HALL SHOWCASE ON STATION 312 VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 3 | Fall 2011
Remembering our Lost: Sly Maj Jamie MacLean Brian Ronson Tom Davis
Torontoâ€™s First Motorized Fire Apparatus Publications Agreement No: 41203011
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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION
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IN THIS ISSUE 5 President’s Message
7 Secretary Treasurer’s Message 11
Vice President’s Message
13 Chaplain’s Corner 14 Letters to the Editor 16 Fire Fighter Survival & Rescue
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: email@example.com FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by Xentel DM Incorporated on behalf of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association CHIEF EDITOR Ed Kennedy MANAGING EDITORS Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITORS Marla Friebe, Rodney Johnston, Janos Csepreghi, Bill McKee, Damien Walsh ASSISTANT COPY EDITORS Alyssa Petrillo
18 IAFF Redmont Health & Safety Symposium 2011 22 Toronto’s First Motorized Fire Apparatus 24
Experiencing the Sound of Fire
Understanding changes to the CPP
2011 Labour Day Parade
Canadian Fire Fighters Museum
Member Profile Troy Bower
Firehall Showcase - Station 312
40 Fallen Members 43
Never Shall We Forget
44 Fit to Survive 47
Behind the Mask
3888 Recent Happenings
Operations Shift Calendar 2012
54 Upcoming Events
DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION Xentel DM Incorporated
54 Ad Index
FIRE WATCH PHOTOGRAPHER Keith Hamilton
CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011 PRINTED IN CANADA Copyright © 2011 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association ADVERTISING Debra Cheeseman, Project Manager Merchant Card Acceptance Tel: 1-800-366-3113 Ext. 7806 Fax: 1-866-764-2452 Email: email@example.com • www.xentelpublications.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise without prior written permission from the publisher. FIRE WATCH is an official communication tool of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) does not assume responsibility for statements of fact or opinion made by any contributor. Comments made by individuals may not reflect the official position of the TPFFA. Acceptance and publication of articles, advertisements, 3 products and services does not indicate endorsement of same by the TPFFA, and the TPFFA assumes no responsibility for their accuracy.
HAL L SHO WC
On The Cover
ASE ON STA
TIO N 312
VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 3 | Fall 2011
Acting Captain, Keith Maidment acts as a silent sentry during the Toronto Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony. In this issue of Fire Watch, we remember active members Jamie MacLean and Sly Maj, who died in the line of duty, as well as Brian Ronson and Tom Davis who died non-LODD. Photo: Keith Hamilton
Re me mb eri ng
To ron to’ s Fir
ou r Los t:
Sly Maj Jam ie Mac Lea n Bria n Ron son Tom Dav is
st Mo tor ize d Fir e Ap pa rat us Publications Agreemen
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t No: 41203011
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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE AN UPDATE ON VARIOUS ISSUES
nother summer is over and as Fall approaches, there are four issues that I want to highlight and bring the membership up-to-date on in this issue of ‘Fire Watch’ magazine. Mediation/Arbitration As you all know, we reached an impasse in our negotiations for a new Collective Agreement with the City’s bargaining committee. Accordingly, we are presently at Mediation/Arbitration under the process outlined in the Fire Prevention and Protection Act. We have had two Mediation sessions so far: June 28th and September 28th, with two additional dates in November and December being established for this Mediation/Arbitration process. We are moving forward on this matter, and I will keep the membership updated regularly on developments as they occur. Fire Service and EMS Merger Reports I am sure that every member has heard about the proposal of entering into discussions regarding a potential Fire/EMS merger. Your Executive Board is willing to discuss any and all scenarios with the City. However, we need to be satisfied that the motive for any dialogue would be to look at efficiencies in the two services and not merely a way to cut current budgets. We have always been prepared to discuss ideas that would enable us to deliver emergency services to the citizens of Toronto in a more efficient and safer manner. We see this as a responsible way of doing our part in these challenging economic times, yet we maintain that it must not be at the expense of compromising the quality of fire protection in the city. City of Toronto Proposed Budget Cuts .The City has proposed a 10% cut in the operating budget of the Toronto Fire
Services. I have appeared before the Community Development and Recreation Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the Fire Service, as well as the City’s Executive Committee. I wanted to impress upon them the devastating effect that such a significant budget reduction in fire protection would have on the city. Based on the fact that the average homeowner was taxed $244.05 for fire protection in 2010, a 10% savings would equate to be a savings of a mere $2.00 per month. But what would be lost? Over 400 professional fire fighters and 20 vehicles, as well as greatly elevated response times. This would constitute a significant safety hazard for the citizens of Toronto, as well as the fire fighters who protect them. Your dangerous job would become even more perilous. TFS is presently over 90 positions short of our normal complement of 3,183, which has also put us further behind the National Fire Protection Association Standard for “staffing”. Up to this point, the city has refused to hire for retirees and others who have left their positions. Your Association is proceeding to arbitration to force the city to adhere to language in our present Collective Agreement regarding the filling of vacancies. .It is a fact that since the amalgamation of the six former municipalities in 1998, Toronto Police and EMS have seen the addition of hundreds of personnel. Yet, despite rising call volumes - due to a significantly increased population and one of the greatest densities of highrise buildings in North America - we have fewer staff serving the city’s fire protection needs. This is not acceptable to your Executive and would not be tolerated by a city council that was doing their job for the citizens of the city and you as their ‘valued’ employees. I see this as a potential disaster waiting to happen. In recent years, there have been two new fire stations put into operation with zero additional employees hired to staff them. An independent report has noted that while other agen-
cies in the city have grown in size to accommodate the growth of the City of Toronto, the Fire Service has lagged behind. Fire fighters have always done their very best with the resources available to them, but enough is enough! The budget cuts that the city is now contemplating could be disastrous. These proposed budget cuts are a significant challenge for this Association and I, as your President, along with the rest of the Executive Board, take them seriously. We will do everything in our power to deal positively with this threat and I encourage all members of Local 3888 to do their part and stand behind us. I believe that the public will be on our side when they understand the risks that they will have to accept in order to save $2.00 per month. As you are aware, we have engaged the assistance of a professional PR firm to assist us in this latest struggle. We have developed a solid and responsible plan, which has been rolled out in growing phases. It was encouraging to have so many members take part in our initial telephone town hall meeting - almost 1,300 - and I urge each of you to stay involved and assist your Association when asked for your participation. We will continue to communicate all developments immediately to the membership.
Ed Kennedy President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.F.F. Local 3888
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SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE
ince the OPFFA released their notice in regard to the OMERS 2012 contribution rate, I have received many questions pertaining to the decision and the history. The main question I receive is, “Will there be restitution for the perceived over payments?” I will give a full update and hopefully in doing so, answer the question. At the spring OPFFA seminar held in April, a report was released in regard to the NRA 60 benefit that was asked for by Local 3888. It was through this report, that we uncovered just how the NRA 60 rate was being calculated, which illustrated how those paying into NRA 60 were being treated differently within the OMERS pension plan. This was not an obvious but rather a gradual change that goes back as far as 2003. It was not discovered until we did the report, as the methodology of calculating the NRA 60 rate was never properly communicated to the stakeholders. Members of the Police Association of Ontario and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association have been longstanding participants in OMERS. Both the employers and the members of the Associations endorsed enrolment and participation in OMERS because they collectively recognized the benefits of participating in a large, diverse membership group. In other words, as with any group benefits program, they recognized that participating in a large pool would minimize risks, thereby reducing benefit costs. Since the beginning of their participation in the OMERS system, they assumed that the determination of contribution costs would be based on the benefit formula attributable to their beneficiary groups. They have also assumed that other factors, such as demographics and experience, which affect the normal cost determination of the Plan and consequently, the setting of contribution levels, would be measured across the total OMERS Plan member pool. Until 2003, the advantages of being in this large pool worked essentially as
these groups had assumed. In other words, the contribution rate levels depended on the benefit entitlement offered under the NRA 60 and NRA 65 provisions. However, changes in methodology, first introduced in 2003, have led to an actuarial assessment of these member groups’ demographic and experience factors. The Plan’s actuary recommended these changes after conducting experience studies on only these selected OMERS participant groups - namely the police and fire fighter NRA 60 member groups. There has never been an attempt to conduct a comprehensive set of experience surveys of the other OMERS groups, such that it could be said that a consistent approach has been applied to all OMERS membership groups. In the absence of a comprehensive analysis across the OMERS population, implementation of the 2003 changes can be called into question, both under general fiduciary
view by an independent actuarial firm to review rates for NRA 60 and 65 going forward. We are hopeful that this review will support a further reduction and see the NRA 60 rates return to their historical range of 1-1.5% higher than NRA 65. This is supported by OMERS’ internal actuaries who calculated the NRA 60 rate to currently be approximately 1% more than NRA 65. Furthermore, the OMERS Administration Board passed a motion to support the concept of “risk pooling” as a
AS A RESULT OF THE OMERS SC BOARD’S VOTE, THE 2012 RATES REDUCED THE GAP TO 2%. THIS MEANS APPROXIMATELY $860 SAVINGS ANNUALLY ON AN $85,000 SALARY.
principles (i.e. the obligation to treat all member groups with an even hand) and with respect to OMERS statutory obligations. The main experience assumption that was escalating the costs to the NRA 60 group was the fact that Fire and Police generally retire with an unreduced pension. The issue is, only the NRA 60 group has been singled out in this fashion and it is not in any relation to our NRA 60 benefit that we receive. The 2011 contribution rate gap between NRA 60 members and NRA 65 is currently 3% on the blended rate, with it being forecast to reach 4% in 2013, if nothing changed. As a result of the OMERS SC Board’s vote mentioned above, the 2012 rates reduced the gap to 2%. This means approximately $860 savings annually on an $85,000 salary. This issue is not over however. The motion that set the 2012 contribution rates also contained a re-
fundamental principle for all OMERS plan members and that all OMERS members should enjoy equally, the benefits of pooling within the plan. Pending the OMERS SC Board’s decision following the external review in 2012, we have been and continue to work with the PAO and joint legal counsel to monitor the situation and are preparing to legally defend our right to equal participation within OMERS if the proper rates are not fully established. As well, the OMERS SC Board’s determination will also have a bearing on our decision if we are to seek restitution for any potential overpayment. This will be done with full legal involvement and with input from the OPFFA membership. Per side contribution rates for the Primary Plan have been set for 2012 as follows (with comparison to 2011 rates):
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Secretary’s Message ... Continued from page 7
NRA60 – Below YMPE NRA60 – Above YMPE NRA60 – Blended
2011 8.9% 14.1% 11.2%
2012 9.4% 13.9% 11.4%
NRA65 – Below YMPE NRA65 – Above YMPE NRA65 – Blended
7.4% 10.7% 8.2%
8.3% 12.8% 9.4%
- This represents a 2% difference (on a blended rate basis) between the two NRAs for 2012 (down from 3% in 2011) - The spread between the below YMPE and the above YMPE rates are set to be 4.5% (to resemble, by and large, contributions to the CPP) - The SC will commission an independent actuarial review to provide recommendations on the pooling principles to guide the setting of contribution rates. Contribution rates for 2013 will be set following the receipt of such recommendations.
Frank Ramagnano Secretary - Treasurer, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association Income Tax Summary - (Cost of Retirement) ESTIMATE Assumption Date December 31, 2011 (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, 2011. (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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VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE “If you are going through hell - keep going!”
– Winston Churchill
STANDING OUR GROUND!
ithout a doubt, our Association is experiencing one of the most difficult periods we have ever faced. The city’s directive of a 10% budget cut to all departments is causing major ripples across all services within the city. This has led to your Executive Board making the unprecedented decision to engage professional assistance. Through numerous consultations with some of the most sought after and successful PR professionals in the city, we have formulated a plan that we will follow through until we are successful in ensuring that our members can continue to do the job of protecting the people of Toronto, while minimizing the inherent risks of our dangerous profession. Through extensive research, we have gathered significant data to support what we already knew; the people of Toronto demand first-rate emergency services and they are not willing to compromise service levels in order to realize meagre savings. We have had considerable dialogue with Councillors and other decision makers at City Hall. Our message has been consistent and professional; we will not agree to any cut in the name of “efficiency” that would put the public or fire fighters at risk. Your Association has been a very visible presence at City Hall and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to advance our cause. There have been lengthy committee meetings and hundreds of deputations by various stakeholders throughout the city. While some have made for entertaining theater in the media, we have maintained a strong and determined stance. We have clearly shown, that while other services in the city have grown considerably, keeping pace with the growth of the city, there are fewer fire fighters on the streets now than there were 13 years ago, prior to amalgamation. Despite requests for additional staff, each year our members are asked to do more with fewer resources. The city’s own Master Fire Plan estab-
lished standards that we cannot meet without additional budget allocation. There have been a number of distressing issues that have made this situation even more challenging. Support from members of Council, who had previously pledged support for our profession, has been somewhat lacklustre; we will be tenacious in getting their attention. Additionally, persistent public attacks on our profession by the media and EMS workers, that our budget is too large and these resources should be diverted to Toronto EMS, are not productive. At no time has our Association ever made negative statements about any other group of workers in the city. It would be in everyone’s best interest to work together to ensure effective emergency services, which the public has consistently stated they want to have in Toronto. Your Executive Board understands the frustration on the part of our members who take great pride in the work we do every day on the streets of Toronto. At this point, our members continue to demonstrate the highest level of professionalism in the performance of their duties, even while under considerable criticism. If we are to meet this challenge, and I know we will, we will need the support of all of our members in delivering our message to the public, while maintaining pressure on those at the city who would minimize our contribution to the city. We will be staging a very public campaign to ensure the people of Toronto understand what is at risk. While our profession is steeped in tradition, we will always strive to stay ahead of the curve and evolve, in order to meet the changing needs of the people we serve. While our main objective will always be to provide the best fire protection for the city, we have also adapted to provide other key services. While every day we are prepared to respond to vehicle accidents, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, industrial accidents or any other life threatening response, it would seem the public is unaware of just how many skills
we possess and the variety of situations that we respond to. We must get this message out! The citizens of this city have come to know - and expect - that Toronto Fire Fighters will respond swiftly to fires but often don’t realize the scope of other emergencies that our members are asked to respond to every day. We must continue to demonstrate the value that we provide to the taxpayers of Toronto. This is how we will meet and defeat this latest challenge to our profession. On a sad note, fire fighters lost a strong ally in Ottawa with the recent passing of NDP leader Jack Layton. For many years, Jack had been a vocal supporter of our issues. He was always willing to meet with us to discuss whatever issue we were championing on Parliament Hill. Always available to take a call from fire fighters, Jack accepted invitations to speak to our members whenever he was asked. In recent months, he spoke at one of our Stewards’ meetings, regularly attended our awards functions and was also invited in August of 2010, to speak to delegates at the IAFF convention in San Diego. In the recent federal election, many of our members were in attendance at his victory party on election night in Toronto, where he mentioned the assistance of fire fighters throughout his campaign. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with someone who supported and believed in our profession so strongly. Our thoughts are with Jack’s family as they deal with his sudden loss at the height of his career.
Damien Walsh, Vice-President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
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BY TODD RILEY, WEST COMMAND CHAPLAIN
o you ever find yourself getting frustrated or worn out by the people you are helping? Do you ever feel like you are running on empty? I’ve had these feelings before, and I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling empty, drained, or grumpy.
As one who is in a helping profession, you are susceptible to something called ‘compassion fatigue’. Dr. Charles Figley, a renowned trauma expert and pioneer researcher in the field of helper burnout, has called compassion fatigue, “a disorder that affects those who do their work well”. This of course makes sense - people, such as you, who go into caring professions, invest a lot of themselves in others. They are willing to make sacrifices for others and ultimately, they do. While this is admirable, people who like helping others don’t always take care of themselves as well as they should. The problem is, not taking care of ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally will result in us becoming like empty vessels. When you are empty, it means that there’s nothing left to give. According to my research, the characteristics of compassion fatigue include: cynicism at work, irritability, a dispirited attitude, depression, and a loss of a respectful stance towards the ones we are serving. Such is the result of giving, working really hard for others and caring to the max, while not taking the time to replenish, renew and refresh oneself. As it applies to the job that we have in the Toronto Fire Services - a job that has as its focus, the service and helping of others - our goal is to maintain and if need be, rediscover joy and satisfaction in what we are doing. To be our most effective, we must always strive to maintain a compassionate and caring stance. The key question is, how? When I think of compassion fatigue and it’s solution, I immediately think of
the person and life of Jesus. Jesus was almost always busy with people. So, what did Jesus do? After spending long days with big crowds and needy people, Jesus took time to be alone. He took time to pray. He took time to decompress with the inner circle of his first disciples. He ate and drank - responsibly of course. Jesus even made regular trips to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane, so that he might recharge. If Jesus needed to do stuff to take care of himself, how much more do we need to? Some practical advice, care of Dr. Figley: To stay healthy as caregivers, we need to get enough sleep, get enough to eat, do some light exercise, vary the work that we do, make regular time for pleasurable activities, learn from our mistakes, pray, meditate or relax and do what we can to support our colleagues. Two great websites on the subject of compassion fatigue include www.proqol. org and www.compassionfatigue.org. I heartily recommend you check these sites and their attendant resources out.
Rev. Todd Riley
WEST COMMAND Rev. Todd Riley 416.236.8801 firstname.lastname@example.org As I go along in life, I’m starting to get a little better at balancing my schedule. Because of our calling to the church, my wife and I spend a lot of time with other people - and as noted, sometimes it’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. For my sanity, I presently take at least one week off every three months. I find that if I don’t, I get grumpy and avoid my telephone. I also find that walking, listening to Christian music, building things, prayer, reading my Bible, and the encouragement of my wife, help me a lot. A point of application: As an example of “practicing what I preach,” I just got in the door from taking a walk. Today is a crazy day on my schedule and I have a really busy weekend involving 20 youths at my in-laws’ cottage. However, in the midst of all that is on my plate, I took a walk and a couple of hours before that, I did a little bit of physical labor so that I could be refreshed. I know that if I don’t do stuff like this every day - following my own little schedule - that I’ll get grumpy and negative and won’t enjoy serving the people God has called me to serve and love. In your life, is there a good balance between nourishing and depleting activities? What are you doing to stay strong and live up to the Toronto Fire Services motto: Courage, Compassion, and Service? Blessings. Stay strong and safe.
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s r e t t e L TO THE EDITOR
THANK YOU FOR PAYING YOUR RESPECTS
I would like to thank one and all, for every kindness extended to myself and my family, involving the passing of my father, James Macdonald on July 6th. My Dad retired as the Director of Fire Prevention in 1993, in Scarborough. From your simplest words of sympathy, to phone calls, visitations, attendance at the funeral service and wake, to the fantastic send-off provided by the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Police, we were deeply touched. We were left very proud of what my Dad represented, what he meant to so many people, and what he had accomplished. I received a lot of comments from people about our “Brotherhood” and “Sisterhood.” Many of you came by in uniform, or in-service, or just showed up by yourselves, or with your families to the visitations and the funeral. On funeral day, people talked about the saluting from the Honour Guard, and the sincere speeches from Local 3888 President Ed Kennedy, and Deputy Chief Ron Jenkins.
Vice President Damien Walsh read the Fire Fighter’s Prayer, followed by Janos Csepreghi, who did the ringing of the bell. Graham Stark was on the bagpipes, and the bugler was Jason Czuba. Some attendees, my Dad’s sister Mary, and others, like myself, were very “choked up” that something like this was done for my Dad. I hope he saw that from somewhere. I’m sure he was choked up too! It was very inspiring to see all the Commanders and Chiefs “wearing all that gold” as my Dad might have said. Included were Lorne Buckingham, my present Division Commander, Bob O’Hallarn a past Division Commander, and Mike McCoy, my past Platoon Chief, now West Division Commander; just as meaningful was all the firefighters who made the effort to put on the uniform, or not, who attended these events for my Dad. To have everyone there like that, paying their respects among our friends and family, at my Mom’s church, well, I can’t quite describe how much this meant to her, and to the rest of us. I know that it was too much for her to take in all at once. She is still affected, weeks later, just thinking about those days. There are so many thank yous I want to make.
I hope I do hit most of them here, or when I see you. Paul Atkinson has been his usual attentive, proactive and reactive self. Paul had my Dad’s illness declared as a Line of Duty Death (LODD) in time for the funeral, which resulted in so much of the response. The original intention was to get Dad some medical benefits, while he was still alive. Paul was on the case the minute I contacted him. The subsequent results were unforeseen and quite incredible. I would be remiss not to mention all 4 shifts at Hall 333. They allowed me to park there at anytime for the month my Dad was in St. Mike’s. To see so many of Dad’s old friends and acquaintances from the job was very gratifying. They came whether they were spry and agile as we all hope to be upon retirement, and they came with their aches, pains and disabilities. Fellow firefighters whom I know well, each of you showing up meant a lot to me. Firefighters I do not know well, who showed up just out of respect for my Dad, my Mom, my family or the job itself meant a lot also. Myself, I am guilty of sometimes doing the bare minimum when it comes to these
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events. I was thinking that I should attend only to those I knew. Life tends to get in the way for us all, to be sure, and I have been hit and miss. Now, I feel a renewed desire to pay my own respects, whenever possible. In Fire Watch, I read Damien Walsh’s message about his own personal history. Losing his Dad at age 59 gives Damien motivation to support our fallen members. I read Charlene Rathgeb’s message in that same Spring 2011 issue. She is wondering how we can get our own numbers up at some of the events honouring fallen firefighters. From my perspective, I now know that every effort made was noticed, and very touching. At the funeral home, and for the funeral motorcade, we had the 1945 Bickell-Seagrave antique fire truck, driven by Al and Steve Watterson. Support 7 was at the church, manned by Gord McBride, Dave MacDonald and Gary Wignall. My own Aerial 215 was there with Arno Toms, Brian Healy and Kevin Wilson on duty. Almost everyone from my own B shift at Hall 215 made at least one appearance, and several came twice. This was all part of an overall TFS effort that has rightfully left many people shaking their heads over our camaraderie. I am overwhelmed really, that my Dad received such a response. Kevin Ashfield and Mike Ogle did a tremendous job in their roles on the Ceremonial & Bereavement Committee. Besides a lot of background and support work, I don’t know what they said to the Police. Having quite a few officers out of their cars, off their motorcycles, saluting at the entrance and exit at the church driveway was something we will always remember. I thank Toronto Police Superintendent Don Campbell of 41 Division for that. Dad would have never asked for, nor expected
what happened on his funeral day, July 12, or on the visitation days. He too would have been deeply touched by all that was done. Your efforts brought a lot of unexpected happiness. We lose our loved ones too soon, no matter what their age. We always wish for a few more years of healthy life for them. We are so sad we had to lose my Dad at this time, but we are honoured by the send-off he received. –Colin Macdonald
NEEDED AND APPRECIATED! To Our Fire Fighters My mind is filled with sadness and sorrow because you never know what’s coming tomorrow. You Fire Fighters are our true heroes I pray that you will keep safe through the years. You must be brave and very strong to fight those fires all day long. I hear the news and I know what you do As I’m listening, I’m praying for you. I admire your strength and the courage you show; how you can do it, we’ll never know. Some bombs and fires are set by depraved minds I only hope there are not too many of that kind. When I look at you and know you’re someone’s daughter or son my heart goes out to you, one by one. You need to be told, each and every day that we all need you, to be safe we pray.
God Bless all you Fire Fighters. We do need and appreciate you ever so much. – Flora Dineeno
SOUND OF FIRE ON CANADA SINGS Congratulations to the “Sound of Fire” Glee club! Global television aired an hour program highlighting the Toronto Fire Fighters and the ten men who participated in the competition. The program was excellent. Global showed some great footage of Toronto Fire in action at various fires and incidents around the city and even personalized it with some raw footage of some of the contestants. The fire fighters profiled were professional, talented and showed great personalities for television. They performed an entertaining and winning number. The $10,000 won was donated to Camp Bucko, a charity, which allows children burn survivors to attend a summer camp, free of scrutiny and obstacles. This camp is very important to the many children and volunteers (also from Toronto Fire) who help out there every year. This kind of publicity is exactly what we fire fighters need in this time of current politics. I hope we see more of this kind of exposure and publicity in the future. Congratulations again! –Anne Vavra, R231 “C”
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.
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& Are you sitting FIRE FIGHTER
SURVIVAL RESCUE &
comfortably? (…now we can begin) BY GEOFF BOISSEAU AND JOHN MCGILL, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS
ne of the more common questions that we receive regarding the writing of our article is, oddly enough, “How do you know how long the article should be?” Our answer to this comes from YOU, the reader. Over the years, it has become completely clear to us that THE preferred location to read our article is…you guessed it…the toilet! Yep, we mean you! Right now, you are sitting there, doing the mental calculation whether or not there is enough paper left on the roll for what you need, and if not, cursing the newbie for not having put a fresh roll on this morning. So, based upon the fact that the average ‘constitutional’ lasts approximately five minutes, our article should be just the right length for the average reader to complete in this time. Now, if you are a fast reader and need more material, might we suggest the rest of the Fire Watch magazine, or if you have finished that as well, then for your own health and safety, sites such as www.hemorrhoidshemroids.com/ causes-of-hemorrhoids-hemroids.html or the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation’s www.cdhf.ca/digestive-disorders/ constipation.shtml may also be of some assistance to you. Now, Murphy’s Law shows up and a dispatch comes in and you must leave your 16
maximizing your personal fireground survivability. Before you even went upstairs for that morning coffee you: 1. Checked your SCBA, so that you have air 2. Made sure all of your PPE is on the truck, ready and in good repair 3. Checked that your flashlight is changed and charged 4. Changed your radio battery to a fresh one 5. Been trained on what to do in an emergency - your emergency So, you are ready to respond, fully equipped, both mentally and physically (well except for that uncomfortable feeling). comfortable seat. So the Fire Watch (which now has been flagged, Seinfeld, April 9, 1998) is put down, the newbie is cursed for not putting on a new roll of paper and off to the truck you go. Right now, you are only thinking of two things: how long until we get back to the hall so I can finish properly and, did I pack an extra pair of underwear this morning? The absolute last thing you are thinking about is, what can you do to increase your survivability at this call you are going to? Thankfully, you are a conscientious, professional fir efighter who has committed to
So then, why do we keep dying? Timothy R. Merinar, an investigator from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program has stated for this publication that, “NIOSH investigators continue to repeat the same recommendations in their investigation reports because, unfortunately, fire fighters continue to get caught in life-threatening situations. As the number of structure fires continues to decrease, the front line firefighters receive less hands-on experience. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 16
Couple that with the fact that modern construction materials and common household furnishings burn hotter, faster and generate much more fuel-rich smoke than legacy construction, and you have the ingredients for fire fighters to become lost, trapped or disoriented in rapidly deteriorating fire conditions. That is why a Fireground Survival Training program is so crucial to fire fighter safety and health.” If you ever find yourself in distress, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends the following steps for increasing fire fighter survivability in a MAYDAY:
As a part of the IAFF’s Fire Ground Survival Program, they have developed the following chart that outlines the recommended IAFF Self Survival STEPS using the
PHOTO: SEAN WALSH
• Transmit a distress signal (as per department SOGs) • Activate your PASS device • Try to conserve air by staying calm and reducing activity • Remain in one place if not in immediate danger • Get bearings and look for potential escape routes • Attract attention: – Maximize PASS sound – Move light around – Use tools to make tapping noises
mnemonic GRAB LIVES: This procedure can be performed in part
or in full by a fire fighter in any MAYDAY situation. The advantage of this mnemonic is that it can be either memorized by fire fighters or even communicated to a fire fighter in trouble. An Incident Commander or Fire Communications center could relay these steps to the fire fighter in an effort to control panic and lower their stress level. Hopefully, we have timed this article right, and you are finished what you were doing. Now, before going to grab that next cup of coffee, or heading to the workout room, review in your head the survival steps that you have taken already today and the steps that you still need to take to make sure you go home alive. In our next article we will go into greater detail on the GRAB LIVES procedure.
“Those who fight fire the safest way - live to see another day” —Author Unknown
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IAFF Redmond Health and Safety Symposium 2011 BY HUGH DOHERTY, CHAIR, LOCAL 3888 HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE
etween August 14th and August 18th, 2011, in New York City, eight members of your executive board attended a combined symposium addressing issues of fire fighter health and safety, along with Emergency Medical Services. For the first time in IAFF history, we had the opportunity to participate in both the IAFF John P. Redmond Health and Safety Symposium and the IAFF Dominick F. Barbera Emergency Medical Services Conference. These symposiums permit fire service health and safety experts, academic researchers, fire fighters and private industry to challenge best 18
practices in order to enhance our safety at work and on the fire ground. A special thank you must go out to the New York Fire Fighters for their hospitality and for hosting this conference. On Saturday August 13, members of the New York State Senate, State Assembly and New York City Council - as well as several New York reporters - donned personal protective equipment and conducted a battery of rigorous fire fighter training exercises during a Fire Ops 101 course at the FDNY Fire Training Academy on Randallâ€™s Island. The IAFF, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, the
Uniformed Fire Fighters Association Local 94, and the Fire Department of New York jointly hosted the Fire Ops. This is a great event that permitted many political decision makers to really feel the heat that we experience on the job. On the Sunday, all participants had an initial opportunity to meet with manufacturers to review and discuss the latest advances in leather boots, bunker gear, SCBA and fire fighter wellness and fitness programs. Additionally, the IAFF had all department staff in attendance to provide any additional information and reference material required. We also
had the opportunity to meet and discuss concerns with IAFF representatives from the Haz-Mat/WMD training department, fire ground survival, financial corporation and representatives from the Wellness and Fitness Initiative. This time is invaluable and assists us in ensuring we have the best programs for our members. On Monday, IAFF Local Presidents, Steve Cassidy of the Uniformed Fire Fighters Association and Al Hagan of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, welcomed all participants. General President Schaitberger also welcomed all and stressed the need for all fire fighters to be safe and to stop all fire fighter fatalities. He also explained the legislative attacks on fire fighters’ wages, pensions and benefits. He spoke of over 86 such attacks and tactics aimed to decrease safety standards and staffing of fire apparatus. President Schaitberger made it very clear that the only people that can stop these attacks are fire fighters and that every
one of us needs to participate in fighting back. We must not lose our voice; we must fight back and not let them set us back or let the public’s opinion of fire fighters be shifted by those attacking us. The IAFF and Local 3888 will continue to fight back. The key note opening address was presented by The Honorable William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. President Clinton’s remarks were very inspirational. You may listen to the address from President Clinton by visiting the link http://www.iaff. org/Events/2011Redmond/coverage.asp and scrolling down to his address. Tuesday and Wednesday participants attended sessions in smaller groups. Topics included were: - Public Safety Broadband Issues - The Evolution of the Speciality of PreHospital Medicine - Fire Fighter Medical Data Collection - Firefighter Physical Fitness Class
- Fire Ground Carbon Monoxide - Fire Ground Survival Local 3888 was well represented, with participants providing instruction or leading a workshop. We had Dr. Glen Selkirk participating on a panel and speaking about his research on heat stress on Toronto Fire Fighters. This workshop on, “Fire Fighter Environment” provided scientific data on building materials and the dangers we face due to the products of combustion from the hotter fires. This also included the epidemiological effects that we have and continue to experience, and some methods to address theses hazards. Scott Marks, Assistant to the General President for Canada Operations, led a workshop on Fire and EMS Operations in Canada. This workshop provided information on fire-based EMS, as well as updates on ambulance resource concerns, including response times and service blackouts that a number of Canadian FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 19
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Redmond Symposium ... Continued from page 21
cities were and are still experiencing. Other workshops we attended which affect us in Toronto were: - Fire Service Communications: Why They Are Not Working - Operating Safely: Protective Clothing and Equipment Technology - Infectious Diseases - Vehicle and Roadway Safety for First Responders - Economics of Fire Fighter Wellness - Marketing a Fire Based System On the final day of the symposium, reviews of major emergency responses from select Locals were presented. • Tucson-Northwest Fire Fighters’, Local 3572, presentation addressed the response, logistics and lessons learned from a mass casualty event. The event was a mass shooting with a number of casualties and victims. • Charleston Fire presented a fire model outlining the events of a fire in which a number of fire fighters were killed. • Bridgeport and San Francisco reported on fires that resulted in fire fighter deaths • A Chicago building collapse; and • Our most recent fire fighter death of Valerio Perez on June 2, 2011 in San Francisco. Last, but certainly not least, Toronto presented “Surviving the Fire Ground,” highlighting the events of the Yonge Street fire in January 2011. Captain Neil Brown and Firefighter Cam Whitaker participated in this presentation, which focused on the mayday calls. The video of this presentation can be found at http:// www.iaff.org/Events/2011Redmond/ thucoverage.asp (go to Thursday and scroll down to “Surviving the Fire Ground”). We were also able to meet with the Pittsburgh, Chicago and Ottawa locals to review their process and evaluations regarding SCBA. These locals had either just completed, or like Local 3888, were in
the early stages of developing a process to replace SCBA. The opportunity was invaluable as we learned, discussed and to heard about the program to develop a RFP, testing guideline, practical evaluation and selection of an SCBA that met their needs. These discussions and contact will indeed assist us in the purchase of the best SCBA in order to meet the needs of a Toronto Fire Fighter.
The Redmond Health and Safety Symposium met all expectations and continues to allow us to ensure that we are able to keep our knowledge current. This does permit us to ensure that the City purchases and supplies the best and most appropriate equipment to enable us to respond to all emergencies and to return home to our families.
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Toronto’s First Motorized Fire Apparatus
BY ACTING CAPTAIN, JON LASIUK WITH ASSISTANCE FROM WALT MCCALL AND ALAN CRAIG
ince the organization of Toronto’s full-time, professional fire department in 1874, firefighters were entirely reliant on horses to get their apparatus to calls. The rear of each apparatus bay contained narrow horse stalls in which the horses would be faced outward. Stall doors would be attached to a quick-release rope and pulley system allowing the quick opening of the doors, while the horses themselves were well trained to run forward to their positions at the hitches. During their “hay”-day, more than 120 horses were employed by the T.F.D., with a department veterinarian tending to their welfare. Firehalls would be provided with spare horses as needed when sickness or injury occurred. By the beginning of the 20th century, various manufacturers were experimenting with ways to adapt the new-fangled motorcar to fire service use. Fire chiefs were understandably hesitant to use the new technology. A horse would almost assuredly get you to the fire. The same could not be said about the primitive, underpowered gasoline engines available at the time. The first, tentative steps were taken, though. Some fire departments were quicker to embrace motorization than others. The Vancouver Fire Dept. took the plunge in 1907 with the purchase of three motorized hose wagons. In Toronto, a smaller step was taken with the purchase, in 1910, of a Model 17 McLaughlin Buick roadster for Fire Chief John Thompson. The success of the Buick allowed the Chief to approach City Council with the idea of purchasing a full-sized motorized apparatus. Two tenders were received - one from the Commer Car Co. of Luton,
England costing $7,500, and the second from the W.E. Seagrave Fire Apparatus Co. of Walkerville, Ontario, costing $7,850. Chief Thompson recommended the contract go to the W.E. Seagrave Fire Apparatus Co. as they offered a larger 6-cylinder, 80 h.p. engine. With the Mayor voting against the tide of history, Council nonetheless approved the purchase. .During the second week of October 1911, the new “auto truck” - as the press called it - was delivered to T.F.D. headquarters on Adelaide St. W. The Seagrave Model AC-80 apparatus closely resembled a horse-drawn hose wagon, without the horses. Nicknamed a “buckboard” design, the crankstarted engine rested underneath the truck with a flat slab front providing almost no protection for the driver and officer. The officer controlled a manual bell, the only warning device provided. Later, a red lens was installed over one of the large headlights, providing a large red light as a warning to on-coming traffic that a fire truck was coming. This headlight configuration would be standard on T.F.D. apparatus for many years. The rig could carry 1000’ of 2.5-inch hose. As well, 100’ of red “booster” line was carried in a basket on top. The booster line was attached to two, 80-gallon brass water tanks. A sodaacid mixture, manually operated by the driver, created carbon dioxide, which would expel the water through the hose line. These “chemical” tanks were very good at knocking down small, one-room fires. The rig itself carried no pump. If hydrant pressure was insufficient, the department still relied on steam powered horse-drawn pumpers. .These “steamers” were reintroduced to the T.F.D. after the disastrous
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Globe newspaper fire of 1895. Before that fire, in which the Fire Chief was killed and many firefighters injured, City Council had refused to fund the upkeep of the steamers, eventually causing them to be taken out of service. Surprisingly, after the fire, the Globe editors were critical of that decision and money was soon found to purchase new steamers.
On Wednesday, October 18th, 1911, after being delivered less than a week before, the first motorized rig was sent to its new home at # 8 Hose Station, at College St. and Bellevue Av. The predecessor of today’s Pumper 315 became the first motorized rig on the T.F.D., replacing a two-horse hitch. It was the beginning of the end for “Dobbin”. The rig was put into the trusting hands of William Slaght, # 8 Hose’s longtime driver. From shortly after his appointment on June 1st, 1891, until his transfer to the dept. storeroom in 1918, Slaght was the designated driver at College St. Photos exist of him behind the reins (or wheel) of every rig assigned to that hall during those years. He retired on March 1st, 1946, his close to 55 years on the job almost certainly a record of some type. The service provided by the new rig was closely watched by a dubious dept. The T.F.D. went as far as to hire a mechanical engineer from the University of Toronto, Professor Robert Angus, to examine and vouch for the mechanical soundness of the engine. .A fter several months of satisfactory service, Chief Thompson was convinced of the progress of modernization enough to request two additional motorized rigs from council. With the Mayor again voting against the motion, two more motors were purchased from the Seagrave Co. By the end of December, 1912, one of those new rigs had been issued to # 9 Hose, today’s Pumper 334, at their old station at 16 Ossington Av. (That building still stands today, used as a Detox centre). The other rig, slated to go to the Yorkville Station, was instead sent to # 7 Hose, today’s Rescue 325, after the Yorkville crew convinced the dept. that the motorized rig would not be a good idea on the muddy roads and hills north of the hall. The success of the new rigs clinched the future for motorization on the T.F.D., and by 1915 the dept. had purchased apparatus from five different manufacturers to see who’s products were the most robust. The American LaFrance Co. was the clear winner as far as the T.F.D. was concerned, and the dept. would buy no less than 62 LaFrance rigs by 1950. One hundred years later, very few indications of the horse-drawn era remain. The odd hayloft door can be found in the few remaining horseera halls, while only about three horse-drawn rigs remain preserved in Toronto. Unfortunately, no record can be found of what became of Toronto’s first motorized rig. Taken out of service by the end of the 1920’s, it was probably disposed of. Definitely an unfitting end to such an important part of Toronto’s firefighting history.
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So, you wanna be a star and make $10,000 for the charity of your choice at the same time? Well, all you have to do is sing and dance on national television in front of millions of people. Sound easy? Maybe if you’re Hugh Jackman...
EXPERIENCING THE SOU T
BY CHRIS BURRELL, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER
his was the challenge brought about by Insight Productions when they came up with the television show “Canada Sings.” They went across Canada looking for Glee clubs in the workplace. The idea was to take a bunch of amateurs and coach them through a song and dance routine in order to compete in front of a live television audience. Every week, one group would face off against another group for a $10,000 prize that would go to their chosen charity. Twelve groups over six episodes. As it turned out, another fire fighter told me about the auditions after he saw a notice posted on our union website. I promptly called them and told them I might have what they were looking for. Bingo! They wanted us right away! We almost missed the deadline but they had us come to the studio and do an audition with the help of Orin Isaacs - musical director for the Mike Bullard Show and Canadian Idol. All of a sudden, we’re being asked to sing and dance and talk into the camera. Just a small taste of what was to come. Intimidating? Yes, but we passed the audition. I’ve been working with musical talent on the job since 2004. I put together a CD for charity called Burning Love. Since then, the Firesound band, which is made up of members of Local 3888, has raised close to $40,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Camp Bucko. Please visit the website at www.firesound.ca for more information. I knew fire fighters who could sing and were good musicians, but the dancing part? Not so much. However, with some professional help and a little television magic, anything is possible. Right? The audition was held in December 2010 and we started recording the actual show in February 2011. For seven days and eight hours a day, we worked with choreographer Kelly Kono, who has danced with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. Our musical coach was vocalist/arranger Scott Henderson who formed the Juno nominated Earthtones and now has a group called Souls in Rhythm. It was shot at the Fire Academy and the whole time we had cameras in our face, except in the bathroom - we had to draw the line somewhere. We stumbled and squawked our way to becoming a pretty tight unit. The mash-up of songs were 25 Miles by Edwin Starr, Hot Blooded by Foreigner, and Let it Rock by Lil’ Wayne. They tried to create some drama by cutting some of us off the show but it didn’t work. Every day we would be taken into a separate room and sat in front of a camera to be asked all kinds of questions about what was going on and what we thought about this and that. They were looking for the drama; trying to find the stories they would weave into the show. 24
I think they were impressed by the way we stuck together and had a solid respect for each other. They could tell we were a disciplined bunch, just there to get the job done. They were not going to find that kind of drama with us. What they came up with were stories about the difficulties of our job and how we cared about our charity, Camp Bucko. We were worried that we might look silly but it all turned out as it truly is – lots of good fun with a topping of respect for the Fire Service. After we were done working with the coaches, we had to practice for a few weeks on our own. We got together a few times and kept trying to improve our routine. We also did some different camera shoots here and there that took up a lot of time. So much footage taken for so little airtime. Then came the performance in front of the live television audience. We rehearsed all day and did more photo shoots. There
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UND OF FIRE was wardrobe, hair, makeup and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It was a long day and there was a ton of waiting around. Welcome to showbiz. Hurry up and wait. Meanwhile, the whole time the cameras are still on us, recording our every move. I think we were exhausted by the time we hit the stage but the adrenaline made up for it. We watched from back stage as the other group, Just Energy, performed their number. Then we went out and did ours in front of the audience and the celebrity judges, Jann Arden, Vanilla Ice, and Pierre Bovier. We were all nervous but we had a big advantage. We were all comfortable being on stage as almost all of our guys are in bands. We ROCKED out! The energy was awesome and we nailed it. It felt really great. The Judges were very gracious and ultimately deemed us the winners. They said we were very entertaining and they could tell that we were there to win. It was a very happy ending for the Sound of Fire to receive $10,000 for Camp Bucko. The show aired on August 10th, 2011, on Global TV. But wait! The story doesn’t end there. On May 31st, we were asked to represent Canada Sings at the Shaw Media Upfronts. What is that you ask? It was held at the Sony Center and is a star-studded event put on to showcase all of the TV programs that Shaw Media is launching for the new season - Canada Sings being one of them of course. We had a chance to mingle with celebrities from the television show Glee, as well as Matte Babel and a host of other celebrities and television big wigs. Again, we were put through the process of rehersal, wardrobe, makeup, waiting, and closed the show with our electrifying performance and a standing ovation. What a rush! Plus, they donated $5,000 to camp Bucko for our efforts! That made it a total of $15,000 for the charity! Our club ended up consisting of ten Toronto Fire Fighters: John Carson, Pete Cohan, Gene Draper, Jim Morache, Zee Zanardo, Rob Fitzgerald, Dave Albright, Mark Gatensby, Pat McPhail, and myself, Chris Burrell. All I can say is “THANKS!” to these brave guys who stepped up and sacrificed a lot of time and represented us in a very positive way. It was great to see Chief Stewart supporting us in the audience and getting a little camera time himself. Deputy Chief, Debbie Higgins, was also very important in coordinating things with Insight Productions. Thanks to Chief Stephan Powell and the Information Section who pulled together many things for us. Thanks as well to the people at the Academy who did a thousand things to help! It was a big job. A lot of people
contributed and I’m honoured that they took the time to help make it possible. Jim Morache’s muscles stole the show when he ripped off his T-shirt. Mr. December. I knew they would find a way to get that in there. Vanilla Ice said that Zee’s moves, “Did it for him!” That’s some serious praise, Bro. Pete Cohan opened the number with his great blues style and Rob Fitzgerald added the star quality with our rockin’ version of Hot Blooded. Dave Albright was like you’ve never seen him before! A great bunch of guys with the music and the job in common. What a fantastic trip! They kept asking – Isn’t going on stage kind of like responding to a fire? It is, but there’s no danger - that’s the difference. There’s a great respect for what we do out there and I am honoured to be a part of it. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 25
Understanding changes to the Canada Pension Pla
BY FRANK RAMAGNANO, OMERS SC BOARD REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE OPFFA
e are in the first year of the phased changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The phasing-in period for changes will continue through to 2016. This article outlines specific changes such as removal of the work cessation test. I will first explain the current CPP system to help you understand the changes and how they may impact you. The CPP is a public pension plan that was established in 1966 to provide working Canadians and their families with income for retirement and with basic financial protection against the loss of earnings in the event of death or disability. The Plan operates throughout Canada, except in Quebec, where the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) provides similar benefits. The CPP is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership. Both levels of government are joint stewards of the Plan, acting on behalf of current and future beneficiaries. Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Finance are required to review the Plan every three years to determine whether changes are needed to CPP benefits or the contribution rate. Changes to the Plan require the approval of the Parliament of Canada as well as the approval of at least two-thirds of the provinces with two-thirds of the population of Canada. The CPP replaces up to 25 per cent of pre-retirement employment earnings up to a maximum amount. This maximum amount is a five-year average of the Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings (YMPE) which increases with average wages. The YMPE is $48,300 in 2011. The pension amount is based on the number of years a person has worked and contributed to the Plan as well as on the salary or wages they earned. The maximum annual retirement pension amount payable at age 65 is $11,520 in 2011. This secure, lifelong pension is paid monthly and is fully indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPP is financed through mandatory contributions from virtually all workers and their employers, including the self-employed. The total contribution
rate is 9.9% of earnings between $3,500, which is the Year’s Basic Exemption and the YMPE ($48,300 in 2011). The contribution rate is split equally between employees and employers so that the maximum amount paid by employees and employers per year is $2,217.60 (2011) each. CPP Benefits Retirement pensions are paid monthly to all Canadians who have contributed to the Plan. The normal age of CPP take-up is 65, but reduced pensions are available starting at age 60. For those who delay take up beyond age 65, pensions are increased up to the age of 70. In 2011, the maximum monthly pension amount payable at age 65 is $960 ($11,520 \ 12 months). Disability benefits are paid to contributors under the age of 65 whose capacity to work is affected by a severe and prolonged mental or physical condition and who have made sufficient contributions to the CPP. In 2011, the maximum monthly disability benefit is $1,153.37. Survivors’ benefits are paid to a deceased contributor’s estate, surviving spouse or common-law partner and dependent children. Benefits include: Death benefit – a one-time payment of $2,500 to, or on behalf of, the estate of a deceased CPP contributor; Survivor’s pension – a monthly pension paid to the surviving spouse or common-law partner of a deceased contributor. Maximum monthly benefits in 2011 are $529.09 for individuals younger than 65 and $576.00 to those over age 65 (note: the maximum monthly combined survivor and retirement benefit at age 65 is $960); Children’s benefit – a monthly benefit for dependent children of a deceased contributor. The monthly benefit in 2011 is $218.50. Contributory period • The total span of time during your life when you may contribute to the CPP is called your contributory period. It is used in calculating the amount of any CPP benefit to which you become entitled. • Your contributory period begins when you reach age 18 or January, 1966 (the start of the CPP) and continues until you begin receiving your retirement pension, reach age 70 or die (whichever is the earliest). FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 26
• CPP calculations include both how much and how long you have contributed. However, to protect you, some parts of your contributory period can be dropped out of the calculation. OMERS bridge benefit OMERS provides a bridge benefit until age 65 when the CPP pension is expected to begin. This is paid to age 65 regardless if you take CPP early or not. The bridge benefit is not directly related to the CPP benefit you will receive. It is an independent percentage set by the OMERS Sponsorship Corporation. Changes to CPP It’s important to note that anyone currently receiving a CPP benefit will not have their benefits affected by the proposed changes. The changes are as follows: A) Removal of the Work Cessation Test The Work Cessation Test requires individuals who apply to take their CPP benefit early, (i.e., before age 65) to either stop work or reduce their earnings. Change: Remove the Work Cessation Test in 2012. Individuals would be able to take their benefit as early as age 60 without any work interruption or reduction in hours worked or earnings. B) Increase in the General Low Earnings Drop-Out The CPP retirement pension amount is calculated as 25 per cent of an individual’s “average career earnings”, starting at age 18 and ending at the age of CPP take-up. For example, if an individual takes the CPP at age 65, the span of the career is 47 years. The average of earnings over the span of the career is calculated allowing for 15 per cent of the years where earnings are low or nil for whatever reason to be dropped. This is called the “general low earnings drop-out”. The 15 per cent gives individuals who take their CPP at age 65 almost 7 years of low or zero earnings years that can be dropped from the calculation of their average career earnings. Change: Increase the general drop-out to: • 16 per cent in 2012 – this increases the maximum drop-out to almost 7.5 years •17 per cent in 2014 – this increases the maximum drop-out to almost 8 years. C ) Improved Pension Coverage – Working Beneficiaries to Participate in the CPP (Mandatory before 65 and voluntary after 65) Currently, individuals who returned to work while on CPP pension do not pay CPP contributions and, therefore, do not continue to build their CPP pension. Change: Starting in 2012, if you are under age 65 and you work while receiving your CPP, you and your employer will have to make mandatory CPP contributions. These contributions go towards the new Post-Retirement Benefit (PRB), which is effective January 1st of the year following your PRB contributions. This additional benefit will be added to your current retirement benefit, gradually increasing your retirement income. If you are aged 65 to 70 and you work while receiving your CPP, you can either choose to make CPP contributions (matched by employer) or you can opt out of making those contributions. D). Changes in the Pension Adjustments for Early and Late CPP Take-Up Currently: • A n early CPP pension is reduced by 0.5% per month for each month that the pension is taken before an individual’s 65th birthday to
age 60. Thus, if an individual chooses to take the pension at age 60, the basic amount will be reduced by 30%; and • A late CPP late pension is increased by 0.5% per month for each month that the pension is taken after age 65 up to the age of 70. Thus, if an individual chooses to take the pension at age 70, the basic amount will be increased by 30%. Changes: • The reduction for an early CPP pension will gradually increase to 0.6% per month for each month that the pension is taken before age 65. This would be done over a period of five years, starting in 2012. • The augmentation for a late CPP pension will gradually increase to 0.7% per month for each month that the pension is taken after an individual’s 65th birthday, up to age 70. This would be done over a period of three years, starting in 2011.
The following examples show how to determine if taking CPP early makes more sense than waiting until 65 or older. Example 1: Comparison of pension taken at 65 versus age 60 using the current method and the fully phased-in method Assuming a maximum monthly pension is $960 for both methods. Current method
Fully Phased-in Method
Monthly pension amount at age 60
$672 ($960 reduced by $288, which is a 30% reduction)
$614.40 ($960 reduced by $345.60, which is a 36% reduction)
Pension received from age 60 to 65
$672 x 12 months x 5 years = $40,320
$614.40 x 12 months x 5 years = $36,864
Breakeven year* if the individual waits until age 65 to start their CPP pension
$40,320/$288 = 140 months or 11.7 years
$36,864/$345.60 = 106.7 months or 8.9 years
Breakeven age (If this individual waits until age 65 to start CPP, age that their total CPP benefit equals what was gained by starting CPP early at age 60.)
65 + 11.7 = 76.7 years old
65 + 8.9 = 73.9 years old
*To determine the breakeven year, divide the pension received from age 60 to 65 by the amount the reduction at age 60. Example 2: Pension taken at 70 versus age 65 using the fully phased-in method Current Method
Fully Phased-in Method
Max CPP at age 65
Monthly pension amount at age 70
$1,248 ($960 increased by $288, which is a 30% increase)
$1,363.20 ($960 increased by $403.20, which is a 42% increase)
Pension received from age 65 to 70 if individual starts pension at 65
$960 x 12 months x 5 years = $57,600
$960 x 12 months x 5 years = $57,600
Breakeven year* if the individual waits until age 70 to start their CPP pension
$57,600/$288 = 200 months or 16.7 years
$57,600/$403.20 = 142.9 months or 11.9 years
Breakeven age (If this individual waits until age 70 to start CPP, age that their total CPP benefit equals what was lost by not starting CPP at age 65.)
65 + 16.7 = 81.7 years old
65 + 11.9 = 76.9 years old
*To determine the breakeven year, divide the pension received from age 65 to 70 by the amount of the increase at age 70. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 27
Canada Pension Plan ... Continued from page 27 When does it make sense to apply for CPP early? Although the changes will reduce incentives for early retirement, consider starting your pension before age 65 if: • Your life expectancy is below average (age 80-85). • You are sick and cannot qualify for CPP disability. • You have low income or no other source of income. • You have a continuous employment history. • You are not divorced and there has been no credit split. Consider starting to receive CPP at your normal retirement (Age 65) date if: • Your health is average. • You have average life expectancy (age 80-85). • You have a medium income with some other sources of income. • You are unable or unwilling to work beyond 65. • You are continuing to work (perhaps part-time) after age 65 with lower than average earnings. • You have a continuous employment history with some gaps. So when does it make sense to delay receiving CPP? Consider taking CPP pension benefits later if: • You are healthy • Your life expectancy is above average. • You have a high or medium income or some other sources of income. • You continue working with your average or above average earnings. • You have an employment history with considerable gaps. • You are divorced and lost some pension credits due to a credit split. You must also consider your full income and include the Old Age Security (OAS). This is important as the OAS claw back can return anything you tried to gain by waiting for the CPP.
If your net income before adjustments (line 234 on the tax return) exceeds $67,668 (for 2011), you may have to repay part or your entire OAS pension. Your repayment calculation is based on the difference between your income and the threshold amount for the year. The first step is to figure out how much higher your income is than the threshold. Your repayment amount is 15 percent of that amount. For example: The threshold for 2011 is $67,668. If your income in 2011 was $80,000, then your repayment would be 15 percent of the difference between $80,000 and $67,668: $80,000 - $67,668 = $12,332(.15) = $1,849.80 You would have to repay $1,849.80 for 2011. OAS maximum pension is $6,290.76. Once you reach a retirement income of $109,607 your claw back would exceed the pension given. The OAS clawback may be moderated through pension splitting (with a spouse) for tax purposes. A further consideration to perhaps taking CPP early is to invest the full CPP payment to RRSP each year. You will be getting the bridge benefit from OMERS regardless to 65. With the RRSP tax shelter and investment you should see that 73.9 years breakeven point extended. Also, this approach gives you a cushion for unforeseen circumstances. Information on the Canada Pension Plan is available online at www. servicecanada.gc.ca. You can also request a CPP pension estimate online through Service Canada. Thank you Frank Ramagnano Secretary-Treasurer, TPFFA LOCAL 3888 OMERS Sponsorship Corporation Board Member email@example.com 416 466-1167
We at Starfield-Lion are thankful for the continued support and partnership with the Toronto Fire Services. We look forward to fulfilling the personal safety and identity needs of the Toronto fire fighters for the next five years.
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Labour Day Parade A
BY MIKE OGLE, LOCAL 3888 EXECUTIVE OFFICER
s the daylight hours grow shorter and the coolness of the nights begins to set in, we reflect back on our summer memories. The last long weekend of the season is approaching, the CNE is closing yet again, kids are gearing up for school and it’s time to relax as another long winter nears. Has anyone ever really thought about our statutory holidays? Where did they originate and why exactly has someone decided to give people time off work? Some are obvious: Canada’s birthday, a Queen’s birthday, a day to remember veterans, a few religious days, etc. Labour Day, on the surface, appears rather obvious, a day for employers to recognize the hard work of their employees and grant them a day off, with pay. Not... Traditionally, Labour Day was an occasion to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights during parades and picnics organized by trade unions. These events still play a role in Labour Day for some Canadians, but many people see the first Monday in September as an opportunity to take a late summer trip, perhaps to their country cottage, or enjoy the company of family or friends at picnics, fairs, festivals and fireworks displays. For teenagers and other students, the Labour Day weekend is the last chance to celebrate with a party or to go on a trip before school re-opens for the new academic year. The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to April 15, 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada’s
first significant demonstration for workers’ rights. The labour movement has led to much significant advancement for all workers over the years. The 40-hour work week, overtime provisions, eight-hour days, maternity leave, parental leave, social security measures, unemployment insurance, $10 minimum wage – all causes that were championed by the labour movement. These measures have been expanded and are enjoyed by all workers today, union and non-union alike. The theme of today often centers around blaming the worker and attempting to claw back on many of the successes of years gone by. A person does not have to look too far to witness the attacks on the worker in most cities across the United States. These attacks have moved north of the border and are right here in our city and against our profession. This year’s Labour Day parade was unique, as the rhetoric out of city hall has many faces, and most seem to imply a re-
duction in one way or another in our membership and the service that we provide to the citizens of Toronto. I know I can speak for all of our members and their families that attended this year’s Labour Day parade when I say that all had a fun time. The weather held up enough for the marchers to arrive back at HMCS York dry and hungry. The Air Show went off - although a little late - but was clearly visible from the great vantage point the HMCS York provides. Continued good success at this event is paramount to continuing our association with the fine people at HMCS York, as it is a great venue. Together we can make a difference! Let’s not forget the hard fought battles of the past and when called to action today, remember, we cannot be complacent with the victories of the past. The bean counters of today are attempting to turn back the clock – we must not let them! Contact your executive and inquire as to how you can help make a difference.
FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 29
Canadian Fire Fighters Museum
From left to right: Ken Burgen (VP Marketing), Kelly MorganMacKenzie (Municipal Liaison), Will Lambert (Fire Fighter Liaison), Isabel Fraser (Secretary), Mike Ogle (3888 Charity Committee Chair)
BY WILL LAMBERT, CAPTAIN, TORONTO FIRE SERVICES
ire fighters the world over justifiably take pride in the work that they do. They’re also very proud of the heroic history of those who preceded them. Often, that involves looking back at the exploits of Fathers, Uncles, Grandfathers and the like, because so many involved today have a family history linking them to the fire service. Even first generation fire fighters, like me, feel a strong connection to the exploits of earlier “smoke-eaters” who played a vital role in the development of their communities. There are stories here that need to be told; tales brimming with courage, bravery, self-sacrifice and compassion for others. To that end, the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum was established in Port Hope, Ontario in 1984. The mission of the museum is to tell the story of fire fighting in Canada on a national basis, circa 1759 to the present. To do so, it is collecting, preserving, researching and displaying fire apparatus, fire equipment, photographs and related archival materials in order to illustrate the historical development of the fire service in Canada. This museum also offers a school program, tailored to various primary grades and integrated with the school curriculum. Classes may either visit the museum or have a volunteer come to their classroom with various fire related items of interest. A number of lovingly restored vehicles are avail30
able for parades or as rental props for film and television shoots. There is even a small gift shop on site which sells fire related items. Admission to the museum is by donation only with proceeds going directly to the collection and the cost of preserving and displaying. The board of directors and most staff are unpaid volunteers who are passionate about telling the story of Canadian fire fighting. Clearly, this is a worthy enterprise and both professional and volunteer fire fighters will want to support it. The Museum currently occupies the old Port Hope town sheds on Mill Street. The sheds are in poor condition however, and the town has decided to demolish them as part of it’s efforts to clean up and revitalize the harbour area. This means the museum will soon have to find a new home. In addition, the museum currently has a large part of its collection in storage at other sites, including inside the old industrial buildings on Port Hope’s historic Centre Pier. It is the museum’s goal & desire to eventually move into a new building, allowing it to expand and update it’s operations to truly become this country’s National Fire Fighters Museum. Port Hope, just one hour East of Toronto, is known for the preservation of its heritage homes and business district. It has an award winning main street. The town has become a destination for those interested in antiques FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 30
and vintage architecture as well as theatre and some of the best trout and salmon fishing in southern Ontario. Some have said that the towns future is rooted firmly in its past. Considering all of this, one can see how there would be a wonderful synergy created by having a high quality fire fighting museum located there. In recent years, the museum has endeavoured to find a place in the unused buildings of the historic “centre pier” which has been at the root of a contentious debate in the town. Port Hope’s Harbour Commission and Town Council have been in favour of the demolition of the pier buildings the museum has been eyeing, to make way for open parkland. Strong local opposition to that idea has surfaced in the form of The Pier Group, who consist of a membership of more than 500 citizens and a number of experienced planners and architects who believe the town is being short-sighted and foolhardy in its rush to destroy the last remaining 19th & 20th century commercial port on Lake Ontario. Port Hope’s harbour once moved timber, grain, and commercial products, sufficient to make it the single most successful port on the great lakes. It had the Grand Trunk Railway (today CN) running East/West and the Port Hope, Lindsay & Beaverton railway feeding it from the North. (The PHL&B line was later acquired by the Midland railway and eventually became an addition to the Grand Trunk system.) Port Hope was also once a very serious rival of Trenton for becoming the terminus point of the Trent Canal. The costs were about equal, but the group in Trenton proved to be more politically savvy than the members of the Port Hope Canal Association, winning out in 1907. Still, both the pier buildings and the port itself have considerable historical importance and would have made a great site for the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum. It was ultimately decided by the museum’s board, to let the Pier Group fight that battle and see what happens. Meanwhile, the museum is looking into acquiring interim space at the former Port Hope Canadian Tire store, just north of the harbour, which has
been vacant for over five years. Either location would be ideal. The pier location would allow the museum to display not only the former Toronto Fire Boat - which will make up an important part of the collection - but also, the main collection that includes hand-drawn, horse-drawn and motorized fire apparatus, including steamers, from many different parts of the country. There are even plans to add a water bomber, used for forest fires, to their inventory. There have been many items offered to the museum that it simply is unable to accept at this time. What it needs now are sufficient funds for the restoration and maintenance of the equipment on-hand and most importantly, a permanent home where it can be properly displayed. Ambitious plans have been delayed because of the lack of sufficient funds. That’s why I believe it is now up to fire fighters like you and I to come to the rescue of this very worthy enterprise. Local 3888 has already made a financial contribution, which I hope will become an annual one. I’m also hoping our Association will issue a challenge to other fire locals, the OPFFA and IAFF (Canada) to support the museum. Perhaps we can also influence our suppliers and political friends to garner additional support. I am hoping that some of you reading this will feel that this is a venture worthy of your personal financial support. You can become a member of the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum by downloading the forms from the museum’s website and returning them electronically or by regular mail. Members receive a newsletter update, twice yearly. The Canadian Fire Fighters Museum is a non-profit charitable organization which issues tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more. Please go to www.firemuseumcanada.com for more information on the collection, the plans, or to join. You can also find out how to donate your time and/or artifacts to the museum. For a great deal more information on the interesting history of Port Hope and the current struggle to save its historic pier buildings go to thepiergroup.ca.
1928 LaFrance type 145 pumper, one of four delivered to the Toronto Fire Department. The Canadian Fire Fighters Museum collection owns Reg. No. 6293, ex-pumper No. 25
WWW.FIREMUSEUMCANADA.COM FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 31
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).
The Ontario Fire Buff Associates 20th Annual
FIRE SERVICE COLLECTIBLES SHOW & SALE Toronto Fire Service – Training Academy (Eastern Ave, at Knox Ave)
Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 08:30 to 12:00 FREE ADMISSION – PUBLIC WELCOME
(No Charge for a Sales Table) If you are looking to add to your firematic collection or purchase that Christmas gift for that special someone, or you have anything of a firematic nature that you wish to sell, such as books, photos or slides, toys, diecast or plastic models, patches, pins, or other fire memorabilia, please join us. Raffles for a Yat-Ming “Signature Series 1958 Seagrave 750 Pumper” (1:24 scale), a Match Box “Models of Yesterday 1936 Leyland Cub FK-7 Pump Escape”, and a “Firefighter Wood Cut” by Dave Rumph. For futher information or to book table space, please call either Barry Newlove (519) 941-9606 or Robert Herscovitch (416) 497-8968.
• From the East: West on Kingston Rd. to Queen St. and turn left on Knox Ave. • From the West: Exit the Gardiner Expwy. onto Lakeshore Blvd. and continue east to Leslie St. Turn left and go north one block to Eastern Ave. Turn right on Eastern Ave. and go east one long block to Knox Ave. • From the North: South on DVP to Lakeshore Blvd. Turn left onto Lakeshore Blvd. and go east to Leslie St. Turn left and go north one block to Eastern Ave. Turn right on Eastern Ave. and go east one long block to Knox Ave. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 33
BY TONY MACDONALD, RETIRED TORONTO CAPTAIN
Member Profile W
roy Bower was born in August of 1977. In 1994, he graduated from high school and met Erin, the girl he would eventually marry. Another of life’s milestones would be reached for Troy in 2005 as he was hired as a fire fighter. All of this sounds like a typical story that really could be any one of us, except for the fact that Troy was born in and became a fire fighter in Australia.
e got to know Troy because he came to work at Station 421 for an entire year as a participant in the International Fire Fighter Exchange Program. He brought his wife and his five year-old son, Jack to Toronto in order to experience living and working in a different culture. Jack enjoyed attending Senior Kindergarden in Toronto and loved being the “Aussie kid with the strange accent.” Erin volunteered at the Etobicoke Humane Society in their Cat Adoption Shelter, which is a cause very close to her heart. Troy says, “Thankfully, Australia has some pretty strict animal quarantine laws, otherwise we would have returned to Australia with at least a dozen cats.” Troy has an athletic background. In 1995, he won a silver medal for kayaking in the K1 Australian Titles for under 18 years of age. In 2001, he represented Australia at the Tae Kwon-Do World Titles in Italy and says, “I got my arse handed to me by an Argentinian.” He has been interested in many other sports over the years, like Australian football, and rugby. He surprised all of us who play in the West Command Shift Hockey League. Although he had never played hockey before, he amazed us with his progress over the course of the 2010 – 2011 season. He says there is no hockey at his home in Townsville but he would like to get it started. He also represented Canada against the USA in Rugby league while he was here. “I got my nose broken in the 75th minute of that game. I looked like a raccoon with my two black eyes for a few weeks after that game.” In 1996, Troy started his apprenticeship program as a mechanic with Carmichael Ford. He worked his way up to become the Workshop Manager before he left that job to become a fire fighter with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. In 2008, he qualified for Technical Rescue in subjects including, High Angle, Swift Water, Trench, and Confined Space Rescues. In 2003, Troy and Erin faced an interesting experience. After one year
on Troy Bower of marriage, they became the Guardians of 13-year-old twin nieces, who lived with them until 2009. Troy came from a family of mostly boys and says, “There was a steep learning curve I faced with all these girls in the house. Luckily, I have a huge shed at the back of my house where I could retreat when things got ugly. I now consider myself a taxi driver, time management specialist, supreme negotiator (I could literally work with our local negotiation unit), therapist, combat umpire, and a master interrogator/detective. Although the twins are now adults, we are extremely close and they are like our daughters.” Troy lives in Townsville, which has a population of 200,000, and due to the warm weather year-round; none of the houses have heating sys-
tems. Troy noted some differences between the Toronto and Townsville Fire Departments. While both departments are similar operationally, Townsville does not respond to medical calls. Their stations are more spread out and are approximately twelve minutes apart. They have four stations with a Rescue Pumper, and at one of the stations, they have an extra two-man team for specialized vehicles like Hazmat, Bronto, or Heavy Rescue. Every truck has a thermal imaging camera on it and that works out well for the first crew to enter a fire with dense smoke. They can perform searches quickly, find the seat of the fire faster, and can keep an eye on all the crewmembers easily as they move through the smoke. Each station averages around 1,300 calls per year and they respond to a lot of grass fires. Toronto sends more vehicles to some alarms than Townsville has available. Townsville does not send a Chief to an incident
until it becomes a second alarm. He was very impressed with the Fire Fighter Survival, self-rescue and RIT training he received while he was here and hopes he can share some of that training at home. Troy says, “I enjoyed being at a large station with 9 to 10 people who all got along and I will miss the cookups each shift.” He says he was not a cook but hopes he carried the ball with other duties. He felt that Toronto is very good at handling high-rise fire situations. Townsville doesn’t have many highdensity buildings, so they are not exposed to those types of calls very often. He notes that Canadian and American fire fighters have a great camaraderie. Troy’s final thoughts: “This exchange was the experience of a lifetime and I recommend it to everyone!”
FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 35
STATION 312 BY MATT DUNN, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER
ow an upscale Toronto neighbourhood, the landscape of the formerly quiet Village of Yorkville has vastly transformed since its 19th century inception. One of the historic landmarks that continue to stand the test of time, after more than a century, is Fire Station #312 on Yorkville Avenue.
Prior to the incorporation of Yorkville as a village in 1853, citizens operated and maintained their own hand engine as well as an alarm system in the form of a bell at Wesleyan Methodist Church for $60 per year. Recognizing the importance of proper fire protection, they would both create a formal volunteer fire brigade and build a temporary engine house by 1855, at the rear of the Red Lion Inn at 20 Yonge Street. By 1859, Yorkville Fire Chief, Charles Thom, established a fire protection agreement with the City of Toronto. This proved to be very useful in the years to come, as Toronto Fire Fighters assisted in battling Yorkville blazes numerous times throughout the 1870’s at a time when the Yorkville brigade was undergoing a number of changes. Along with the reorganization of the fire brigade and a new set of regulations, the Village Council approved the purchase of a new hand fire engine, engine house, and a $700, 7-pull box fire alarm system by 1876. On May 1, 1876, Yorkville Council paid James French $5,000 for a lot of land to house the new fire hall, including a hose and bell tower. The land selected for the new fire hall was footsteps north from what used to be Potter’s Field, the first public non-denominational cemetery in the area. Formerly home to over 6,000 gravesites and stretching west from the northwest corner of modern day Yonge and Bloor Streets, the cemetery was closed in 1855, as new developments began encroaching on much needed land. Though families were given the opportunity to relocate buried relatives, it is highly likely that many still remain to this day. By late 1876, the construction of the new fire hall on William Street, renamed Yorkville Ave-
nue in 1883, was well underway. Architect S.H. Townsend had designed the hall at a cost of $175.43 and William Booth was paid $3,507.40 for the construction of the fire hall, tower, and a stone stable. When it opened, the new Yorkville Fire Hall included an 80-foot hose and bell tower, accommodations for the Fire Chief, meeting room facilities and bays for the two hose reels and a ladder truck. Six years after the completion of the Yorkville Fire Hall, the Village of Yorkville was annexed by the City of Toronto and the Fire Hall became #10 Hall. In more than a century of serving the citi-
vancing a hose line into William Knowles Cooperage Store on Maitland Street, Fire Fighter Thomas Everist plummeted 35 feet through a trap door and died on impact. It was not a decade later before a second fire fighter out of the #10 Hall, Thomas Deacon, was killed on Davenport Road after a benzene explosion forced a factory wall to come down on him and five other fire fighters who escaped with their lives. The 1900’s also had #10 Hall fire fighters experience their share of large-scale emergencies and bizarre events. On June 7, 1933, storms in southern Ontario caused five separate alarms across the city within a 17-minute span. After crews from fire halls 10, 11 and 5 were dispatched to a fire at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at Sherbourne and Earl Streets, the 85-foot Yorkville aerial ladder snapped while in use by five fire fighters. All five swiftly fell toward the ground, but one was killed instantly as he was impaled on the ladder. Surprisingly, it was Robert Calhoun from Hose #11 who suffered this terrible fate, while the fire fighters from Yorkville were fortunate enough to eventually recover from their injuries. Following Calhoun’s death, there was an in-depth investigation into ladder use and maintenance in the Toronto Fire
zens of Toronto, fire fighters out of #10 Hall have been some of the first on scene to many of the major fires and emergencies the city has faced. Less than a decade after joining the City of Toronto, fire fighters on #10 Hose and #3 Hook and Ladder, then stationed in Yorkville, saw the first line of duty death out of #10 Hall. Ad-
Department. Seven years later, tragedy again struck close to home for #10 Hall fire fighters on an April evening in 1940. During a visit to see her father who worked out of the hall, an eight year-old girl was on the upper floor to view some comic strips when she fell through the pole hole. A doctor arrived within a few minutes but the girl had broken her neck and died instantly. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 37
Station 312 ... Continued from page 37 Though several fire fighters had fallen down pole holes in the past, none had reported serious injuries and fire fighters said this incident was the first of its kind in the history of the department. In the following year, at the Main Street Fire Hall, a fire fighter reported serious back injuries after falling through the pole hole. As similar incidents occurred for many years, pole holes throughout Toronto were eventually enclosed by doorways and equipped with cushions at the base of each pole. Additional safety improvements came as a result of the fatal Hotel Plaza II fire in 1982. Early on the morning of August 19, while discussing the upcoming Labour Day Parade, #10 Hall fire fighters were some of the first to be dispatched to 88 Bloor St. E. for a highrise fire that quickly escalated. When the fire was finally extinguished, one person was dead, dozens injured and four fire fighters were taken to hospital. Only a year after North York’s Inn on the Park Fire where six people were killed, the Hotel Plaza II fire led to an increased push for better high-rise fire safety. By 1988, the Toronto Fire Department would implement a new high-rise truck to aid in battling such fires. In recent years, the Yorkville district has continued to be one of the busiest for fire fighter responses within the City of Toronto. In December of 2003, during the demolition of the Uptown Theatre near Yonge and Bloor, one of the walls of the 83 year-old theatre on Balmuto Street collapsed on a nearby building that housed the Yorkville English Academy. Despite tireless rescue efforts by fire fighters, one man was found dead and fourteen others were injured. Three years later, again just around the corner from the Yorkville Fire Hall, the popular Sassafraz Restaurant caught fire just before noon. This was not the first time it had happened, as prior to opening in 1997, the restaurant had experienced a fire that staff was able to extinguish. This time however, it would require five alarms and the response of more than 130 fire fighters to control the fire that gutted the 94 year-old building. While numerous changes have occurred on the streets of Yorkville, old #10 Hall is one of the few things that changed little. Aside from a much needed $650,000 restoration and expansion in 1974, and later being renamed to Toronto Fire Station #312, the hall remains much the same today as it was in years before. With a glance from the outside, passersby can view Yorkville’s coat of arms mounted on the front wall, displaying five symbols representing Yor-
Apparatus Assigned to Fire Station 312
P312 1998 American LaFrance Eagle 134 Ft. Garry Industries 5000 lpm/1363 litres wat er Shop #24084 2010 Runs: 3173 (Ranked 5th out of 88 Pumps and Rescues) Former TFD P10 In Ser vice on April 13, 199 9 A312 2005 Spartan Gladiator Clas sic Smeal 7000 lpm/2200 litres wat er 100’ Ladder Shop #27026 2010 Runs: 2631 (Ranked 1st out of 30 Aerials) In Ser vice on October 10, 2005 DC31 2011 Ford E350 Shop #20364 Note: P312 is currently wai ting for one of the 12 Spartan Metro Star/Crimson pumps on order. The current P312 is one of the last pumps purchased by the TFD prior to amalgamatio n.
kville’s first councilors: a brewer, brick-maker, carpenter, blacksmith, and a butcher. The stone-carved coat of arms was one of the only things to survive the 1941 fire that burned the old Yorkville Town Hall to the ground. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 39
Sly Maj Lodd DOB: December 30, 1950 â€˘ TFS Start Date: April 29, 1991 DOD: July 14, 2011
Full honours funeral bestowed upon fallen firefighter (This article was written by Cynthia Reason, July 22, 2011, for Toronto Community News, reprinted here with permission)
undreds of white-gloved firefighters were on hand Wednesday, July 20 to bid a solemn farewell at the full-honours funeral of 20-year Toronto fire veteran Sylvester "Sly" Maj. "A firefighter's job is to go where no one else will go - they run into burning buildings as people run out. Today, we think of Sly and his life and death, and we realize he did more than just his job. He made the supreme sacrifice," eulogized Fire Chief William Stewart at the sombre afternoon service, attended by nearly 300 firefighters from across the city. "He faced the risk every day of serving and protecting our community and the hazards that come with a firefighter's duties - the fire, the smoke, the cancer-causing chemicals...he knew the obstacles, the challenges, the difficult situations and he dealt with them so he could offer hope and make this community a safer place to live and work." Maj, who worked the majority of his career at Station 424 on Runnymede Road, died July 14 at the age of 60 after a long battle with workrelated colon cancer. He is survived by his wife
Barbara and five children - Paulina, Emily, Margaret, Paul and Michael - ranging in age from 13 to their 30s. Four of those children were in attendance at the funeral at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Mississauga to see their dad honoured with the Martin E. Pierce Commemorative Line-of-Duty Death Medal - the International Association of Fire Fighters' highest honour bestowed to one of their own who made the ultimate sacrifice. "He is a true hero who faced and dealt with risk each and every day to help and protect the men, women and children of Toronto," Stewart said. "It is a very sad day." For many of the firefighters in attendance at the funeral, the service was a grim reminder of the dangers of their job - and of the ultimate sacrifice many called to the service endure. Maj's death came just nine days after fellow Toronto firefighter Jamie MacLean, 48, lost his 13-year battle with work-related cancer. "The profession of fire fighting has historically been filled with inherent danger. But as society has evolved, so has that danger," said Ed
Kennedy, president of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA). "Today, firefighters face daunting new hazards in the form of horrific illnesses that sometimes take years before taking a tragic toll." Maj's death brings to 226 the number of Toronto firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1848. Paul Atkinson, a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board representative for the TPFFA, said he's been handling cancer claims for 13 years now, and over that time he's seen the ratio of those claims flip from 70 per cent retirees and 30 per cent active members, to 70 per cent active and 30 per cent retirees. "More and more we're seeing firefighters with between 10 and 20 years service getting sick and passing away from cancer at what I think is a very high rate," he said. "It's just one of those jobs that obviously you identify the immediate risks of burning buildings and dramatic situations, but each one of those situations whether it's a fire or a medical call - can do damage you don't even know has been done to you until many, many years later. That was the
Edward Cosgrave d. Tuesday, June 24, 1947 After the deaths of three fire fighters in a traffic accident just a month earlier, Toronto Fire Fighters were again mourning the loss of a fallen brother in the early summer of 1947. Just after 8:30pm on the evening of June 24, an onlooker and a ticket seller outside Loewâ€™s Theatre on Yonge Street, spotted fire on the roof. With this information passed on to the theatre doorman, the fire department was notified and called to the scene. Having worked in downtown fire halls for 29 years, Captain Edward Cosgrave, from the Adelaide Fire Hall, was one of the first to arrive. Unaware of the fiery roof, many of the occupants remained in the theatre and were blind to the urgent work of fire crews taking place outside. As nearly one hundred bystanders witnessed fire fighters raising ladders to access the roof, few caught a glimpse of Captain Cosgrave crumbling to the pavement from his feet. Immediate efforts of an inhalator crew and a spectator nurse proved fruitless and Cosgrave was rushed to St. Michaelâ€™s Hos-
case for Jamie and Sly." Frank Ramagnano, who trained with and began his own career with Maj, said Maj loved his job despite its risks. He also loved his adopted country. Born and raised in Poland, Maj received his master's degree in explosives and worked as a mining engineer and skydiving instructor for the special forces of the Polish Navy, before moving to Canada with his wife Barbara in 1990. He joined the Toronto Fire Services on April 29, 1991, and worked his way up to the rank of acting captain, ending his career at Sta-
tion 441 on Martin Grove Road in Etobicoke. "When we started together in 1991, Sly hadn't been in the country that long. He immigrated here from Poland because he wanted to basically start a new life, and he wanted something better for his children," Ramagnano said. "He really just loved the job, and more importantly - what I really liked about Sly - he loved the country. He was so thankful for the opportunity that Canada had given him, and he always said that. He said the future was so bright for his children."
pital. Minutes after arrival, the 52 year old Captain expired with a heart attack being the suspected culprit. Having joined the Toronto Fire Department in 1918, Cosgrave was active in many large fires throughout his career, including the 1921 fire at Shuttleworth Chemical Company where many fire fighters were overwhelmed by poisonous gas. The veteran Captain was laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetery and survived by his wife, Rose.
ing, were quickly accounted for and taken to hospital as other crews arrived. One of the men injured at the scene was Fire Fighter James Davidson. A member of the ladder crew at Carlaw Avenue that responded on the first alarm, he was among the many fire fighters present when District Chief James Dixon boarded the barge to ensure that the fire was out. More than a dozen years after the explosion, Davidson had still been dealing with the injuries he had sustained, which included several severe burns and a double fracture in his right leg. Though he continued to work for the Toronto Fire Department, he remained on light duty ever since the devastating day on the waterfront, spending much of his spare time in and out of the hospital. By the end of 1947, the mysterious Enarco explosion, the cause never determined, claimed yet another victim as Davidson died in Toronto East General Hospital at the age of 52. Even with the amount of time that had passed, he would not be the last line of duty death from the Enarco explosion.
James Davidson d. Tuesday, December 2, 1947 More than a decade after the Enarco barge caught fire in the summer of 1934, Toronto Fire Fighters were still feeling the impact of the damage done that day. When the barge exploded, three fire fighters were killed and several others were blown dozens of feet in the air, plummeting to the deck of the barge and the water beneath them. When the dust settled, only two of the fire fighters from the initial response had escaped the incident unharmed. The others, either visibly injured or miss-
Researched and Written by Matt Dunn, Toronto Fire Fighter
FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 41
James “Jamie” MacLean DOB: December 5, 1962 • TFS Start Date: March 28, 1989 DOD: July 5, 2011 BY MILENA MACLEAN, WIFE OF JAMIE MACLEAN
n July 5th, 2011, I said goodbye to my friend, my husband. No matter how prepared we thought we may have been, knowing that someday we might be faced with the eventuality, it was, without a doubt, the most sorrow filled moment of my life. The days that followed seemed like a dream… Unfortunately, we are not the first, and sadly will not be the last, to endure countless doctor’s appointments and treatments, anxiously awaiting results of the next MRI scan, hoping that we bought ourselves another 3 months, 6 months, a year - each small step resulted in the gift of 12½ years together…and we made the most of every one of those years. For that, I am most grateful. Our story started in the Fall of 1995. Jamie had volunteered to drive the nurse to the various fire halls to administer flu shots. It just so happens, that I was that nurse. He never did get a Flu shot from me that day; his reasons were the typical ones I hear time and time again. But he did get my number! From there, a beautiful
My life has known the change of many seasons. I have experienced the spring of life, Love, fresh and new and bright with promise I have come to know the warmth of a family’s laughter Life’s way has taken me through the change Of fall and winter storms Of challenges and pain Through the seasons our love has been with me I am now faced with new seasons of change Pain filled is our parting Goodbye is a word I can hardly stand Yet, I know that as I continue along life’s way The light of your love and the gift of your memory Will be my warmth and strength Your gift of love will remain I know I will move through The seasons of pain and challenge With your memory locked safely Within my heart
relationship blossomed. We were young and full of hope…until one wintery day in early 1999 when we were told Jamie had cancer. You would expect that our lives would have turned inside out and upside down with such a diagnosis. And while I cannot deny that this didn’t happen, so much of our lives together didn’t change. Life went on. We were married in 2000 and our daughter arrived in 2007. Jamie’s sheer determination to live a long and happy life allowed for this.
Jamie was born in Moncton, NB, and moved to Toronto with his family at the age of 9. He attended Sir Wilfred Laurier C.I. in Guildwood and went on to attend Laurier University in Kitchener. Jamie became a Toronto Fire Fighter in 1989 and devoted his life to helping others. His memory will forever live on in his contribution to the video titled, “Mask Up.” There is a country song by Tim McGraw, about a man who has had a brush with death. He went skydiving, bull riding, and fishing but
then the song goes on to the more important stuff like, “loving deeper, being faithful.” Living life fully, and well, and lovingly, that was how Jamie lived – from start to finish. It was evident in his loving relationship with his parents and sibs, it was evident in the rare connection he shared with his circle of friends, and I witnessed it in the love that we shared and the bliss he experienced as Madison’s Daddy. As a result, he beat the odds time-and-time again; leaving an indelible mark on all of the lives he touched along the way. “A fire fighter’s job is to go where no one else will go, while people are running out. Ask any fire fighter and they will say they are just doing their job,” Chief Stewart said at Jamie’s funeral. “He was known as the gentle giant. He made a difference in the lives of those he interacted with. He faced his battle with cancer with courage and strength.” I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the entire Toronto Fire Services for the kindness and compassion demonstrated throughout the years and in our greatest time of need. Loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult things to bear. Finding solace in family, friends and my memories of the good times, makes it a little easier.
Rest in Peace Brothers Tom Davis
DOB: September 19, 1959 TFS Start Date: February 21, 2000 DOD: August 7, 2011
DOB: August 17, 1967 TFS Start Date: September 25, 1989 DOD: June 30, 2011
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. FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 43
Fit to SURVIVE
The fire fighter’s guide to health and nutrition Dr. Jody Anderson is a Health & Wellness professional, who studied in New York and is Board certified in U.S. and Canada. He was born into a serving and early-responding family, the son of an emergency room nurse, nephew to an uncle who served within an Ontario, Fire Department for 35-yrs and a brother who is an Inspector on an Ontario Municipal Police Service. Dr. Anderson has a strong interest in health promotion, disease prevention and Occupational Health education. For reprint permission, contact drjodyanderson@ yahoo.com.
Stress... a silent killer
How to manage stress and live better, longer
y father told me that taxes and death are the only certain things about life. As a health professional, public speaker and writer I have been introduced to and have access to a very wide audience of people from different parts of the world, who have revealed another certainty across the human race: Stress is real and very much a certain part of our lives.
viewed by individuals and their physicians from an emotional and psychological context which is accurate. Last article we outlined the reality and risks associated with exposure to chemicals which, fall under “physical-stress” on the cells of the body, which is often overlooked even by our family doctors and regularly misunderstood in general, so it will be included under the umbrella of this article.
tion to ailments like Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Depression and several other major illnesses. On a day-day basis firefighters are exposed to a myriad of situations that potentially raise emotional, psychological and physical “stress-levels”, and while it is admirable to believe we can handle stress, simply - it is the wise and informed person who lives best and longest.
Stress is a part of life and if unmanaged, it can contribute to the slow and rapid deterioration of one’s health. “Stress” is commonly
Medical Associations around the world categorize “stress” if left unchecked, as a contributing factor and a potentially “slow killer” in rela-
It is fair to state that a firefighter is regularly exposed to seeing and doing things that the average individual may not understand or wish to
be exposed to. In addition to the fires, accidents, and emergent situations that tax the physical, emotional and psychological system of firefighters, the stress contributors that are not seen, are just as real and absolutely relevant in the topic of stress and stressors. Unseen stress may be associated with the fears that spouses and family members silently harbour about the dangers of the firefighters’ job; stress on the firefighters’ family and relationships is also real, and may be the result of being away from home for long periods of time; cellular stress and damage as result of fire and chemical-related exposures on the body’s organs and cells are also very real.
BATS IN THE BELFRY PASTA BONANZA
Whether they are physical, emotional, or psychological stressors – a stress-exposed body has to deal with the effect of the stress-related assault. The physiology associated with the different types of stress is well understood and complex, and for the purpose of this article I will focus on these simple and accepted truths: Stress associated with firefighting is far greater than most other occupations and a firefighter is exposed to more stress than most nonfirefighters in their lifetime. Stress has a negative impact on human health. Stress changes our body’s chemistry; Stress changes our brain’s chemistry; Cellular stress from chemical exposure contributes to the pathogenesis and is a known cause of major illnesses and disease; Stress if unchecked, poorly managed and its net-effect neither eliminated nor repaired will negatively affect one’s quality of life, overall health and longevity. Stress, or damage to cells can be repaired and emotional and psychological stress can be eliminated and managed. Stress and stress-risk management programs can be developed and followed by anyone. In the Health Profession we agree that physical exercise can be one simple way to help manage certain types of stress. Yoga, Tai Chi and walking exercise may calm while rigorous activities like bike riding, weightlifting and swimming may excite the body. In both cases, calming or exciting exercises when executed safely and strategically, will have an overall net-positive effect on the body and will help with the management of stress. The potential health benefits of physical exercise are real and it is wise to do research, consult your family physician and hire a personal trainer before you start to exercise, so you may custom tailor a program for you. Physical exercise alone, no matter how rigorous or detailed, is not enough
• 1/2 lb bow-tie pasta • 1 tsp olive oil • 1 garlic clove, minced • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in pureé, low sodium • 1/4 tsp dried oregano • 1/8 tsp sugar • kosher salt • 2 precooked chicken sausages (in meat case, about 3 oz. each) • 8 oz mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes (1 - 3/4 cups) • 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
SERVING SIZE: 1/4 of casserole NUMBER OF SERVINGS: 4
NUTRITION FACTS Calories 544 Total Fat 20 g Sodium 897 mg Total Carbohydrates 55 g Fiber 5g Protein 35 g
RECIPE • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. • Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside. • While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. • Add tomatoes, oregano and sugar; bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. • Stir tomatoes breaking them up and until slightly thickened, 5-8 minutes; season with salt. • Add pasta, sausage and half of the mozzarella. Mix gently and pour into 2 quart baking dish. • Top with remaining mozzarella and bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 10 minutes..
FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 45
Stressed ... Continued from page 45
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for the management and reduction of firefighter stressors. Cellular stress and damage within the firefighter population is real and an important topic to cover. The physiology of cellular damage and repair is complex and I will cover the basics, at a high level. Last article we briefly discussed the important Presumptive Legislation work done by your IAFF and local Union Executives to compensate families of fallen firefighters who have succumb to a number of work-related (caused) cancers. Cellular stress from toxic chemical load exposures, results in cellular repair and eventual unscheduled and extraordinary celldeath. Cellular death and repair is a normal part of the body’s function however, excessive load and inadequate cellular repair has been identified in the cause of several major diseases, including cancer. Cleansing (detox) the body at a cellular level and repairing the cells through specific nutrition, often supplemental - are key ingredients to managing and reducing effects of all types of stress on the firefighters’ body. Next article we will cover the impact of proper nutrition; was to promote cellular repair; and effective ways for firefighters to live better, longer. Note to reader: Consult your family physician if you are experiencing high levels of stress, in any form and are ill, or have deteriorating physical or mental health as result, or are concerned about the same. This article is intended to be informational only.
For the good of your health, Dr. Jody Anderson These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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TORONTO FIRE SERVICES PEER SUPPORT NEWSLETTER
Message from the Editor… W
hile many people are prepared for and are accepting of death, there’s no easy way to relay death to anyone, and especially not in a situation where death results from suicide. More and more, we hear and read about people dying as a result of suicide; succumbing to their life challenges that have become an ordeal to cope with. Age, gender and culture are irrelevant. The harsh reality happens and in many cases it is unsuspecting. Suicide is no stranger to us in the TFS either, having lost a few of our own over the last several years. Interesting Canadian statistics are displayed in this article, according to age and province. What may be familiar to many of us is that three times as many men attempt suicide and most often succeed as a result of the nature of their sure and
FALL EDITION 2011
immediate methods, ie. hanging, jumping, firearms. Women on the other hand attempt self-injury later in life and through drug overdose. Reasons range from ill health to aging to loneliness to being a burden to family/others. Continue reading for further statistics, information on who is at risk, and if you ever question whether someone may be suicidal, some prevalent recognizable characteristics which may surface. If someone you know speaks of suicide or you suspect someone may be at risk of suicide, ensure their safety – if they are not in your presence, keep them on a phone until you can reach them in person. As always, being well is the first ounce of prevention, so if you experience symptoms, get help! Be well, Lynn Pezzelato
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conflicts. Canadian data from 2007 shows that 3,611 people died by suicide, or injuries by intentional self harm. Of those deaths, 2,727 were male and 884 were female. There are no reports of deaths by suicide by children under the age of 10. There are reports that although men complete suicide more often than women, women are nearly two to three times as likely to attempt suicide. People living in rural areas are at higher risk than those living in urban areas. Are there any signs or symptoms? Yes there are. Some may be obvious and others may be subtle. The person may come out and say that they are going to kill themselves. Others may make comments about wishing they were dead, or wishing that they had never been born. An individual may start putting their “affairs” in order, or starts giving away possessions. After being depressed and feeling down, suddenly becomes cheerful. Other signs may be increased alcohol and/or drug use, stockpiling of pills, a change in routine, eating or sleeping patterns. Some Facts & Myths (New Brunswick Suicide Prevention) Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea. Fact: Talking about suicide does not create or increase risk. The best way to find out is to ask the person directly. Myth: A person who attempts suicide is only looking for attention. Fact: Someone who attempts may have serious intentions, for others, help may not be available. Ignoring someone’s suicidal thoughts or actions can be dangerous. Myth: Those who attempt suicide in the past won’t try again. Fact: Four out of five people who have died by suicide have made at least one prior attempt. This is not to say that all will attempt again. Myth: Most suicides are caused by one sudden traumatic event. Fact: A sudden traumatic event may quicken a decision to commit suicide, but most people who do attempt, are the result of feelings and events that have occurred over a long time. Myth: A suicidal person clearly wants to die. Fact: What the individual most often wants is a way to handle circumstances that, in their mind, are difficult and impossible to bear. Their intention is to escape the pain. The person may not actually want to carry through with suicide but avoid life in its present state. Myth: Suicide is generally carried out without warning. Fact: Thirty percent of suicides have been preceded with warning signs. Myth: Males have the highest rate of suicidal behaviour in North America. Fact: Males die by suicide approximately four times more often than females. However, females attempt suicide approximately four times more often than males.
Through our careers with the Fire Service, or even in our personal lives, there may come a time that we may have to deal with a suicide. What is suicide? It is defined as, “the process of purposely ending one’s own life” (medicinenet.com); the intentional self-inflicted death. Some cultures view suicide as very negative. In Canada, it was a criminal act to attempt suicide, until it was removed from the Criminal Code in 1972. Today it is no longer a criminal act to attempt or to commit suicide. It is a criminal act to counsel suicide (aid or assist). Why does someone contemplate suicide? The individual sees no other options. The person cannot cope with what seems to be an overwhelming situation. The individual may experience a tunnel vision, that suicide is the only way out of their situation. The situation may be causing the person great pain and anguish that they cannot see any other way out. Who may be at risk of suicide? A person: • having a prior suicide attempt • having a psychiatric disorder (depression, PTSD) • under the influence of drugs or alcohol • behaving recklessly or impulsively • feeling hopeless • having a family history of the above • having a family history of suicide or violence/abuse • recent loss of a loved one (death or marriage break up) • diagnosed with a significant illness • having legal problems
The effects of suicide on family and friends can be devastating. Family and friends are left wondering why. The family and friends may deny or hide the cause of death, wondering if there was any way they could have prevented the suicide. They may feel blame for the problems, a feeling of rejection by their loved ones, and may feel stigmatized by others. If you feel suicidal or are thinking about hurting yourself, call 9-1-1. If your thoughts are not imminent, call a close friend, or a loved one. Call your family doctor, mental health provider or health care provider. Contact a minister or spiritual leader. Talk to someone you trust - but do seek help. It is normal to occasionally feel sad, upset or unhappy with situations in your life. But if these feelings continue for many weeks or you start thinking of harming yourself, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Distress Centre Contact numbers: Toronto 416-408-4357 Durham Region 905-430-2522 York Region 310-COPE (2637) do not dial 905 Peel Region 905-278-7208
Some Statistics Nearly a million people worldwide commit suicide each year. According to the World Health Organization, there is one suicide every 40 seconds around the world. In 2000, there were 815,000 suicides worldwide, compared to 306,000 deaths in armed
Characteristics to watch for with individuals who are suicidal, include: • A preoccupation with death • A sense of isolation and withdrawal • Few friends or family • An emotional distance from others • Distraction and lack of humour • Focus on the past • They are haunted and dominated by hopelessness and helplessness.
Gordon Thomson TFS Peer Support Team firstname.lastname@example.org
TORONTO FIRE SERVICES EAP/CIS NEWSLETTER - FALL EDITION 2011
3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS
Local 3888 held its first union meeting under the new quarterly format on September 26th and 27th. Under the new format, there was sausage on a bun served at the night meeting and back bacon on a bun served for the day meeting. As well, there were a number of guest speakers, including MPP Monte Kwinter and OPFFA President, Fred LeBlanc. Two door prizes were drawn at each meeting and the winners are pictured above: Paul Pucciarelli, Wendy Rome, and Gerlando Peritore and Doug Nurse.
Local 3888 members worked the BBQ for more than 200 veterans on July 23, 2011, during the Tony Stacey Centreâ€™s Ride to Remember event. From left to right are: Mike Ogle, Dave Wilson, Paul Kennedy, Tony Harris and Lorne Babiuk. 50
Some of the Local 3888 members who attended the 10th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC in New York pose in front of the Atlas statue in Rockefeller Centre.
President Ed Kennedy and Executive Board Officer John MacLachlan visit with the mechanical division to hold a question and answer session over the lunch break.
for over a month during the Local 3888 members worked tirelessly up with the OPFFA RV tour on many recent provincial elections. Teaming rmed literature drops, worked perfo occasions, hundreds of members voters to the polls and just about the phones, pounded signs, shuttled fighter-friendly candidates were anything else it took to ensure that fire in 19 of a possible 23 ridings and e elected and re-elected. We were activ paigns! Thank you to everyone who were successful in 18 of those 19 cam participated and congratulations! FA LL 2 0 1 1 | F I R E WAT CH 51
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Classified Advertising in the Toronto Fire Watch Magazine Name Work Phone
Division Home Phone
Ad (20 words max – please print clearly) # of issues Signature
Credit Card #
Price: $25/issue + GST=
Ads run one issue free of charge. Home phone or pager numbers will be used. Ads MUST be submitted in writing. Phoned ads are not accepted. Submit before the 1st of the month. Send to Toronto Fire Watch, #600, 20 Huhgson St. S., Hamilton, ON L8N 2A1 or email: email@example.com
2012 Operations Calendar CalendarShift 2011 M
JANUARY W T F JANUARY
3 2 10 9 17 1624 2331
4 5 6 3 11 412 513 1018 1119 1220 1725 1826 1927
4 2 11 9 18 16 2325 30
5 3 12 10 19 17 2426
T T 2 4 9 11 16 18 23 3025
S S S 2 S3 1 9 10 7 8 16 17 14 15 23 24 21 22 30 28 29
M 1 3 8 10 15 2217 2924
MAY W MAY T F
M 7 9 14 16 21 23 28
T 1 3 8 10 15 17 22 24 29
W 2 4 9 11 16 18 23 25 30
APRIL WAPRIL T F W T F 1 6 7 8 4 5 6 13 14 15 11 12 13 20 21 22 18 19 20 27 28 27 29 25 26
46 1113 1820 2527
7 14 6 21 13 20 28
35 1012 1719 2426 31
S S 1 F S S2 7 8 19 614 715 816 21 14 22 15 23 13 20 28 21 29 22 30
JULY JULY M M T T WW T T FF 2 4 9 11 1618 2325 30
T T1 8 15 7 22 14
FEBRUARY W T F FEBRUARY 2 3 4F W T 9 10 11 1 2 3 16 17 18 8 9 10 23 15 24 16 25 17
5 7 68 79 12 14 13 15 14 16 19 21 20 22 21 23 26 28 27 29 28 30
SS 13 8 10 15 17 22 24 29 31
T 3 5 10 12 17 19 24 26 31
S F S 1S 4 5 6 6 7 8 11 12 13 13 14 15 18 19 20 20 21 22 25 26 27 27 28 29
68 13 15 20 22 27 29
7 9 14 16 21 23 28 30
T 1 8 6 15 13 22 20 29 27
NOVEMBER NOVEMBER W T F W T F 2 3 4 1 2 9 10 11 7 8 9 17 18 16 14 15 16 23 21 24 22 25 23 30 28 29 30
5 14 12 21 19 28 26
S S S S 5 6 3 4 12 13 10 11 19 20 17 18 26 24 27 25
31 RED: A WORKING
AUGUST AUGUST W TT FF SS SS W 3 42 53 64 75 1 8 9 10 11 14 12 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 17 18 19 20 21 22 25 23 26 24 27 25 28 26 24 29 30 31 31
OCTOBER OCTOBER W T F S S W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 12 1813 19 14 20 15 21 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 26 27 28 29 30 31
S S 5S 6S 12 4 13 5 19 11 20 12 26 18 27 19
GREY: B WORKING
BLUE: C WORKING
M 7 145 21 12 19 28
T 1T 8 156 2213 2920
6 4 13 11 20 18 2725
7 5 14 12 21 19 2826
MARCH W MARCH T F 2W 3 T 4 F 9 101 11 2 167 178 18 9 2314 2415 2516 3021 3122 23 28
S S 5S 6 S 12 3 13 4 1910 2011 2617 27 18
JUNE W JUNE T F S S 1W 2 T 3 F 4 S 5 S 1 2 3 8 9 10 11 12 6 7 8 9 10 15 16 17 18 19 13 14 15 16 17 22 23 24 25 26 20 21 22 23 24 2927 3028 29 30
SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER MM T T WW T T F F S S S S 1 2 3 1 4 2 3 4 5 6 7 5 6 7 8 9 10 8 11 9 10 11 12 13 12 13 14 15 1614 1715 18 16 1917 2018 2119 2220 2321 2422 25 23 2624 2725 2826 2927 3028 29 30 DECEMBER DECEMBER M T W T F S S M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 1 2 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 1311 1412 1513 1614 1715 1816 10 19 17 2018 2119 2220 2321 2422 25 23 26 24 2725 2826 2927 3028 3129 1 30 2312 3 1 3 4 2 4 5 3 5 6 4 6 7 5 8 6 YELLOW: D WORKING
Lieu Day Picks: 1.__________ 2.__________ 3. __________ 5.__________ 6.__________ Jan. 1 New Year's Day May. 21 4.__________ Victoria Day Dec. 19 - 30 School Christmas
Jan14 1 New Year’s Day Day Apr 17 25 Easter Monday Nov 11 Remembrance Day Feb. Valentine's Jun. Father's Day Break Feb20 14 Valentine’s May Dec 24 Christmas Feb. Family Day Day Jul. 1 23 Victoria CanadaDay Day Dec. 25 ChristmasEve Day Vaction Picks: 1.__________ 2.__________ 3.___________ 4.__________ 5.__________ 6.__________ Feb12 21- 16 Family July 6 1 Canada Day Dec 25 Christmas Mar. SchoolDay March Break Aug. Civic Holiday Dec. 26 Boxing Day Mar 17 St. Patrick’s Day Aug 1 Civic Holiday Dec 26 Boxing Day Mar. 17 St. Patrick's Day Sep. 3 Labour Day - nine (9) years of service – four (4) weeks vacation; Mar School Break Sep8 5 Labour Day Day Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Apr. 6 14th Oct. Thanksgiving - seventeen (17) years–18th of Good serviceFriday – five (5) weeks vacation; Apr9 22 years Good Friday Oct 31 10 Thanksgiving Dayin the twenty-fifth (25) year only; and one Apr. Easter Monday Oct. Halloween - twenty-two (22) of service – six (6) weeks vacation; and one extra week - taken extra week taken inEaster the thirty-fifth (35) year only (employees have received anDay extra week*Contractual 25 years under a predecessor Statutory Holidays May. Mother's Day Nov. Remembrance *atContractual Statuary Holidays Apr– 13 24 Sunday Oct 11 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 in which Fire Watch was mailed
FA LL 2 0 1 5 1 |__________ F I R E WAT CH 53 1 ___________ 2 ___________ 3 ___________ 4 ___________
2011-2012 UPCOMING EVENTS
Saturday, November 26
Tuesday, November 29 Thursday, December 1 Monday, December 5 Saturday, December 10 December 19 Monday Day meeting only (0930 Hrs) December 20 Monday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs) Dec. 23 - Jan 2, 2011 Jan 22-26
OPFFA Labour Education Session 2 Magic shows at 1700 & 2000 Hrs 3 Magic shows at 1330, 1630 & 1900 Hrs. Stewards Meeting Magic shows at 1800 & 2030 Hrs. Magic show at 1900 Hrs. 3888 Kids Christmas Party 1130 - 1600 3888 General Union Meeting 3888 General Union Meeting Union Office will be closed IAFF Human Rights Conference & Alts
LOCATION Toronto Fire Service Head Quarters Niagara Falls, Ontario Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. Joseph Sec. School Local 3888 Offices North York - Northview Heights School Toronto - Ryerson Theatre Variety Village RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W. RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W. 39 Commissioners Street. Lake Buena Vista, Florida
ADVERTISERS INDEX ACUMED MEDICAL LTD....................................... IBC
PAUL LOVE/CENTURY 21 REAL ESTATE..................4
ALARM FORCE INDUSTRIES INC........................... 10
PURE AUDIOLOGY & HEARING AID SERVICES...... 12
FAMOUS PEOPLE PLAYERS.....................................20
AUTO GENICS TOTAL AUTO SERVICE...................20
FIRE SERVICES CREDIT UNION................................6
CANADIAN MORTGAGE TRAIN...............................4
FRASER FORD......................................................... 12
SOCIETY OF ENERGY PROFESSIONAL....................48
CASSEN TESTING LABORATORIES.........................20
GELMAN & ASSOCIATES..........................................8
CATHY WOODS MORTGAGES................................ 52
THE BOULEVARD CLUB..........................................48
CITY SAVINGS FINANCIAL SERVICES CREDIT UNION................................................................... IFC
NORTH CITY GENERAL INSURANCE BROKERS LTD.......................................................... 12
TLC LASER EYE CENTERS....................................... 52
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Friday, November 25
EVENT Take Our Kids ToWork Day
*DATES AND TIMES
DATE Wednesday, November 2, 0800 Hrs November 6 -10, 2011
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www.ETPS1000.com 14/09/2011 1:42:39 PM