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Publications Agreement No: 41203011






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34 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 E-mail: FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by iMarketing Solutions Group 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: ASSISTANT EDITORS Marla Friebe, Rodney Johnston, Janos Csepreghi, Bill McKee, Damien Walsh

President’s Message


Secretary-Treasurer’s Message


Vice President’s Message


Chaplain’s Corner


Letters to the Editor


Member Profile on Colin Jenkins


Fire Fighter Survival & Rescue


The First Labour Day


Firehall Showcase - Station 341


The Fallen


Sunnybrook Burn Centre The Revolution of Burn Medicine


Colon Cancer Canada - The Bottom Line


The Engine 2 Diet Challenge


Urgent! Urgent! Urgent!


IAFF Blogs


Never Shall We Forget


Fit to Survive


Behind the Mask


2013 Shift Calendar


3888 Recent Happenings


2013 Upcoming Events


Ad Index


Children’s Christmas Party

On The Cover

ASSISTANT COPY EDITORS Alyssa Petrillo DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION iMarketing Solutions Group FIRE WATCH PHOTOGRAPHER Keith Hamilton CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011 PRINTED IN CANADA Copyright © 2012 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association ADVERTISING Debra Cheeseman, Project Manager Tel: 1-800-366-3113 Ext. 7806 Fax: 1-866-764-2452 Email:


Merchant Card Acceptance

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

The Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial was unveiled and dedicated in Ottawa on September 9, 2012. The new memorial, intended as a national commemoration recognizing firefighters and firefighting from all parts of the country, is located on a prominent site owned by the National Capital Commission at LeBreton Flats, near the Canadian War Museum. Cover photos by Linda Matta (, Larry Thorne and Keith Hamilton. See page 28 for details

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o doubt, you are all aware of the ongoing conflict between the Ontario Government and at least two of the Teachers’ Federations. The Liberal Government recently passed Bill 115 in the Legislature, with the help of Tim Hudak’s Conservatives. This Bill effectively took away bargaining rights for this large group of organized professionals and has imposed a contract legislating a 0% wage increase, loss of their right to strike, an attack on their sick time gratuity at retirement and a frozen grid (movement through their various classifications). I remember these same conditions under the Bob Rae provincial government, at that time, called the “Social Contract.” THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT! These ‘blame the victim’ tactics are quickly moving north of the border from the United States, where Unions are in the fight of, and for, their lives. In Canada, all public sector workers will be affected. Public servants did not create Ontario’s huge budget deficit but they are being unfairly targeted in the government’s effort to reduce it. This assault on labour is not confined to the Provincial sector. Municipalities are slashing budgets, contracting out good jobs and services, refusing to hire or slowing down hiring due to retirement and actively lobbying for major changes to our arbitration system. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is very supportive of a Private Members Bill (121) tabled by Conservative MPP, Jim Wilson from the riding of Simcoe Grey. The Tories are reviving their promise to gut the present ‘broken’ arbitration system, while the Liberals have introduced legislation to expand their wage freeze push from teachers to other public servants and it may well be that the arbitration system is next on their agenda. The members should know that our arbitration system was studied by Senior Economist, Don Drummond, of the TD

bank who was appointed by Premier Dalton McGuinty, to look into ways to deal with Ontario’s budget shortfall. He looked at the binding arbitration process and noted in his report that: “Our research leads us to make recommendations to improve the arbitration process. But we hasten to add that we do not find the system to be broken. In general, arbitration awards have followed freely negotiated settlements. The notion of ‘ability to pay’ is understandably difficult to apply in the public sector.” “Further, we found that the employer often did not present evidence of this argument to the arbitrators.” Arbitrators are independent, impartial and intelligent individuals and their awards have historically tended to replicate freely negotiated agreements already signed. In fact, during the past five years, wages for negotiated settlements in Ontario averaged 3.65%, while arbitrated awards averaged 3.61%. Yet, Jim Wilson’s forty-one page Bill would seriously alter our present system. This has nothing to do with deficit fighting but everything to do with undermining the collective bargaining rights of workers. At the Federal level, another Private Members Bill, C-377, has been introduced to amend the Income Tax Act. It would involve the addition of a significant layer of administrative reporting, as all unions would be forced to open up their financial records to the government and have them posted online. This goes well beyond what is expected of any private corporation. For example, medical costs over $2,000.00 would be posted under your name on the Canada Revenue Agency website, for anyone with a computer to access. While most labour organizations already engage in transparent financial reporting to their members, this new Bill, if passed, is intended to have unions spend valuable resources on another layer of bureaucracy, while diverting these resources away from protecting the rights of their members.

Ed Kennedy

Your Executive Board, as well as the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, is very concerned about the consequences of any changes to our arbitration system or legislation affecting our ability to effectively negotiate on your behalf. We have also not strayed from our efforts to expand our Presumptive Legislation affecting certain cancers. We will resist any assault on our OMERS pension plan and we will not sit idle while attacks on public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights continue. Finally, I must comment that over many years, Unions have represented workers and, as such, raised their standard of living to the middle class. From my point of view, it is no coincidence that in countries where Unions are strongest, the standard of living for all people, organized and unorganized, is the highest. When the bargaining rights of one group of workers are denied, it will ultimately affect all workers. We cannot become complacent due to the fact that it appears that fire fighters seem to have been overlooked by proposed government reforms thus far. Make no mistake; we are in the cross hairs of a concerted legislative agenda to drastically reduce the hard earned rights and privileges that have taken so many years to gain. We must work together with those who have already been impacted, in order to reverse this trend and protect the future of all workers.

Ed Kennedy President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.F.F. Local 3888 FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH



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t is no surprise that the attacks on public sector workers are continuing, given the slow growth of our economy. It was surprising that we were made the scapegoats of this recession, as opposed to the private sector investors and CEOs. It was their questionable activities that brought the world to the edge of a global financial meltdown, with their shady banking practices and lending decisions. I wish I knew what highpriced public relations firm was hired that came up with the plan to make the public sector workers the villains. You must admit it was brilliant; the private sector lost jobs, benefits and pay from the 2008 market meltdown and the .com bubble burst. People were hurting and looking for someone to blame. Instead of pointing them in the right direction and perhaps putting laws in place to prevent a recurrence, the public sector was offered up on a silver platter. Diverting blame away from the actual culprits only protects them and increases the chances of them doing it again. Public sector employees do not earn “substantially more” than the average private sector worker. They are part of the “hard-working families” and taxpayers that politicians refer to, and they are deeply concerned with the sustained hate-mongering intended to turn Ontarians against those who are there to serve them.


spending of any province in Canada – eleven percent lower than the average of the other provinces. Public services did not cause the deficit. Neither did public employees’ wages or pensions. The real pension crisis is not the fact that a third of workers have workplace pension plans; it is that two-thirds of workers do not. Most employers, especially in the private sector, simply refuse to fund decent pensions for their workers. Most public sector pensions are very modest. For example, the average pension payment to all OMERS pensioners who retired in 2011 is about $23,000 per year after age 65. Further, if one considers all existing OMERS retirees, currently just over 100,000 of them, the average lifetime pension benefit being paid is about $18,000 per year. The average OMERS pensioner collects about 30% to 50% each year of what his or her annual working compensation was just prior to retirement. Not exactly “gold-plated.” We are now faced with an additional attack on our contractual sick time retirement gratuity. The first known retirement gratuity for fire fighters dates back to the 1930s. The rationale for gratuities followed the same rationale for sick leave plans: if a fire fighter used their 18 days statutory leave each year, they would have been paid for a total of 630 days of illness for a 35-year fire fighting career. Good health would result in not


Public spending did not cause the provincial deficit. What drained provincial coffers was: a.) The 2008-2009 recession; and b.) Seventeen years of tax cuts. If Ontario had the same corporate tax rates today that it had in 1995, there would be no deficit! In spite of that – and because of years of spending cuts – Ontario’s budget was balanced for three years before the recession hit. And to top it all off, Ontario has the lowest program


taking that time off, so the gratuity was a reward for good health and service to the municipality. Collective agreements containing retirement gratuities have been achieved through the process of give and take during collective bargaining and by forgoing other improvements over the years. Generations of fire fighters have fought to create and maintain gratuities. By comparison, the Ontario Public Service

Frank Ramagnano

is entitled to receive one week of salary for each year of continuous service if the member retires or resigns. This is in addition to benefits after retirement. These entitlements are not dependent on good attendance and are more valuable than the gratuities in the fire service sector. The retirement gratuity can be viewed as money in lieu of benefits after retirement, recognition of long service employees and as payment of cents on the dollar for sick leave entitlement not taken throughout a member’s career. Retirement bonuses, severance packages and retirement incentives are not uncommon in the private sector or in the public sector outside of firefighting. Several studies have shown that plans and programs that provide a cash incentive for unused sick leave credits, significantly decreases rates of absenteeism. On the other hand, research also shows that punishment for frequent absenteeism does not result in a reduction in absentee rates. Gratuities create a win-win situation between employers and employees, as the employer pays out only a fraction of the initial liability on the books created by sick leave. The rhetoric seems to have no boundaries or limits when it comes to distorting reality. The latest ploy is to point a finger at the USA, state that municipalities are going bankrupt there and that it will happen here if the public sector is not stripped of their benefits. This made me curious to research if there are any facts to back this claim. I found seven municipalities that were approved for bankruptcy protection in the FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH



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Secretary-Tresurer’s Message...Continued from page 7

USA. On the surface that seems like a significant amount, until you realize that there are 87,575 municipality type governments in the USA – that equates to .00008% that have gone bankrupt. In further looking at the seven governments that went bankrupt, almost half of them were attributed to legal awards going against them. Municipalities in Ontario are not permitted to run a deficit, so I’m not sure how they could go bankrupt without having any debt? Cutting public services, jobs and

wages takes money out of the economy and reduces the revenue flowing to government. The best approach to the deficit would be to combine greater tax fairness for corporations and high-income individuals with a serious job creation strategy. Reducing the deficit won’t create good jobs, but creating good jobs will reduce the deficit. If government wants to fix our fiscal issues, parties of all stripes need to work together to ensure that this province has a vibrant public sector, healthy hospitals,

quality services, good education and that all Ontarians earn a living wage that enables them to have a little left over to spend in our stores and on services that will, in turn, stimulate the economy.

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

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UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL! “…Here’s another shot. Right in front. They score! Henderson has scored for Canada…” –Foster Hewitt


f you remember where you were when you heard that call, or if it was before your time but have heard an older family member or friend talk about that incredible hockey series that took place in September of 1972, you probably have an idea of the historical significance of those eight games in the annals of Canadian sport. History has faded many of the details of those games but as we celebrate their 40th anniversary and dig through the archives, I think it reveals some valuable and relevant lessons, through some forgotten aspects of the series. We believed it was the most talented hockey team ever assembled. The question prior to the series beginning wasn’t if we would win, but by how much? This was a beloved group of superstars ready for a global coronation but after the first game in Montreal, a resounding 7-3 defeat, it was apparent that they were in for the fight of their lives. After game four in Vancouver, an embarrassing 5-3 loss, leaving them with a record of 1-2-1, Team Canada was loudly booed off the ice. Following the game, their leader, Phil Esposito was interviewed live on TV. He implored those watching, that the entire team was disheartened that their country had turned on them, that they were giving it their all and hoped that their country would rally round them for the duration of the series. As the team headed off for Russia for the final four games, it’s likely that no one would have predicted the final outcome in what most would consider the greatest comeback, in the most electrifying series ever played for our country. So, I know you’re thinking, “Nice trip down memory lane – what’s your point here?” I truly believe that the success of Team Canada in 1972, came as a result of their firm belief in themselves, despite the monumental hole they were in and the adversity of the feeling that their country had turned on them. They still believed that they could be successful, even when down two goals heading into

the final period of the last game. They never doubted themselves or turned on each other! There is a lot of doom and gloom on the labour front these days. Attacks on unionized workers – some aimed directly at fire fighters – in the media and from political parties of all stripes have our members worried about our future. Talk radio engages in daily attacks on the public sector and have transformed the word “union” into a dirty, ugly word. It also seems that some who once supported us have now turned on us. There’s no question, we are under fire and in for a long struggle to hang on to what we have fought so hard for. Frustration is mounting as we near the end of a third year without a renewed collective agreement and every day seems to bring a new threat against our profession. However, negativity and internal bickering only weakens us and creates opportunities for detractors to divide us. This is not the time to turn on each other. Have faith in our Association and in each other. This is not the first struggle we have had to endure. We will persevere, but only if we believe in this Association and demonstrate the kind of professionalism and resilience we are known for. Clearly, our membership has been more engaged and informed than at any time in our history. We must continue to build on that! We are heading into a critical time with the potential for major changes to our role in this city, in the midst of some of the most politically uncertain times. Now is the time to put our heads down and dedicate ourselves to sticking together. Our members are our greatest strength and most valuable resource. We will need to be able to count on you. There will be many opportunities in the coming months for us to stand together and push back against this rising tide against the middle class worker. Stay informed, stay engaged and be ready to act! On a personal note, I would like to thank the membership of this Association

Damien Walsh

for your support over this last term. It was an incredibly challenging two years that slipped by so quickly. I am grateful to the entire Executive Board this term for their knowledge and dedication to serving the membership. We have learned so much from each other and accomplished some significant work. I am proud of the many members who have given their time and energy to the numerous events that we attended and I am mindful of the goals that we have achieved together. From election campaigns at all levels of government to our “Not Gravy” campaign to the many fundraisers and memorial services we attended; we did it together – united in demonstrating all that is good within our Association, despite considerable adversity. I am looking forward to this next term representing you and I am humbled and very appreciative for the faith you have placed in me, as Vice President of our Association. I have never taken for granted the honour of serving this Association. It’s a great responsibility and I will continue to devote all of my energy to ensuring a bright future for all of us. It’s going to be a challenging term. There will be obstacles placed in front of us that we haven’t even considered yet, but I know that we have the resolve to meet any challenge head on, as long as we stand together. Stay safe!

Damien Walsh, Vice President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888

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Contentment is Good for Your Finances


reetings! I trust and hope that you and yours are well. As I write this article, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and my thoughts have turned to the challenge of being content and thankful for what I have. A constant struggle in our society is being content. I personally struggle as well in this area. Granite countertops are very tempting to me, as are iPhones and Galaxy 3’s. Sometimes, I think I’d also like a bigger house, a new porch, bigger closets, a new bathroom, a fancier car and a newer computer. Being content, living within our means, and giving generously to others is not an easy thing, but it’s good for the soul; you might even characterize this as a battle. The Bible teaches us that we need to learn contentment and that we need to be good stewards of the resources that God has blessed us with. To help me, I carry a laminated prayer on my keychain that says, “Lord, help me to be grateful for what I have, to remember that I don’t need most of what I want, and that joy is found in simplicity and generosity.” This is a helpful reminder for me. I’d like to share a few principles with you that I’ve gleaned from my parents, the Bible, and from reading I’ve done on the subject of money. I just can’t help but think that as of September 2012, the average Canadian consumers nonmortgage debt load is around $26,000. If you add in mortgage debt, the total household debt is at record high levels. Fueling all of this are incredibly low interest rates, access to easy credit, and the whole problem of discontentment and materialism. Some finance principles to consider: 1. Try and save at least ten percent of . your income – we need something for the future. 2. Pay off your debt (mortgage debt, car debt, student debt, etc.). Learn to hate debt with a passion.

Rev. Todd Riley

3. If you are going to use a credit card, pay it off right away. 4. Write a will. It’s not a good thing to die without a will, especially if you have children, a spouse and assets of any kind. 5. Buy term life insurance. 6. If you have children, put money on a monthly basis into an RESP. 7. Take advantage of Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). 8. Go easy on eating out. 9. Shop the sales. Shop offseason. Write a list before going to the store. Hunt down the item and get out of there. 10. Save for a rainy day. 11. Have a car fund and then buy your car with cash. 12. Set up a vacation fund. 13. If you are married, work on your .. marriage – divorce is really expensive. 14. Beware of buy now, pay later schemes – if you are even one day late it can cost you big time. 15. Keep an eye on how much money . you spend on things like alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. If I could be so bold, I would say quit smoking and gambling and if you drink, do so in moderation. In the end, you’ll be healthier and wealthier. 16. Don’t buy too much house. In the . old days, the banks wouldn’t give out mortgages that exceeded four times a family’s income. 17. Remember, money is just a tool; it . can’t buy you happiness, health or

West Command Rev. Todd Riley 416-318-9167 even an extra day of life. Don’t make the pursuit of it your “be all and end all”; be content. A secret to contentment is living generously by giving your time and money to those in need. I know there are many in the TFS who give generously of their time and money to worthy causes. I have been encouraged by many of the articles in Fire Watch that have described the projects that many of you have been involved in. Being generous can be freeing from the burden of materialism. A current favourite book on the subject of money and managing it well is, “The Total Money Makeover,” by Dave Ramsey. Dave is a finance guy who has an afternoon radio show on 99.5 FM, that’s quite entertaining and informative. I also like David Chilton’s book, “The Wealthy Barber.” I want to thank you for your time in reading this. As I consider the things I am thankful for, it includes all of you who faithfully serve the people of the City of Toronto. It is a privilege to serve you. Stay safe. Thanks for your service.

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s r e t t e L TO THE EDITOR


I have reflected on the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial many times since we returned from Colorado Springs on September 16, 2012. On behalf of the Stockman family, I would like to convey our sincere appreciation for the opportunity to attend the memorial this year. Kelly, Tyler, Kurtis and I were overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and support that were extended to us by the many Firefighters we met and, in particular, members of the Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association. We were impressed with the commitment displayed by the Firefighters who participated in the memorial. We will never forget your efforts to honour the fallen in a moving, yet uplifting, ceremony that underscores that firefighting is a selfless profession founded on courage, dedication and duty. My Dad was proud to be a Firefighter and we are truly grateful to have been embraced by the firefighting community. I would appreciate it if you would convey our gratitude to other members of the executive and Local 3888.


My son and I have just returned from a memorable and unforgettable time in Colorado Springs. I want to thank all of the members of IAFF Local 1137/3888 for making this trip possible for us. It was kind of you to provide transportation for me, as well as accommodations for my son and me.

All Toronto Fire Fighters were welcoming to us and I especially want to express my thanks to Dave Holwell. He was very kind and a friendly escort. We enjoyed his company very much. I know that Walter was proud of the fact that he belonged to a great family of fire fighters and we are proud that he was honoured at the Memorial Service in Colorado Springs. Many thanks to all, Barbara Cunliffe

Sincerely, Erin Stockman-Murphy

LODD ASSISTANCE IN BRANTFORD On behalf of the Brantford Professional Fire Fighters Association (BPFFA) Local 460 and the Brantford Fire Department (BFD), we wish to thank you for your assistance and/ or participation in the Line of Duty Death of Captain Dave Cartmel on September 7, 2012. The contributions that you and your organization made helped create a respectful, professional funeral service that the Cartmel family truly appreciated. As difficult a time as this was for both the BPFFA and the BFD, it was made easier knowing that we had the compassion and sympathy of so many generous supporters. We truly thank you for all that you have done to get us through this difficult time. Fraternally, Tom Smith, President BPFFA Jeff McCormick, Fire Chief


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ELLIOT LAKE DONATION On behalf of Holy Trinity United Church I thank your membership, through you, for the extremely generous gift of $1,000 to our church, which was delivered to me last week by one of our local Fire Department officers, John Thomas. (Please note that I was away from Elliot Lake until last week.) We recognize that this gift was offered as an expression of appreciation for the meals and hospitality that we at Holy Trinity attempted to provide for the HUSAR team, and others, who gave selflessly of themselves in service to this community during our recent Mall collapse. In reality, what we did was simply what I believe we are called to do – that is, provide a place of sanctuary where nourishment for body and soul is offered. We were honoured to provide that place and to be welcomed into the fellowship of the rescuers. Each of those people can hold their heads high and know that they did as they were called to do. They are heroes, not just for their time here, but for

RETIREMENT PARTY GIFT APPRECIATION what they do day-by-day as they are prepared to give their lives for others. Christian Scriptures remind us that there is no greater love than this. Those of other faiths will find similar expressions. Beyond this, thank you for the gift to our church. I would request that you express to your membership our ongoing respect and wish for their safety. Sincerely, Reverend Robert M. Gardener, CD, BA, MDiv Minister

TMFRC DONATIONS On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the donation of $3,000, plus the inflatable bouncy tent to TMFRC for our Annual Family BBQ that was held on September 8, 2012. Merlin’s Entertainment was wonderful at accommodating our last minute needs, due to the weather conditions, and bringing a bouncy tent that could fit indoors. TMFRC serves and provides support to military families across the GTA in the program areas of Community Integration and Referral, Personal Development, Volunteer Development, Prevention, Support and Intervention, Child and Youth Development and Parent Support, Family Separation and Reunion, IPSC/TMFRC Family Liaison and child care services. TMFRC is a nonprofit, charitable organization that opened its doors in 1992. Every year we offer a Family Day BBQ event to our GTA military families. Your continued efforts and support on our behalf is greatly appreciated! Yours truly, Roxanna Gumiela, Executive Director

Please extend my very sincere thanks to the executive and members of Local 3888 for the presentation of a framed print at my retirement party on May 10th at the Remington, Parkview Golf & Country Club. It is absolutely beautiful and hangs over the couch in the living room. It holds a special place in my heart and my home, and…the colours work wonderfully with my decor!! My employment with the Fire Department over the years has been challenging at times, but always ultimately rewarding. I have enjoyed working with all the personnel in East Command and the other commands, when the need has arisen. They are conscientious, compassionate and devoted to their profession. I would also like to acknowledge the modified duty personnel who were assigned to East Command. They were a dependable, accommodating group of individuals and East Command is fortunate to have had their assistance. On behalf of my husband, Bob and daughter, Lori, thank you for attending my retirement party and the gift. It was an acknowledgement that was greatly appreciated. Susan Brown Retired AA-TFS-East Command

41 DIVISION’S ANNUAL KIDS AND COPS PICNIC On behalf of the officers from 41 Division, Toronto Police Service, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your assistance with 41 Division’s Annual Kids and Cops Picnic at Thompson Park on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. An event such as this helps 41 Division build strong community-police partnerships with our children and youth, and also promotes healthy relationships with the community we serve. Once again, thank you for assisting 41 Division in making this event possible for the children. Without the assistance from our community partners, the day would not have been the tremendous success that it was. Sincerely yours, James Mackrell, Inspector 41 Division

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Member Profile

In 2007, Triathlon Canada was choosing the team that would represent Canada at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Choosing Simon Whitfield for the team was easy. He had won a gold medal seven years earlier in the Sydney Summer Olympics and automatically qualified by being the top Canadian at the 2007 World Championships in Vancouver.


or one of their other choices, they made an unprecedented decision that caused uproar throughout the media and a great deal of comment from many Canadians. They bypassed two faster Canadians, one whom ranked 17th in the world, to choose Colin Jenkins, who was ranked 47th. The reason for this unusual choice is that Colin and Simon had decided that they would train as a team and prepare to compete at the Olympics as a team. What needs to be understood, is that Colin would continue to train for the next year, with the sole purpose of sacrificing himself in order to assist Simon to excel. Triathlon Canada had the courage to agree to this unorthodox strategy. Triathlons had always been a solo sport and here we had Canadians challenging the accepted norm! 16

Colin was a strong contender in the 1,500-meter swim and 40 km bike portions of the triathlon, which are the first two legs of the race. Their concept was that Colin could lead and pace Simon, while helping to conserve his energy and put him in a good place for the start of the 10 km run. Simon could draft Colin to conserve energy and anytime another racer decided to break away from the pack, Colin could chase him down, with Simon in his wake. The two worked for the next year, training together in the summer heat in Victoria, and the freezing temperatures and snow at 7,000 feet in Arizona’s mountains. When the Olympics began and their race finally started, they experienced exactly what they had been training for so diligently. Each time that leaders pulled away, Colin would hunt them down with Simon in tow. After the swim and bike ride were completed, Colin had done his job! They were in the main pack, with all of the medal contenders, ready to begin the 10 km run. Doing his job so well had cost Colin a great deal of energy, so he did not have much left for the run but Colin said, “I think it’s more important for Canada to win a medal than for me to come 20th or 30th.” On his last trip through the Stadium, Colin could see the Jumbotron images following Simon and the other leaders. “Oh my God, I just wanted to stop and watch the rest of the race,” said Colin. Simon Whitfield finished the Olympics by winning the silver medal, but Colin was the one who made a lasting memory in most viewers’ eyes. To quote an article written in Maclean’s magazine, “On the home stretch of the greatest 50th-place finish in Olympic history, Colin Jenkins almost danced down the line. He jumped up and down, pumped his arms in the air, and FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 16

on Colin Jenkins whooped at every flag-waving Canadian in the crowd.” “It was unbelievable. It was all I could ask for,” he says. “Coming around to the finish I was so happy. I was pretending that I had won the silver.” Canadian Coach Joel Filliol said, “Colin did a brilliant job in Beijing and played a key role in the team’s silver medal performance.” Simon Whitfield said, “Colin’s work ethic this year was simply astounding; long rides in the rain and snow. He’s a bugger to train with at times, but aren’t we all? We were teammates, not just on race day but also in the months and years of work that went into it. As the rowing captain said, “Medals are won in the summer and earned in the winter,” Colin was there earning it every step of the way and I can’t say enough about what that meant to me.” For his silver medal finish, Simon Whitfield won $15,000 from Sport Canada. He split this reward 50/50 with Colin.

During the Olympics, Colin became engaged to his long time girlfriend, Lisa, whom he had met at Laurentian University while he was a student there. Colin says, “It took a lot of commitment and patience to make our long distance relationship work. Lisa was studying in Ontario while I was training in B.C. for three years. The only time we got to see each other was during holidays or the occasional race that Lisa was able to fly out and see me at. We knew after the Olympics was over, that I was going to come back to Ontario, so there was an end in sight – this made it somewhat easier.” A year later, they were married. After the Olympics, Colin went to the University of Toronto to finish his degree in Physical Education and Health. Colin remembers, “During my time there I kept wondering what I was going to do, since I had retired from sport. I was thinking about what jobs would be a good fit for me as I like to stay in shape, like to be competitive and didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk doing the same thing everyday. My uncle is a fire fighter and I thought that would be the perfect fit, so I started looking into getting my Fire Fighter I & II certification, CPR, and DZ license. I started applying to every city I could and it took me two years to finally get hired.”

Toronto Fire Services hired Colin and he now works at Station 131 on D Platoon. “What’s interesting is that the role that he played for the Olympic team is the one that he brings here: selfless, good-natured, hard-working, keepyour-mouth shut, try to learn from the older guys,” said Pierre Friebe, Acting Captain at Station 131. “For the guys who’ve been on the job a long time, that’s endearing because you kind of go, ‘this guy’s really trying to earn his place. He appreciates this new career.’ His overall attitude will take him a long way I believe.” Jenkins has made the transition to fire fighter nicely. He’s a humble guy who would never flash his Olympic status unless asked about it –or when he takes his shirt off (the Olympic rings are tattooed on his inner right bicep). He only brought in a video of the Beijing triathlon after his crewmates

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Member Profile on Colin Jenkins...Continued from page 17

requested it. The crew then ribbed him endlessly about the tight Lycra racing suits he was wearing. They were undoubtedly impressed: Jenkins’ assignment in Beijing was to sacrifice his own race to try to help Whitfield win. The crew has given Colin a few nicknames but unfortunately, they are not appropriate to be seen in print! “I think that’s what really drove me to being a fire fighter,” said Jenkins. “There are so many similarities to being an athlete.” Just five weeks into the job, the 28-year-old Jenkins was already gladly envisioning himself doing it for the rest of his working life. He had a call where he had to help a 15-year-old boy who’d been hit by a motorcycle while riding his bike. The youngster’s tibia was completely fractured. “You could just see he was in a lot of pain and really scared,” said Jenkins. “Just talking to him, calming him down and helping him out, that’s rewarding right there. You feel good knowing you helped someone out when they’re having one of their worst days.” Indeed, that can be one of the stark differences between the life of an Olympian and a fire fighter. An elite athlete’s existence is inherently selfobsessed, while a fire fighter is looking out for everyone else. “The thing I love most about being a fire fighter is you never know what to expect at a call. Although some calls are similar, none are ever the same – it always keeps things interesting.” Their first child, Tessa, greeted Colin and Lisa seven days into his recruit training with Toronto Fire. Working on being a Dad and a fire fighter has kept Colin busy over the past two years. So much so that sports and competition have taken a back seat. His last race was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “Tessa is only 20 months old now, but already loves the pool and her favourite PJs are the ones with fire trucks all over them. I love spending my days off with her, going

to the pool, park and indoor playgrounds. She loves the outdoors and being active – she is hard to keep up with!” Since becoming a fire fighter, Colin has continued to give back to the community. He has helped out with, “lots of speaking events about teamwork and sacrifice. Talking to groups of young children about setting goals and trying your best to reach those goals.”

“Teamwork, preparation, commitment and hard work are synonymous with both high performance sports and fire fighting. Spending multiple hours a day training with your teammates is similar to spending the day at the firehall with your crew –they become your second family and good friends.”

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Regulators in, a quick air check, turn on flashlight, quick double check of the newbie’s PPE and open the door… “Holy crap! it is really going on the second floor – no one is going to make it out of there” you think to yourself.


e only have a few minutes, tops, to get these two out or it’s game over. Everyone on the fireground EXPECTS us to save these guys. Even worse, these two fire fighters and their families are COUNTING on us to save them. They don’t even know it but shit, this is going to be rough. Get that out of your head; focus, remember our (expletive) training. The interior crew that had heard a pass alarm on the first floor, not too far from their location, has made a visual but they are low on air and are heading out. Good – do not become 20

part of the problem, you think – you gave us an idea of their location, your job is done, save yourself. Their message said that the second floor collapsed and they were lying in debris further in. Damn, what a mess…thankfully, the interior crew gave us an idea on the downed fire fighters’ location; otherwise, how are we expected to find anyone in this pile of crap? You are the rear of the line, number four. In front of you is the newbie and he is thinking RITseriously now. You look up front and you see your AC checking with the TIC, then showing the number two;

she seems to be nodding and pointing to something with him. The kid in front isn’t passing along any information! What are we doing? Are things worse than anticipated? What’s the plan? What’s the hold up? He finally turns and yells to you through his face piece, “There’s a large amount of debris from the second floor blocking the hallway, so they are trying to move it, or find another way in.” Damn it, given the circumstances, you know it’s your job to move that debris. You crawl past him, ‘follow me’ you gesture, and head to the front. You can see the AC and number two working FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 20

furiously, moving debris to the side. You come up and motion for them to step aside, take a break…the clock is ticking – tick, tock. With fresh bodies, you and the kid make short work of the debris and quickly open a hole down the hallway. This hole you just created looks like a wormhole or portal to another world and not to another room in a house. At this moment in time, you do not need the melodic stylings of Aerosmith – this is a Viking metal band, Amon Amarth moment. Snap out of it, you’re not into sci-fi and it’s not time for angry metal, remember our (expletive) training. You turn back to your AC and signal the hallway (portal) is open. As he moves past, he gives you a pat on the shoulder – tick, tock. He has picked up the two with the TIC – tick, tock. We can see them now; he shows you the TIC screen and you can make out two fire fighters, close together – tick, tock. Shit, we better make this quick – tick, tock. They are about fifteen feet down the hallway; one completely in the hallway, the other...well, you can only make out a part of him...he is partially covered in debris. Neither of them is moving. You can hear their PASS alarms clearly now. Suddenly, you are sitting in a church listening to the Association’s Chaplain giving a eulogy and the guilt you feel is overwhelming. Shit, where did

that come from? Quite a difference from speed metal! Stay focused…you know your brain is working against you now; the cortisol is flooding it, fight or flight, it’s trying to process so much information that it’s getting tough to think clearly – push that crap out of your mind and focus. Snap out of it; remember our (expletive) training. This is RIT – seriously. The kid is sitting beside you, looking at you, wanting to do the right thing. Well, at least he’s focused now, you chuckle to yourself. Crap…stop it…focus… we need to get to these guys, but you quickly realize that you are going to need help; there is no way you will be able to get them both out by yourselves. You tell your AC, “We need another RIT in here. There’s too much to do” – tick, tock. “Already asked for it. I’ve updated RITSO that we have found both but haven’t made contact yet. I’m sending number two up to do a quick assessment of the closest fire fighter, I want you to head to the farther guy, the one with the debris on him and tell me what you’ve got. They are close enough to touch each other.” Damn, this guy is good, you think to yourself. But what about…I’m going to have the kid tie the search line off where I show him…don’t worry about it. This is what we train for…now go get him. Remember our (expletive) training. This is RIT – seriously! You take a quick assessment of

yourself and the AC asks for an air check – 2800psi…okay. We haven’t gone in too far but you know you’ve been working hard, so your breathing rate is up. All of your PPE is where it’s supposed to be – good. You take a deep breath, “Okay, here goes nothing…” You turn from your AC and start crawling down the hallway into the portal – again, a thought, actually more of an image flashes through your mind…I’m crawling into the fires of Mount Doom in the black land of Mordor. Where the hell did that come from? You shake your head again, trying to clear it and focus on the task at hand. Number two is at the first fire fighter; she is checking their air. You are thankful she is here. She took our RIT training seriously. You move quickly past her – no time for pleasantries – tick, tock. It’s getting hot; smoke is starting to bank down. You hear the radio update from RITSO that the crews are getting a hit on the fire, but you know when there is one collapse, there will be more – tick, tock. You make contact with the downed fire fighter and go through your mental checklist. Who is it? Check their air. Are they breathing? How can I help? How can I not make it worse? Suddenly behind you there is a large crash…seriously – tick, tock. TO BE CONTINUED…seriously… tick, tock…

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In a time when workers’ rights are taken for granted and even workers’ benefits have come to be expected, it’s no wonder that the origins of Labour Day are confined to the history books. What evolved into just another summer holiday began as a working class struggle and massive demonstration of solidarity in the streets of Toronto.


anada was changing rapidly during the second half of the 19th century. Immigration was increasing, cities were getting crowded and industrialization was drastically altering the country’s economy and workforce. As machines began to replace or automate many work processes, employees found they no longer had special skills to offer employers. Workers could easily be replaced if they complained or dissented and so, were often unable to speak out against low wages, long workweeks and deplorable working conditions. This is the context and setting for what 22

is generally considered Canada’s first Labour Day event in 1872. At the time, unions were illegal in Canada, which was still operating under an archaic British law already abolished in England. For over three years the Toronto Printers Union had been lobbying its employers for a shorter workweek. Inspired by workers in Hamilton who had begun the movement for a ninehour workday, the Toronto printers threatened to strike if their demands weren’t met. After repeatedly being ignored by their employers, the workers took bold action and on March 25, 1872, they went on strike. Toronto’s publishing industry was

paralyzed and the printers soon had the support of other workers. On April 14, a group of 2,000 workers marched through the streets in a show of solidarity. They picked up even more supporters along the way and by the time they reached their destination of Queen’s Park, their parade had 10,000 participants – one tenth of the city’s population. The employers were forced to take notice. Led by George Brown, founder of the Toronto Globe and notable Liberal, the publishers retaliated. Brown brought in workers from nearby towns to replace the printers. He even took legal action to quell the strike

and had the strike leaders charged and arrested for criminal conspiracy. Conservative Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was watching the events unfold and quickly saw the political benefit of siding with the workers. Macdonald spoke out against Brown’s actions at a public demonstration at City Hall, gaining the support of the workers and embarrassing his Liberal rival. Macdonald passed the Trade Union Act, which repealed the outdated British law and decriminalized unions. The strike leaders were released from jail. The workers still did not obtain their immediate goals of a shorter workweek. In fact, many still lost their jobs. They

did, however, discover how to regain the power they lost in the industrialized economy. Their strike proved that workers could gain the attention of their employers, the public, and most importantly, their political leaders if they worked together. The “Nine-Hour Movement,” as it became known, spread to other Canadian cities and a shorter workweek became the primary demand of union workers in the years following the Toronto strike. The parade that was held in support of the strikers carried over into an annual celebration of worker’s rights and was adopted in cities throughout Canada. The parades demonstrated solidarity, with

different unions identified by the colorful banners they carried. In 1894, under mounting pressure from the working class, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson declared Labour Day a national holiday. Over time, Labour Day strayed from its origins and evolved into a popular celebration enjoyed by the masses. It became viewed as the last celebration of summer, a time for picnics, barbecues and shopping. No matter where you find yourself this Labour Day, take a minute to think about Canada’s labour pioneers. Their actions laid the foundations for future labour movements and helped workers secure the rights and benefits enjoyed today. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 23



erved by a number of small fire stations for the better half of the 20th century, Toronto’s Oakwood Village experienced a number of changes after the amalgamation of The Borough of York in 1967, including the construction of a brand new fire station at 555 Oakwood Avenue. Originally a part of York Township, the Oakwood-Vaughan neighborhood, like many in the amalgamated City of Toronto, relied heavily on volunteer fire brigades and reel houses before the advent of permanent fire stations and full-time paid fire fighters. Due to the severity and frequency of fires in the region in the 1920s, a request to council for better fire protection led to the placement of a fire truck in a garage at Oakwood and Earnscliffe by 1925. Still not sufficient, a permanent fire hall was required and built the following year at 410 Oakwood Avenue. This building was also utilized by the York Police Department for many years and included both a detective room and jail cells. As the new hall was built on Oakwood Avenue, the nearby Fairbank District of York was experiencing similar changes following the formation of its own fire brigade with the construction a permanent fire station in 1926 at 727 Vaughan Road. Improvements to the hall continued in the following year including both the addition of a second storey and a reinforced concrete floor. By 1931 both Fairbank and Oakwood joined forces and worked as one department until a 1937 York Township Bylaw led to the creation of the York Fire Department. The newly formed York Fire Department had only full-time paid firefighters and included all the 24

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former York Fire Districts with the exception of the Weston Fire Department, which continued to be independent until 1967. It was during this period that the firefighters (after York Police amalgamated with Metropolitan Toronto in the 1950s) took over the former York Police Department ambulance as a part of their duties. Until shortly after the creation of the Borough of York in 1967, the former Fairbank Fire Station on Vaughan road would remain in service. In the mid-1960s it became apparent to the Township of York that the Vaughan Road Station was no longer adequate for the needs of its fire department. A 1966 study by Weir, Cripps & Partners – Architects & Engineers was sent to the Township of York recommending the construction of a new fire station at Oakwood Avenue and Bude Street. Some of the considerations of building the hall alongside Bude Street, instead of Clovelly Avenue, included maintaining a greater distance from residential buildings and, to a lesser extent, preventing the relocation of the nearby bus stop. Shortly after receiving reports on the proposed sites for the new station, council authorized the acquisition of the site for construction at Oakwood Avenue and Bude Street. On July 17, 1967, council accepted the tender for construction submitted by Macke Construction Ltd. with a price tag of $156,000 and a completion timeline of six months. With tenders coming in as high as $187,250, Macke Construction was not only the lowest, but also had experience with municipal building construction, though mainly consisting of schools. At roughly

the same time, council approved the purchase of a new 100-foot aerial truck with equipment at an estimated cost of $60,000. The new unit would replace the 1962, 65’ aerial in the Vaughan Road Station. Prior to 1962, York Township’s first true aerial was a 1952 Bickle-Seagrave Model 400-A 65’ with a canopy cab (serial #F-6605), the only one of this style delivered in Canada. In early 1968 the new station at 555 Oakwood Avenue officially opened and became the new Station 1 for the York Fire Department. On May 21, 1968, The Borough of York Council officially thanked the members of the York Fire Department and their families for the support given at the grand opening. In the same year, The Borough of York Planning Board examined various reports on what to do with the property at 727 Vaughan Road. Though much consideration was given to converting the property into a legal triplex, council eventually voted unanimously to have the station demolished and have the property used as a temporary green space. One year later, they also approved a new three-year program to paint the tops of all fire hydrants with reflective paint to improve visibility. Only a year after the opening of the new Station #1, York Firefighters responded to what FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 25




ISSUE 3 | FALL 2007

Captain John A. Chappelle

1954 - 2007 VOLUME 4




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Station 341...Continued from page 25

remains one of their largest fires to this day, the Oliver Lumber Fire on August 29, 1969. Firefighters from York, Toronto and North York all responded to the scene as large quantities of lumber burned and the radiant heat was felt on the houses throughout the neighborhood. There were reports of children seen playing with fire shortly before the call that eventually caused $3,000,000 in damage and prompted claims that the fire was visible from the other side of Lake Ontario. Despite the need for firefighter call backs and aid from neighboring Toronto and North York, this did not prompt council to address the obvious staffing concerns. As the station at 555 Oakwood has been open for over 40 years, its firefighters have seen many large fires, such as the Roselands School Fire in 1970 that left over 600 students needing a new school, the Ashland Oil and Belgravia Avenue explosions in the 1970s, and the various trips to Levy Auto Parts at 1400 Weston Road between 1972 and 1989. The Ashland Oil Fire is still considered one of the most dangerous calls in the area’s history and included over a dozen trucks, including those stationed at York #1 on Oakwood. After over 24 hours of firefighting efforts, four Ashland Oil employees were dead, several others injured and over $1 million in damage had been caused. In the years since joining the City of Toronto in 1998 as Station #341, little has changed as there have still been many large fires in the Oakwood area. Late in the evening on Boxing Day 2010,

just around the corner from the station at 489 Winona Drive, fire broke out and gutted the home while firefighters worked tirelessly in the freezing cold during the five alarm blaze. Arson was suspected and less than one month later, charges were laid as a result of the fire. One of the many benefits of the postamalgamation era has been the ability to have additional trucks arrive to fires in the Oakwood area faster, as some Toronto stations are closer in proximity than those in former York. Though Station #341 still appears much the same today as it did in 1968, the same cannot be said for its predecessors. The original station at 410 Oakwood still stands, but is presently owned by a computer repair business that proudly displays a picture of former York Township’s firefighters within. As for the ‘temporary green space’ that resulted from the decision in 1968 to demolish the station at 727 Vaughan Road, Greyton Site Park remains there today without any signs of the former Fairbank Fire Station. On the outside of Station #341 one of the fire alarm bells from the original volunteer brigades is proudly displayed. On the interior,

Apparatus Fire Statio Assigned to n 341 Rescue 3

41 2009 Sparta n Smeal #37 Metro Star 15 TFS Shop # 25 1250gpm/5 027 00gal In Service: Januar y 25 , 2010 Aerial 341 2009 Smea l Sirius #907120 TFS Shop # 27 1250gpm/3 038 80gal/105’ la In Service: April 18, 20 dder 11

while an aerial has always remained, two pumpers were swapped out and the hall now houses a rescue pumper as noted on the 341 Station Crest shown on the apparatus bay wall. Along with the current station number flanked by oak leaves for Oakwood, it proudly displays the number 1 on the firefighter helmet, which was the hall number when it opened in 1968. The firefighter on the crest holds an original ‘York Bar’ and can be seen walking towards the flames that say York and 1922, the year the first firefighters in the Fairbank-Oakwood area stepped forward to serve the Township of York. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 27

The Time of Year to Pay Tribute to Our Fallen

Governor General David Johnston Honoured the Nation’s Fire Fighters


ov. Gen. David Johnston honoured the nation’s fire fighters on Sunday, thanking them for their willingness to go “the wrong way” into danger for the benefit of their communities. He delivered his remarks at the unveiling of the new Canadian Fire Fighters Memorial in Ottawa, a monument intended to pay tribute to nearly 1,100 fire fighters who have died in the line of duty. In his prepared remarks, Johnston praised the fire fighters’ “courage and dedication.” He added that the fallen fire fighters “represent an ideal of service and selflessness that is very rare and very precious.” The newly built Canadian Fire Fighters Memorial sits at the corner of Wellington and Lett Streets, near a commemorative wall listing the names of fire fighters who died while serving. 28

The memorial was designed by Canadian artist and author Douglas Copeland and Mary Tremain, a partner at PLANT Architect Inc. Mary Day travelled to Ottawa with her son, Glen, to honour her husband, Archibald Hall, whose name is etched on the memorial. “It’s hard to explain what it feels like today,” Day told CTV-Ottawa as her son marvelled at the number of fallen fire fighters. “It’s amazing to see 1,100 names,” Glen said. “I can’t believe there would be that many.” Karen Glendenning travelled from British Columbia on her motorcycle with two fire fighters who worked with her late husband. “He was a great friend, father,” she said. “Sadly, he didn’t become a grandfather until after he passed.” The governor general spoke in Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats neighbourhood near the site

of a massive fire that broke out in the spring of 1900, killing seven people. The spot is also close to the place where Captain John Lowry, an Ottawa fire fighter, died while battling a blaze in 1896. Johnston referenced these examples, pointing to the risks that accompany fire fighting. His comments came two days after a parade to honour Canadian fire fighters who have died, both on and off the job, wound its way through Ottawa’s downtown core on Friday. Present at the annual memorial event (now in its eleventh year) was Steve Kemp, whose fire fighter father died from leukemia he developed from exposure to toxic materials. “You kind of think you’re not risking your life every day, but it was the choice that he made ages ago that really ended catching up to him and taking his life at the end,” he told CTV-Ottawa. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 28

Kemp’s story underscored a common message at the ceremony: not all fire fighters die while battling fires or charging into burning buildings. “Its risky work and I don’t think people fully understand what really goes into being a fire fighter,” said Kemp. With a report from CTV-Ottawa’s Norman Fetterley and Ellen Mauro IAFF Local 5 Proudly Play Host to Families of the Fallen Colorado Springs, Local 5 is by no means a large local, but each September its members demonstrate that when it comes to playing host to thousands of family members of their fallen brothers and sisters, they punch well above their weight class. “This is a time of great pride for Local 5,” says Local 5 President Jeremy Kroto. “We are the one local that has the honor of hosting these families each year and we are determined to make sure they have a memorable experience.” An army of some 150 off-duty Local 5 members are working nonstop over the three days to make sure those family members who have traveled from across the United States and Canada to honor their fallen have an easy and worry-free trip. Local 5 members, their wives and drivingage children are stationed at the airport with a full fleet of cars (offered for free from Red Nolan Cadillac) to whisk the families to their hotels. The local also has meals for the families covered for the weekend. Local 5 loaded up four buses to take families on a tour of the city’s key landmarks: The Cog Railroad up Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods Park and a tour of the nearby U.S. Air Force Academy. Families have no trouble finding a Local 5 member for assistance, as each is wearing bright lime green golf-style shirts. Ontario Fire Fighters Gather at Queen’s Park to Honour their Fallen On Sunday, September 30th, hundreds of fire fighters from throughout Ontario formed up on University Avenue, just north of College Street, to lead the procession to the Ontario Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial site and pay tribute to their fallen comrades. The Memorial site was re-dedicated on Sunday, October 4, 2009, following a major restoration that was necessary

because of a shocking act of vandalism that occurred on the evening of May 12, 2008, when a lone male spray painted political slogans on several of the monument’s inscribed granite walls, causing permanent damage. The refurbished monument was made possible by a $500,000 campaign called Restoring Respect that was initiated a year ago by the OPFFA. The Ontario Government contributed

$150,000 to the campaign and other contributions came from fire fighters, other fire service stakeholders and the public. This year, 18 names were added to the granite walls, including the six Toronto Fire Fighters listed separately. This brings the total number of Ontario Fire Fighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their heroic duties to 574. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 29

The Fallen...Continued from page 29

The following members were added to the Canadian Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in 2012: Bruce Arthur Catchpole
 DOD Jan 26, 1964 Firefighter Leaside Fire Department

The following members were added to the International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in 2012: John Thewlis
 DOD Mar 4, 2001 Captain
 Toronto 113

Sylvester Maj
 DOD July 14, 2011
 Acting Captain 
 Toronto 3888

John Stockman
 DOD July 26, 2010 
 District Chief
 North York 752

Thomas Clark
 DOD Dec 5, 2008
 North York 752

Erik Christensen
 DOD Mar 19, 2010
 North York 752

Murray Manson, Sr.
 DOD Feb 1, 2011
 District Chief
 Toronto 113

William Brew
 DOD Sept 24, 1979
 District Chief
 Toronto 113

Richard Eldon
 DOD May 21, 2012
 Toronto 3888

James Maclean
 DOD July 5, 2011
 Acting Captain 
 Toronto 3888

James Colin Macdonald
 DOD July 6, 2011
 Director Fire Prevention
 Scarborough 626

Walter Cunliffe
 DOD May 29, 2011
 Etobicoke 1137

The following members were added to the Ontario Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial in 2012: Murray Manson, Sr.
 DOD Feb 1, 2011
 District Chief
 Toronto 113

John Stockman
 DOD July 26, 2010 
 District Chief
 North York 752

William Brew
 DOD Sept 24, 1979
 District Chief
 Toronto 113

Walter Cunliffe
 DOD May 29, 2011
 Etobicoke 1137

 Thomas Clark
 DOD Dec 5, 2008
 North York 752

 Richard Eldon
 DOD May 21, 2012
 Toronto 3888


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The Revolution of Burn Medicine BY SUNNYBROOK FOUNDATION STAFF

It was a typical summer afternoon at the Maile family cottage on Lake Joseph. After losing a battle of Rock, Paper, Scissors, 21-year-old Tim went to start dinner. Tim walked into the barbecue room and his life was changed in an instant. “I saw a wall of fire coming toward me,” Tim says. “It wasn’t like in a movie, when the hero sees a spark go off and he runs and jumps out of the way. It’s literally a snap of the fingers and you are on fire.” The barbecue had exploded. Tim’s arms, hands and face were ablaze and he was taken to a local hospital where doctors decided Sunnybrook was his best chance for survival.

burn care, just as the centre’s founder, Dr. Ross Tilley, did more than 60 years ago when he treated severely burned airmen during the Second World War. Some of the sickest in the hospital and the most severely burned in the country lay inside the 14-bed unit of the burn centre. Today, the Ross Tilley Burn Centre is a state-of-the-art facility providing tertiary care for the majority of burn injury patients in Ontario, thanks in large part to the generous support of donors such as the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association.

“The doctors were very honest, they walked me through procedures and they made me very comfortable. I was never nervous. The staff and the nurses were so lovely and kind.” He spent weeks in the Ross Tilley Burn Centre. “The staff at Sunnybrook showed incredible professionalism,” Tim recalls. “The doctors were very honest, they walked me through procedures and they made me very comfortable. I was never nervous. The staff and the nurses were so lovely and kind.” At Sunnybrook’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre, doctors continue to revolutionize 32

It is the only program in the province – and the largest burn centre in the country – that provides such a wide range of services, from admission to follow-up and reconstructive surgery. In fact, after a rigorous review process, Sunnybrook’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre has become the first and only Canadian burn program verified by the American Burn Association. The burn verification is a joint pro-

cess between the ABA and the American College of Surgeons designed to verify whether a burn centre has the resources necessary to provide optimal care to burn patients from the time of injury through rehabilitation. “We are the A to Z in burn care – acute care, reconstruction, rehab, electrical burns,” says Dr. Marc Jeschke, Ross Tilley’s medical director. “We are more advanced than any other centre and can be proud to have such a centre of excellence.” Dr. Jeschke came to Sunnybrook in May 2010 from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he was an associate professor of surgery and held the Annie Laurie Howard Chair in Burn Surgery. In addition to his clinical role, Dr. Jeschke is also a senior scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. His appointment at the University of Toronto is as an associate professor in the department of surgery. He has been caring for burn patients and conducting breakthrough research in the field for about 20 years and in that time has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and has authored several books and chapters on burn care. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 32

“My fascination is driven by saving patients’ lives, based not only on what is known, but also on what can be discovered,” he says. “Stem cells could dramatically improve patients’ quality of life.” Patients suffering from electrical burns, who lose a substantial amount of soft tissue and bone, could benefit greatly because stem cells would fill in the soft tissue damage. Clinical research is underway and clinical trials for this innovative breakthrough will occur in the next few years. Dr. Jeschke and his team are focusing on the use of stem cells to grow new skin for burn patients. Stem cells, which are found in several areas of the body such as the skin, fat and bone marrow, help with tissue repair. Currently, the primary method for treating severe burns involves treating the pain, preventing infection and surgically replacing the worst of the burnt skin with either healthy skin from another part of the patient’s body (auto-

graft) or donated skin (allograft). By using stem cells to grow new skin, these painful surgeries could be eliminated. Statistically, 56 per cent of patients are burned by a fire, 21.5 per cent by scalds and 11.5 per cent suffer electrical burns. On average, about 30 per cent of patients treated at Sunnybrook’s burn centre come from the Greater Toronto Area, while 70 per cent come from other areas of Ontario. The facility is equipped with a dedicated operating room and intensive care unit. It is home to the only tissue bank in the province that stores temporary skin to treat major burn injuries. Sunnybrook’s unique non-refusal policy means the hospital admits every burn patient in Ontario who requires admission to a burn centre. This is crucial to burn care across the province and will avoid referral or transport delays, which are detrimental to these patients.

The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association is one of the largest private charitable contributors to Sunnybrook’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre and Skin Bank, having contributed more than $650,000 since 1987. The TPFFA’s charitable contributions help to improve patient care and comfort, provide education for burn centre staff and purchase critical new medical equipment. Thanks to the support of the TPFFA, the Ross Tilley Burn Centre is one of the world’s leading centres for burn treatment and research.

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The Bottom Line


n 2012, an estimated 23,300 Canadians were expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Of this estimated 23,300 it was expected that 9,200 Canadians would lose their battle with colorectal cancer. Richard Eldon was one such individual who tragically lost his battle with colorectal cancer on May 21, 2012; a father, a husband, a firefighter. Colon Cancer has long been thought strictly speaking, to be an old man’s cancer. Similarly, a colonoscopy has long been considered the procedure only to be undertaken once one hit fifty. Colon cancer is the second most common cause of death among Canadian men and women combined. It does not discriminate based on race, age, gender, profession or otherwise. It is very much an equal opportunity disease. Fortunately though, colon cancer is also ninety percent preventable when caught early. It has become the mission of Colon Cancer Canada (CCC) founders Amy Lerman-Elmaleh and Bunnie Schwartz to preach 34

the power of, and diminish the stigma surrounding, lifesaving colorectal screening and around the disease itself. When Colon Cancer Canada was founded, neither Amy nor Bunnie could have imagined the future they would create; a future they continue to hope will include the eradication of colon cancer. From humble beginnings as a small charity operating from Bunnie’s basement, Colon Cancer Canada has grown into a national operation with Amy and Bunnie still maintaining a grassroots approach. The CCC campaign has expanded dramatically in the time since its inception, still based on the same premise of honouring colon cancer patients and providing hope. CCC’s campaigns now include a number of fundraising and awareness activities, bolstered by our Push for Your Tush event. This event has undergone a massive evolution from its first iteration of 100 people, mostly friends and family, raising $23,000 – to this year, 2,000 people in seven locations, raising $445,000. Colon Cancer Canada prides itself on funding groundbreaking research projects and initiatives. The organization is centered on a four-pronged mission: research, awareness, patient support and screening. With the help of celebrity ambassadors including Emmanuelle Chriqui (HBO’s Entourage), former Maple Leaf Darryl Sittler, 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Adam Van Koeverden, famed singer Anne Murray and others, Colon Cancer Canada has been able to expand its reach across the nation, doing as much as possible to fight against this senseless disease. 2013 promises to be a very exciting year for Colon Cancer Canada! We are expanding our Push for Your Tush walk event by partnering with the Ontario Professional Firefighter’s Association! With your help, we are hoping to make a difference in the lives FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 34

of firefighters and reduce the number of firefighters being diagnosed and ultimately dying of Colon Cancer. In order to make that difference, we need you to join us and be a part of this year’s Push for Your Tush! Start a Fire Hall Team, come with your family, support, walk, run and raise funds to make a difference. Please visit our website, http://www., follow us on Twitter @coloncancerCDA, or find us on Facebook for more details about the Push for Your Tush, and join us in the fight to stop colon cancer!

2013 promises to be a very exciting year for Colon Cancer Canada! We are expanding our Push for Your Tush walk event by partnering with the Ontario Professional Firefighter’s Association! FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 35



Cardiac arrest is the number one cause of death for fire fighters in North America. This is a fact that we have all heard numerous times before, but few have taken action to prevent it.


hile there are numerous contributing factors to cardiovascular disease within the fire service, some of the antecedent factors include stress, both physical and psychological, physical fitness and diet. If fire fighters are serious about changing this underlying threat to their health, they will have to be architects in the dismantling of a culture that embraces, if not prides itself, on an unhealthy diet. One such person is Rip Esselstyn. Rip Esselstyn was a fire fighter in Austin, Texas serving on Engine 2, just outside the state university campus. After witnessing a fellow crew member return from a routine medical with a critical cholesterol score of 344 (walking heart attack), Rip noticed that other crew members had similar high levels of cholesterol. Rip decided to devise a nutrition based diet to bring down cholesterol levels for fellow crew members in the hall. Over the next decade, this diet has evolved into the phenomenon known as the Engine 2 Diet. With appearances on Oprah and Dr. Oz, Rip has brought his heath conscious diet to the masses, but he had never lectured to a group of fire fighters until he came to Toronto in July. On Friday July 6th, TPFFA members were invited to participate in the Engine 2 Challenge. The three-hour event would 36




include a discussion with Rip Esselstyn on the Engine 2 Diet, where everyone would be presented with a copy of Rip’s book and DVD’s, a medical session where baseline measurements (cholesterol level and weight) would be documented and a hands-on MMA class with UFC fighter James Wilks. Over one hundred fire fighters took part in the Engine 2 Challenge and were intrigued by Rip advocating a plant-based, yes vegetarian, diet for the fire hall. There were mixed comments at the break, but no crumbs remained from the raw vegetarian meal donated by Belmonte Raw. Once baseline medical measurements were collected, participants were off to the mat with vegetarian UFC fighter James “lightning” Wilks. Wilks was the winner of Spike TV’s, “The Ultimate Fighter: United States versus United Kingdom.” Wilks took members through a series of martial arts maneuvers and impressed the crowd with his quick reflexes. Armed with the Engine 2 Diet, TPFFA members embarked on a 33-day vegetarian journey that would have each command compete against one another in weight and cholesterol loss for prizes totaling over $7,000. August 8th marked the return for the Engine 2 Challenge. To much surprise, over 60% of participants returned to FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 36



Diet is a strong indicator for the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fire fighters have to acknowledge the risks associated with an unhealthy diet and work toward being health conscious, through diet and exercise. the academy for the final results. The crowd was definitely leaner. Once the measurements were taken, the results were incredible. The average weight loss per person was 5.1kg (11.22lbs) and the average cholesterol drop was 20%. East Command won the challenge with an average weight loss of 8.0kg (17.6lbs). It should be noted that some individuals returned a lot leaner than others, dropping over 14kg (31lbs), with two members losing an average of one pound per day. A

few members have maintained the Engine 2 Diet through to the publication of this article. Diet is a strong indicator for the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fire fighters have to acknowledge the risks associated with an unhealthy diet and work toward being health conscious, through diet and exercise. Please consider attending the Health and Wellness seminar on Monday December 3, 2012.

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s you’re well aware, WSIB is running a deficit. They are working to balance their books by implementing cost-saving measures that will have a significant impact on injured workers. This has created a more difficult process for injured workers and their advocates to navigate. The pendulum has now swung in the opposite direction and as a result, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has become more aggressive in their adjudication of claim files. What does this mean for you, the injured worker? Well, a process designed to help can quickly become cumbersome, due to the roadblocks that the board can present. The WSIB stated recently in a news release, “In 2011, the WSIB had its first operating surplus in ten years, with revenue covering costs, due to strong operational results.” This means that WSIB employees have not been exempt from current labour trends that seem to be plaguing North America. As a result, they’ve gone through a significant turnover in the last several months with massive layoffs and the restructuring of committees and teams. This has had a significant impact on the adjudication process and the amount of claims that are approved. It has also opened the door for employer representatives to become more aggressive in their approach to have claims denied. We have seen this trend

increase gradually over the past year, with the employer representative becoming more aggressive and persistent in forcing claims to be overturned and sent to the appeals branch. This prolongs the process and delays entitlement to benefits for the injured worker. It also adds frustration to an already cumbersome process, causing some workers to abandon their claim. In turn, the employer obviously benefits from abandoned claims because they do not have to pay premiums to the WSIB for abandoned or rejected claims. It is for this reason that we’ve become more vigilant and proactive in our approach to injuries in documenting, reporting, and seeking medical attention. The following three components are crucial for all workers and supervisors to understand and know their responsibilities: 1. Seek medical attention: Get proper medical treatment immediately (this will vary depending on the severity of the injury). Go to the nearest firstaid station immediately and notify a staff member trained in first-aid. An accurate record should be kept of the treatment you receive. If your injury or illness is serious (or you are not sure how serious it is) go to a doctor or hospital. Your employer is responsible for providing transport to medical treatment and may have to call an ambulance or

assign someone to accompany you. This means you can go to see a doctor or hospital of your choosing, unless you are critically injured; then the nearest hospital would be selected. This is your right under the act to seek medical attention for your workplace injury. Any injury that prevents you from doing your duties as a fire fighter should be a loss time injury. Any delays in seeking medical attention will result in claim denial. 2. Report and document: All workplace injuries should be reported and documented after medical attention is sought. Regardless of whether they will result in loss of earnings (lost time) or not. When completing Form 6, workers need to understand the importance of filling these forms out thoroughly and accurately. Let’s be very blunt – you are not a doctor; therefore, avoid diagnosing what your injury may or may not be on the initial forms. There are significant penalties that can be sanctioned if there’s a failure to report an injury within the specified timelines under the act. Finally, don’t navigate these waters by yourself! Contact a member of the WSIB Committee for guidance, or utilize the resources the TPFFA provides its members. Allow us to advocate on your behalf, to ensure that you are granted the benefits you’re entitled to under the act. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 39

International Association of Fire Fighters

IAFF Blogs Fire Fighter Ranks as Second Most Stressful Job of 2012 (Bill Glanz IAFF) CareerCast, an Internet job board, ranks fire fighting as the second most stressful job of 2012. The study says “fire fighters put their lives on the line to save others. The high degree of danger, mixed with life and death decisions, makes this our number two most stressful job.” CareerCast examined 11 criteria and assigned point ranges to each category, including: travel, growth potential, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands (stoop, climb, etc.), environmental conditions, hazards encountered, the risk to one’s own life and the risk to others. Serving as an enlisted soldier ranked as the most stressful job. In 2010, being a fire fighter was named as the most stressful job. Working as an airline pilot, military general and police officer round out the top five most stressful jobs on the list. A study commissioned by the American Psychological Association finds 36 percent of all workers say they feel tense or stressed out during their workday. About 20 percent say their daily level of stress reaches an 8, 9 or 10-point scale.

Get It Union (Jane Blume) Fire Fighters – like everyone – work hard to earn a living. So, when IAFF members spend their money, it ought to be spent here, in the United States or Canada supporting other union workers, not going to China or Indonesia or some other place. The IAFF redesigned its “Get It Union” website (www. to help IAFF members find and buy union made products. The site uses what’s already on the Internet, including links on the web to products made (and services performed) by union workers. The site also features links to other sites built by like-minded Americans and Canadians for finding products made in the United States or Canada. This website is open to everyone because there are a lot of consumers out there who, like fire fighters, want to “Get It Union.” The IAFF will continue to improve it, with your help – so please send your feedback to


One City’s Swipe at Unions (Jane Blume) We’ve seen all types of union-busting tactics over the past two years, but North Las Vegas ranks high on the shenanigans. City officials there are declaring a state of emergency to avoid honoring the collective bargaining agreements and paying public workers the salaries they deserve. The City, with a population of 223,394 citizens, says it is on the brink of financial disaster. City officials blame years of declining property taxes and growing expenses for the decision to invoke a rarely used state law that would allow for the suspension of union contracts and scheduled increases for public worker salaries. Some West Coast cities that faced similar financial troubles faced legal ramifications when they declared financial disaster. Union supporters describe the step that North Las Vegas has taken as being highly unusual. They also blame City officials for damaging the reputation of public workers during the economic downturn. Some IAFF members have reported that their cars have been vandalized and decals have been stripped because of the demonizing of public workers in the City. Union supporters say that North Las Vegas won’t be able to defend the emergency designation in court. The IAFF’s North Las Vegas Local 1607 has done its part to speak out on behalf of public workers. North Las Vegas is Nevada’s fourth-largest city and sits in the Mojave Desert bordering the north and east of the most populous city – Las Vegas. Is North Las Vegas really on the road to financial ruin or is this another way for cities to turn their backs on public employees? Is the American Dream Slipping Away? (Jane Blume) When Scranton, Pennsylvania Mayor Chris Doherty slashed fire fighter pay to minimum wage the public outcry was deafening. Some fire fighters qualified for food stamps while others worried how they would pay their mortgage. Some fire fighters watch their

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teenaged children earn more money working part-time summer jobs. Millions of Americans never thought they would live to see the day that they wouldn’t be able to support their families. It’s a painful reality that’s happening in this country every day. The minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. The increase three years ago was the first federal increase in over a decade. The cost of living – food, clothes, utilities and mortgages have all risen over that time and Americans have struggled to keep pace paying their bills. Outgoing Virginia Senator Jim Webb is co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over the next two years. As Wall Street and banks still earn better-than-expected profits, middle class Americans are still left scrambling to make ends meet. Elected officials need to be held accountable for keeping the promises they made to help working people and keep the American dream alive. America can’t be strong without strong workers. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty found out the hard way that public workers deserve respect. After receiving negative attention worldwide, the City was legally required to reimburse fire fighters and other public sector workers. In addition, workers will receive a 6 percent interest on wages lost.

Myths about Public Employee Pensions (Harold A. Schaitberger) There’s an oft repeated myth being fed by many that claims the defined benefit pension plans available to most public employees are going bankrupt. While a new report by the Pew Center for the States feeds those myths, Pew’s research paints a false picture of pensions. Here are five oft-peddled myths about public pensions followed by the facts. 1. Pensions are going bankrupt. The methods used to calculate a pension system’s funding level are quite complicated and convoluted, which has enabled detractors

to point to the funds in a few states – Illinois, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Kentucky – where funding shortfalls are notably higher. Pew’s “new” report relies on data from 2010, but that snapshot gives an inaccurate portrayal of the current fiscal health of pensions. In 2010, when the recovery was not as far along as it is today, 16 states were above the threshold that Pew says is necessary to qualify for good fiscal health. The number of states meeting that threshold today is probably much higher. For example, in Wisconsin the primary pension fund is 99.8 percent funded today. In the state of Washington, pensions are 119 percent funded today. In North Carolina, pensions are 100 percent funded today. Perhaps most important, pensions will continue to recover steadily as markets rebound. 2. States are facing an “unfunded liability” in excess of anywhere from $3 trillion to $757 billion. The concept of an “unfunded liability” is misleading because pension benefits are paid out over decades. A mortgage represents a good analogy. Imagine newlyweds, both of whom work, buying a $300,000 home and putting $20,000 down. The $280,000 they owe represents an “unfunded liability,” but like pensions, that money is not due all at once. It is due over 30 years, under the terms of a typical loan agreement. Opponents of public employee pensions have skillfully portrayed pension liabilities as a bill that is due today. If homeowners had to pay the full cost of their home at the time of purchase, 99 percent of us would be renting. But homeowners don’t have to pay for the homes all at once, so it’s very misleading to portray pension funds in that light because pensions are paid to retirees over many decades. 3. States can no longer afford to pay benefits. Payments to pension systems account for less than three percent of state budgets. Most of the funds in pension plans are not even provided by taxpayers – two-thirds of all pension assets are contributed by employees or earned on investments. Where pensions are underfunded, it’s overwhelmingly because of the recession and because states took “pension holidays,” which means politicians declined to make their state or locality’s annual contribution – breaking a promise to the public servants of that state and in a bad faith effort as the fiscal stewards of taxpayer dollars. Had they simply honored their commitments when times were good, virtually no state pension system would have unfunded pension liabilities that raise concerns.

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IAFF Blogs...Continued from page 41

The story that isn’t told is that the pensions public employees receive, in most cases, are the only source of income those workers receive in retirement since most are not allowed to collect Social Security. This approach has worked for opponents of pensions because it allows them to shift blame to workers, but it does not change the fact that it advocates allowing states to ignore their responsibility to the people who perform the work to protect the public, teach our children and keep the state providing many other valuable services to its citizens. 4. Public employee benefits are overly generous. Since pensions are now virtually non-existent in the private sector, and because the recession decimated the nest eggs of everyone with money in the stock market, opponents of defined benefit pensions have gained traction with this argument by creating and fostering pension envy. The story that isn’t told is that the pensions public employees receive, in most cases, are the only source of income those workers receive in retirement since most are not allowed to collect Social Security. And the median benefit of those receiving a pension paid by a public employer is $23,407, according to the National Institute for Retirement Security. The hope is that their pension gives the average public worker the ability to pay their basic bills, but they definitely aren’t getting rich in their old age. CEO pay provides a better example of overly generous pay. Apple CEO Tim Cook earned $900,000 in pay and performance benefits in 2011 and received restricted stock worth $376 million that vests in 2016 and 2021. CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies earned 380 times the salary of an average worker in 2011, according to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch study. 5. We can fix the pension system by converting to 401(k)-style defined contribution plans. There is a wellfinanced effort to force 401(k) plans as the solution because Wall Street firms stand to earn billions of dollars in fees if pensions are converted to 401(k)s. But the momentum of that effort is dwindling because 401(k)s have provided investors with a paltry return over


time. Think about what has happened to your own 401(k) since 2008 and whether the money in that account would be enough to sustain you in retirement. A 60-year old who worked for 30 years has an average 401(k) account balance of $172,555, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. That will provide retirement income of only $575.18 per month. It would take a 401(k) account balance of $1,000,000 to provide $40,000 annually over one’s lifetime. To achieve a $1,000,000 account balance, you would need to contribute $1,000 a month every month for 30 years and earn a 6 percent return [after fees]. With an estimated 20 million Americans unemployed or underemployed and with real wages stagnant for decades – average hourly earnings for all private-sector production and nonsupervisory workers across the economy have risen just 5.3% to $19.72 since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – those who work for a living in this country over the past 30 years, not many have $1,000 to save every month after paying their bills. The real retirement crisis is not in the public sector. It is in the private sector. The average 401(k) balance today is just $71,500, according to Fidelity Investments. Americans whose retirement security relies on Social Security supplemented by such small balances in 401(k)s must consider how they will avoid falling into poverty in their retirement years and states will need to figure out how they will provide welfare to those who do. 401(k)s were always intended to supplement – not replace – one’s retirement income. About 10,000 Americans a day are turning 65 years old, according to the Pew Center for the States. While Wall Street’s 401(k) plans have done nothing to help retirees enjoy their golden years, defined benefit plans are the best way to support retirees and allow them to continue to contribute to their local economies.

Fred Cameron June 30, 1934

Unlike many of the veteran fire fighters to die in the line of duty before him, Fred Cameron only enjoyed a short seven-year career with the Toronto Fire Department before responding to his final alarm. On June 29, 1934, he responded from the Richmond St. Firehall to a small fire at 525 Queen St. East at 9:15 p.m. After returning to the hall shortly after midnight, he complained to fellow fire fighters of not feeling well and collapsed soon after. Though the TFD physician Dr. L. R. Hill was called for medical attention, it was too late, as Fire Fighter Cameron had died from an apparent heart attack a few minutes before the doctor’s arrival. Cameron had been

to many fires over his relatively short career as a fire fighter, including a fatal rooming house fire at 193 Jarvis Street one year earlier, where he saved one of the occupants. After attempting to alert others, the wife of the property owner had made several trips back into the structure to try and save her personal belongings. When she became overcome by smoke on her fourth trip back into the property, Fred Cameron was there to carry her out of the building to safety. The Richmond St. Firehall that Cameron called home, closed after 40 operational years in 1935, making him the last member of the Toronto Fire Department to die while working out of the hall.

Platoon Chief William Culling January 20, 1953

William Culling’s final moments were spent in the firehall that had become his second home, as he worked what would be his final shift at Toronto’s Adelaide St. Station. When working in the evening, the 66-year-old Platoon Chief collapsed before eventually passing away while at Toronto General Hospital. In the many years he worked prior to achieving the rank of Platoon Chief, Culling was recognized as a dedicated fire fighter that was often instrumental in saving lives and property. As a fire fighter, he had received recognition from Fire Chief George Sinclair for his bravery in rescuing a woman at a River St. house fire. Years later, as a District Chief, he was an integral part of a fire call where the fire fighters under his command successfully rescued four occupants from the third floor of a Shaw St. house fire. In 1952, as a Platoon Chief, he witnessed a boy being hit by a truck and though ultimately unsuccessful, he and a fire fighter immediately began to administer first aid at the scene of the accident. Even one week before his death, he had prevented a

serious fire when he saw smoke and called in an alarm while on his way to a Dundas St. house for a separate investigation. It seemed that no matter what his rank or task at hand, he was always getting involved and helping out in any way he could. Three years before his final shift at Adelaide St., he also played an important role in a large Thornhill Village fire that destroyed several businesses. The fire came three days before a new fire protection and water supply system was to be implemented, and required mutual aid from several fire departments outside of Thornhill. Not uncommon for the times, fire fighters from Toronto Fire Department were sent to assist with fire fighting operations under the command of then District Chief William Culling and they eventually contained the blaze. As a 43-year veteran at the time of his death, he was not only one of the oldest TFD members, but also the third highest-ranking officer on the department. Survived by his wife, Elizabeth and son, William, he was interred at St. John’s Norway Cemetery.

Earl Fraser February 1, 1953

As he left his home at 362 Soudan Avenue on the morning of January 26, 1951, Fire Fighter Earl Fraser proceeded to the Yorkville Firehall for what would be his most difficult shift yet. On this day, it would not be the emergency scenes that would pose the most danger to him and his fellow fire fighters, but the response on Toronto’s busy streets. With Pumper 10 dispatched to a fire on Bleecker Street, the 34 year-old Fraser boarded the apparatus along with fire fighters Irvin Wyley, Arthur Hanson and Captain William Hamilton. Proceeding through the intersection of Yonge and Bloor, the apparatus violently collided with a coal truck. While coal littered the streets, both Arthur Hanson and

Earl Fraser were suffering from serious injuries; Hanson’s skull was fractured and Fraser received back, head and leg injuries as he was thrown from the truck. Though the coal truck driver, as well as Captain Hamilton and Fire Fighter Wyley escaped without significant injuries, Fraser would remain plagued by health issues for the years that followed. By 1953, he had been seriously ill for several months, due to complications from the accident and eventually succumbed to his injuries while at Toronto East General Hospital. He was born in Toronto and attended Riverdale Collegiate before marrying his wife, Zelda with whom he had a son, Kenneth and two daughters, Carol and Shirley.

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The fire fighter’s guide to health and nutrition



hen you’re camping, it’s tempting to drink water straight from pristine-looking lakes and streams – but don’t do it! Microscopic single-celled parasites can cause illnesses in humans if ingested. Here are two common waterborne diseases that could ruin your week: • Cryptosporidiosis (crip-toh-spore-id-eeoh-sis) is caused by Cryptosporidium (crip-toh-spore-id-ee-um). The symptoms include diarrhea, headache, nausea and stomach cramps. It can show up 2 to 25 days after becoming infected, and the symptoms usually last for one to two weeks. • Giardiasis (jee-ar-dye-a-sis), also known as “beaver fever”, is caused by Giardia (jee-ar-dee-ah). It shares similar symptoms with cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps, weakness and weight loss. Vomiting, chills and headache may also occur. Symptoms first show up six to sixteen days after becoming infected and can last for as long as one month. How to prevent waterborne diseases: • Use bottled water only, or boil water at least one minute before using it. Alternatively, you can purify water with iodine tablets or special water filters. • Don’t brush your teeth, wash dishes, fruits or vegetables, or use ice cubes made with water that hasn’t been purified. • Peel raw fruits and vegetables before you eat them. • Wash your hands with bottled or purified water only, and do it carefully several times a day. • Don’t swallow water when you’re swimming – even in a chlorinated swimming pool (chlorine doesn’t kill all germs). 44

• One easy way to remember how to keep it safe: “Boil it, cook it, peel it or leave it!” If you think you have cryptosporidiosis or giardiasis, see your doctor right away. You may need to give stool samples to see if you have the parasite, and then get treated with prescription medications to get rid of it for good. Some diseases picked up while travelling can also be a result of the food you eat. Traveler’s diarrhea, usually caused by E. coli bacteria, is one common infection encountered on trips abroad. It is characterized by stomach cramps, nausea and several runny stools. It is more serious if these symptoms are accompanied by fever and pus or blood in the stool. Dehydration is a complication of traveller’s diarrhea. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about how to prevent dehydration with oral rehydration solutions. In addition to following the suggestions above, also avoid eating from street vendors and consuming unpasteurized dairy products or undercooked foods. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to prevent foodborne diseases or traveller’s diarrhea, such as oral vaccines.

First of all, to make sure you stay healthy when you take a trip, don’t leave your medications at home! Keep these tips in mind for managing your medications on the road: • Before your trip, review your dosage schedules with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you’ll be crossing time zones – you may have to take your medications at different times. For example, if you have diabetes and need to use insulin while travelling eastward across two or more time zones, you may require less intermediate or long-acting insulin. • If you are travelling to another country, visit to see if you need special protection against disease in the country you are visiting. • Some medications can make you more sensitive to the sun and heat – check labels for warnings, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. You may need to cover up or use stronger sunscreen. • Store medications away from direct sunlight or high heat. A beach bag or your car’s trunk or glove compartment isn’t a good place to keep medications. For example, insulin can be kept up

to 30 days at room temperature, but degrades at higher temperatures. • Don’t put your medications in checked luggage. Keep them with you and bring enough to last the whole trip; when you go on an outing, carry along a day’s supply. • You should pack essential medication in two different pieces of hand luggage, just in case one becomes lost or stolen. This way you will have back up and not be left without your important medication while abroad. • Keep with you a list of all the medications you take (include the names, dosages, directions), your doctors’ phone numbers and your health insurance information. To avoid problems with customs, carry a note from your health care provider describing the types of medications you are using, a copy of your prescriptions and clear labels on all your medications that identify your full name (as on your passport), pharmacy name and the name and dose of the medication. The same applies should you have to carry needles or pre-loaded syringes. • Put together a travel first aid kit containing over-the-counter and prescription medications you may need if you become ill or are injured. Some medications you may want to include are: • antihistamines in case you have a mild allergic reaction • a painkiller such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen • medications for motion sickness and nausea • medications for diarrhea • anti-infective ear drops for swimmer’s ear (bacterial infection in the ear) • an antibacterial cream for cuts, insect bites and burns • a course of antibiotics that is prescribed by your doctor Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which specific medications may best suit your needs, depending on your medical history and travel destination. Travel checklist: Alcohol wipes Antibacterial ointment or cream Antibiotics Anti-diarrhea medications

Pork Chops Marsala

INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup Marsala, divided 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 4 boneless, thin pork loin chops 2 ounces Prosciutto ham, diced 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon dried oregano 3 teaspoons freshly chopped chives, divided 1 cup of 1% milk SERVING SUGGESTION Serving Size: 1 pork chop Number of Servings: 4 NUTRITION FACTS Calories 332 Total Fat 12g Saturated Fat 4g Sodium 526mg Total Carbohydrates 17g Fiber 1g Protein 30g

DIRECTIONS Mix 2 tablespoons Marsala and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Place flour in a shallow dish and whisk in salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge chops in flour and place chops in skillet, turn heat down to medium and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove to plate. Add prosciutto to pan and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, about 1 minute. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until it starts to soften and brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons Marsala, oregano and 1-1/2 teaspoons of chives and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add milk and the reserved cornstarch mixture to the pan; adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly, 4 to 6 minutes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juice to the pan and simmer, turning to coat, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve chops with sauce and remaining chives.

FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 45

Fit to Survive...Continued from page 45

Antihistamines Bandages and gauze Hand sanitizer Insect repellent Motion/travel sickness (anti- nausea) medications Pain relievers Regular medications Sunscreen Thermometer Carsickness, airsickness or seasickness – they’re all just different names for the same miserable problem: motion sickness. It can happen when there’s a mismatch between what your eyes see and what your inner ear – the body’s balance centre – senses

when you’re in a moving vehicle. The result? The familiar symptoms of nausea, paleness, a cold sweat and vomiting. Kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, are most susceptible to motion sickness. Fortunately, they’ll usually outgrow it after the age of five. To prevent motion sickness before it starts: • Avoid heavy meals up to two hours before travelling. • Don’t try to read when travelling – instead, look out the window at distant objects or close your eyes. • In a car or bus, sit where you can see out the windshield and open a window

for fresh air. Better yet, drive the car yourself and you won’t feel sick! • On a ship, be sure to get a cabin on the inside, near the waterline, where there’s less movement. When on deck, look ahead toward the horizon, which is stable. • In a plane, ask for a seat next to a bulkhead (wall) over the wings – it’ll make turbulence less noticeable. • Just in case the sickness can’t be avoided, always travel with a leakproof container – resealable food bags are a good bet. If all else fails, talk to your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription medications that can prevent motion sickness.

I appreciate your support and confidence in my ability to effectively represent you as a member of Local 3888’s Executive Board. I am so honoured to have been acclaimed and receive your confidence once again. As I look back at my union experience, it is an achievement that I am so proud and grateful for. I do not take it lightly and I will do everything in my power to not let you down.

Frank Ramagnano


Please accept the enclosed Phone Card as a token of my gratitude.

FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 46

Letter from the Editor… A

s a long serving member of your peer support team, I can certainly state that a diverse group of individuals make up this team. It is composed of compassionate members with a varied skill set and a broad level of experience. Learning continues through life experience and from others, both external and as members of the team. Our skills and experiences collectively compliment one another.

Each one of us has been with Toronto Fire Services for five years or more – some of us nearly 20 years! This noted, it does at times feel like a marriage or (in modern terms) a partnership. Collectively, we have over 50 years – in fact, probably double that – of marriage/partnership experience. I believe it’s safe to say that we have some background experience to mention and perhaps much to learn from, with regard to marriage longevity. Certainly relationships do not always come easy; they require effort, work and TLC (tender loving care). Working a 24-hour shift can definitely make this challenging (in absentia) and I frequently hear this through calls that I receive. One of our team members just celebrated his 15th wedding anniversary and provides pearls of wisdom for anyone just getting into marriage, interested in starting a relationship or who has been in one and wants to remain in partnership for a long time to come. As always, I wish you wellness, Lynn

Pearls of Marriage Wisdom By Cary Stather, Toronto Fire Services EAP/CIS Team Member

Having just celebrated 15 years of marriage, I decided to share the research that marriage experts claim are the main qualities of a good marriage: PUTTING ME FIRST: When you put your time into your marriage and make it a sole priority, everything should fall into place, like children and a career. UNSELFISHNESS: Selfishness is the true cause of many marriage problems; both partners need to put the happiness of the other before their own. WILLINGNESS TO WORK ON PROBLEMS TOGETHER: Most problems that affect a marriage start off small and grow into bigger ones. Often we hope the problems will go away. We must work together to solve these problems. We must learn to face the problems and take steps together to overcome them. GOOD COMMUNICATION: In order to make a marriage work. We need to understand and appreciate the needs of the other. Through great communication you unite with your partner and overcome problems together. FORGIVENESS: The willingness to forgive is an important part of marriage. Be quick to say you’re sorry after losing your cool. Do not hold a grudge; it will eat you up. You must realize that you are part of a team and must work effectively together. BEING SUPPORTIVE: Always look for great qualities in your partner and compliment them. Try to bring out the best in your partner and not criticize them. TEAMWORK: This works to define problems, goals and priorities, and learn how to tackle and solve them together. When one falls short, the other will be there to help and support them. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 47








Jan. 1

New Year’s Day

May 12

Mother’s Day

Oct. 31


Feb. 14

Valentine’s Day

May 20

Victoria Day

Nov. 11

Remembrance Day

Feb. 18

Family Day

Jun. 16

Father’s Day

Dec. 23 - Jan. 3 School Christmas Break

Mar. 11-15

School March Break

Jul. 1

Canada Day

Dec. 25

Christmas Day

Mar. 17

St. Patrick’s Day

Aug. 5

Civic Holiday

Dec. 26

Boxing Day

Mar. 29

Good Friday

Sep. 2

Labour Day

Apr. 1

Easter Monday

Oct. 14

Thanksgiving Day

*Red-Contractual Statutory Holidays

Please also find 4 wallet shift cards enclosed in the polybag in which Fire Watch was mailed. 48

CONSIDERATION: Be respectful of your partner’s dreams, wishes and feelings. These are important to them. It is one of the reasons why you married them. It also helps to relieve their stress in a supportive way. AFFECTION: Vocal expression helps convey the message, but a squeeze or kiss conveys a great deal more and offers reassurance. EQUALITY: Being involved together in parenting, household chores and finances helps build teamwork. It also creates value and respect for each other’s strengths. ADMIRATION: Hearing comments that each other’s great qualities are noticed helps boost self-esteem and makes each feel good about themselves. REACHING OUT TO OTHERS: Relationships with others, like friends, can help make your marriage better. It offers growth and actually strengthens it by spending time and doing things with others. SENSE OF HUMOUR: This one is one of the most important. It was often one of the reasons why the attraction took place, but is often overlooked because of the fast-paced lifestyle and forgetfulness to just laugh and howl when needed. It’s the sharing of these moments that is important. It shows our partner that, indeed, we are connected and one with them. OPTIMISM: We must believe that things will always improve. When the car breaks down again, it’s not the end of our world. We have a great job. We do have the means to get it fixed. We need to believe in our lives and expect the best for our marriage.

What is Marriage Marriage is uniquely beneficial to society because it is the foundation of the family and the basic building block of society. • • It brings significant stability and meaning to human relationships. • It remains the ideal for the raising of children. • • It plays an important role in transferring culture and civilization into future generations. Marriage is not merely a private contract, but a social institution of great public concern. As social science research and government surveys increasingly show, the decline in marriage since the 1960s has been accompanied by a rise in a number of serious social problems.

Excerpts from Maria Fontaine




Fighters Fire Toronto Traci and n fma Kau Adina Dixon volunteer at Camp BUCKO during the week of August 12-18, 2012.

Local 3888 members, Dean White (334-D) and Russell Lackey (225-D) collect their draw prize at the September 18th General Membership Meeting. Local 3888 members, Grant Spear (111-D) and Stephen Morris (444-D) collect their draw prize at the September 20th General Membership Meeting.

Members attend the TFS Medal, Bars 50

ent a cheque Dave Pineau and Mike Ogle pres on October 5th. for $14,000 to Cindy Goelman 2 Rob Penney 201 the The money was raised at will be put in unt amo full The . Tournament in June Fund at PMH. the Fire Fighters Cancer Research

and Certificate Ceremony held at

the Academy on October 4, 2012.

FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 50

The following forty new recruits were sworn in on September 21, 2012: Markos Abrajian, Mykhail Baehr, Daniel Beeston, Steve Buchignani, Alex Chojnicki, Ryan Coates, Amo Donald Dundass, Dylan Easby, Stev s Cutler, Mark Davidson, e Fera, Chris Godin, Roger Gunter, Nathan Hadley, Kurt Hammond, Holtom, Timothy Hutton, Alex Krec Todd Hazlewood, Matt howicz, Adam Krosel, Michelle Lakoseljac, Frank Little, Evan Mac Michael Miller, Brad Morin, Wing aulay, Craig McManus, Yiu Ngai, Johnny Ochoa, Chris Peld iak, Jonathan Pett, Cosimo Racco, Sehl, Jon Sheppard, Kelly Shipton, Sterling Robson, Michael Lucas Spear, Corey Stoodley, Just in Tagg, Richard Tansley, Andrew Vaughan

Local 3888 Executive Board Offi cers visited the current class of recr uits at the Academy on September given various presentations on the 21st. The recruits were role and services offered by Local 3888 and were then officially swo rn in and fed a BBQ lunch.

Local 3888 presented a cheque at the 25th Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Games for the Variety Village Annual Walk Roll Run and Fun Fall Fair. Pictured are Mik e Ogle, Fire Chief Jim Sales, John Willson (Variety Village CEO ), Frank Ramagnano and Tom Brown (CTV News Weather Anchor) .

The 5th Annual Kemolene Chadwic k Bake and Craft sale was held on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at Headquarters, in the Atrium. This year over $2,100 was raised for Kemolene’s children. Thank you to all who help ed. FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 51


Monday, December 3, 2012


Saturday, December 15, 2012 Monday, December 17, 2012 Day meeting only (0930 Hrs) Tuesday, December 18 , 2012 Night meeting only (1830 Hrs)

Dec. 22 - Jan 2, 2012

EVENT Take Our Kids To Work Day

LOCATION Toronto Fire Service Head Quarters Remembrance Day Toronto, Various locations Media Trivia Night Toronto 3 Magic shows at 1300 & 1600 & Etobicoke - Michael Power/St. 1900 Hrs Joseph Sec. School Magic shows at 1800 & 2000 Hrs. Toronto - Ryerson Theatre 3888 Kids Christmas Party 1130 - 1600 3888 General Union Meeting

Variety Village RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Union Office will be closed

39 Commissioners Street.

Picture it...YOUR ad right here! Call Debbie Cheeseman at 1-800-366-3113 Ext. 7806 or Fax to 1-866-764-2452 to assure your spot for the next issue.

CLASSIFIEDS House to share in the Weston Rd and Hwy 401 area; nice neighborhood; all utilities, parking, laundry and Internet..$800/month...please text me at 416-576-5118 if interested.

Classified Advertising in the Toronto Fire Watch Magazine Name Work Phone

Division _Home Phone

Ad (20 words max – please print clearly) # of issues Signature

Payment: Cheque

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 Hughson St. S., Hamilton, ON L8N 2A1 or email:


FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 52


*DATE/TIME Wednesday, November 7, 2012 0800 Hrs Sunday, November 11, 2012 Monday, Novemeber 26, 2012 Saturday, December 1, 2012




e r d C hil ns’

Christmas Party Date:

Saturday, December 15, 2012 (C Shift Working)

Time: From 11:30am to 4:00pm (Come and go as you like, party will end at approximately 5:00pm) Location:

Variety Village, 3701 Danforth Avenue

Price: $15.00 per child if registered by November 24 Ages: Newborn - 12 Years Guests & Late Registrations (Nov. 25 - 30) $25.00 per child/limit of 4 guests

No Registrations Accepted After December 1 NO EXCEPTIONS Mascots Arts and Crafts Climbing Wall Loot Bags Food/Drink Children’s Play Center Games/Prices Obstacle Course Indoor Inflatable Rides

Children donating an unwrapped toy for the Fire Fighters Toy Drive will have their name entered to

0 6 3 x o B X a W in All children will receive a Christmas gift can visit with Santa


FA LL 2 0 1 2 | F I R E WAT CH 53

Picture it...YOUR ad right here! Call Debbie Cheeseman at 1-800-366-3113 Ext. 7806 or Fax to 1-866-764-2452 to assure your spot for the next issue.

We would like to thank the following for their support: ALPHA LABORATORIES GRIFFEN MANIPEX LTD. KIRKOR ARCHITECTS AND PLANNERS


DECARO FABRICATING INC...................................36

APPLIANCE CANADA............................................. 62

DIVORCE WEALTH INC............................................8

BEAVER VALLEY STONE.......................................... 56

DOC’S MOTORCYCLE GEAR...................................36

CACHE METALS...................................................... 31

EVENSON BUNDGARD FLYNN............................... 58

CANADIAN MORTGAGE TRAIN...............................4

FIRE SERVICES CREDIT UNION................................6

SARABJIT SINGH/RBC............................................ 56

CATHY WOODS MORTGAGES................................36

FOSTER KIA............................................................. 10

SCARSVIEW CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP.....................30

CITY SAVINGS FINANCIAL SERVICES CREDIT UNION................................................................... IFC

FRASER FORD......................................................... 58

SUNSET KITCHENS LTD.......................................... 31

CONSUMERS CHOICE..........................................OBC CORNERSTONE MEDIATION..................................36


HYDROPOOL HOT TUBS.........................................54

NORTH CITY GENERAL INSURANCE BROKERS LTD.......................................................... 10 PAUL LOVE/CENTURY 21 REAL ESTATE..................4 ROYAL LEPAGE/IAN MCCRAE & LIZ BAY MCCRAE................................................. 56

SUTTON GROUP CLASSIC.................................... IBC



MR. JACK RILEY...................................................... 56

YONGE STREET ANIMAL HOSPITAL...................... 56

Fire Watch (Fall 2012)  

The Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial was unveiled and dedicated in Ottawa on September 9, 2012. The new memorial, intended as a nation...

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