins was not a recognized work related death. There was no physical fitness equipment in any of the stations. It first started to come on the scene by applying for an Ontario Lottery Corporation grant. Anyone using the equipment was ridiculed and considered lazy and trying to evade training. When it came to relieving, they could send you to as many stations as they wanted. There was no mileage compensation and the junior man did all of the relieving. When relieving the other shift at fires, you had to use your own vehicle and apply for street car tickets. When arriving at a major fire, the first truck in was the last to leave. It didn’t matter how cold it was or how long the fire lasted, you were only relieved for an hour for meals. Many of the fire officers were very aggressive and forced fire fighters into fires, sometimes it seemed, with little regard for safety. I can personally remember being sent in alone, wearing a mask, to secure an eight story building which was being fumigated, all because the senior officer didn’t like me. That would never happen today. Today, anyone wearing a mask must have a buddy. There was no WHIMIS, workplace harassment, or other government policies in my early days, to protect the fire fighter. On Monday day shift, each driver had to spend the entire morning on a mechanics creeper underneath the truck cleaning the entire undercarriage with varsol. After we finished, our assignment was inspected by the Captain. Exposed skin would sting from the varsol and goggles were worn to protect the eyes. The filthy solution of water and varsol was eventually poured down the drain into the drinking water supply of Lake Ontario. This practice came to an abrupt end when one of the new group of educated fire fighters notified the Ministry Of Environment. We shoveled snow, sometimes every hour, at all hours - even 3, 4, and 5 A.M. and we cut the grass every week. Every window in all of the stations were cleaned every Monday and all floors were stripped and re-polished. We did floor watch all through the night
and wouldn’t dare go to sleep - even going to the toilet was stressful. We even had to notify the switchboard when we went to get our relief. Our Unions fought and an negotiated aggressively for many years to get fire fighters the benefits they now enjoy and deserve. During my first year, I was entitled to two weeks holiday in July. It was taken away from me and I was told that I hadn’t been on long enough. I was given April instead. That would never happen today. We loved our jobs and were a very close knit bunch. We believed that no one had it better than we did. We socialized both on and off-duty. When someone moved, everyone pitched in and it was party time. We also had, what we felt were great meals at work, however, they were actually destroying our general health. We never had salads, baked salmon, or fresh fruit with non-fat yogurt and whole wheat bread. Rather, it was burgers, fries, pasta with tons of meat sauce and thick slabs of French stick plastered with butter. Ice cream with apple pie and a cold pepsi was a favourite for dessert. I was quite satisfied after my first year, that I had only gained two pounds. I was a glutton, just like most of the guys, and I always got my money’s worth. Little did I know that I would gain two pounds each year for the next thirty one years. I overheard a mean comment by one of my younger crew members that I looked like a beach ball with legs. It was the biggest favour that he ever did for me; if I hadn’t lost those 62 lbs., I probably wouldn’t be around today. One of the most intelligent decisions that I ever made was to not start smoking. I have watched so many of my friends die of lung, oral, and other smoking related cancers. I hate to even hazard a guess of how many cigarettes a regular smoker would consume over a 35 year career. I can remember one of the old Chiefs, who was referring to smoking, remark that you can walk up the stairs once and you probably won’t fall but if you do it twenty thousand times, you likely will. Another said, “Those who play must pay.” We watched a lot of changes which improved health, safety and working conditions. All of these changes were for the better and would not have happened without the efforts of our Unions. We have a lot to be thankful for, as we all still believe that the Fire Services is one of the best, most gratifying, honourable and rewarding professions that we could ever have chosen. I greatly appreciate the efforts of our dedicated union members, who intelligently negotiated for so many improvements that the active and retired fire fighters now enjoy and deserve. It wouldn’t have happened without them. As they say, “You have come a long way baby…It doesn’t get much better than this!”
our unions foughT and an negoTiaTed aggressively for many years To geT fire fighTers The benefiTs They now enjoy and deserve. FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 31
Fire Fighter Exchange Program By MattheW craNSWicK, ToronTo Fire FighTer - 324 “B” PLaToon
Jack Cossarini - Toronto Fire Services
ello, my name is Matthew Cranswick and I am stationed at 324 on the B shift. After participating in the Fire Fighter Exchange Program from August 2007 to August 2008, I decided to lend a hand with the organizing of future exchanges. I knew that there was a lot of work to be done and hoped that I could take some of the work load off of Greg Law, the current administrator. Greg was doing a fantastic job, and had been for a long time, but the commitments of the program meant that he sometimes did not get to spend the time he would have liked with his young children. After being involved for a few years now, I have been able to get to know the inner workings of the program and even set up a few exchanges on my own. With Greg recently stepping down, I have seen this as an opportunity to make a few small changes to try to make the program work better for me. There was never a problem with the way the program worked but with different personalities and strengths I hope to make it work for me. I would also like to take advantage of Fire Watch, as I believe it is a very useful tool in which to further the program and keep the membership updated on what is happening. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Greg for his help in making this transition go smoothly and for his hard work over the past several years to make the program what it is today. I appreciate him staying on as an advisor as it will ease my mind knowing that I have such an experienced valuable person to turn to. I would also like to thank Rob McRiner, the original coordinator and innovator. Without their hard work, there would not be a program at all.
Troy Bower- Queensland Fire and Rescue Service
the coordinator takes all of the applications from both the TFS and foreign fire services and matches the applicants up with the certain criteria. The first criteria is the TFS applicant’s desired location. We then try to match the living arrangements so that the two applicants can expect a similar situation (eg. family size, size and type of dwelling and distance travelled to work). If these details are not at least similar, this can make for a very stressful situation for the exchange families. The whole family experience and their comfort is one of the most important concerns when setting up an exchange. We also take into consideration, the applicants fire fighting experience and their suitability as an ambassador for the TFS. “Where can I go on exchange?”
This is another frequent query. We have applications from The UK (including England, Ireland and Scotland), Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, Finland, the USA and even Canada. Really, any Fire Service with a sufficient level of fire fighting standards is available as a possibility! A common misconception of the exchange program is that it is strictly for young, single fire fighters. This is not true and, in fact, in the past we have successfully organized exchanges for just as many families as single fire fighters! It is a magnificent opportunity for the whole family. This year, we will be accepting applications but will not be filing them for use for the following year as we have in the past. We have found that the information used for the matching of the applicants “How do you decide who goes on an exchange?” needs to be updated constantly to remain accurate. All of the applications received before the deadline of November 1st 2010 will I field this question frequently. With the deadline of November 1st, be used to match up the exchange year starting early August 2011. 32
Any applications that we receive after the deadline will be filed for use for the exchange year starting August 2012. If you are interested in doing an exchange, be sure to check the union website for more detailed information and to fill out an application. Last year, the TFS sent Patrick Hayter to Adelaide, Australia in exchange for Scott Rogers of the SAMFS. I trust that most of you read all about Patrick’s exchange in the Winter 2009 issue of Fire Watch. After a full year working in Adelaide, Australia and traveling abroad, we are happy to have Pat back and can’t wait until he runs out of steam telling us stories of all the places he went and things he did! All kidding aside, we are glad to have him back and will miss Scott but I am glad to hear that Scott intends to help out with the program in Adelaide and hope to hear from him often! It gives me great pleasure to announce this years participants! The TFS has sent Captain Jack Cossarini to Townsville, Australia in exchange for FF Troy Bower. Jack, of course, will be serving the QFRS in the capacity of a FF while on exchange and is looking forward to the challenge that this presents. Troy will be stationed at Station 421, which was the former municipality of York’s station #2 and it’s former headquarters. Rescue 421 and Aerial 421 respond to the neighbourhood known as Mount
Dennis - south of the northern edge of the ‘Junction’ and north toward the old town of Weston - and shares the hall with West Command’s Air/Light 421. The area was formerly a large industrial area with manufacturing ‘greats’ such as Kodak, the Moffat Stove Company and CCM - which also was affiliated with the manufacturing of the Russel Motor Car.
A Letter from Jack Cossarini Greetings from Down Under,
A Letter from Greg Law Brothers and Sisters, For those who don’t know me, my name is Greg Law and I have been the Program Coordinator for the Toronto Fire Fighter’s International Exchange Program for the past 12 years. During that time, I have had the extreme pleasure of making 14 of our members’ dreams come true by setting up exchanges for them with fire fighters from overseas from countries as varied as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England and Germany. At this time, I am formally stepping down as coordinator and leaving the program in the capable hands of Matt Cranswick from Station 324. Matt has been running the program under my watchful eyes for the last two years and has far exceeded my expectations as a replacement. As much as I don’t want to give up my position, I am simply too busy pursuing other opportunities, including spending more time with my family, and I don’t have the time to commit to developing it beyond where it stands today. Matt, having participated in the program, fully understands the millions of small details required to make an exchange successful but more importantly, he shares my passion for the program and has a desire to make it even better than it is. By stepping down at this time, I can allow Matt to truly make it his own and move it to the next level. I would like to thank all those in both the Association and Management who have believed in the benefits of a program like this and have helped me over the years in making this program a success. I would also like to thank Matt for his professionalism and passion for the program over the last two years and wish him nothing but success as he puts his stamp on it and moves it to the next level. Sincerely, Greg Law
Just a quick hello to the brothers and sisters at Toronto Fire from the Cossarini’s. We are living in Townsville Queensland, Australia, otherwise known as, “The Gateway to the Tropics”. Townsville is approximately a fourteen hour drive north from Brisbane and four hours south of Cairns, right next to the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is a State run department and we fall in the northern region. The population is around 140,000 people, with four fire stations and approximately 140 fire fighters almost equivalent to the former City of York Fire Department. We work a four on four off schedule, two, ten hour days followed by two, fourteen hour nights. I miss the 24 already!! If the Townsville stations are any indication of how the rest of the state is being run, the people of Queensland are well taken care of. It is quite apparent to me that they are very professional, organized, disciplined and well trained. We have been here for three weeks now and are beginning to settle in nicely. From the moment we arrived, members of the Queensland Fire Brigade Townsville area have welcomed our family into their family with open arms. From being picked up at the airport upon arrival to the family social we are attending tonight, they have been great. They have made our transition from Canada to Australia an easy one. Although, the one transition we are having a hard time with has been their winter weather. Today is a typical winter day, 27c and plenty of sun!! To our exchange family Troy, Erin and Jack Bower, the snow blower has been tuned up. A special thanks to Matt Cranswick, our exchange coordinator and the Bower family for making this whole exchange experience possible. Gday, Jack, Sandy, Jaclyn, and Lauren Cossarini
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 33
ANOTHER HOT LOCAL 3888
ANNUAL PICN C doug erWiN, Chair, LoCaL 3888 enTerTainmenT CommiTTee
he Annual Local 3888 Picnic was held on Thursday July 8th, at Centre Island. Even though it was a very hot and humid day, over 800 of our members, their families, retirees, and friends, braved the heat and boarded the ferry for a fun-filled day on Olympic Island. The always popular ferry crossings began at 9:00 am and the traditional water display by the Fireboat greeted those crossing at 11:00 am. Upon arriving on the island, everyone was quickly registered and all children received their annual picnic t-shirts. After registering, it was time for the fun and games to begin. The inflatable bouncers for kids of all ages were very popular, as was the refreshing mist tent that cooled off a steady stream of people throughout the day. Many families brought their own picnic lunches, and discounted food vouchers, and all-day passes to Centreville were sold at the registration tables. The hot conditions meant that Box 12 was in for a busy day. Executive
Officers, Stewards, and volunteers handed out over 1,000 bottles of water, 850 Kool-Aid Jammers, and 900 Freezies, along with the famous 3888 pop popcorn. The races for the kids got underway at 1:00 pm. The first event was the crowd pleasing 4 year- old and under â€œ100 ft. Dash,â€? where all the competitors received a prize at the end of the race. Next up were the races for boys/girls ages 5-15. Medals were awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers, and all others received a ribbon for competing. It was now time for the older teens and adults to show off their talents. We had hotly con contested Mother/Child, and Father/Child, Wheel Barrow races, followed by a challenging Shoe Kicking competition for Ladies and Men,16 years and older. Everyone was encouraged to keep their heads up during the Frisbee Toss event that followed. The top three finishers in all events received prizes. First place was awarded a dinner voucher; second place, a
movie pass; and those placing third received a Tim Hortonâ€™s gift certificate. The last event of the day was a Tug-of-War competition for both men and women. A couple of intense battles ensued and the winners and runners-up were awarded the coveted TPFFA Tug-of-War t-shirts for their valiant efforts. Upon the completion of the events, many families headed for some time at Centreville, toured other parts of the scenic Islands and spent time at the picnic area socializing with other families, friends, and coworkers. I would like to thank all those who donated their time and efforts once again this year, as it made it such an enjoyable day for our members and their families. We look forward to seeing as many members as possible at next yearâ€™s annual picnic.
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | F I R E WAT CH 35
STATION #134 MAKES FOR AN IMPRESSIVE LEGO BUILD! T
he LEGO which I played with as a kid some thirty odd years ago - is not like the LEGO which my eight and five year old sons are so fond of today. It is far more advanced and intricate (and expensive!) and can be built into literally anything, limited only by a user’s imagination and the time they have available - and apparently, time available is not an issue, as the company profile on the LEGO website states, “The world’s children spend five billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.” Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a grade ten student from Northern Secondary School, who’s love of LEGO, as well as a natural boyhood fascination with fire fighting, led him to put approximately one hundred and fifty of those five billion “world LEGO hours,” into constructing a replica model of our very own Station #134 on Montgomery Avenue. Isaac Mazer is not your typical fifteen yearold. Sure, he likes hanging out with friends, mountain biking on the Don Valley Trails and going on canoe trips during the summer months, but he is also enrolled in the Gifted Program at Northern Secondary School in Toronto and can build custom LEGO replica’s with the best of them. The model of Station #134, his largest mod-
By JAMES COONES, Co-Editor
el to date, began purely out of personal interest for Isaac. Soon however, he realized that he was able to translate this personal interest project and his love of building with LEGO, into a school project for his Gifted Tech Course. The time, patience, creativity and money required to create a custom replica of a building such as this is quite amazing. As I stood outside of Station #134 with Isaac and studied and compared his model to the original, I was truly impressed by his attention to detail; everything from the emergency call box on the porch, to the herringbone patterned brickwork in places, to the extractor ventilation hose running out of the east side of the building. “Before I actually start building, I find as many pictures and as much information as I can about what I’m building. This includes scrounging the internet for pictures and going and taking my own. The pictures I found online sufficed until January, when I needed pictures of the sides of the buildings. I went to the station two or three times while I was building. When I get around to actually building, I often use a trial and error method, looking at parts of the real thing, thinking about what LEGO parts look like it, and figuring out whether or not I can orient it in the correct position - sideways, upside down, etc. When I don’t have the parts I need in the correct co-
lours, I make a mock-up of that part using other colours to make sure it works out properly,” Isaac explains. As impressive as all of that is, you really begin to grasp the complexity and challenges which were faced, when the roof section of the model is removed and revealed. Isaac admits that it was definitely the most challenging aspect of the entire project and took a fair amount of ingenuity, as well as trial and error building in order to allow it to not only conform to the proper roof style, but also to make it structurally sound and fit exactly to the supporting structure beneath it. He elaborates, “The biggest problem relating to the build itself was how to build the main roof. The roof is made of two pieces that both face outward and have connection points in the middle. The challenge here was how to connect it together.” The project wasn’t limited strictly to the structure itself either. Isaac put many hours into building a modular version of Rescue 134 and Car 13 as well. Rescue 134 is a fantastic replica of the actual vehicle. Isaac had to custom order industrially chromed pieces from Germany in order to build an authentic looking bumper and he even took the time to go the extra mile and build it so that several of the cabinet doors, including the pump panel door,
can be flipped up to reveal the contents behind them. He also built several fire fighter minifigures and superb models of a gas powered generator, chainsaw and Stihl Cutquick saw. In total, Isaac estimates he used between 15,000 to 20,000 LEGO pieces (8,000 pieces for the brick facade alone) and spent between $1,000 and $1,500. One of the other challenges faced by Isaac came once the model was completed. He was required to transport the model on a number of occasions and, several times, it was unintentionally deconstructed by either dropping it, banging it or having it vibrate apart somewhat while being transported.
“This is my largest model to date, and all of the fragility of small models in multiplied exponentially as you build bigger,”explains Isaac. He also endured an unfortunate event as he returned from a road trip to Chicago in June, where he displayed the model at the BrickWorld Convention. Although the drive to Chicago was uneventful, upon crossing the border back into Canada, Canada Customs felt the need to tear the model apart - assumably to ensure nothing illegal was being housed inside of it. Isaac is unsure as to what he is going to do now with his latest, exceptional LEGO creation. He is considering having it displayed at a
local Public Library or other facility and has even been approached by a number of people interested in purchasing it. What’s his next LeGO prOject? “The next building I plan to make is a 1/165 scale model of the CN tower, which would end up being about 11ft tall. I hope to have it finished as a centerpiece for next year’s BricksNorth Convention in August, the first LEGO convention in Canada. I estimate that it won’t be too much more than what the fire station cost to build but unfortunately, at this time, I’m not sure I have the funds to complete it,” Isaac answers.
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 37
The danGer dOesn’T end when The fIre’s OuT.
This photo was taken in 1980 in Canada. A lot has changed since then, but job hazards – especially during investigations – are sometimes still not treated with the caution they deserve. Photo: Carlo Hindian/Masterfile
YOUR SCBA THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
AGAINST TOXIC EXPOSURE.
Toxic fumes from smouldering debris are just as harmful as those from an active fire. So until you’re sure the danger’s really over, wear your SCBA. 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. #5065C (07/06). To order posters, contact WSIB: 1-800-663-6639, or WSIB Marketing: 1-800-387-0750 / 5540 (Outside Ontario / Canada).
Scott Marks' Retirement Dinner Local 3888 Members, I would like to pass on my sincere appreciation for the wonderful send off that the Executive Board hosted for my retirement on June 18, 2010. After 28 1/2 years as a firefighter, including 16 years on the union executive, the evening presented me with the ability to review and relive my career through the camaraderie of friends, work mates and family. It was an opportunity for my family, who have always viewed my union work at a distance, to see what an important part of my career and life the union has been. Having friends, fire administration, political attendees and our own union friends speak was an opportunity to have all facets of my career detailed. This presented a clearer picture of the events that have shaped all of us in this local and for my family, it allowed a perspective on the past years. I know it meant a great deal to my mother, considering my fatherâ€™s career as well. The mementoâ€™s I received have a cherished spot in my new office and I would like to thank you all for the thoughtfulness of the beautiful guitar, which I have been playing daily. I also wish to pass on my thanks to the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums for attending and ushering in my family with a medley of songs. The TFS Pipes and Drums have evolved into an exceptional unit and I have been a huge fan of theirs and the success they so richly deserve. Having them attend meant a great deal to me. Leaving the TFS and Local 3888 after 28 1/2 years was not an easy decision and although I had the opportunity to go into a new position that maintained my ties to fire fighting and unionism, it was with some trepidation that I retired. The support at the retirement function made it clear that I was not leaving anything behind, just moving forward into a new way to work with fire fighters. Scott Marks, I.A.F.F. Assistant to the General President for Canadian Operations
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 39
Member Profile on By Tony Macdonald, RetiRed tFS Captain
s the world attempted to find ways to help, they found that the airport was soon closed due to overcrowding. There were no resources to unload planes, and no fuel or supplies to service planes, in order to allow them to leave. While much of the world was powerless to aid the Haitians, Toronto Fire Fighter Gerry Brinston and his wife Kyong Ae were on the ground in Haiti. They were working 20 hour shifts initially, while setting up a makeshift aid center, treating injuries, and distributing food and clothing. How is it that they were able to be there to help?
On Tuesday January 12th, 2010, at 4:53 pm, a 7.0 Mw earthquake devastated Haiti. Its epicenter was near the town of Leogane, which is 25 km west of Haiti’s Capital, PortAu-Prince. The Haitian government estimated that 230,000 people died, 300,000 were injured, and over a million people were left homeless by this catastrophe. By January 24th, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 Mw or greater had been recorded. 250,000 residential buildings and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.
Gerry started working as an Etobicoke Fire Fighter in July 1976 and also worked as a carpenter part-time during those years. He was enjoying life with his wife and his children, Colleen, Jennifer, and Sean. He dabbled in skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping and white water rafting as pastimes for enjoyment. After his daughters went to university, Gerry’s life changed, as he found himself struggling with a divorce after 20 years of marriage. This was a time of reflection, and Gerry realized that he could always accumulate money or possessions, but what he truly missed was the time he had wasted each day in his life. He says, “Time is the one thing we have a limited amount of, and I made a decision to make the most of this valuable resource.”
He later met and married his soul mate, Kyong Ae. With the addition of twin boys, Barry and Stephen, he now had five children. During his soul searching, Gerry felt that, “Before I could move forward in my new life, I had to apologize and make amends to anyone I had hurt in the past. This was no easy task and did not come without pain, but I did not want to carry past burdens into my new relationship.” While vacationing with his parents and family in the Dominican Republic in 2003, Gerry and Kyong Ae became bored with the all inclusive resort, went out into the town to meet the local people, and visited an orphanage. They saw poverty and difficult living conditions, but noticed a certain peace amongst these people. They had strong family ties, a lack of materialism, and a strong faith. He and Kyong Ae wanted to learn more from these people. They began distributing food, clothing, and medical supplies to the refugee camps in the Dominican Republic that were filled with Haitians. They wondered why the Haitians would leave their family and their homeland to live in such poverty in the Dominican Republic. In 2007, they found a building lot in the Dominican Republic, and with the help of the lo-
cal people, they built their home and then bought a 4 wheel drive SUV to use when they were there. They began to make trips into Haiti in 2008, and found more poverty than they had witnessed in the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, they found a country struggling with social injustice, poverty, corruption, extreme pollution, scarce water, lack of medical care, low education, and a continuation of an age old tradition called Restavek. Restavek is roughly translated as child slavery. Many people would give birth to children that they could not afford to feed and care for. These children would be sold to other families to work for them. A baby would not be worth much, but a five year old is able to take care of
other peoples’ children. These child slave workers would work from sunrise to sunset until they turned 18 and receive no pay or education. At 18 they are free to go. If they leave the family they have worked for, they find that the outside world in Haiti cannot help them. Only 20% of the employable people in Haiti can find a job. Most of these newly freed young adults end up returning to the family they worked for, and continue to work for only food and shelter. Gerry and Kyong Ae continued to buy food, clothing and some basic medical supplies, that they would drive into Haiti to distribute to the Haitians who needed it the most. They were in the Dominican Republic when the earthquake occurred in 2010. Although there were very real concerns for their security, they decided to go into Haiti to bring more relief supplies to the people. Gerry contacted the Executive of Local 3888 and his brother Walter, who is a Markham Fire Fighter and also the President of Local 2727, to ask for assistance. Both Locals gave Gerry some money and also purchased some tents and sleeping bags from Coleman Canada. Arrangements were also made for Gerry’s holiday time and lieu days to be moved so that he would not be missing any work time at home. Gerry used the money to purchase medical supplies from a dispensary in the Dominican Republic. He says that when he told them how much money he had, they started loading up all kinds of drugs and other supplies for him. He felt that they gave him much more than his money should have bought. He then joined up with a North American medical team named Crossroads and they travelled to the Haitian border. They were surrounded by the wounded and decided to set up a medical clinic in an orphanage in Jimani. They were faced with a constant stream of injured Haitians. Within an hour, the rooms were filled with people waiting for treatment. The next day, the injured had filled the land around the orphanage, and they began to contemplate how they could stage people on the flat roof as well. Gerry reflects, “We were overcome with the abilmagnitude of the disaster and our limited abil waitity to deal with it. People of all ages were wait ing outside with amputated limbs and other FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 41
Member Profile on Member Profile ... Continued from page 41
major injuries. They were suffering from major infections that were getting worse, while the medical clinic had almost no pain killers or other basic supplies.” He was tasked with the unenviable job of going out onto the grounds and deciding who would be the next person to be taken inside for life-saving treatment. Can you imagine the stress this would be for anyone to have to deal with? Who lives? Who dies? He remembers, “A small girl in a beautiful yellow dress was laid down on concrete to wait, with both of her arms removed, and no parents alive to comfort her as she disappeared in a sea of suffering humanity.” A policeman drifted from life to death, suffering from infection from an earlier emergency amputation. Gerry and others continued to carry patient after patient, in an endless stream, into makeshift operating rooms, where doctors performed emergency surgery with very little anesthesia, or pain medications. While wading through the endless field of critically injured Haitians, Gerry was told of a policeman who was near death; in Haiti, the job of policemen and fire fighters are combined. He frantically searched, and found a large man who was 6’4” tall and weighed 250 pounds. He had received an emergency amputation to his left leg, and was suffering from shock, due to the spreading infection. When he brought this man’s condition to the doctors, he was told to, “Let it go. He will not last the night and we have so many more that have greater hope.” With help, Gerry got the fire fighter loaded into a borrowed pickup truck and took him to another hospital. There, he was told that a tourniquet would be placed around the leg, close to the groin, so that they could amputate higher. When he asked if the leg could be saved, he was told that the battle was for his life, not his leg. Gerry left the hospital feeling helpless but heard the drone of a helicopter landing nearby in a baseball field. The crew of the mercy flight helicopter told him that there was no hope because they had too many other patients ahead of him. They gave Gerry a list of phone numbers and wished him good luck, as they hurried to load more patients. On his way back to the orphanage, he called Local 3888 Executive Board Officer, Ja-
nos Csepreghi, as well as his brother Walter from Local 2727’s Executive and gave them the impossible task of making the calls for him. As he approached the orphanage, Gerry was met by angry associates who had been looking for him. He was told that their convoy was leaving in five minutes. At that time, all of their travel was done in convoys due to looting and raiding. As they were about to leave, Gerry got a call from his brother Walter, who said to get
the fireman to the baseball field to meet a helicopter waiting there. He told an American search and rescue team this story as the convoy pulled out in single file. As the orphanage disappeared in the distance, Gerry could only wonder if the impossible was in fact possible. Two weeks later, his wife called him to say that she had just received a call from a man in France thanking everyone involved for saving his life while so many others perished.
Gerry Brinston It is amazing that fire fighters from different locals were able to work together to save a fire fighter from Haiti. Since the earthquake, five Toronto Fire Fighters have joined Gerry and his family in Haiti in this humanitarian effort to help the plight the Haitians face. The doctors who accompanied Gerry to Jimani could only stay for a week. As other qualified help arrived, he moved to the center of Port-Au-Prince, to a district named Silo. He was accompanied by his wife and his two sons, Barry and Stephen, who had just finished their fire fighter training. Once again, basic medical help was being provided to people with major injuries. “We switched our focus to providing whatever food, water, clothing, or shelter we could arrange,” states Gerry. He found a baby bottle for a 19 day old baby who had not eaten for days and whose mother had died in the earthquake. He was able to provide an orphanage with 100 hot meals a day, plus water to drink. He was able to erect simple shelters so that children living in the streets would have some sense of security. They heard a woman crying at 4:00 in the morning and found her alone in a field giving birth to a child but experiencing difficulties. “We loaded her into the back of a pickup truck that still had some fuel in it and took her to a makeshift hospital. The Korean doctors who operated on her said that the healthy mother and child both would have perished without immeimme diate intervention,” says
Gerry. As an ironic note to this childbirth, Gerry was around to see the mother trade for a young slave to take care of her newborn. Gerry is constantly asked, “What was it like?” He has no easy answer for this. He states, “A few words would do the situation an injustice. To answer in-depth, so far, has created a breakdown in emotions for me.
How do you explain colours to someone who cannot see them?” He continues, “I was a witness to events that I hope I can soon forget and never want to see again in my lifetime, and yet, there are people and events that I pray I will never forget.” Gerry and Kyong Ae have returned to Haiti since then to continue their humanitarian work. “We are drawn back to Haiti, which puzzles family and friends who ask us why? We meet total strangers in Canada who offer us food, clothing, medical supplies, educational supplies, or financial aid, and have given of their personal time to help people who they will never meet. In Haiti, we are able to give these donations to desperate people who wipe
tears from their eyes as they ask why someone in a far off country named Canada would care about them.” A young woman who has been blind for two years is abandoned in a tent city by her mother, leaving her prey to sexual abuse. With tear soaked lips she asks, “Why are you bringing me to a safe house with food and clothing and enrolling me in a school for the blind? What do you want from me?” Kyong Ae answers softly, “We only want you to be safe now.” Children line up single file - 144 of them in fact - to receive their very own soccer uniform. Twelve teams are formed and a soccer league has begun. Why? A church is built before their eyes in three weeks that takes in sexually abused women at night, teaches thirty children during the day, and is used for worship on the weekends. Why? As the 1,200 loaves of bread, suitcases of clothing, and bags of water are unloaded, they wonder why anyone would travel so far to feed a hungry village. “I see so many Haitians who stand in awe of these people called Canadians and wonder why?” says Gerry. Gerry is presently working a lot of exchange days to give himself the time to return to Haiti in November. When they bought their airline tickets from West Jet, they were originally allowed an extra 100 pounds of luggage, although they took four or five times that much to distribute in Haiti. Now, West Jet allows them an extra two hundred pounds each. Help comes from many sources. A company in Toronto named Miitou gave a generous donation. Why? The Toronto Fire Fighters Christmas Toy drive donated school supplies and sports equipment. Why do all of these people and organizations give so generously? Gerry says, “I ask myself the same question. Why? I believe in the human spirit which dwells in all of us; it cries when we hear of such desperation. When we do our own part, we can wipe away our own spiritual tears. We all become better people when we do not ignore these tears. We may not be able to save the world, but to the one you do save, you are the world.” FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 43
Station 325 By MATT DUNN
s the Second World War ended, the City of Toronto was reshaped in a number of ways and the Toronto Fire Department was no exception. Many veterans of the war returned home and were hired as fire fighters, and technological advancements vastly improved fire department capabilities.
The use of SCUBA gear and two-way radios during the war, led to the development of the self-contained breathing apparatus and widespread use of radios. With two self-contained breathing apparatus on every vehicle by 1951, Torontoâ€™s fire fighters now had the ability to work in smoke for extended periods of time, and could be dispatched while outside of their fire hall using two-way radios. Although technology presented these new opportunities, the post-war population boom, fueled by rising birth rates and immigration, also brought a number of challenges. Many families relocated to Toronto during the war years in order to be with family members and to find work. The scarcity of affordable housing for working class families became extremely evident in the years that followed and led to the creation of Torontoâ€™s first and largest rent-geared-to-income housing project, Regent Park. With thousands of applicants for the project at its inception and even more inquiries, it was not until the late 1950â€™s that the housing crisis began to decline. By December of 1951, Toronto City Council had proposed the relocation of the Dundas St. East #7 Fire Hall in connection with North Regent Park development. Built in 1878, on what was originally Wilton Avenue, #7 Fire Hall had undergone no significant maintenance for several years, and it was emphasized that if a new station did not begin construction within the following three years, considerable repairs would need to be carried out to keep the fire hall operational. As a part of the development project, #4 Police Station, located adjacent to the fire hall, was also to be demolished and relocated.
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Station 325 ... Continued from page 45 The initial relocation proposal suggested three possible sites for the new fire hall: Gerrard St. and Sackville St., Parliament St., South of Dundas St. E, and finally, the area bounded by Dundas St. E, Regent St. and Arnold Ave. The latter was selected by City Council, due to its decreased cost of $155,000, less than half of the other proposed sites, and because its construction would affect the least number of houses. On September, 29, 1952, Council voted to expropriate the land required for the new fire hall, including a two-storey, semi-detached home, located at 475 Dundas St. E. It was not until January 5, 1954 that the contract for the construction of the new #7 Fire Hall was signed with Anthony Deciantis & Co. Ltd, in the amount of $147,398. Over one year later, in spite of the financial difficulties of the contractor, the new fire hall with three bays was completed at a total cost of $166,585.54. Officially opened on March 3rd, 1955, the station was also used as a template for what is now Station #423 on Keele St., formerly #20 Fire Hall, as the old Keele St. fire hall was also in dire need of maintenance by the early 1950s. While the station originally accommodated only Pumper and Aerial 7, it would later take on Rescue 1 as well, because it proved to be too big for the old Adelaide St. Hall where the company was initially assigned. Although Rescue 1 was relocated, the number did not change to Rescue 7, as it was originally intended to be moved back when the new Station #1 was built. By this time, the city’s other heavy rescue, Squad 14, had been relocated to the new Claremont station, leaving Rescue 1 at Station #7. By the late 1980’s, the call volume in the Regent Park area made the workload for Pumper 7 tremendously high. The decision was then made to move Rescue 1 to Station #5 on Front St., in exchange for Front St.’s second pumper, Pumper 4. In 2007, the relocation of Station #325 was considered, as was moving one apparatus to a new developer funded station. However, neither of these proposals came to fruition. Station #7, now #325, in the heart of the original Cabbagetown boundaries, has always been one of the busiest in the City of Toronto. In its inaugural year, Pumper 7 ran a total of 578 calls and by 2002, that number ballooned to 4,792 for Rescue 325. Brandishing the Cabbage Patch logo, designed by Jason Ingalls, the trucks from Station #325 remain some of the busiest in the city to this day.
Apparatus Assigned to Fir e Station 325 P325 - 1998 American LaFrance/Fort Garry pumper. Shop # 2407 7. R325 - 2001 Spartan/ Almonte rescue-pumpe r. Shop # 25012. A325 - 2006 Spartan/ Smeal 32m quint. Shop # 27030.
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Rest in Peace Aaron Hannah Matin
D.O.B. September 2, 1982 D.O.D. August 26, 2010
D.O.B. April 17, 1960 D.O.D. July 20, 2010
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.
Lieutenant Albert Shackleton d. Sep. 9, 1940 For nearly three years, the Toronto Fire Department had been fortunate enough not to lose an on-duty fire fighter, when it entered its then deadliest decade on record, the 1940s. Since the turn of the century, the department had mourned the deaths of twenty-three fire fighters. With the loss of Lieutenant Albert Shackleton in 1940, began a ten-year period where the figure all but doubled as another twenty-one fire fighters lost their lives. It had been only one month since Chief George Sinclair promoted Albert Shackleton to Lieutenant when he responded to a warehouse fire on Atlantic Avenue on August 19th, 1940. As he battled intense heat and smoke alongside his crew members from Station 15, the 51 year-old suffered a heart attack on scene. Known as a man who lived for his family, there is little doubt that they provided the motivation as he valiantly fought for his life in hospital. Sadly, his injuries proved to be too overwhelming and Lieutenant Shackleton passed away weeks later on Septem-
ber 9th. While many knew him as a man who was proud of his wife, his four daughters and his son, some recollected the well known hockey player he was during his youth and others, the passionate fisherman he became. The 24-year veteran was remembered in a full department funeral, as 70 fire fighters, led by Lieutenant R.J. Heslop, President of the Toronto Fire Fighters’ Association, marched from Bedford Funeral Parlor to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where he rests today.
Lieutenant John Timney d. Dec 23, 1941 When fire broke out at a Queen St. West restaurant on December 22nd, 1941, Lieutenant John Timney and fellow fire fighters from the Adelaide St. Fire Hall were first on the scene, as was often the case. District Chief McKnight recalled that as the restaurant owners and patrons alike fled from the raging smoke and flames, Timney was in with the first lay of hose from High Pressure 1. “The smoke was terrific and there were no windows to
let it out”, McKnight added. Without the respiratory protection of the selfcontained breathing apparatus that became widely used in the 1950s, Timney worked without hesitation to suppress the fire as he always had. Upon returning to the fire hall, several fire fighters were groggy from the smoke, and Timney was transported to Toronto General Hospital. With his wife by his side until almost midnight, Lieutenant Timney appeared to be recovering from the effects of the smoke. Half an hour later, after returning from his request for a glass of water, his nurse found him dead, which was attributed to a heart attack. The 45 year-old had been a fire fighter for twenty years and a lieutenant for 10 at the time of his final call. Survived by his widow and three children, Donald, Kenneth, and Mary, Lieutenant Timney was recalled by Chief George Sinclair as, “A fine officer, an excellent fireman and very popular with all the men.” Led by Chief Sinclair, 50 fire fighters in uniform and the department band marched as Lieutenant Timney was brought to rest at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Researched and Written by Matt Dunn
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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/.
Living Healthy S
ince fad diets do not work in the long run, weight management needs to be looked at differently from how we have over the last few decades. Essentially, the only thing that does work is to change eating and exercise patterns. Permanent lifestyle changes are the only thing that will guarantee weight loss maintenance. The benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise are endless. People will reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and other medical problems. They will feel more confident, have more energy, and sleep better. A basic, healthy diet should include at least three nutritious meals a day and one or two 50
snacks. A well-balanced diet is made up of carbohydrate-rich foods, protein, and some - but not too much - fat. No foods have to be completely eliminated for a balanced diet. You can still enjoy high-fat, high-sweet foods in moderation. Healthy living is about not denial and deprivation but balance. Health Canada has a guide called Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide that is a good reference for balanced eating. A person who decides to get involved with a weight-loss program or would like the help of a dietician should select a program or dietician that: • recommends gradual weight loss (no more
than 1 to 2 pounds per week) • follows Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide • recommends a safe exercise program People who want to change the way they eat can start by taking the same food plan they have now and make some adjustments, for example reducing some of the fatty foods and eating smaller portions (about 20% smaller). Increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, and fibre in the diet is also helpful. Healthy living also involves keeping active. Keeping active helps to keep the body’s metabolism (the rate at which your body uses food
energy, i.e., burns calories) higher. For people who include muscle toning/building exercises in their exercise program, there are even greater benefits. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate (that is, it burns calories faster) than fat. So those who build some additional muscle will increase the rate they burn calories. Regular exercise will also help increase energy and confidence. People should try to find a form of exercise they enjoy and check with their doctor before starting an exercise program.
Penne With Italian Turkey Sausage
Here are some useful tips for healthy living: • Don’t diet. Accept your body. • Focus on other measures of success other than weight. These measures can include having more energy, feeling more confident, having a lower stress level, and sleeping better. • Make gradual changes, not drastic ones. • Start your day with a nutritious breakfast. People who skip breakfast actually eat more during the day than those who eat a good breakfast. • Try to eat something every 3 to 6 hours. If you leave it too long, it could lead to overeating. • Take your time eating. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for a “full” signal to reach your brain. • Do not do other activities while you are eating. This can distract you from your internal “full” cues and may result in overeating. • Try to understand how emotions and feelings affect what you eat and when you eat. • Eat more fruits, vegetables, and fibre. • Don’t be fooled by low-fat foods. Although they contain less fat, manufacturers usually add more sugar to make up for taste lost when fat is removed.
1/2 lb. hot or sweet italian turkey sausage nonfat cooking spray
• Prepare pasta according to package. • While pasta is cooking, remove sausage from casing and cook in large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray until browned, stir to crumble. • Add onion and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes, stirring. • Add mushrooms, peppers and zucchini; sauté for 5 minutes or until turkey is cooked through and veggies are tender. • Stir in tomatoes and cook to heat through. • Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, drained hot pasta, and pepper.
1/2 c. chopped red onion 1 garlic clove, minced 8 oz. sliced mushrooms 1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into strips 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and cut into strips 1 small zucchini cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
Medical Disclaimer The information provided is for Canadian residents only. The contents are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice, treatment and diagnosis. The information is meant to educate you on health related issues. Always discuss the information with your Physician or other qualified health care professional ("Physician") before acting on it. Never disregard or delay acting on any advice given to you by your Physician because of something you have read on this site. Always seek the advice of a Physician regarding any questions you have about your medical symptom(s), condition(s) and treatment(s).
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano 1/4 c. fat free sour cream 4 hot cooked whole wheat penne pasta (1/2 pound dry)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Calories total Fat Sodium total Carbohydrates Fiber Protein
SERVING SUGGESTION SERVING SIZE: 1 1/2 cups NUMBER OF SERVINGS: 4
480 17 g 750 mg 58 g 7g 21 g
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WOULD YOU? YOU WOULDN’T ENTER A HAZARDOUS ATMOSPHERE WITHOUT YOUR SCBA ON...
YOU WOULDN’T PERFORM AN AUTO EXTRICATION WITHOUT PROPER PPE AND EYE PROTECTION...
WOULD YOU? SO WHY WOULD YOU EVER GET INTO A MOVING FIRE APPARATUS WITHOUT FIRST PUTTING ON YOUR
LOCAL 3888 REMINDS ALL OF ITS MEMBERS TO ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!
TORONTO FIRE SERVICES PEER SUPPORT NEWSLETTER
Message from the Editor… “Yogi Berra once said that baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical. The same can be said for fire fighting, so, we need to keep our head in the game at all times” - Are you Ready for Duty, Daniel Sheridan
hysical stress, psychological stress, critical incident stress, cold/heat stress, post-traumatic stress, eustress, distress; perhaps you haven’t heard of all of these but I imagine you may be familiar with one, at the very least. When it comes to stress and careers, those in the airline industry, like pilots and air traffic controllers rank high, as do those in emergency services.
FALL EDITION 2010
Think about the similarities in these two professional fields: shift work, job performance, danger/trauma exposure and leaving loved ones at home while on duty (for a short or extended period of time). The real question remains, how do you manage your stress? While stress reduction techniques like exercise, healthy nutrition and having a hobby are common and encouraged both by health practitioners and the TFS Health and Wellness program, yoga, meditation and deep breathing are also highly recommended by those in the field and participants who have tried these methods. As a result, the methods have become increasingly popular. I invite you to read on about the personal journey of one of our members from stress to relaxation, using the meditation method I mentioned above. I wish you well on your personal journey to health and wellness, whatever it may be! Be well, Lynn Pezzelato
2010 CONTACT LIST NAME
CONTACT TELEPHONE #
Last Updated: March 2010
Mind and Body… My Journey By H. ForBes
ourage, Compassion, Service – We dedicate our lives to serving others, but do we afford that same care and concern to ourselves? Stress is inherent in our workplace, so take the time to be proactive and mitigate its effects. Learn how to tap into your inner resources and know where to go for help in times when you might need more support. Keeping yourself safe both physically and mentally is in your best interest. Be selfish, after all, a basic tenet of first responders is not to become a victim yourself. Although my journey began well before the point at which this story begins, I had been surprisingly ignorant of that fact. It was a regular work day, much like any other. I was sitting at a table drinking tea with my crew when one member blurted out, “What the f*#& is wrong with you?” Somewhat startled, but not missing a beat I answered, “Nothing, what the f*#& is wrong with you!?!” A weird yet pleasant discussion ensued. Apparently, it had been noted that I was happy and had been in a good mood lately. The crew wanted to know what was responsible for the change in my character. I thought about it for a while, and after taking stock, I couldn’t think of any changes in my personal or professional circumstances. I must admit it was a bit disconcerting to think that happiness emanating from me was a foreign concept to my crew, but upon reflection, I did feel calmer and healthier, and I was sleeping better, managing my chronic pain better, and hadn’t missed a shift in a while. I finally realized that there was indeed something new in my life. I had been attending a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic (MBSR) offered by Mindfulness Meditation Toronto. I think I was at week four, just half way through, so I thought that can’t be it, can it? Weeks earlier, I had been in my Doctor’s office, one of the many times that year, when I saw a brochure for a program claiming the benefits of mindfulness meditation for various physical and emotional conditions. I asked her about it, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and the next thing I knew, I was signed up. I had noticed right off the bat that I was sleeping better (I kept falling asleep during my body scan home practice) but I was amazed to hear that others noticed positive changes as well. I am not suggesting that this program fixed any of my real or perceived issues, but it has certainly made me stress hardy. Without it even being my goal, MBSR made me feel happier and, apparently, become a more enjoyable person to be around. I gained the freedom to feel at peace, and developed the tools to help me when
I faltered. The eight week MBSR program was developed in1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. It was originally developed to help individuals deal with chronic pain and illness. Since that time, he and many other researchers have produced an abundance of clinical research showing that meditation has long and lasting beneficial effects on the brain and the immune system. The use of brain scans enables the physical effects of meditation to be clearly illustrated. MBSR uses meditation as a tool to cultivate mindfulness – being present in the moment without judgement. Purposefully being present and observing with compassion whatever comes to mind. Often we ruminate about past events, worry about the future, and don’t spend time in the present. For example, have you ever read a passage from a book and had to reread it because you had stopped paying attention at some point? Or watched an entire program, but didn’t really remember it? Or been so angry or upset that you weren’t able to enjoy what would normally be a fun activity for yourself? Are you present when you shower, brush your teeth, wash the dishes, or drive your kids to school? I would guess not. You are probably thinking of what still needs to be done, or of what you should have done, and making judgements about those thoughts. In this program, nothing is “done” for you and you can’t force anything to happen. This concept may be hard to take, but there is nothing to control, it is simply a process. You learn to create the right conditions and nature takes its course. Consciously cultivating certain attitudes is important because your intention sets the stage for all that follows. I was skeptical but hopeful. I didn’t try to change anything and yet I changed completely. Lastly, for those who are not “joiners” but would still like to try the program, it comes in book format with accompanying CDs. Good luck on your journey! Additional resources for personal growth and healing: •FullCatastropheLiving:UsingtheWisdomofYourBodyandMindtoFaceStress, Painandillness,Dr.JonKabat-Zinn.DellPublishing,2005 •http://www.mindfulnessmeditationtoronto.com •IloveaFireFighter:WhattheFamilyNeedstoKnow,Dr.EllenKirschman.The GuilfordPress,2004 •EmotionalSurvivalforLawEnforcement:AGuideforOfficersandTheirFamilies,Dr. KevinM.Gilmartin.E-SPress,2002 •MindlessEating:WhyWeEatMoreThanWeThink,BrianWansink.BantamDell, 2006
TORONTO FIRE SERVICES EAP/CIS NEWSLETTER - FALL EDITION 2010
821 Runnymed Road, Toronto, Ontario M6N 3V8 416.604.7079 email@example.com www.aceplace.ca
Canadian Corps Association SERVING VETERANS SINCE 1934
7 Clairmont Street Thorold, Ontario L2V 1R2 Phone: (905) 227-3161 Fax: (905) 227-7262
E.V. Heessaker, National Adviser William Clendening, President
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3888 REcENt hAPPENINGS
On July 15, 2010, many GTA fire fighters attended a tribute to Emergency Services Workers and Military Personnel in Pickering, which was organized by GTA MPs and featured keynote speaker Michael Ignatieff.
Participants from the 2009 and 2010 Toronto Fire Fighter Calendar participated in the Pencer Brain Trust’s “Suds n’ Studs” event at Tonyc Spa in Sherway Gardens. The calendar boys had women lined up and down the aisle to have their scalp massaged and hair washed. The event was a huge success with all proceeds donated to treatment and research at Princess Margaret Hospital’s Brain Cancer Institute
Local 3888 members endure the damp weather and march in the annual Labour Day parade, held in Toronto on September 6, 2010.
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Hon. Jim Bradley, poses with Ed Kennedy, Damien Walsh and Mark McKinnon after addressing Local 3888 Stewards.
Local 3888 members team up with Ward 29 candidate Mary Fragedakis to raise funds at the annual TEGH Danforth Bed Race.
Jan Stevenson from Station #343 and Ted Kular from Station #444 compete in the Toughest Competitor Alive event at the Can-Am Police and Fire Games in Ohio on August 21, 2010. Rob Howard from Station #413 competed in the event as well
Crews from station 331, with members from Haz 332, supplied protection for inside the race track during the Honda Indy Toronto at the CNE. With it being difficult to impossible to cross the track during the races, crews and apparatus were strategically placed in front of the BMO field where they could protect the race team paddock area. Pictured is A shift on July 17th. Photo by Tom McGory
Welcome newest Local 3888 members: Operation: Jason Arias, Colin Barrett, Jeremy Bell, Jamie Beurklian, Stephen Borghese, Craig Boyd, Johnny Brown, Joshua Chisholm, Todd Chisholm, Paul Dâ€™Abruzzo, Keith Dolman, Kevin Downes, Jeremy Dunford, David Durocher, Ryan Ehgoetz, Timothy Feijer, Bryan Fleming, Johann Halpren, Matthew Hilscher, Aidan Joyce, Josh Kaempffer, Don Kidd, Rohan Kinkead, Guido Knieling, Marijan Lucic, Carl Marchand, Timmothy Masterson, Shane Maver, Ian McIntosh, Nathan Muegge, Andrew Munro,Tom Pawson, Bryan Pett, David Robertson, Jeffery Savage, Gary Schurr, Cam Stott, Sean Tennant, Edward Windebank, Michael Wolf. Mechanical: Nikolaos Kyriakopoulos, Michael Rainville, John Lantaigne FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 57
2011 Operations Shift Calendar Calendar 2011 M
JANUARY W T F
3 10 17 24 31
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
6 13 20 27
7 14 21 28
APRIL W T F 1 6 7 8 13 14 15 20 21 22 27 28 29
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
JULY W T F 1 6 7 8 13 14 15 20 21 22 27 28 29
OCTOBER W T F
3 10 17 24 31
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
6 13 20 27
RED: A WORKING
7 14 21 28
S 1 8 15 22 29
S 2 9 16 23 30
S 2 9 16 23 30
S 3 10 17 24
T 1 8 15 22
FEBRUARY W T F 2 3 4 9 10 11 16 17 18 23 24 25
MAY W T F
2 9 16 23 30
3 10 17 24 31
4 11 18 25
7 14 21 28
M 7 14 21 28
5 12 19 26
6 13 20 27
S 2 9 16 23 30
S 3 10 17 24 31
M 1 8 15 22 29
T 2 9 16 23 30
AUGUST W T F 3 4 5 10 11 12 17 18 19 24 25 26 31
S 1 8 15 22 29
S 2 9 16 23 30
T 1 8 15 22 29
NOVEMBER W T F 2 3 4 9 10 11 16 17 18 23 24 25 30
7 14 21 28
GREY: B WORKING
S 5 12 19 26
S 6 13 20 27
S 1 8 15 22 29
S 6 13 20 27
S 7 14 21 28
S 5 12 19 26
S 6 13 20 27
BLUE: C WORKING
MARCH W T F 2 3 4 9 10 11 16 17 18 23 24 25 30 31
S 5 12 19 26
S 6 13 20 27
JUNE T 2 9 16 23 30
S 4 11 18 25
S 5 12 19 26
5 12 19 26
SEPTEMBER T W T F S 1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 16 17 20 21 22 23 24 27 28 29 30
S 4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26 2
6 13 20 27 3
M 7 14 21 28
T 1 8 15 22 29
6 13 20 27
7 14 21 28
W 1 8 15 22 29
F 3 10 17 24
DECEMBER W T F 1 2 7 8 9 14 15 16 21 22 23 28 29 30 4 5 6
S 3 10 17 24 31 7
S 4 11 18 25 1 8
YELLOW: D WORKING
Lieu Day Picks: 1.__________ 2.__________ 3. __________ 4.__________ 5.__________ 6.__________
Jan 1 New Year’s Day Apr 25 Easter Monday Nov 11 Remembrance Day Feb 14 Valentine’s Day May 23 Victoria Day Dec 24 Christmas Eve Vaction Picks: 1.__________ 2.__________ 3.___________ 4.__________ 5.__________ 6.__________ Feb 21 Family Day July 1 Canada Day Dec 25 Christmas St.Ð Patrick’s Day Aug 1 Civic Holiday Dec 26 Boxing Day - nine (9)Mar years17 of service four (4) weeks vacation; Mar 14th –18th School Break Sep 5 Labour Day Dec 31 New Year’s Eve - seventeen (17) years of service Ð five (5) weeks vacation; Apr (22) 22 years Good Friday Oct 10 Thanksgiving Dayin the twenty-fifth - twenty-two of service Ð six (6) weeks vacation; and one extra week - taken (25)Statutory year only; and one *Contractual Holidays extra week taken inEaster the thirty-fifth (35) year only (employees have received an extra week*atContractual 25 years under a predecessor Statuary Holidays AprÐ 24 Sunday Oct 31 who Halloween collective agreement or 30 years under the Local 3888 collective agreement are not entitled to receive another under this provision until 35 years of service).
4 wallet shift 3cards enclosed in the polybag ________ 2 ________ ________ 4 ________ 5 ________ 6 ________ lieu Please days:also1 find 58
in which Fire Watch was mailed
1 ___________ 2 ___________ 3 ___________ 4 ___________ 5 __________
2010 UPcOMING EVENtS Sunday, October 3
Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial
Queens Park, Toronto
October 4 - 8
OPFFA “Dr. Eric G. Taylor” Fall Seminar
Niagara Falls, Ontario
October 3 - 9
Fire Prevention Week
Various locations, Toronto
Sunday, October 3
Fire Open House 1000 - 1600
TFS & EMS Training Centre, 895 Eastern Ave.
October 26, Tuesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
Wednesday, November 3, 800 Hrs
Take Our Kids ToWork Day
Toronto Fire Service Head Quarters
Tuesday, November 23
Local 3888 Offices
November 24, Wednesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
November 28 - Dec 1,
OPFFA Legislative Conference
Tuesday, November 30
2 Magic shows at 1730 & 2000 Hrs
North York - Northview Heights School
Saturday, December 4
Local 3888 Children’s X-mas Party
Saturday, December 4
3 Magic shows at 1300, 1600 & 1900 Hrs.
Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School
Sunday, December 5
3 Magic shows at 1300, 1600, 1900 Hrs
Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School
Tuesday, December 6
Magic shows at 1730 & 2000 Hrs.
Toronto - Ryerson Theatre
December 20 Monday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
Thursday, Dec. 24 (1200 Hrs) To Jan 3, 2010
Union Office will be closed
39 Commissioners Street.
Advertisers index ABLE TECH SOLUTIONS ................................................... 48
DELSUITES INC................................................................. 55
PARS VIDEO ...................................................................... 55
ACE PLACE BANQUET HALL............................................. 55
E W SMITH ROOFING ...................................................... 55
RBC WEALTH MANAGEMENT ......................................... 16
ALARMFORCE ..................................................................... 6
ERMELINDA NOGUEIRA .................................................. 48
REAL PROPERTY MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS ........................ 6
ARCTIC BREEZE HEATING&AIR CONDITIONING INC .... 10
EVEREADY AUTO SALES & SERVICE LTD ......................... 10
ROSEHAVEN HOMES .........................................................11
BODY & MIND REHABILITATION ARTHRITIC DIAGNOSTICS ................................................................... 48
FAMOUS PEOPLE PLAYERS............................................... 10
SALEEN CARAVAN ............................................................ 48
FIREMEN MOVERS INC .................................................... 12
SK AUTO REPAIR ............................................................... 55
CANADIAN CORPS HEADQUARTERS .............................. 55 CASSEN GROUP INC ......................................................... 16 CENTRE HONDA ............................................................... 12 CENTURY TRAVEL SERVICES ........................................... 48 CESAR’S SCREEN PRINTING INC ..................................... 48 CHURRASQUEIRA ESTRELA INC ..................................... 55 CITY SAVINGS FINANCIAL SERVICES CREDIT UNION..IFC CONSUMERS CHOICE ...................................................OBC
FRANK RAMAGNANO ...................................................... 18
SP SOLUTIONS ................................................................. 48
G COOPER EQUIPMENT RENTALS LIMITED ................... 10
SPEEDY AUTO SERVICE .................................................... 16
KURT DIENER/REMAX CONDOS PLUS ............................ 12
THE ALL MEDITERRANEAN SOLUTION ............................ 9
LAW FIRM OF MICHAEL WOLFISH .................................. 48
THE BRONDESBURY GROUP LTD ..................................... 55
M LUKIC ASSOC INS BROKERS LTD................................. 48
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION ..... 4
MCG INC ........................................................................... 55
THE PERSONAL INSURANCE COMPANY ........................... 8
OCEAN STAR LTD ............................................................. 12
YORKDALE TOYOTA.......................................................... 16
OLYMPIA TILE/STONE ...................................................... 48
YOUNGHEE MONICA KIM ............................................... 55
FA LL 2 0 1 0 | Fi r E WAt CH 59
SUBJECt to CHANGE
*dAtES ANd tiMES
On Tuesday January 12th, 2010, at 4:53 pm, a 7.0 Mw earthquake devastated Haiti. Its epicenter was near the town of Leogane, which is 25 km...