ISSUE 1 | SPRING 2008
TFS Demographics Where do you fit in?
Would You Escape a Fire in Your Home? Publications Agreement No: 41203011
FIREHALL SHOWCASE: Fire Station 116
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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION
IN THIS ISSUE 20
FIRE WATCH (ISSN 1715-5134) is published quarterly by the TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION 39 Commissioners Street, Toronto, ON Canada M5A 1A6 Tel: 416.466.1167 www.torontoﬁreﬁghters.org E-mail: ﬁrewatch@torontoﬁreﬁghters.org
Secretary Treasurer’s Message
Vice President’s Message
Beneﬁt News for Fireﬁghters
Letters to the Editor
Would You Escape a Fire in Your Home?
Member Proﬁle on Bill Hawley
Demographics & Statistics
Fire Fighter Survival & Rescue
Firehall Showcase–Station 116
A History of York Fire
Performance Measurement and the Fire Services
Home Emergency Preparedness
FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by Xentel DM Incorporated on behalf of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association
CHIEF EDITOR Scott Marks
MANAGING EDITORS Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail: ﬁrewatch@torontoﬁreﬁghters.org
Residential Smoke Alarms –The Silent Killer
3888 Recent Happenings
Fit to Survive
2008 OPFFA Health & Safety Seminar
Never Shall We Forget
CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011
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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.
On The Cover Would You Escape a Fire in Your Home?
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S P R I N G 2 0 0 8 | F I R E WATCH
128 Millwick Drive Toronto, Ontario M9L 1Y6 Phone 416-744-1777 Fax 416-749-2786 Email email@example.com
n January, members from the 3888 Executive Board attended the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Human Relations Conference. This conference proved to be extremely informative and thought provoking. More importantly, it provided valuable information that we are able to bring back and initiate in our local. The prevailing theme of the conference was the issue of diversity. Diversity is a common “buzz word” in many circles today. Like many popular ideas, the facts and application of diversity principles are not all that unique or different from the principles we have always sought to attain or that constitute good and sound management practices. The modern fire service is built on diversity. By this, I mean the diversity of functions and services provided. The fire service is often called the Swiss army knife of the emergency services. As times have changed, so have the needs of the community we serve. Fire fighters have been there to fill in the voids and provide the required emergency services. We, as fire fighters, have diversified from our traditional role of solely extinguishing fires. Did fire fighters seek to fill in these voids and diversify, or were these functions foisted on us? There is probably a bit of both at work here, however, the additional skill sets and diversification of our job functions have made us better at what we do in all areas. For instance, confined space and HUSAR training is totally applicable in the function of fire fighting. Recognizing the hazards of a confined space and how to prevent entanglements or being trapped, is training that can be applied at any fire scene when visibility and unknown hazards are factors. Knowing
the elements of structural collapse is equally important when working at any emergency scene. The skills learned by training for these diverse job sets have made us better fire fighters; more adaptable to change and the circumstances that present themselves. When we talk about diversity on the human relations level, it is a different set of skills and training, but the principles and outcomes remain the same. We are all aware of the desire to see a
environments it is information that may be utilized to assist us in our work functions. In our case, being efficient and knowledgeable in our work functions may ultimately save a life. Understanding cultural differences prepares us for knowing that a family dwelling may be set up in a way that is not traditional to our culture. It means that you may have a better idea on
ANY TIME WE LEARN ABOUT NEW CULTURES AND ENVIRONMENTS IT IS INFORMATION THAT MAY BE UTILIZED TO ASSIST US IN OUR WORK FUNCTIONS. IN OUR CASE, BEING EFFICIENT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE IN OUR WORK FUNCTIONS MAY ULTIMATELY SAVE A LIFE.
more diversified work place that reflects the make-up of our city. This must be done without eroding the skill sets required to be efficient and effective fire fighters. Recruitment and testing of candidates has maintained those standards and the fire fighters being hired are as capable as they have ever been. If we bring on fire fighters from diverse communities, is there a benefit that comes back to us in our work functions? Without question those communities will see the benefit as fire fighters attending emergency calls will understand their language and culture. But does that help us as fire fighters? Anytime we learn about new cultures and
where to look for people trapped, on who may be in the dwelling, on how the dwelling may be laid out, the number of kitchens, location of kitchens etc. We have learned many of these things in the course of our normal duties. Some have been learned and applied without even being consciously aware of it. Diversity in the workplace and diversity training is simply a more structured, quicker and efficient way to do what we already do. Diversity is a two way street. It requires both sides to be open-minded, tolerant and willing to learn. Too often we assume that learning and understanding someone else’s culture in some way requires us to give up
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH
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President’s Message ... Continued from page 5
some of our own traditions and culture. That should never be the case. Diversity is about adding to what you have, in knowledge, training and understanding. To be effective, that must work in both directions. Despite the appearance that diversity is a new buzz word, the concepts and principles have been applied in an informal way for years. Businesses that do
not diversify have trouble surviving when times change. Stock portfolio’s that are not diversified suffer the consequences of failure when markets change. Diversity is a way to broaden your knowledge base, protect your interests and be better at the things you do. Diversity has a positive effect, whether applied at a business or personal level, both business and unions
have realized this and although they may support diversity concepts in differing matters, the principles and positive outcomes benefit both.
Scott Marks President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, I.A.F.F. Local 3888
Toronto Fire Department
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SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE
ecently, I was asked about the purchasing practices of the City of Toronto, as it pertains to our fatigue clothing and how they are produced. This ﬁre ﬁghter was concerned that he was wearing clothing that was not ethically made. We had a long discussion on the matter and I thought for educational purposes, I would report on it within this medium. We have 30 different garments available to order in which we are able to replace and maintain our uniform issue as our individual needs dictate. We follow a joint collective agreement, which ensures that we will have an ensemble that is in a good state of repair, while at the same time preventing the needless ordering of items. Of the 30 items we were able to order in 2006, 18 were made in Canada, 1 in the USA, 6 in China, 1 in India, 1 in Mexico and 1 in Haiti. It is important to note that within the rules of City Purchasing, the manufacturers of said items can change on a yearly basis, and quite often they do. The history of sweatshops, as it relates to the Fire Service, has been well publicized. History will not forget the legacy of the “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire”, which occurred on March 25, 1911 in New York City and saw the loss of 148 workers’ lives. Many of our current Fire Regulations are a direct result of incidents involving ﬁre and “sweatshops”. On February 23, 2006, several hundred garment workers were killed in Bangladesh by ﬁre in their textile factory. In the last 15 years, there have been more then 100 hundred ﬁres in factories in Bangladesh. More than 5,000 workers were injured in these ﬁres and over 500 workers were killed. These tragedies came at a substantial price and we must do everything in our power to prevent any future occurrences. As a service which prides itself on ﬁre prevention, we must also ensure that we do not contribute to what we are established to protect against. How
can we ask the public to follow our mandate when we do not have policies in place that ensure that we do not contribute to ﬁre tragedies? It is for this reason that Local 3888 appeared before a City of Toronto committee in 2006, looking into a policy which would address this issue. We were supported by many labour groups and human rights advocates. We were pleased that the City of Toronto adopted a policy, dated July 26, 2006, titled “Purchases of Garments and Other Apparel from Responsible Manufacturers (no-sweatshop) Procedure.” The purpose of the policy is to ensure that garments, uniforms or other apparel items are purchased from responsible (no-sweatshop) garment manufacturers. The ofﬁce of the Fair Wage Ofﬁce determines if a bidder is in compliance with the policy. The policy is also made known to all bidders and you can rest assured that any manufacturer not successful in the bid would challenge the process if they knew that the winning bidder was not in compliance. The City, being such a large consumer of products, is also monitored by human rights advocacy groups and they would also report any manufacturers not in compliance. The policy ensures that tax dollars do not go to support businesses that exploit the neediest, as it will ultimately give positive reinforcement for businesses that treat their employees with respect and dignity. We know that this also has a beneﬁcial effect on local businesses as well. The vast majority of which do not subscribe to these unfair labour practices.
Ultimately, we also believe this will lead to higher quality purchases. Employers that have such disregard for the people they employ have equal disregard for the quality of the products which they produce. These are employers that are concerned only with the bottom line; producing poor quality merchandise, making a quick proﬁt, going out of business and then repeating the cycle all over again. In the end, this results in increased costs to the purchasers, who must replenish inferior quality stock more often. As ﬁre ﬁghters, we can be comfortable in the knowledge that what we are wearing was manufactured in a responsible manner. Too many times, ﬁre ﬁghters are witness to tragedies when regulations are not followed or even do not exist. We should never contribute to those tragedies. Our Association adopted a similar policy in regards to the garments it sells and hands out. In keeping with the theme of this issue, I have included an updated union dues chart and the salaries of the ten highest paid 1st class FF salaries in Ontario for this year.
Frank Ramagnano Secretary - Treasurer, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH
Secretary Treasurer’s Message ... Continued from page 9
TORONTO UNION DUES CHARGED �������������������������� �����������������
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VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Why Unions?
n the middle ages, workers had very few, if any rights. A man or a woman were, quite literally, owned by the Lords and Royalty in the same way as a piece of land or livestock.
There were certainly no unions, with the possible exception of the ‘guilds’ which advocated on behalf of skilled tradesmen and merchants and they were very much under the authority of the king and the church who were their employers. It could be a harsh existence to say the least. Things have gotten better during many years of hard struggles and conflict and we now have, in western industrial society, a fairly well established union movement and a number of Provincial and Federal laws that protect and enhance our rights in the workplace. The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, Local 3888, and the groups that we are affiliated with have all been a part of the evolution of this movement, often referred to as the ‘House of Labour’. In the media and on the street, we sometimes hear the idea proposed that unions have outlived their usefulness in these modern times and are no longer needed or relevant. As your Vice President, you can probably predict that I certainly do not share this view. In fact, I believe that unions, and in our case, fire fighter unions, are still very much our first line of defence against possible management abuse and, on a more positive note, our best vehicle for enhancing our benefits and the workplace environment. A former President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, Orval Bolton, often said that his proudest moment was when they negotiated the 42 hour week because it not only reduced fire fighter hours but also led to the hiring of a number of new recruits. Advancements in working conditions like this, I would argue, would never come about without a strong union, and your present Executive has continued to make headway
with issues which would not be possible without effective bargaining and political action by Local 3888. In the year 1872, the Toronto Printers Union achieved a contract containing a 9 hour day and a 54 hour week. That same year, the Government of the day passed a law giving workers the legal right to organize and form unions. These gains were the forerunners of our legislation, the present ‘Fire Prevention and Protection Act’ that allows Local 3888 to sit down as an equal partner with the administration and, even if often cumbersome, sets out a process if negotiations break down. Unions have been successful in areas such as job security, wages, benefits, seniority, sick leave, grievance procedure and many other contract clauses. Even unorganized workers have benefited from gains made by the Labour Movement, since unions have been instrumental in lobbying for changes in employment law that benefits all workers. It is difficult to quantify how many non-union staff have received a raise and better working conditions because a union has signed an agreement in some other workplace. Local 3888 has many specialized committees to serve their membership, staffed by people who have become very literate and competent in their special fields. One of the best examples is the great work being done in the area of WSIB by Local 3888 and our Provincial Organization. From political action to public relations and grievances, a Toronto Fire Fighter has somewhere to go for information and assistance on almost any subject of concern. People without union representation only have whatever laws the province or country has enacted and often no one to help them
navigate through the bureaucracy. The considerable cost of defending a worker’s rights is usually enough to frustrate many people who have been wronged. Yet, in many cases, unions have spent more money than can ever be recouped in order to uphold a principle or defend a right because a management decision would impact negatively on the membership as a whole or on other union members elsewhere. As an example, dues from Toronto Fire Fighters and others was spent to save the jobs of a very few members in Northern Ontario when the I.A.F.F. and the O.P.F.F.A. mobilized to stop the town from legislating the end of the fire department and going completely ‘volunteer’. In closing, I would encourage all members of Local 3888 to support your union. Come to meetings, get involved, speak your mind and remember that before unions, workers did not enjoy many rights. Even today, in countries where unions are weak or not present, working conditions are usually poor. Your right to union representation is extremely important but there are many who would like to see our demise. Especially in this global economy, unions for all workers are probably more essential today than they have ever been.
Ed Kennedy Vice-President, Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association I.A.F.F. Local 3888
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 11
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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER –Grunt Work BY BARRY PARKER, SOUTH COMMAND CHAPLAIN
he “Queen Street Fire,” as Toronto reporters have apparently dubbed it, which occurred on February 20, 2008, is an interesting incident to view through the eyes of the media who provided extensive coverage.
Each and every one of the media outlets providing this coverage lauded the great work of Toronto Fire Fighters, and rightly so, to battle a blaze with a six alarm response in less than ideal circumstances. There was also extensive reporting on those who were dispossessed, whether from their homes or businesses, as well as the loss of an architectural heritage. The spectacular video of the fire at its height caused the City of Toronto to stop and catch our collective breath. What struck me most however, was the continuing in-depth coverage of the scene during the post-incident. For a few days after the fire had been extinguished, we witnessed demolition crews gingerly pulling apart the rubble while looking for hotspots, investigating the origin of the fire and excavating the debris. What hasn’t gotten a lot of press though is the actual clean-up. That caught my eye, as earnest reporters in breathless tones told us the same thing over and over again—while over their shoulders you could see TFS crews chipping away at ice-encrusted ladders, trucks, and everyone’s favourite winter fire fighting aftermath—50 foot lengths of frozen 65mm hose. Perhaps it is my memory of being a fire fighter in Alberta many years ago, when after a big winter fire, flatbed trucks would be needed to haul frozen
hose back to halls to undergo the laborious process of defrosting, washing, hanging…well you get the picture. The thrill of the working fire is long gone and repacking hose, at least in the good old days, wasn’t terribly glamorous work. That for me is also a great metaphor as to how most of us live our lives. As a Pastor, I see this over and over again. We live for the big working experiences
Dr. Barry Parker
SOUTH COMMAND Dr. Barry Parker 416.961.8116 (church) email@example.com
Take heart! You are in good company. I am convinced that the quality of life and long service with the TFS will come in the grunt work—faithfully serving with integrity even when there is no
THE THRILL OF THE WORKING FIRE IS LONG GONE AND REPACKING HOSE, AT LEAST IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS, WASN’T TERRIBLY GLAMOUROUS WORK.
in life (like a great working 6 alarm fire) because we know that they do not come along very often. We feel we have to settle for the mundane and the ordinary, yet, where is the excitement and the glory in that? There are the spectacular times in our lives, like fires, which get plenty of personal press and our individual attention. Most of the time however, our lives are comprised of grunt work— staying faithful to the task at hand, such as work, relationships, family— whatever, yes, I know there are exceptions. There are those of us (it’s always somebody else) whose lives appear to be so good from the outside. Yet, for the rest of us, life is pretty ordinary. It can be quite a grind.
press, nothing newsworthy or glamourous. It is the hours of training, cleaning, working out, and being together as a crew that prepares you for the big stuff. Life is no different. As someone once said, “Personal crises do not generate faith and character, they reveal it.” Living life—a moment, a day, a season at a time, is a faithful endeavour. I am convinced that our quality of life is defined in that grunt work; in the everyday sameness that we think is boring. Keep the faith. Live life. Work the fire. Clean up well. Take each moment as a gift of God —whether it makes the 6 o’clock news or not.
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 13
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Beneﬁt News for COURTESY OF LETTER OF INTENT BENEFITS ISSUES COMMITTEE
s you know, improvements to your benefit plans were negotiated during the last round of collective bargaining and implemented on June 20, 2007. These include improvements to your vision care, paramedical and psychologist coverage. These improvements will benefit you and your family. At the same time the Fire Association is working closely with the City of Toronto to address the issue of rising health care costs. Did you know that on average health care costs increase by approximately 15% per year? This is without factoring in any improvements to your plans. It is simply due to the rising costs of drugs
& services and increased utilization. As a healthcare consumer you can help address the issue of rising costs by making wiser choices when spending your benefit dollars. For example, you can be more aware of the costs that a pharmacy is charging you to fill your prescription. These costs called “dispensing fees” vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. By being more aware of what these costs are, you can decide if you want to fill your prescription at that pharmacy or shop elsewhere. These are choices that we as consumers make in our everyday lives and by making these same choices with your benefit plans, you can help us save benefit dollars.
UPCOMING EVENT: The Benefits & Employee Services section along with the Fire Association will be providing information sessions on your benefit plans in the near future. These sessions will provide you with answers to the following questions:
• What benefit coverage do I have through the City of Toronto? • What services can Manulife Financial offer me? • How can I become a smarter healthcare consumer? • What would I like to see included in a health care plan? We will be providing further information on these upcoming sessions shortly. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding your benefit plans, you should contact your Benefits Services Representative, Sandra Soon at (416) 392-3903.
Number of employees - 3,050
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 15
e Le TO THE EDITOR
MESSAGES OF ENCOURAGEMENT
On July 29th, 2007, Darren Berehowsky, a ﬁreﬁghter at Station 431 fell 16 feet while enjoying a night out in Muskoka. Because of the fall, he suffered an epidural hematoma to the brain. Since that time, he has made remarkable progress to regain the speech and cognitive functions that were damaged as a result of the brain injury. While it will be some time before he can consider returning to work, the Berehowsky family, on behalf of Darren would like to thank Toronto Fire Services for all their support and concern over these past 6 months. From the moment that Toronto Fire found out about Darren’s accident, the kindness shown to him and the rest of our family has been overwhelming and has come from so many places within the Fire Department. Beginning with the ﬁreﬁghters at Darren’s station, led by the amazing Peter Simms, there was nothing that they would not do to help. From arranging all the paperwork, to advising on beneﬁts, to most importantly, being a continual support to Darren, there are no words to express how comforting and grateful we are to know that these men are watching Darren’s back. A special thank you to Steve Sykes, who shared his life-altering experience with Darren. Knowing that there are others, who have fought such a big battle has immeasurably helped Darren in his ﬁght. Secondly, we will always remember those men who covered Darren’s shifts after the accident. It is rare to ﬁnd people who will go out of their way to assist another in such a signiﬁcant way. It is humbling and much appreciated. Finally, thank you to the ﬁreﬁghters who have reached out with prayers and good wishes. In the darkest days following the fall, these thoughts uplifted and carried us through and we know that the continuing messages of encouragement and support are having a huge impact on Darren as he perseveres through his rebuilding process.
You will always have a place in our family’s heart. Danielle Berehowsky
GENEROUS DONATION APPRECIATED To the Editor,
Earlier this year, I was approached by my two daughter’s Girl Guides Leader, asking if I’d consider doing two Fire Safety presentations, one for each group (Guides and Pathﬁnders). I have done this in the past for their school, when they were both in Kindergarten. In fact, the school has asked my wife and I to do presentations on several occasions (she is a Toronto Medic). This time would be different, as the Girls are now much older. I decided that the primary subject for the presentation would be Smoke Alarms, in light of recent ﬁre fatalities where working smoke alarms were not present or not working. I thought the time was right for these young ladies to learn how to maintain the smoke alarms in their house, including proper battery installation and vacuuming.
Another idea I had was to provide each girl with a smoke alarm at the end of the presentation, to be installed in their bedroom. I contacted Kidde Canada, the smoke alarm & CO Detector manufacturer, asking how I could go about purchasing 40 smoke alarms, at wholesale cost. I explained who I was and what I was doing. I was contacted by Mr. John Ward, National Sales Manager for Kidde Canada. It turns out that Mr. Ward is a huge supporter of the Girl Guides & Boy Scouts programs, and he lives in Ajax where I live. Kidde Canada donated 40 Children’s Bedroom Smoke Alarms to the two Guides’ groups at no charge. On behalf of the 2nd Greenwood Guides (Ajax) and the 1st Greenwood Pathﬁnders (Ajax), I would like to thank Mr. Ward and Kidde Canada for such a generous donation, further enhancing the ﬁre safety message I was trying to convey. Sincerely Gord Tewnion—Stn. 215 Platoon A
FIRE WATCH accepts Letters to the Editor, articles, essays, and photographs from Local 3888 Members, active and retired. We will also accept ﬁre related submissions from outside authors or photographers. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MAY BE FORWARDED TO: Letter to the Editor FIRE WATCH 39 Commissioners Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M5A 1A6 LETTERS POLICY You may email your letter to: ﬁrewatch@torontoﬁreﬁghters.org FIRE WATCH welcomes letters to the editor to give you – Local 3888 members – an opportunity to express your views, concerns, ideas, or gripes. We can’t print every letter and in some instances letters will have to be edited due to space limitations.
THANK YOU Thank you very much for the ﬂowers that were sent to my mother in-law’s funeral. The ﬂowers were beautiful. The family was suprised and touched. Thank you again. Yours truly, David Eaglen A platoon, east com. station 215
VENTURER’S PROGRAM I wanted to let all of you who were a part of TJ Edwards and Andrew Rodrigues’ experience with the Venturers know that Trevor and I truly appreciated your work with the guys. We have moved out of the beaches area and are now in the east end of Scarborough (by U of T) and it is too far to commute back and forth for the boys. Andrew will be moving in with relatives and although it was my hope that he continue with the Venturer’s program I think that both Andrew and TJ are worried that football (their big ambition!) will be jeopardized. They begin training with the Toronto Oxmen (with the Toronto Police) next month. We are so very impressed with the program and continue to share with other foster parents how important these programs are to the community. We continue to run a foster home but have decided to downsize a bit and rather than run a licensed group home—for 6 teen boys we have gone to 4 —much more manageable and more time
for our immediate family. We will continue to encourage those boys who we feel would beneﬁt and hope to ﬁnd something similar in the east end. Thanks again for the superb work with the boys and if you didn’t realize it...for contributing to their self esteem! I wish I could share with you all just how much the short time they spent with the Venturers meant in their lives...every connection is a life experience that won’t be forgotten. Thanks so much—we have asked TJ and Andrew to get in contact with you to say his thanks and goodbye. JoAnne and Trevor
A TRUE HONOR Words cannot express the gratitude we all have because of the distance you travelled to stand with us for Jimmy’s family. All of our members were very appreciative. It’s my hope that you and your brothers were treated with the respect and thankfulness all of you deserved. Our members were ﬂoored when I informed them you were attending. It was a true honor to have you here. Thank you again on behalf of the brothers and sister of the Scranton Fire Department. We won’t forget what you did. In brother and sisterhood, Dave G
We do not accept attachments. Please paste your letter into the body of your email and use the subject line “Letter to the Editor.”
ARTICLES Before sending a full article submission, we suggest that you forward an outline or suggestion for an article to the Editor. FIRE WATCH is your magazine, and as such, we will accept articles on any subject related to Local 3888 and the ﬁre community. Subjects could include but are not limited to: health issues, history, sporting events, equipment, training issues, personal essays, etc. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS/QUERIES MAY BE FORWARDED TO: Articles FIRE WATCH 39 Commissioners Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M5A 1A6
You may email your submission/query to ﬁrewatch@torontoﬁreﬁghters.org We do not accept attachments. Forward your suggestion in the body of an email and use the subject line “Article submission or query”. PHOTOGRAPHY Please contact the Editors before forwarding your photographic work for consideration. FIRE WATCH does not offer payment for submissions.
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 17
Would You ESCAPE a FIRE in Your Home
BY MARLA FRIEBE, SOUTH COMMAND PUBLIC EDUCATION
ire fighters know that escaping from a residential fire is more complex than one might imagine. Black, toxic smoke that can fill a room in seconds may hinder quick evacuation, especially if evacuees are unfamiliar with the layout of a room, or if they begin to feel the nauseating effects of smoke inhalation. To provide the necessary information to those who need it most, the Toronto Fire Services Public Education Section mandates the following steps to be taken during a fire. When residents of your community come to the station for information on home escape planning, please feel free to reference the following information: Q: What can I do to ensure that my family safely exits our home during a fire? A: First and foremost, plan and practise an escape. By following these simple steps, you will increase your odds of surviving a fire no matter what type of home you live in; a bungalow, a two-storey residence, a condominium, or an apartment. FIRST STEPS FIRST—MAKE SAFE CHOICES: • Upon hearing the sound of your smoke alarm, or fire alarm ringing, gather your family together. Ensure that 18
your children and elderly family members that may need assistance escaping are accounted for. • Immediately, everyone should head towards the nearest exit.
• Block smoke from entering your residence with a blanket, wet towels, or articles of clothing by shoving them tightly into the open space at the bottom of your door.
IF THE DOOR IS HOT TO THE TOUCH, OR IF YOU SEE OR SMELL SMOKE, IT COULD MEAN THAT SMOKE AND FLAMES EXIST ON THE OTHER SIDE • If this is during the night when everyone is sleeping, check your bedroom or apartment door with the back of your hand. If the door is hot to the touch, or if you see or smell smoke, it could mean that smoke and flames exist on the other side. It may be safest to stay within your room or apartment.
• Remain calm, and call 9-1-1. If you have access to a window, or balcony, you may wish to open the windows and doors to permit fresh air to enter. OR, IF THE DOOR IS COOL TO THE TOUCH: • If your exit door is cool to the touch, and
you cannot smell or see smoke seeping in around the door, it may be safe to exit. • Gather your family together, making sure to hold onto your children tightly. Carefully open the door and check the hallway before proceeding to the closest exit. If you live in an apartment or condo, use the stairwells only. • As you exit, activate the fire alarm (if it is not yet activated) by pulling on a pull station, usually located at exit doors. This will notify other residents so that they can evacuate as well. • If you encounter smoke at any point during the evacuation, get down on your hands and knees and crawl below the smoke, where the air is safer to breathe. Encountering smoke in the stairwell means that you should get out of the stairwell immediately via a crossover floor, and use the second stairwell instead.
TORONTO FIRE SERVICES ADVISES EVERYONE TO PLAN AN ESCAPE WITH YOUR FAMILY, DRAW IT OUT, AND POST IT SOMEWHERE VISIBLE
• When fire crews arrive on scene, be aware of any information they may communicate to you via the building’s voice communication system. ONCE YOU ARE OUT OF IMMEDIATE DANGER: • Gather outdoors with your family at a pre-designated meeting spot to ensure that everyone evacuated safely. If you live in an apartment or condominium, do not gather in the lobby where Fire fighters will be setting up their entry control operations. • Call 9-1-1 immediately, now that you are safe, from a cell phone, a telephone booth, or from a neighbour’s home. • Remember, once you are out of a burning building; do not attempt to regain entry. Fire changes rapidly, and what may be appropriate at one moment may not be appropriate seconds later. • Remain on scene for Toronto Fire Services to arrive so that you can update Fire fighters on the situation.
PLAN AND PRACTISE YOUR ESCAPE PLAN: • Making safe choices in a fire situation is vital to the safety of your family. Toronto Fire Services advises everyone to plan an escape with your family, draw it out, and post it somewhere visible. • Practise this plan regularly, so that everyone is familiar with all possible escape routes, making sure that there are two ways out of every room in your home or apartment building. • A well planned escape can help you avoid confusion in a real fire situation. In addition, installing smoke alarms on every level of your home helps provide valuable notification time to assist you and your family in escaping when fire strikes. • Saving seconds in an escape can mean the difference between life and death. For further information on planning an escape, or other fire safety issues, you can encourage Toronto residents to visit: www.toronto.ca/fire/ prevention/index.htm. To obtain a Plan Your Escape Kit to assist families in developing a plan, residents can contact Access Toronto at (416)338-9338 to speak with a member of the Toronto Fire Services Fire Prevention Division.
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 19
Member Proﬁle BY TONY MACDONALD, TORONTO FIRE CAPTAIN, STATION 445A
s a teenager, Bill Hawley attended Danforth Technical Institute where he started learning about becoming an automobile mechanic.
After becoming a licensed mechanic, he was working at a garage in Toronto, when his wife’s uncle, who was a TFD Captain, suggested that he put an application into the Toronto Fire Department. In just over two years, he passed all the tests, and was on his way to a career in the Fire Service. On November 13, 1972, Bill joined a group of twenty recruits, who began the recruit firefighting training program at the Toronto Fire Academy. In those days, recruits received six weeks of drill
school, before they were placed on the trucks to begin their life of fighting fires. Bill remembers a group of five recruits trying to put up a Bangor ladder in the snow and ice. The crew slipped on the ice and dropped the ladder, breaking a tormentor pole. Their Training Officer decided that they should move inside until conditions improved. On November 23rd, they received their first paycheck. They each grossed $278.20, and took home $208.54. After completing drill school, they were temporarily placed on the “Flying Squad” before they received their permanent station assignment. The Flying Squad was a group of fire fighters who would be moved around the city each shift, to staff any fire station that needed manpower. While on the Flying Squad, Bill’s first Captain was Lorne Buckingham Sr.
On March 2nd 1973, Bill was posted to Pumper 3 (314) on A-2 (C) shift, working for Captain Gordy Holman. Station 314 has been a single pumper station for the entire time that Bill has been on the job. An unusual point of interest found within Bill’s Career, is that Bill has never been transferred to any other Station. When he retires on March 31st, 2008, he will have worked at the same station for over 35 years! Even when Bill began acting as a Captain, he stayed at 314. When he was promoted to Captain on July 22nd 1993, he stayed at 314, but moved over to B-1 (D) shift. During those years, Station 314 has been one of the busiest fire halls in Canada; and for that reason, it is possible that Bill has run more calls than any other fire fighter in Canada! Today, Station 314 still has the original gas lamps fixed to the walls. Bill says that although the lamps were not in use anymore, when one turned the gas valve open in the 70’s, the smell of the gas was still noticeable. The coal bins in the basement were only removed from the Station in the last ten years. For many years, Bill and his crew took their wives on a trip to Niagara Falls each December. They stayed on the American side because they could buy more with the exchange rate. The guys from other stations on his platoon began to join them and this annual trip grew to a point where 20 couples went on the trip together. Another trip they often enjoyed was to go to Centre Island in the summertime, for the annual union picnic. Another point of interest about Bill is that he has kept a diary, logging every day he went to work, for his entire career! Many fire fighters say that a diary would be a good idea, but Bill has actually done it. Most fire fighters find that
on Bill Hawley the calls tend to blend together over time, and it is hard to remember most of them. Bill’s diary has allowed him to look back at an incident, or many incidents, any time he wants. Bill has played hockey and baseball since he got on the job. He ran the fastball league until its demise in 1992. At the time this article was sent to the printer, Bill is looking forward to playing hockey at the Southern Ontario Hockey Tournament at the end of February. He plays with a team called “The Toronto Oldtimers”. Most fire fighters help out with volunteer functions, and Bill is no exception. He has worked with the Timmy Tyke hockey tournaments, Muscular Dystrophy boot drives, Ronald McDonald House functions, and has assisted at numerous Union functions as well. He joined the Toronto Fire fighters War Veterans Association in 1990 and is currently the 1st Vice-President, and also a long standing member of the Colour Party. One of the calls that Bill remembers well is the Confederation Life fire on June 17, 1981. He was the driver, with Jack Sharp as his Captain, and Ed Lynch and Dave Wyatt were on the back of the truck. While working a night shift, at 6:00 pm they were dispatched to a fire at Victoria Street and Richmond Street. They came to the scene of a working fire, and their first task was to pump into Aerial 7 (325). It was a large three alarm fire. What keeps this fire in Bill’s mind is the fact that during the fire, the top floor collapsed, and fell three floors before stopping. There were many guys in the building when this happened, and no one knew for sure who was caught in the collapse. After search and rescue efforts, Ed Lynch, George Evans, and Ted McConnell were recovered, and although they had sustained serious injuries, they
were still alive! All three of these guys were treated in Riverdale Hospital for months before they were released. They all returned to their normal firefighting duties. Bill says that he has worked with many outstanding fire fighters during his career who taught him many valuable skills. He hopes that he has been able to pass these skills on to the crews he has worked with. He has lost many good friends over the years. They are gone, but they have not been forgotten. Five of the guys that Bill started with in 1972, are still on the job. The biggest change during his time on the job is the improvements in the trucks and equipment we use. The only negative part of the job for him is the amount of time fire fighters spend away from their families. When he remem-
bers all of the times he spent Christmas, or other holidays away from home, he knows it was necessary, but unfortunate. He has enjoyed good health throughout his career. Aside from time off for a broken wrist, and then again for a broken bone in his foot, he appreciates the fact that he has not needed much of his sick time. Up until the end of 2007, Bill had responded to 24,086 incidents during his career. He will probably add 150 more during his last three months before retirement. Is this a record? No one knows for sure. What is known, however, is that there are not many other fire fighters who have documented evidence of all of their calls. After retirement, Bill plans to take it easy for a while, and hopes to play hockey five days a week. S P R I N G 2 0 0 8 | F I R E WATCH 21
AGE OF CURRENT FLEET YEAR
CAB & CHASSIS
CAB & CHASSIS
CAB & CHASSIS
2005 1997 2007 2007 2007 2004 2006 1996 2007 2004 2002 2002 2007 2002 2004 2005 1997 1996 2000 1999 2005 1997 2001 2005 2007 2004 1998 1989 2005 2005 1995 2007 2005 2007 2004 2000 2001 1998 2001 2005 2007 2007 1996 2002 2002 2005
111 P 112 R 113 A 113 P 114 A/L 114 P 114 T 115 R 116 P 121 P 122 R 123 P 125 P 131 A 131 P 132 P 133 A 133 R 134 R 135 A 135 P 141 P 142 A 142 P 143 P 143 S 145 Decon 145 HAZ 145 P 146 P 211 P 212 P 212 WT 213 A 213 P 214 R 215 A 215 P 222 A 222 P 223 P 224 P 224 R 225 R 226 A 226 P
Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Freightliner Spartan E-One Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan
2002 2007 1999 2000 2007 2004 2004 1991
227 P 231 A 231 A/L 231 R 232 P 232 S 233 P 234 HMS
2007 1996 1987 2002 2007 2000 2007 2007 2007 2004 2004 1998 2007 1992 1998 2001 2002 1999 2002 2001 1995 1995 2004 2007 2006 1997 2000 2000 1998 1997 2006 2005 2005 2002 2004 1998 2006
234 P 235 R 235 TRS 241 R 242 P 243 R 244 A 244 P 245 P 311 P 312 A 312 P 313 P 313 S 314 P 315 A 315 P 321 A 321 R 322 A 322 P 323 P 324 A 324 P 325 A 325 P 325 R 326 R 331 P 331 S 331 T 332 HAZ 332 High Rise 332 P 333 A/L 333 P 333 T
Spartan Spartan GMC Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Ford-Box Truck Spartan Spartan International Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Freightliner Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan E-One Spartan Spartan Spartan Freightliner Am. La France E-One
2007 2006 1997 1995 1997 2007 2005 2007 2002 2002 2007 1994 2002 2002 2002 2007 1997 2002 1999 2001 2007 2006 2000 2007 2002 2004 2007 1997 2007 2007 2007 1999 2005 1998 2000 2002 2001 1992
334 P 335 P 335 B P 341 A 341 R 342 P 343 P 344 P 345 A 345 R 411 A 411 R 412 R 413 P 413 R 415 P 415 PL 421 A 421 A/L 421 R 422 P 423 A 423 R 424 P 425 R 426 A 426 P 426 R 431 P 432 P 432 PL 433 A 433 P 434 R 435 R 441 A 441 R 442 HMS
2007 2007 1998 2002 2004 1994 1992
442 P 443 P 444 R 445 P 445 S COM 10 COM 30
Spartan Ford E-One E-One Volvo Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan E-One Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan E-One Spartan GMC Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Freightliner Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Spartan Ford F, Super Duty Spartan Spartan Am. La France Spartan Spartan Fleetwood 32 International
Mack Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Freightliner Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan E-One Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan
CAB & CHASSIS
1990 1990 1993 1992 1993 1990 1990 1992 1990 1990 1989 1993 1993 1989 1990 1988 1993 1987 1989 1992
Spare A5112 Spare A5212 Spare Old A/L 333 Spare Old A113 Spare Old A222 Spare Old A324 Spare Old A325 Spare Old A325 Spare Old A423 Spare Old P116 Spare Old P121 Spare Old P244 Spare Old P443 Spare Old S232 Spare Old S445 Spare P5123 Spare P5212 Spare P5214 Spare P5241 Spare P5241
E-One E-One International Spartan Spartan Mack Mack Spartan Mack Peterbuilt White GM Spartan Duplex Mack International Mack Spartan Mack White GM Spartan
1987 1990 1991 1990 1993
Spare P5321 Spare P5323 Spare P5331 Spare P5422 Spare P5424
TFS New Vehicle Status as of March 22, 2008
# of Budget Vehicles Year
CAB & CHASSIS
Mack White GM Spartan White GM Spartan
Spare P5431 Spare P5435
Spare P5442 Spare S5326B
CAB & CHASSIS
Mack Spartan Gladiator Duplex Mack 600
* 2008 scheduled moves have been included
Builder Chassis/ Body
The Chassis has been inspected at Spartan Motors and delivered to Smeal Fire. The bare aluminum body will be inspected by the end of March while the aerial device is being constructed. The ﬁnished truck should be inspected and delivered in May.
A requisition and speciﬁcation have been sent to Purchasing for this order to be sent to bid. The ﬁnal number of trucks in this order will be determined by the ﬁnal budget amount allotted.
PK Van Bodies Lt.
The main body cutouts have been done, windows installed, the body has been insulated and painted. The cabinets are ready for installation once the interior trim work is done. Delivery is expected by the end of April, then the various radio systems have to be installed, training etc.
A requisition and speciﬁcation have been sent to Purchasing for this order to be sent to bid when the budget is passed.
3/4 ton pick-up for Fire Hose delivery
The original bid for this truck was stalled in the costcontainment process late 2007. Will be re-tendering in April.
A replacement Command Vehicle will be speciﬁed soon to replace the South unit. This will provide two identical new units, and leave a good spare for use when either are out of service, or on-scene for extended periods.
Fire Prevention Cars
Replacement cars will be ordered for Fire Prevention staff pending Budget approval.
A replacement panel van will be ordered for the Quartermaster pending budget approval.
Replacement Platoon Chief cars may be ordered pending budget approval. SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 23
Toronto Fire Services Staff Complement By Rank (As of July 2007)
Management/ Excluded Staff/ Local 79
Fire Prevention and Public Education Communications Staff Services
98 60 7
26 9 7
5 4 2
3 2 6
132 75 22
Information and Communication Systems
Professional Development and Training
Emergency Planning and Research
3 2,790 14
Health and Safety Operations Senior Management Ofﬁces
Note: Based on approved positions as reﬂected in the approved organizational chart. *Includes Administrative Assistant at Dr. Forman’s Ofﬁce
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
P332 P314 R325 P313 P312 R426 P132 P331 R231 P333 P142 P442 P223 P232 P325 P315 R134 R133 P344 P222 P114 R345 R441 P415 R413 P433 P443 P146 P234 P445 R112 P322 R115 P141 P226 R421 R243 R341 P324 R122 P135 P244 P426 P143
4997 4450 4184 3629 3455 3196 3168 3167 3158 3040 3036 3030 3029 2868 2863 2846 2836 2799 2747 2718 2688 2639 2587 2572 2550 2539 2536 2493 2448 2441 2432 2426 2422 2405 2398 2384 2343 2330 2321 2311 2284 2283 2264 2252
4995 4225 3943 3427 3274 3168 3060 3469 3096 3058 3301 3019 2853 2677 3229 3070 2778 2713 2608 2644 2996 2529 2415 2386 2399 2303 2629 2483 2282 2308 2747 2390 2390 2329 2408 2619 2160 2583 2181 2447 2277 2312 2158 2230
0.04% 5.33% 6.11% 5.89% 5.53% 0.88% 3.53% -8.71% 2.10% -0.59% -8.03% 0.36% 6.17% 7.13% -11.33% -7.30% 2.09% 3.17% 5.33% 2.80% -10.28% 4.35% 7.12% 7.80% 6.29% 10.25% -3.54% 0.40% 7.27% 5.76% -11.47% 1.51% 1.34% 3.26% -0.42% -8.97% 8.47% -9.79% 6.42% -5.56% 0.31% -1.25% 4.91% 0.99%
45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88
R423 P311 P323 P113 R235 R411 R225 P245 P145 P131 P111 P121 R435 P413 R224 P334 P233 P343 P123 R321 P242 R444 P342 P212 R326 P213 P431 P227 P432 R241 P422 R434 R412 R425 P424 P125 P211 P224 R214 P215 P116 P335 V335 P346
2234 2228 2130 2126 2123 2096 2084 2061 2048 1992 1997 1958 1898 1896 1823 1818 1795 1794 1768 1765 1752 1748 1742 1714 1709 1704 1664 1639 1608 1488 1462 1453 1378 1368 1333 1298 1274 1212 1149 1057 358 117 44 43
2122 2216 2197 2265 2173 2134 2312 2046 2100 1868 1881 1962 1895 2074 2006 1899 1851 1875 1930 1798 1609 1518 1711 1610 1541 1803 1640 1533 1611 1509 1377 1368 1206 1354 1344 1523 1001 1182 1265 1090 n/a 141 51 31
5.28% 0.54% -3.05% -6.14% -2.30% -1.78% -9.86% 0.73% -2.48% 6.64% 5.10% -0.20% 0.16% -8.58% -9.12% -4.27% -3.03% -4.32% -8.39% -1.84% 8.89% -15.15% 1.81% 6.46% 10.90% -5.49% -1.46% 6.91% -0.19% -1.39% 6.17% 6.21% 14.26% 1.03% -0.82% -14.77% 27.27% 2.54% -9.17% -3.03%
Note: Based on Information provided by TFS
-17.02% -13.73% 38.71%
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 25
Specialty and Support 2007 Run
8.07% 15.33% 6.17% 1.96% 2.91% 1.99% 1.37% 3.62% 1.19% -4.54% -4.03% 5.99% 9.89% 14.51% 4.61% -3.60% 14.31% 10.67% 0.00% 5.64% 7.61% -14.36% 2.38% -3.02% 10.75% -0.21% -30.51% -0.11% 5.88% 36.79% -41.16%
2393 2224 2398 2094 2062 1806 1749 1686 1687 1696 1636 1469 1501 1365 1268 1345 1415 1125 1153 1218 1118 1051 1267 1008 995 865 941 1321 714 530 1103 n/a
2586 2565 2546 2135 2122 1842 1773 1747 1707 1619 1570 1557 1500 1500 1452 1407 1364 1286 1276 1218 1181 1131 1085 1032 965 958 943 918 756 725 649 295
A325 A312 A142 PL114 A231 A315 T331 A244 A133 A131 A222 A333 T113 A213 A441 A322 A426 PL432 A2269 PL415 A433 A345 A421 A324 A341 A423 A135 A125 A411 A215 A311 A321
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Note: Based on Information provided by TFS
10 CMD10 153
13 TRS235 4
52.03 27.26 56.97 32.55
52.61 27.66 58.94 34.16
OPERATIONS Captain Average Age Captain Average Years of Service DC Average Age DC Average Years of Service
52 51 53 40 66 161 85 94 107 0 136 74 132 70 71 71 129 196 186 133 118 76 112 94 89 58 85 102 71 75 58 33 37 47 18 15 3 7 5 1 1
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972 1971 1970 1969 1968 1967
60 49 60 50 91 65 98 124 70 65
Notes: OfďŹ cer Demographics based on operations division. Based on date as of January 1, 2008
1 2 3 0 0 3 8 4 9 6 8 7 9 1 1 1
# of members
# Of District Chief per each service year
Average age when retiring since 1998 Average years of sevice when retiring
49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
District Chief years of Service
2007 45.46 17.13 28.16
1 4 13 10 4 29 23 20 27 72 85 51 49 47 21 29 26 7 2 1 3 2 1 1
# of District Chiefs each age
2006 44.91 16.77 28.01
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Age of District Chiefs
L-3888 Average Age L-3888 Average Years of Service Average Age when starting
1 3 8 6 9 13 24 33 53 37 46 54 51 48 36 36 23 18 12 7 5 3 2
# of Captains per each service year
1 1 0 2 5 1 2 6 16 10 10 2 4 3
39 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
Captain years of Service
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
# of Captains each age
# of members each age 1 0 4 3 5 10 10 19 42 34 43 58 75 77 73 74 101 98 106 110 135 148 144 154 147 154 158 145 115 130 107 93 90 85 58 53 35 32 20 19 5 4 6 1
Age of Captains
Age of 3888 members 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 27
2007 Year End Call Total
2007 Total Apparatus Runs
312,930.50 6598.6 815 6383.5 5855.3 5958.7 16.40 338,558.00
District Chief Cars & Platoon Chiefs Apparatus
Salaries and BeneďŹ ts Materials and Supplies Equipment Services and Rents Contribution to Reserves Interdepartmental Charges Other
Operations Fire Prevention and Public Safety Communications and Operational Support Professional Development and Mechanical Support Headquarters
50.8% overall increase since 1998
Net Operating Budget
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
$218,964.9 $217,885.7 $230,728.0 $248,428.6 $262,067.4 $277,075.5 $297,944.9 $303,829.4 $327,746.2 $330,143.9
-0.5% 5.9% 7.7% 5.5% 5.7% 7.5% 2.0% 7.9% 0.7%
2003 –2007 TFS RESPONSE STATISTICS (AT TIME OF DISPATCH – CAD DATA) CALL TYPE 401* Check Call Carbon Monoxide Fire Alarm Ringing Fire Gas Leak Hazardous Materials Island Lake Mutual Aid Medical Call Police Assist Rescue Suspicious Substance Test Event** Vehicle Incident incl. Fire Water Problem Wires Down
2007 n/a 7,181 3,596 27,978 9,543 622 1,949 73 6 1 75,177 31 2,381 41 173 11,628 670 1,465
2006 n/a 7,003 3,652 28,196 8,719 496 1,877 97 14 1 73,140 31 2,199 21 109 12,198 573 1,042
2005 n/a 7,509 3,828 29,063 9,362 531 1,738 76 6 2 72,645 28 2,311 31 63 11,436 917 970
2004 11 5,647 2,992 31,885 8,724 765 1,144 55 0 3 64,383 26 2,070 44 n/a 11,080 910 761
2003 28 5,903 2,927 32,786 9,259 966 837 83 12 1 65,721 33 2,081 42 n/a 10,978 644 966
TOTAL NUMBER OF INCIDENTS % Change
TOTAL NUMBER OF UNIT RESPONSES % Change
Notes: *Category removed from CAD in 2005 ** Category added to CAD in 2005
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 29
SURVIVAL & RESCUE &
The Low Air Alarm—What is it? BY TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS GEOFF BOISSEAU and JOHN MCGILL
OFTEN ON THE FIREGROUND, WE HEAR LOW AIR ALARMS ACTIVATED. IT MIGHT BE OUR OWN, OUR PARTNERS, OR SOMEONE WORKING IN THE SAME AREA OF THE STRUCTURE. IN FACT, WE HEAR LOW AIR ALARMS SO OFTEN, WE HAVE BECOME IMMUNE TO WHAT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LOW AIR ALARM REALLY IS. WHEN A FIRE FIGHTER HEARS THE LOW AIR BELLS START TO RING, THE FIRST THOUGHT IS, “I HAVE 5 MORE MINUTES OF AIR TO FINISH A TASK AND THEN MAKE AN EXIT.”
his has become an extremely dangerous habit that we have developed and it puts our fellow ﬁre ﬁghters and ourselves at unnecessary risk. The simple fact is, if you wait until your low air alarm activates to exit, it might be too late; too late to save yourself, to save a buddy, or to go home to your family that expects you at the end of your shift.
THE THIRTY-MINUTE CYLINDER One of the biggest misunderstandings in the ﬁre service is the thirty-minute cylinder. Its name alone is very misleading. The term thirty-minute cylinder is based upon NIOSH approval ratings for SCBA cylinders. NIOSH determines that a cylinder has a duration of 30 minutes based upon a system that extracts air at 40 liters/minute from a cylinder through the regulator. A full 30 min cylinder should have a minimum of 1200L of air. So if you do the calculation: 1200L of air, used at a rate of 40 L/min, you get 30 minutes of air. This is where the term 30-minute cylinder originated. Now consider this: A 40L/min ﬂow rate is considered a moderate workload. If you look at the NFPA approval ratings for the same cylinders, they use an entirely different ﬂow rate. The NFPA extracts air at 100 liters/minute for the 30
same test. This is to ensure the regulator will function properly at a very high work rate. Using the same calculation as before, we now have the same ‘30 minute’ cylinder lasting only 12 minutes! Naming cylinders based upon duration is a very dangerous practice. The name is based solely on the amount of air contained in the cylinder and an estimated volume of air usage. However, this air usage does not consider factors such as: stress, physical ﬁtness, environmental factors, heat, and a multitude of
your alarm goes off at 25 percent of your cylinder, how much time do you REALLY have? Its not 5 minutes of air anymore is it? It’s more like 3 minutes until empty —maximum. So if 25 percent may not be enough time to exit, why is it the standard? The following excerpt is taken from the website www.timetoexit.com, a site sponsored by the Columbus Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 67. This Local has been lobbying to update the low air alarm percentage.
NAMING CYLINDERS BASED UPON DURATION IS A VERY DANGEROUS PRACTICE. THE NAME IS BASED SOLELY ON THE AMOUNT OF AIR CONTAINED IN THE CYLINDER AND AN ESTIMATED VOLUME OF AIR USAGE.
other factors that directly affect the user. I think we all agree that it is not very often that a cylinder lasts thirty minutes on the ﬁre ground.
LOW AIR ALARM—WHY 25 PERCENT? Think about this: If you are working at a high work rate, you will be using approximately 100 L/min. At this work rate, your cylinder will last a maximum time —from full to completely empty—of 12 minutes. You may not have been working very long when your low air alarm goes off, probably less than 10 minutes. If
In fact, the 25 percent upper limit has been in place prior to 1960. The original rationale for the 25 percent stipulation is not known for certain; however, it is probably due to the following: When the respirator rules and regulations were originally written, they were written based upon the ‘what is’ of the day (i.e. if a respirators remaining service life indicator alarmed between 20 and 25 percent, then that is what made it into the regulation). The original regulations reﬂected the technology of the day: • Early SCBA cylinder technology limited
bottle pressure to 1800psi, resulting in limited air volume that could be reasonably carried. The result was a compromise in exit time in order gain maximum beneﬁt of the SCBA for ﬁreﬁghting purposes. Today’s air bottles do not pose this same limitation. • Prior to the 1980’s, ﬁre ﬁghting strategy consisted of limited offensive ﬁre ﬁghting. Today, deep offensive ﬁre ﬁghting is the norm.
• Fire ﬁghting protective clothing has evolved considerably since that time, allowing for much deeper offensive ﬁre ﬁghting to occur. • The large and complex (vertical and horizontal) structures of today were uncommon at the time this regulation was established. That is why we have to stop waiting for the bells to go off inside a hazardous environment to tell us when to make
an exit. Our time to exit is based upon factors such as: breathing rates, workload, location, and exit distances. These are serious considerations for a serious problem.
WHAT DOES THE LOW AIR ALARM MEAN? It means you are dangerously low on air. According to most SCBA manufacturers, the activation of a low air alarm is an emergency. In 2006, NFPA 1404, Standard for Fire Service Respiratory Protection Training was updated. It now mandates that ﬁre ﬁghters should be out of the hazard before the low air alarm even activates. That alarm is notifying not only you but also others around you that you are now on reserve air. If the alarm activates, immediate action is required and this may include a call for help. We as a whole have become complacent in our attitudes towards our own personal safety. We are still reactive, rather than proactive. Everything we do is based upon, “how it has always been done.” As ﬁre ﬁghters, we continue to work inside a burning structure until our low air alarm activates; as incident commanders, we develop work cycles and strategies based upon cylinder durations that are determined by name rather than workloads. Regulating industries are reluctant or slow to change outdated standards. Given this knowledge, we have to take more responsibility for our own personal safety. We need to start exiting hazardous environments before our low air alarms go off. If we consider the 25 percent left in our bottle as our emergency reserve, in case things go bad on the way out, it will give us some extra time for an emergency. Fire ﬁghting, on some levels, hasn’t changed in a hundred years, but on many, it has. The technology and information that exists today will make our jobs safer. As individuals and departments, it is up to us to embrace new technology and the information available to us in order to make the necessary changes and to make sure everyone gets home. SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 31
STATION 116 BY JON LASIUK, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER
oronto’s newest ﬁre station opened for business over the holiday season. Station #116 went into service on December 20th. Located at 2755 Old Leslie Street, the new station is a culmination of more than a decade of planning to improve ﬁre service in an area previously determined to suffer from lengthy response times.
The city council of the old City of North York approved construction of the new station in the mid-1990’s. Construction was supposed to start in 1999-2000 but the municipal amalgamation of 1998 put those plans on hold. A wholesale review of fire services throughout the new City of Toronto was undertaken in 1998-1999, resulting in the “KPMG” study being released in October 1999. That study reiterated the need for the construction of a new fire station near Sheppard Avenue, between Leslie Street and Bayview Avenue. This would be one of seven new stations recommended by either the KPMG consultants or T.F.S. staff that year. Fire protection in this area of the city has grown incrementally over the last five decades, reflecting the area’s progression from a mainly rural area before the 1950’s to the thoroughly urban, medium density community that we find today. Initially served by just two fire halls—#5 Hall on Bond Avenue and #6 Hall at York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue, the area saw an explosion of growth throughout the 1960’s with the completion of the “Toronto By-Pass” (otherwise known as Highway
Constructed on city land at the south-west corner of Old Leslie Street and Leslie Street, ground was broken for the new building in September of 2006. Meanwhile, the area surrounding the new hall is currently in the midst of a major revitalization. Later this year the address of the hall is slated to change to 1 Esther Shiner Boulevard when this new street opens to provide access to a large new development located west of the adjacent CN Rail tracks. This is the fifth fire hall to be constructed in Toronto since 1998, as either a brand new station or a replacement for an older building. It is a large, two-storey design, with two very deep drive-through bays. Living quarters for the crew of Pumper 116 are predominately on the second floor, with the kitchen having large corner windows providing great views of Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue to the north. The dormitory is placed in the centre of the floor plan to minimize noise pollution from the street.
IN A NOD TO HISTORY, THERE ARE TWO BRASS POLES ALLOWING QUICK ACCESS TO THE APPARATUS FLOOR. THE FLOOR WATCH IS CENTRALLY LOCATED WHILE A HOSE TOWER IS PLACED AT THE REAR OF THE BUILDING.
401) and the beginning of Highway 404 as far north as Sheppard Avenue. This rapid growth in York Mills and the Bayview Village area led to the construction of new fire halls on Seneca Hill Drive (1969), Bayview Avenue (1979), and next to the Inn on the Park on Leslie Street (1985). While all of these new fire halls served to fill significant holes in response times in their communities, the area around Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue continued to suffer from unacceptable running times. All that is no more with the opening of Fire Station #116. The station itself is staffed with a single pumper. Pumper 116 itself was organized at Station 125 on August 21st, 2007, with the crew of Aerial 125, which was disbanded. The first run for Pumper 116, recorded out of its new hall, was for alarm bells at 1750 Finch Avenue East at 17:22 hours on December 20th.
In a nod to history, there are two brass poles allowing quick access to the apparatus floor. The floor watch is centrally located while a hose tower is placed at the rear of the building. The Toronto Fire Services have taken the opportunity to include new offices for the North Command Fire Prevention Division in the plans for this new fire hall. A significant portion of the first floor is dedicated to Fire Prevention use. Also within the building are new quarters for the North Division Commander and his staff. Fire Station #116 is ideally situated to provide quick coverage to a significant portion of Highway 401, as well as parts of Highway 404 and the north end of the Don Valley Parkway. Just as importantly, Pumper 116 is now located directly across the street from the North York General Hospital. This 600 bed hospital, specializing in pediatric surgeries among other
things, is home to one of the busiest emergency wards in Canada. With more than 96,000 patients walking through the hospital’s doors each year, Toronto Fire Fighters are now in the perfect position to immediately react to any emergency on hospital grounds. Among other special hazards now responded to by the men and women of Fire Station #116 is the Toronto Transit Commission’s Sheppard Avenue Subway line. Opened in 2002, the line links the Yonge Street subway in the west to Fairview Mall in the east. A lengthy portion of this line, including three subway stations and two emergency escape buildings, lie within Station 116’s running area. The new fire hall will allow for a much quicker response to most of the Sheppard Subway. As Toronto’s 82nd full-time fire station, Fire Hall #116 provides an important addition to the communities of Bayview Village and York Mills. The second “expansion” fire hall to be constructed since amalgamation, this new location will undoubtedly quickly prove its worth many times over in the years to come.
Apparatus Assigned to Station 116 Pumper 116 received a new 2007 Spartan/Seagrave triple combination pumper on January 29th. It carries shop # 24140. SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 33
A History of YORK
FIRE BY JON JONES, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER
t the turn of the century, York Township was largely rural and undeveloped. Fire protection was left to the residents and their neighbours. Households were required by law to own two leather fire buckets. Occasionally, apparatus from Toronto Fire Department would respond to York. But the poor roads and lack of water sources made it difficult, if not impossible for them to be effective. Once a fire started, the best people could do was try to stop its spread to other buildings. The township experienced a boom just prior to World War I, which resulted in unprecedented growth as one of Toronto’s first suburban areas. As neigbourhoods sprang up, the township established a water works with new hydrants being installed. Organized volunteer fire brigades were established in different districts. “Reel houses” were built and maintained by volunteer brigades. Often, these reel houses, or “sheds” were built on the very sites where fire halls would later be built, as is the case with Silverthorn, Mount Dennis and
Fairbank halls. As the suburbs spread further north, new reel houses were constructed to augment the halls, as was the case in Beechborough (north of Silverthorn) and Lyons (later “Marlee”) at Riddelle (north of Fairbank). The latter two reel houses were used into the mid 1930’s, until made redundant by a larger full-time staff, and motorized apparatus at the permanent halls. Volunteer firemen would rush to the reel house to get a hose reel to pull to the fire after being summoned by the ringing of large cast alarm bells. One of these bells has been preserved as a monument, and sits on the front lawn of Toronto Fire Services Station #341 on Oakwood Avenue.
FROM MANPOWER TO HORSEPOWER The Fairbank volunteers adapted an old wagon to hold hose, ladders and equipment. With the help of a couple of borrowed horses, the equipment could make it to the scene and leave the men with enough energy to fight the fire. There was even an experiment to con-
nect a hose reel to a motorcycle to see if this was feasible. Motorized apparatus came in the mid 1920’s. In Silverthorn District, the firemen bought an old REO chassis and built their own truck to carry hose and a ladder. By 1928, the Amalgamated Fire Districts of York Township proudly boasted a modern fleet of motorized fire apparatus. These were the very trucks that would be in service when the York Township Fire Department was amalgamated under one chief, Ernie Woods. It was also the beginning of a paid, permanent township-wide fire department. This department was still supplemented by volunteers. Only volunteers could be hired to the permanent positions, when hirings were approved by council.
WAR ADJUSTMENT AND GROWTH Many large industries sprang up in York; many of them seeking cheaper land than was available in Toronto. Factories were soon converted to manufacture war goods and supplies.
A huge patriotic spirit swept through York Township, as hundreds of young men volunteered for His Majesty’s Service. Many of these were volunteer fire fighters. To the dismay of the Fire Chief, active fire fighters took advantage of the Township’s offer to guarantee employment for returning enlisted men, and left for posts with the armed forces both overseas and in Canada. Members of the Association who did not enlist supported the war effort by raising money for soldiers’ “comfort funds” through carnivals, balls and Christmas card sales. Members also supported the families of both volunteer and permanent fire fighters who enlisted by sending Christmas presents to their children, offering to help their wives with household maintenance, and sponsoring social events. The Chief was allowed to replace enlisted men with “temporary employees,” who were hired from the active volunteer lists. But as the economy grew, the Chief noted that volunteers were harder to get. He asked for more permanent staff. Levels started to increase after the war when the “temporary” men were made permanent, the soldiers returning from service were reinstated, and new jobs opened up for the other men returning from overseas.
In 1947, the change from a 72 hour week to a 56 hour week also made it necessary for more staff. However, even with more fire fighters, the Silverthorn Hall had to be closed because of inadequate staffing, and the poor condition of the hall. Expectations of the fire fighters also changed after the depression. The union was more active in labour issues, supporting striking workers and boycotts, as well as submitting bargaining briefs and processing grievances. They participated in all levels of organized labour, belonging to the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Provincial Federation of Ontario Fire Fighters, and the Toronto District Labour Council. A credit union is established in 1949, which will grow to serve all employees in the Township. York fire fighters never
ment, into being a full-time professional fire department. The York Township Fire Department also grew to meet the challenge. Between 1950 and 1959, fifty-four new fire fighters were hired, with large groups of recruits being added in 1952 (6), 1956 (11), and 1959 (26). In 1955, the first new fire hall built since the department became professional was erected at 6 Lambton Avenue in Mount Dennis to replace the Hollis Avenue hall built in 1921. This is now Station 421. The Association showed a greater level of sophistication in bargaining and labour-management issues during the 1950’s. The heightened expectations of employees after the war resulted in a workforce more willing to seek improved working conditions, greater
A huge patriotic spirit swept through York Township, as hundreds of young men volunteered... missed a local meeting or convention, and were proud to march in the Labour Day Parade, and participate in sports and recreation activities After World War II, the York Township Fire Department finally turned the corner from being a composite fire depart-
health and safety, and a higher salary. In 1952 The new Fire Departments Act was passed allowing fire fighters’ unions greater power in negotiations. Local 411 representatives attended several seminars and conventions to keep up with the changing times.
PROSPERITY AND TRADITION Members of the York Township Fire Department enjoyed continued prosperity, and better working conditions throughout the 1960’s. The decade began with a shift from the 56-hour work week to the 48-hour work week on March 1, 1960, and a further reduction to the 42-hour week in 1963. To accommodate the reduced work hours, large groups of recruits were hired. The department had the largest staff ever, and call volume from 1960 to 1970 rose by almost 100%.
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A History of York Fire ... Continued from page 35
During this period, the increasing dangers of the job were emphasized with the first line of duty death suffered by the York Fire Department. Fire Fighter Robert Ludlow perished while fighting a fire at the Loblaws Store at Dufferin and Eglinton on November 7, 1960. Chief Clifford Rigby became the second Fire Chief of the York Township Fire Department. Along with an active union, he brought several progressive operating changes to the department. Both officers and fire fighters began to participate in courses at the Ontario Fire College. A promotional system based on examination, rather than appointment, was instituted. Two modern, spacious fire halls were opened on Jane Street and Oakwood Avenue to replace older halls built in volunteer times. York Township was joined with the Town of Weston to form the Borough of York in 1967. In preparation, York Local 411 joined in talks with Weston Local 1209 in advance of the amalgamation. Executive members from both locals participated in meetings and bargaining sessions in advance of the actual amal-
like Downsview and Rexdale. Applicants for the job still had to live in the Township/Borough (or make the employer believe they did), but could move out after being hired. The sense of community within the department was weakening as the suburbs grew. While the 1960’s are remembered as turbulent and revolutionary times throughout North America, the same cannot be said for the fire department. Some did try to let their hair grow a bit, or sneak longer sideburns. But older officers tried to keep this type of “insubordination” in check. Tradition, and the old views were still dominant. The Local 411 minute books are filled with motions by younger members for changes to such things as vacation schedules, as well as requests for air conditioning, and bargaining submissions to end residency requirements and snow shoveling. But these were almost always outvoted by members who didn’t want to “rock the boat,” or who thought that these demands were asking too much. The turbulence of the sixties touched York as the members saw what was being expected of other fire fighters
The Local 411 minute books are filled with motions by younger members for changes to such things... gamation. After the municipalities united, members chose the name York Professional Fire Fighters Association, Local 411 for their association’s name. Members continued to participate in social activities including participation in parades for Labour Day and Remembrance Day, the Annual Ball and sports activities. While there was still a residency requirement early in the decade, the fire fighters were later allowed to live anywhere in Metropolitan Toronto. Many took advantage of this as fire fighters bought new homes in places
throughout the continent. Members voted to get a legal opinion on whether or not they had to turn their hoses on strikers or rioters if ordered to do so. This was done in advance of the International Association of Fire Fighters public relations campaign of the 1960’s relaying the message that “Fire Fighters Fight Fires... Not People.”
EVOLUTION AND ADVANCEMENT Borough of York fire fighters, now more comfortable with the amalgamation of
the last decade, welcomed the 1970’s with a new chief and deputy. However, Chief William Simpson’s deputy, Robert Billing, was only in his position a few days when he died unexpectedly. Arthur “Mike” Beardshall later assumed the Deputy’s position. He was promoted to Chief in 1976. York’s population was still generally increasing, but the makeup of the community was changing as people filled the voids left by residents who moved further out into the suburbs. York continued its trend of becoming one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Canada. Many cultures co-existed in this era, but one of the most dominant communities in York at that time was the Italian community. In response to this, the Borough of York Council supported initiatives to try to get more Italian-speaking people on the fire department. A plan to offer free Italian language lessons for those already employed did not work well for the fire department, so in the mid 1970’s, Council decided to give preference to people who were bilingual. Not wishing to display prejudice, the borough accepted a number of new recruits who spoke English, and at least one other language (not necessarily Italian). With residency requirements finally dropped, many members joined the trend of new home buyers, and moved even further out into the suburbs and the country. They settled in places like Milton, Newmarket, Mississauga and Barrie. However, this migration did not have a major effect on the participation of York fire fighters in off-duty events. Union meetings were well attended, and members still participated in Labour Day and Remembrance Day parades. The First Retiree’s Dinner-Dance was held in March of 1975, and several members participated in the York Firefighters Trumpet Band.
Working conditions generally improved during the 70’s, with several increases in health and employee benefits and a salary rate increase of almost 250% between 1970 and 1980. However, these were times of very high inflation with prices rising much faster than salaries. The Canadian government’s response to this was to establish the Anti-Inflation Board, and implement “wage and price controls.” These controls did nothing to freeze prices, but they did limit salaries and tie the hands of the negotiating committees. Residential development in York significantly increased with the construction and approval of several high-density housing projects in all areas of the borough. Most of these were high-rise apartments, but some townhouses were constructed. Many of the buildings were built by Metro Housing (now the Toronto Community Housing CorporatioTCHC), and presented special challenges to fire fighters because of their size, and because of the special needs of seniors and low-income families who lived there. Annual call volume slowly rose from a low of 2209 calls in 1970 to a high of 2865 at the end of the decade. But the average number of fires and medical responses were roughly the same throughout the whole period. One of York’s most dangerous fires occurred in May of 1973 at the Ashland Oil Company plant near Dufferin Street and Castlefield Avenue. York’s small department proved that it could handle most of its domestic emergencies on its own, but did accept help from surrounding areas when necessary. The favour was returned a couple of times. When three fire fighters perished in the Kimberly Clark fire in Etobicoke, York fire fighters staffed the stations so Etobicoke members could attend the funerals. When the infamous Mississauga train
derailment occurred in November 1979, one pumper was dispatched to the site after a request from Mississauga Fire for help from neighbouring departments.
COMMITTEES, CONCESSIONS AND CUTBACKS The 1980’s saw the most changes for the York Fire Department. Four different chiefs led the department in a time span of less than ten years. Mike Beardshall retired in 1982, leaving the post to Ron McCutcheon, who left in 1986. Bernie Moyle then took command until he became the Fire Marshal of Ontario in 1990, then W. Bruce Parker was promoted to the post. By the early 1980’s, all first line pumpers were equipped with Diesel engines with automatic transmissions, and air brakes. Two new pumpers purchased for Lambton and Oakwood carried separate foam tanks and on-board eductors, and were equipped with deck guns. Metro Toronto’s first telesquirt was also put into service at Oakwood fire hall. The reassignment of staff, and the later decision to staff a minimum four firefighters on a pumper, essentially removed two aerials from service permanently. One pumper was also regularly taken out of service in low staffing situations. Call volume increased steadily from 2865 runs in 1980 up to 5150 in 1990. Most fire fighters believed that the number of fires reduced in this period, but fire calls actually remained relatively steady, fluctuating between 700 and 800 per year throughout the decade. Medical responses and rescues increased substantially from a low of 685 at the start of the decade, to 2613 in
1990. Metropolitan Toronto Department of Ambulance Services (now TEMS) started its paramedic program as a pilot project in York, and the role of the fire fighter as first responder increased. Rescue services also expanded, with the purchase of a new Rescue vehicle (now called a “Squad”), and training in auto extrication and high angle rescue. An extension of Highway 400, called Black Creek Drive, increased the possibility for high-speed vehicle accidents and the possible need for extrication. Fire fighters were trained on duty, and at seminars held through community colleges and fire departments. A dedicated group of Rescue 10 crew members established the York Extrication Team, and became the self-taught North American champions at competitions for the rest of the decade, and into the 1990’s. Their last 1st place award was won while representing the Toronto Fire Services in Halifax in 1999. Coming into the 1980’s, the Local 411 Negotiating Committee signed an unprecedented five-year collective agreement with the City. The negotiated salary rate established, and indeed exceeded parity with police salaries. Salary was automatically indexed to Metro Police settlements until
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A History of York Fire ... Continued from page 37
1986. This agreement cemented the police parity argument for other fire fighters’ locals in Ontario, and ensured timely raises. However, as other unions continued to negotiate through these five years, York fell behind in the areas of benefits and working conditions. These improved benefits took a few years to negotiate when bargaining resumed. When bargaining did resume after the five-year agreement expired, concession bargaining was rampant across the province. While benefit and salary gains were substantial in the second half of the decade, two very important and rare benefits were lost. Firstly, a clause requiring union and management to agree to any changes to department rules and regulations was eliminated, effectively giving management the right to develop SOP’s and guidelines as a management’s right. Secondly, a lucrative sick credit payout on retirement available only in York was reduced to levels found in other fire fighters’ collective agreements. The 1980’s marked the time when power was taken from the Fire Chief, and bureaucrats at York City Hall had more to do with the day to day operations in the fire department. Health and safety legislation allowed fire fighters a safer work environment, more resources and access to information, but it also resulted in a larger bureaucracy at the municipal offices. Human resources played a larger role in hiring and employee discipline issues. To the old-school fire fighter, attacks on tradition were everywhere. Riding on the tailboard was discontinued. All crews had to wear SCBA, even after the fire was out. Computers were being used to file reports and process statistics, and the handy booster lines were gone. The 1980’s saw the Borough of York become a City, York’s first women fire fighters hired, and the application of
more conventional and regressive management style. Fire fighters were given the tools to excel at emergency responses, but were urged to give more back to the job by volunteering for committees, and getting out in the community to inspect, preplan and train. The expectation was to do more with less. As suppression staff was reduced and trucks were taken out of service, the Metropolitan Toronto Fire Emergency Service Plan was used more widely than ever, with neighbouring departments assisting, or filling in when there were major emergencies in York. The favour was seldom returned. To end the decade, a brand new headquarters station was built on Lawrence Avenue West to replace the small, aging building on Weston Road and the inadequate office and parking space at 6 Lambton Avenue. It was also designed with a large training facility, classroom and boardroom.
DEATH OF TRADITION The 1990’s began with a renewed sense of optimism. There was a new Chief who was responsive to the needs of his fire fighters, a new city council and a new headquarters station. A labourfriendly government was in office in the Provincial Legislature, and Brian Mulroney was about to become just a bad memory. Collective agreements were settled quickly without a great deal of animosity, and raises and benefit improvements were steady. Many of the fire fighters hired in the large groups of the 1960’s were being replaced with large groups of new recruits, and promotional opportunities were better than ever. The staffing crisis was being handled by a newly-negotiated timeand-a-half callback clause, and many fire fighters were enjoying the overtime. Meanwhile, the City of York was going broke. The Metropolitan Toronto Fire Emergency Service Plan was put
into effect more frequently, sometimes activated when York was attending a single fire response. As hard as the Chief tried to run his department and keep fire department issues among his staff, the city insisted on gaining more control. The fear of liability after the Port Colborne drowning of a fire fighter attempting a rescue prompted the OFM to require special courses in ice and water rescue. York participated fully, being the only fire department in Metro to train to enter the water for rescue purposes. Training in high angle rescue, confined space rescue and hazardous materials was also offered to all fire fighters. A new hazardous materials truck, Haz-Mat 9, was put into service. Although it was not permanently staffed, it was on call staffed by fire fighters from other trucks, and was used from time to time. The NDP government passed employment equity legislation to help make it easier for target groups to be hired. The City of York took the initiative to hire women and minorities in advance of the bill. Local 411 went on record as supporting the goals of employment equity legislation, and offered to participate in outreach programs and member education. However, the local was concerned about quotas, and the reduction of bona fide standards to accomplish this. Cooperation once facilitated decisions where the Corporation and Association had common ground. But in the 90’s even issues of mutual interest resulted in battles. Grievance numbers were up substantially. “Stage 3” grievances taken to the Administrative Committee of Council were denied as a matter of course. Human Resources personnel had the last say in these meetings, in private, while the Association was excluded from the room. The union wasn’t even allowed to hear what was being
said about any issue; let alone being able to refute statements or add clarification to the deliberations. Then it got worse. The Bob Rae government introduced the Social Contract Act, and management had to look for more savings in an almost bankrupt city. Arbitrary targets were set by the province for savings, and Council and staff decided that across-the-board percentage cuts would be applied, rather than prioritizing which services needed more resources. The Association tried to educate the politicians by providing a staffing report and showing how understaffed the York Fire Department already was. It fell on deaf ears. Negotiations on savings went nowhere as the City shirked it’s legal responsibility to “open the books” to the Association. An illthought clause in the Act made it possible for cities to freeze increment increases for the many fire fighters who were being promoted through the ranks, resulting in potential losses of up to $50,000 for some fire fighters. The Association’s position to “buy back” the increments was passed by the members. However, this wasn’t popular with many senior members, whose pensions would be affected by the salary rollbacks. Their service pay was also temporarily eliminated. But a deal was finally reached through mediation. During this time, Chief Parker’s contract was not renewed, and the City hired the first chief from outside the Department. Like the throng of itinerant staff coming and going at City Hall, it was rumoured that the new chief was hired mainly to make more cuts. And he did. Commissioned vehicles were taken out of service more frequently, until some of them were decommissioned altogether. A dual-pur-
pose “quint” was purchased for the Oakwood station to replace a pumper and an aerial. Callbacks to bring up staffing to minimum requirements were cancelled “when the budget ran out” very early in the year. Many times, there was no aerial in service at all in York. The MTFESP was activated regularly, and the Chief had no trouble requesting specific pieces of equipment and crews from surrounding communities. Fire Chiefs from North York and Toronto protested this situation, but York Council and City staff showed no shame. But the fire fighters felt shame. The fifty-year old myth held by surrounding
larger departments that York was too small to handle it’s own calls finally became true. By the March of 1996, a special plan in the OMERS pension allowed members with over 25 year’s service to retire without penalty. Within two weeks, twenty-three members retired on a “Type 7,” leaving vacancies that provided the City with even more savings through “gapping” and the replacement of senior fire fighters with probationers. The credit union, still housed in the Oakwood fire hall, was taken over by a larger bank-like credit union. Later it
closed down all operations in the city. Fire fighters were still committed to the public they served, some volunteered their time and energy to fight for better service. Members attended ratepayers meetings and distributed information pamphlets. When all of the other Metro departments started carrying defibrillators, the City refused because Council feared increased costs. Even if the defibrillators were provided for free, Council was concerned about the cost of maintenance. Local 411 members wrote letters to the editor, and engaged in political action until the issue got hot enough for Council to act on. Then the Tories came. Legislation was passed limiting bargaining rights, gutting the Fire Departments Act and forcing amalgamation of the municipalities in Metropolitan Toronto. As those who mismanaged us and cut us to the bone left with retirement bonuses and buyouts, fire fighters were left to deal with fewer resources and more calls. The amalgamation of the Provincial Federation of Ontario Fire Fighters and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, after an effective joint campaign against the province’s Bill 84 made it easier with all Metro locals having the same affiliation. York was an equal member of the newly-establish “Council of Trade Unions,” and had a lot to bring to the amalgamated fire department. Many of the gains that Local 411 pioneered became the starting point for negotiations of the newly-amalgamated Local 3888. Police parity, superior benefits, the value of sick-time credits, protective contract language, and a large number of senior officers are just of a few of the legacies that York shared with the other members of the Toronto Fire Services.
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 39
PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT FIRE SERVICES
BY DEBBIE HIGGINS, TORONTO FIRE SERVICE EXECUTIVE OFFICER
ver the past several years, the This eventually led to the creation of the nicipalities are working together to Performance Measurement and Benchidentify and share performance statisissue of performance measuremarking System (PMBS), through the tics, operational best practices and to ment has become an integral Office of the Fire Marshal. This project part of municipal reporting and budgetnetwork in a spirit of innovation and enwas put in place to standardize meatrepreneurship to push for even greater ing. As a result, the Fire Services have sures across the province for fire serbecome much more involved in the prosuccesses. Data collection for 2007 revices, using data that was largely availsults has begun, and will represent the cess, in an effort to develop measures able through Census Canada, MPAC, third year of reporting these measures. that are acceptable, meaningful, and caand the Standard Incident reports. The How do these three initiatives tie topable of comparison across municipal project involved fire service organizagether? Members of the OMBI Fire Serboundaries. tions for across the province, of all sizes, There are three programs in place vices Expert Panel have been sharing and was presented as developing a meainformation and working in partnership that have guided the development of surement program “for the fire service, with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office performance measures in the fire serby the fire service”. The PMBS system and their initiative to develop approprivices, as follows: includes an online tool for reporting and ate performance measures for all Fire The Municipal Performance Measuredata and comparing results, and is accesment Program (MPMP) was released in Services in Ontario, through the Perforsible by Chief of all departments across mance Measurement and BenchmarkOctober 2000 as a new initiative dethe province. ing System (PMBS). Some of these signed to provide taxpayers with useful information on service delivery, and municipalities PARTICIPATING MUNICIPALITIES ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO with a tool to improve IDENTIFY AND SHARE PERFORMANCE STATISTICS, OPERATIONAL those services over time. BEST PRACTICES AND TO NETWORK IN A SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AND The program required mu- ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO PUSH FOR EVEN GREATER SUCCESSES nicipalities to collect data With the advent of more sophisticated OMBI and PMBS performance measures to measure their performance in 9 core performance measures, City Adminisare being considered for use in the Minmunicipal service areas, one of which trators and Treasurers began to take noistry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s was fire services. Municipalities were tice, and hence the Ontario Municipal Municipal Performance Measurement required to collect data and input it into Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) was Program (MPMP). the new performance measurement developed. This process has once again schedules as part of the annual FinanOMBI municipalities have also propulled together expert panels from each vided suggestions and worked with the cial Information Return (FIR). of the service areas included in the proOntario Fire Marshal’s Office in their The release of the MPMP program regram, for the development of measures initiative to update the Standard Incisulted in the creation of expert panels in related to efficiency, effectiveness, and dent Report, which will improve the each of the service areas to continue to customer service, using the “balanced refine the measures and/or to develop way in which emergency response inforscorecard” approach. Participating mumation is collected in the future. alternate, more acceptable measures. 40
THE FOLLOWING IS A SAMPLE OF THE MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED, ALONG WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE OUTCOME IN VARIOUS MUNICIPALITIES. MUNICIPAL RESULTS FOR FIRE COST PER CAPITA CAN BE INFLUENCED BY: • Differences in population densities • The nature or extent of ﬁre risks, such as the type of building construction or occupancy (apartment dwellings versus single family homes) • Geography and topography, transportation routes, travel distances and trafﬁc congestion • The type and stafﬁng levels on ﬁre apparatus/vehicles
FACTORS THAT CAN INFLUENCE THE RATE OF FIRES IN A COMMUNITY INCLUDE: • The age and densiﬁcation of the housing stock • The extent of ﬁre prevention and education efforts • Socio-demographics • Enforcement of the ﬁre code
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 41
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INVESTMENT ADVISOR TEL. 416- 350-3042 FAX 416-350-3234 PNAGRA@DUNDEESECURITIES.COM “Dundee Securities Corporation, Member CIPF, is a Dundee Wealth Inc. Company”
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FACTORS THAT CAN INFLUENCE THE RATE OF INJURIES AND FATALITIES AND THE NUMBER OF FIRES IN A COMMUNITY, INCLUDE: • The age and densiﬁcation of housing (apartments/ houses) • Fire prevention/education efforts • Socio-demographics • Enforcement of the ﬁre code • Presence of working smoke alarms
RESPONSE TIMES IN THE URBAN AREAS OF MUNICIPALITIES CAN BE INFLUENCED BY MANY VARIABLES, INCLUDING: • Differences in population densities • The nature or extent of ﬁre risks, such as the type of building construction or occupancy (apartment dwellings versus single family homes) • Geography and topography • Transportation routes, trafﬁc congestion and travel distances • Stafﬁng levels on ﬁre apparatus/ vehicles
TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS PER 1,000 POPULATION. 2001 = 1.05 2002 = 1.06 2003 = 1.05 2004 = 1.04 2005 = 1.03 2006 = 1.02
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 43
Home Emergency Preparedness
lanning in advance for an emergency can save time and save lives. Discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, and other emergencies with everyone in your home, compile an emergency plan and post it where everyone can see it. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS—CHECKLIST Post emergency telephone numbers prominently in your home. Teach your children how and when to call for help. In Ontario, 9-1-1 is used to call for police, fire and ambulance. Remember to use 9-1-1 only in a true emergency. When you call 9-1-1, be prepared to state the nature of the emergency, what emergency service is needed, where it is needed and who you are. Stay on the line and follow the instructions of the emergency operator. Do not use the telephone during or after a disaster unless it is absolutely necessary. Emergency services will need all available telephone capacity. Non-emergency calls may overload the telephone system. In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate your home within seconds. Thus, develop an emergency escape plan and practice it often with your family. 44
In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard. Hazard-proof your home by securing shelves and placing large, heavy objects on lower shelves. Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds. Store flammable products away from heat sources. Strap the water heater to wall studs. Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors and gas vents. Learn first-aid and CPR. Courses are available through the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance and other community agencies. Prepare an emergency survival kit for each member of your family and keep it in a convenient place near an exit. The kit should contain: • first-aid supplies and necessary medication including prescription medication • extra eye glasses • candles and matches or a lighter (not for children) • non-perishable, ready to eat, nutritious foods that you like
• drinking water—at least one litre per person, per day • a blanket or sleeping bag • a change of clothing and footwear suitable for the weather rainwear • a flashlight and battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both • extra keys and cash • copies of important papers and phone numbers and recent • photos of family members • toilet paper and other personal supplies • a manual can opener and bottle opener • equipment such as cutlery, disposable dishes, a utility knife and garbage bags • a whistle (in case you need to attract attention) • playing cards, small games The kit should sustain each person for at least three days. Keep the kit in a backpack or duffel bag that can be easily carried. Check the kit periodically and replace the products whose “best before” dates have expired. In a serious emergency, you may be asked to leave your home. Lock your house, leave immediately and take your emergency survival kit with you. Wear protective clothing and footwear. Listen to a radio or television for the location of emergency shelters and follow instructions including routes specified by local emergency officials. Have an established meeting place and message point for members of your family who may become separated during an emergency. Consider a family friend or relative in a nearby community. If you go to an evacuation centre, register there so you can be located and accounted for. Keep your vehicle gas tanks at least half full at all times in case you have to evacuate and gas is not available.
Have an emergency kit in each vehicle.
network at 162.4 MHz (requires special VHF-FM radio).
This kit should contain: • ice scraper and brush • shovel • sand or kitty litter (the non-clumping kind) • blanket • candles and a deep can in which to burn them • matches • tow chain • warning light or flares • flashlight and batteries • warm hat and footwear • booster cables • first aid kit • road maps • fuel line deicer • fire extinguisher Communication during an emergency
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS —FIRST AID KIT Assemble a first aid kit for your home and car in the event of an emergency. A first aid kit might include: • sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes • 2 inch sterile gauze pads (4-6) • 4 inch sterile gauze pads (4-6) • hypoallergenic adhesive tape • triangular bandages (3) • 2 inch sterile roller bandages (3) • 3 inch sterile roller bandages (3) • scissors • tweezers • needle • moistened towelettes • antiseptic • thermometer • tongue blades (2) • petroleum jelly • safety pins, assorted • cleaning agent\soap • latex gloves (2 pairs minimum) • sunscreen • aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever • Syrup of Ipecac (to induce vomiting if advised by Poison Control Centre) • activated charcoal (if advised by Poison Control Centre) • Contact a local first aid\CPR organization to obtain a basic first aid\CPR manual.
During an emergency, warnings, updates, or other information may be broadcast on local radio and television stations. Instructions may also be delivered personally by emergency personnel or telephoned by automated dialling equipment. Having a battery-powered radio with a supply of fresh batteries is essential in the event of a power outage or evacuation. Weather information can be obtained on the television Weather Network (Rogers Cable 23) or the Weatheradio
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS —WATER Water is absolutely necessary for your survival. Stocking water reserves and knowing how to purify contaminated water should be one of your first priorities. You should store at least a three day supply of water for every member of your family. Children, nursing mothers and the ill will require more water than an average person. Additional water will be required for food preparation and hygiene. Even if your supplies run low, water should never be rationed. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. Water storage Water can be stored in clean plastic, glass, fibreglass or enamel-lined containers—never use a container that previously held a toxic substance. Before water is stored it needs to be treated with a preservative such as chlorine bleach to prevent growth of microorganisms. Chlorine bleach with 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite (and no soap) can be used. Four (4) drops of bleach per quart of water should be added, and then stirred. Seal water containers very tightly and store in a cool, dark place. Hidden water sources If an emergency strikes and leaves you without a stored supply of clean water to drink, there are some other indoor water alternatives: Ice cubes Ice cube trays can hold several glasses of potable water. Hot water tank Water contained within your hot water tank can be used in an emergency, however first make sure that the electricity or gas is shut off. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot water faucet. Remember: do not turn the electricity or gas back on when the tank is empty. Also, know the location of your incoming SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 45
Home Emergency Preparedness ... Continued from page 45
water valve. If there are reports of broken water and sewage lines you will need to turn this valve off to hinder contaminated water from entering your home. Plumbing water To use this source of water, let air into the plumbing by opening the highest faucet in your home and draining the water from the lowest one. Toilet reservoir tank (a last resort) Water stored in the reservoir tank must be purified first before drinking. Water beds (also a last resort) A water bed can hold up to 400 gallons of water, however, some may contain toxic chemicals that cannot be removed by many purifiers. If a water bed is a designated resource, drain it annually, refill it with fresh water containing 2 ounces of bleach for every 120 gallons EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS —FOOD When less active, healthy people can survive on half of their usual food intake for a period of time, and without food at all for a few days. Food, unlike water, may be rationed safely, except for children and pregnant women. To prepare an emergency food supply you can rely on many of the same foods you already eat: canned foods, dry mixes, etc. Canned foods don’t require cooking, water, or special preparation. You should aim to supply an emergency food stockpile that will keep your family self-sufficient for up to three days. What do you need? • canned soups and stews • canned baked beans and other vegetables • canned meats, fish, and poultry • canned fruits • crackers and biscuits • honey, peanut butter, syrup, jam, salt and pepper, and sugar • instant coffee and tea • powdered milk • cans or cartons of juice • specialty infant foods and formula 46
• vitamins, minerals, protein supplements • hard candy, chocolate bars • cocoa • non carbonated soft drinks • rice, pasta • canned pasta sauces • knives, forks, spoons • disposable cups and plates • manual can opener, bottle opener • fuel stove and fuel (follow manufacturer’s instructions —never use a barbecue indoors) • waterproof matches • plastic garbage bags Storage tips • keep food in a dry, dark, and cool spot in your home—not above 21º Celsius and not below freezing • keep food covered at all times • keep perishables (ie. crackers) in airtight containers or bags • packages of sugar, dried fruits, and nuts should be emptied into screw-top jars or containers in order to avoid pests • inspect all food containers for spoilage.
Shelf life of stored foods • rotate your stored foods • check the best before dates • use foods before they go bad and replace them with a fresh supply • date foods with a marker • stored foods should be of the highest quality possible • inspect reserves periodically for broken seals or dented containers • during the emergency, use perishables from your refrigerator first, freezer second, and finally nonperishables. How to cook if the power goes out • for emergency cooking you can use a fireplace, or a charcoal grill or camp stove—outdoor use only • food can be heated with candle warmers, chafing dishes, or even fondue pots • canned food does not require to be cooked • make sure your family members eat at least one nutrionally balanced meal per day • drink enough liquid to enable your body to function properly • consume enough calories to allow you to do necessary work.
EXECUTIVE TALK KEVIN ASHFIELD Your Local is involved throughout the year in many different Public Relation campaigns; a lot of this goes unnoticed by the citizens of Toronto as a whole. The biggest Public Relations machine we have is you, the members of this local; you are dealing with the public on a daily basis. Granted, many of the situations are not ideal but it is our job to help control the situations to the best of our abilities. The situations we can control are the times we are out picking up the many things we need to operate the stations on a day-to-day basis. When you are out, try to think of the public when parking your apparatus at stores and places of business, most of us don’t mind being in the limelight for doing our job but it’s not the most appealing place to be in when things go wrong because we forget to respect others around us. As the old adage goes, “treat others as you would expect to be treated,” and never forget, a smile goes a long way. Stay Safe
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 308 (office) (416) 605-3889 (cell)
RICK BERENZ The value of a Government Relations Committee coupled with a financially sound FirePac continues to pay huge dividends for us as Professional Fire Fighters. After a successful 2006 Municipal Campaign effort resulted in a City council comprised mainly of fire fighter friendly Councilors, L3888 Government Relations and FirePac concentrated all efforts on the 2007 fall Provincial election. After the Provincial Liberal party worked collectively with the fire fighters in the province by creating legislation that will allow us to bargain for improvements in our pension plan and increased the number of cancers recognized as job related, the Association felt confident in continuing our efforts to support a government that finally seemed to listen to our concerns. After screening candidates from all parties running in the 416 area, L3888 selected to support those that we believed truly were fire fighter friendly. As a result, the Liberals won a second term as a majority government which we believe will allow the fire fighters to pursue more key items on our agenda. As always, we need more of our members to assist as the time and effort required is very taxing on those committed to the cause.
email@example.com (416) 466-1167 ext. 302 (office) (416) 986-4130 (cell)
DAVE HOLWELL I would like to thank Frank and all those involved with Fire Watch for putting together such an outstanding magazine. The quality and variety of articles and information distributed in each edition goes a long way to enhancing the education and communication of our membership. It seems that over the last few years, the opportunity to communicate with one another has been limited. The attendance at membership meetings is way down, the interaction of crews in and out of the halls is less and the need for us to be involved is even greater. It takes time and effort to be involved. The desire to help a brother/sister fire fighter or even our association needs to be nurtured. A quote from a good friend comes to mind, “Get to know me man”. Without a personal or emotional tie to an issue or problem it is hard to step up and make a difference or help out. Our family and families are worth supporting. Take the time to get to know your co-workers, brothers/sisters and let’s do what we can to help when we can. We all may need a shoulder or helping hand at some point. Be safe, Buckle Up.
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 309 (office) (416) 807-7753 (cell)
RAYANNE DUBKOV I have been an executive board member for just over one year now and it has definitely been an interesting and busy year! Is it what I expected? I didn’t really know what to expect and if you haven’t done the job before you have no idea what to expect. It has definitely been a steep learning curve which is still ongoing.As most of you know I am the chair of C&B Committee, which I believe is a very important committee. We only have one chance to show our respects to the fallen; which is why the committee tries so hard to get people to attend the funerals. We arrange transport, book hotels and even buy a beer or two. So if you haven’t attended an out of town funeral, why not attend the next one and see how grateful the other locals are that we take the time to attend. You will be amazed at how many new contacts/friends you make. The committee is very busy now especially with the new legislation passed. This means that fire fighters, both active and retired, who have already passed away can now be recognized as a LODD, therefore their name can be added to the memorials in Toronto, Ottawa and Colorado. Make it your goal to attend at least one event in 2008.
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SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 47
EXECUTIVE TALK IAN HAMILTON The Health & Safety Committee has been busy throughout this term and has worked well with the major changes that occurred after the last election in regards to the committee make-up. We are still awaiting delivery of our second pair of structural fire fighting gloves, despite the contract having been signed with the supplier. One of the issues that we hope to go forward on over the next few months is looking at the testing of leather structural boots. The Health & Safety Section has completed an audit and we are in the process of implementing their recommendations. Ensuring that the information is complete and up to date on the station boards was one of the initial recommendations. One of the committees that has been ongoing has finally seen its report issued. All members should read and familiarize themselves with FCC 08-37 the report from the Air Protection Program. Always remember that if you have a Health & Safety concern, please contact a member of the committee.
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 306 (office) (416) 708-3887 (cell)
KEITH HAMILTON It’s been an extremely busy time for all of us on the Local 3888 Executive Board. I’ve been working with other Executive Officers on various committees as well as working diligently as Chair of the Finance Committee. My work with Local 3888 members who are assigned to modified duties, as well as handling various WSIB claims has been a constant source of work but has been an enjoyable new experience after many years on the Executive Board. On the pension side of things, I’m waiting for the implementation of the OMERS supplemental plans later this year; stay tuned for lots of information from the OPFFA and our Executive Board regarding these coming changes. On a little more of a personal side, I’m enjoying working with our Fire Watch Magazine, as well as other publications, by taking photos of fire fighters in action or having fun at various different events. As always, I’m looking forward to the new challenges that are always on the horizon.
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JOHN TUFFNER At a little over the halfway point of my first term, I am finally becoming comfortable in the role of Executive Officer and can say that I am beginning to enjoy myself. The past year has been a learning experience to say the least. I would like to thank all of the Stewards for their patience with me as I get used to being the Chair of the Stewards Committee. It has been a pleasure being involved on the Entertainment Committee. Seeing our members attend and enjoy the Retirement Dinner, Picnic and Christmas Party makes me value the bonds we form as fire fighters more than ever before. It has also been very rewarding getting to know some of the Muscular Dystrophy clients that our fund raising activities support through the Charity and Public Relations Committees. Having attended my first OPFFA Convention, IAFF Canadian Conference, IAFF Human Relations Conference and IAFF Affiliate Leadership Training Summit, I can tell you that our union leaders work at the highest level advancing the issues of our members. I will continue trying to do my small part. Please stay safe and support your local as best you can.
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 316 (office) (416) 951-3887 (cell)
SCOTT EYERS This is my third term as an Executive Officer of our local. As the Chair of the Grievance Committee, my duty is to ensure the rights and privileges enjoyed by all our members contained in our Collective Agreement are enforced. It is important that members become familiar with the most recent agreement. The grievance procedure is outlined in Article 28. The Grievance Committee often deals with members when the member is in a very stressful situation and when the potential ramifications of not acting properly are very high. It is important to note that our Association spares no expense when it comes to providing this membership with the best legal advice. That advice is usually given to the Grievance Committee and we try to share that advice with our members. Although the Grievance process is, by nature, “reactive”, the Committee is taking steps to be more proactive and offer more information to all members. We understand recent articles in this magazine have been viewed as contentious by some, but those articles offer a reality check to the Committee and all Association members. The advice we receive from our legal council is based on case law and arbitrated awards from across the country. It is important to note that these awards help to form the labour climate of today. What may have been an accepted practice in the past may now not be the case, as things evolve in the present. The Grievance Committee may not believe that certain practices must be followed, our legal council may not agree with the arbitrators who say those practices must be followed, but if arbitrators are saying this, then the practices must be followed. The Grievance Committee will try to communicate and better educate all members as we move forward. Please take the time to read our articles in Fire Watch; check our Association website for updates; and when in question, refer to our Collective Agreement or contact a member of your Executive. Rule number one – obey now – grieve later.
email@example.com (416) 466-1167 ext. 305 (office) (416) 948-9598 (cell) 48
EXECUTIVE TALK HUGH DOHERTY With spring beckoning we prepare for the ritual chores that it brings ... raking the yard, pruning the trees, fertilizing the lawn and the list goes on and on every year. This is no different to our various work locations. It is time to have a critical look at the day-to-day, mundane, tasks we are required to complete as fire fighters. But we need to ensure that those day-to-day duties are done, done safely, and that safe working procedure is reinforced. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the OPFFA annual Health and Safety seminar, in Toronto. Local 3888 sent the Command JHSC representative along with a member from each Command. The topics were very timely, with presentations on RIT, Air Management, and Presumptive Legislation that will ensure our chosen profession becomes safer. Your association needs your assistance to continue to strive for a safe work environment and if you have any concerns or questions about workplace health and safety please contact a member of the Association. Finally, if you know of a brother or sister in distress, family crisis, emotionally, mentally or is dependent on alcohol or drugs please contact EAP or a member of the Executive Board to offer assistance. Be safe and enjoy the spring with its many challenges and work safe.
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 303 (office) (416) 433-0446 (cell)
NEIL MCKINNON It’s been an interesting year-and-a-half back on the Executive Board, filled with many ups and downs. Not that I’m complaining. I did ask for it when I re-entered the game during the last set of elections. All that aside, as Chair of the Entertainment Committee, I’d like to thank everyone who helped out, attended, and made last year’s Children’s Christmas Party & the Local’s Annual Picnic such a huge success. Once again, I find myself planning next year’s events and wondering how it’s going to be possible to equal or even top this year’s. As a start, the dates have been set, July 9th for the Annual Picnic on the Toronto Island and December 13th for the Children’s Christmas Party at Variety Village. The rest of the planning will take a lot of time but I look forward to the challenge. Another position that has kept me busy, on a daily basis, is the Grievance Committee. As a member of that committee you are constantly involved in all sorts of situations and continually find yourself at odds with both management and the members you are there to defend. One thing that I have learned, if anything, is that telling the truth is always your best defence and that once you start stretching the truth you only dig yourself deeper. With that being said, as Chair of the Entertainment Committee I hope to see all of you at this year’s Picnic and/or Christmas Party but as a member of the Grievance Committee enjoy the rest of 2008 and I hope we don’t have to get together.
email@example.com (416) 466-1167 ext. 310 (office) (416) 659-2624 (cell)
JIM MORACHE What a year for Local 3888 and for fire fighters across the province. From the three elections at every level to presumptive legislation for cancers and a major overhaul to the OMERS pension plan, we have come a long way. Internally, this association is extremely active in mitigating issues and finding resolve for our members on a daily basis and it has done a great job in continuing to develop a strong relationship with both management and the city. I have personally worked hard at maintaining strong support for local Toronto charities and assisted the Government Relations Committee in probably one of the most successful campaigns in a provincial election in our history. Unfortunately, we have also had a large number of our members pass away in 2007 and our Ceremonial & Bereavement Committee gave them a very professional and well deserved sendoff. I look forward to the 2008 challenges ahead and to providing our membership strong leadership!
firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 466-1167 ext. 311 (office) (647) 220-8787 (cell)
KEVIN MCCARTHY The Benefits committee continues to come up with new ways to improve the services provided to the membership. After a major outcry of demand for the recent retirement DVD, the committee made the decision to provide a 2nd release to all workplaces. This retirement session was recorded to provide insight into topics such as (IPP) Independent Pension Plans, OMERS and Benefits. Of course this will not take the place of future seminars but will hopefully act as a resource for many years to come. Regardless of what Command or former municipality you may come from, benefits are something that affects all of us and our families. Preferably, the Committee would hope that every claim that is processed through our benefits provider, Manulife, goes through without a hitch. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, so the Benefits Monitoring Committee is available at your disposal to provide support if required. The Benefits Committee continues to be proactive in their endeavours by staying educated and up-todate with current issues such as Long Term Disability, to ensure that our members’ needs are met.
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SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 49
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RESIDENTIAL SMOKE ALARMS
The “Silent” Killer??? BY GORD TEWNION, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER, STATION 215 “A”
n 1994, carbon monoxide (CO) became a well known problem, largely in part due to media coverage of CO incidents and the introduction of residential CO alarms. Municipalities across Canada were quickly overwhelmed with emergency calls caused by these new CO alarms and had to quickly devise plans on how to handle them. Municipalities, including the City of Toronto, quickly drew up local by-laws requiring residential homes to have a CO detector installed on the same floor as the sleeping area. The pre-amalgamated departments got on board by purchasing CO detectors and training the crews on how to use the new equipment. By now, I’m sure you are wondering what CO has to do with the title of the article. As we all know, CO is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas, created by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. It is well known as “The Silent Killer”. Now we have another “Silent Killer” to deal with, and it is probably located in the home of almost every person who works for this Department.
The Smoke Alarm! For over 30 years, the “Ionization” smoke alarm has been available for residential use. We all have them in our homes. Take a look at yours. Read the label on it. It contains a very small amount of radioactive Americium 241, and is designed to sense very small particles (almost invisible) like smoke from burnt toast or steam from a shower. It is very good at detecting fast, flaming fires.
Unfortunately, most residential fires don’t start as fast burning & flaming fires (with the exception of cooking fires, a knocked over candle or maybe arson using an accelerant). Most house fires start as slow, smoldering fires, like a cigarette butt in a couch, or an over-loaded extension cord under a carpet or lying across a wooden floor. Research has shown that “Ionization” smoke alarms are very poor at detecting slow, smoldering fires. They work great when presented with smoke from burnt toast or steam from a shower, but they don’t work well with smoldering fires. I first learned about this problem in 2000 when I saw a TV show discussing this very subject. I saw test after test, exposing a variety of ionization smoke alarms to fairly heavy smoke, created by smoldering chairs, couches, and love seats. Thirty minutes went by before some of the alarms activated. Some did not sound at all! I was so shocked at what I saw. If you’d like to take the time to see it for yourself I have include various links that you can visit on the web. Research all of the relevant information and make the decision whether to replace your Ionization smoke alarms with Photoelectric alarms. My advice is to continue using what you have, and to increase your protection by purchasing dual-sensor smoke alarms (containing both ionization AND photoelectric capabilities). In 2003, I changed all five of my interconnected smoke alarms to Photoelectric detectors, and kept the three Ionization alarms in the bedrooms.
You can also visit the IAFF website, and watch Deputy Fire Chief Jay Fleming from Boston FD give a 15 minute lecture on smoke alarms. He offers some very troubling statistics. Also, take a look at the Global website and read the article titled “Firefighters Spark Change”. A very interesting article regarding what has taken place in the State of Vermont. When you see American governments mandating Photoelectric alarms in all new homes, you can bet Canada won’t be far behind. How many electrical calls have you been to, with a fair amount of smoke caused by burned wiring or burned out breakers, and the alarms weren’t sounding? I’ve been to two this year already. The alarms were not sounding, and they did work when we tested them. I’ll bet they were ionization alarms. Ionization Smoke Alarms in your home, by themselves, may be “silent” killers. If you have had similar experiences with non-functioning ionization smoke alarms (which tested fine when the button was pushed), or would like to offer any comments, please email me.
IMPORTANT LINKS www.fc-tv.com/webcast/sunmountain/iaff10-07/portal.asp. Click on Monday, then drag slider down to look for the Smoke Detector presentation (10th topic of the day). www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?s=7904863 www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?s=6552929 &nav=menu188_2_4 firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 51
3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS
Toronto Fire Fighters stand outside Station 313 and salute in honour as a fallen Canadian Soldier, Michael Hayakaze, is carried past during the repatriation ceremony that took place on March 6th.
Local 3888 Executive Ofﬁcer, Dave Holwell, poses with the Anisimof family during a “Burnout” cheque presentation on January 29th.
Local 3888 Executive, Stewards and Members attend the funeral of Scranton, Ohio Captain, Jim Robeson on January 10th.
Local 3888 Vice President, Ed Kennedy, presents The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable David C. Onley with a framed print of “Canada’s First Fire Truck” at a dinner ceremony held at Station 212 on February 27th.
Toronto Fire Fighters accompany Santa on a visit to North York General Hospital on Christmas morning to distribute presents to sick children.
Toronto Fire Fighters and some of their kids put together a team that participated in the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters “Bowl for Kids” Bowl-A-Thon on February 2nd at Thorncliffe Bowl-A-Rama.
The Toronto Fire Fighters’ South TAC 2 Hockey Club attend the 5th Annual Hockey Tournament for Muscular Dystrophy January 7 - 10, 2008 in Orlando Florida.
Toronto Fire Fighters march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 16th.
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 53
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Fit to SURVIVE
The ﬁre ﬁghter’s guide to health and nutrition Fit to Survive is your source for a healthier life, brought to you by the IAFF’s Fire Service Joint Labour Management Wellness/ Fitness Initiative. You’ll find expert advice and practical information on staying fit and healthy, as well as recipes and nutrition tips to make your next firehouse meal wholesome and delicious. Articles reprinted in FireWatch have been taken from the IAFF’s Fit To Survive web site, which we encourage all members to visit regularly. It can be found at www.foodfit.com/iaff/.
Exercises to get ready for golf PROFESSIONAL GOLFERS LIKE TIGER WOODS AND MIKE WEIR UNDERSTAND THAT EXERCISE HELPS THEM IMPROVE THEIR SWING, DRIVE, AND BALANCE, AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN THE GYM, TRY THESE SIX KEY EXERCISES TO BRING YOUR GOLF GAME UP TO PAR.
ARM ROTATION Muscles targeted: Shoulder (rotator cuff) How to do it: In a standing position, grasp tubing or a weighted cable and pull your elbows into your waist. Stand tall and keep abdominals tight. With one hand, pull tubing across centre BALL HALF PIKES Muscles targeted: Transverse abdominus How to do it: Lie face down on an exercise ball and slowly roll forward. Keep legs on ball and walk hands out in front into push-up position. The farther out you are from the ball, the more difficult this exercise is. Tighten abdominals and straighten back and legs. Slowly pull hips up toward ceiling and pull belly button toward spine. Your body should form a triangle with your hips at the top. Lower and repeat 20 times. FORARM CURLS Muscles targeted: Forearm flexors and extensors How to do it: Sitting at the end of a bench, grasp a light weight in your hand and lean
forward over your legs. Rest your working arm on one leg and slowly curl your wrist toward you, palm up. Lower wrist and repeat 12 times. Rotate arm so palm faces down, curl wrist up, and lower. Repeat 12 times. ROWING Muscles targeted: Upper back (trapezius and rhomboids) How to do it: Seated at a rowing machine, select a weight that you can pull for 12 repetitions. Grasp the rowing handles, straighten your arms, and lean back about 25 degrees. Tighten your abdominals and slowly pull your elbows back, keeping them close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat 12 times. SQUATS Muscles targeted: Buttocks, hamstrings, and quadriceps How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Turn feet out about 20 degrees. Tighten abdominals to support lower back and allow arms to hang loosely at sides. Slowly drop buttocks back as if you are about to sit in a chair. Watch that knees stay behind toes as you lower your weight back into your heels. Tighten buttocks and exhale as you rise from this position. Repeat 12 times. WRIST ROTATION Muscles targeted: Arm pronators and supinators How to do it: Sitting at the end of a bench, place one end of rubber tubing under one foot and run it up the inside of your leg. Hold other end of tubing in fist with thumb pointing up. Pull tubing as you slowly turn palm upward and then back to the starting position. Repeat 12 times. Now reposition tubing on outside of leg and turn palm downward. Repeat 12 times. Repeat exercise with other arm.
Cheddar Cheese There’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of soup on a cold day to warm you up. A winter favourite is broccoli and cheese soup. Rich and creamy, tangy cheese, whipping cream and bits of broccoli traditionally make this soup a standout. But like many comfort foods, cream-based soups are high in fat and calories. We’ve taken a standard broccoli and cheese soup recipe and given it a facelift. With a few simple changes by FoodFit Executive Chef Bonnie Moore, we were able to cut more than 300 calories, and reduce the fat by a remarkable 32 grams! The cholesterol was slashed to only 7 milligrams from the original 106. We’ve cut the fat and calories, but certainly not the taste. • Replacing the butter with olive oil, and using less • Reducing the amount of cheese • Eliminating the whipping cream • Adding celery and potatoes to increase the ﬂavour and substance • Using low sodium chicken broth instead of regular
6 tablespoons butter 2 pounds fresh broccoli 6 ½ cups chicken stock 1 cup whipping cream 2 cups grated cheddar cheese Calories: 917 Fat: 43 g Saturated Fat: 31 g Cholesterol: 435 mg
½ tablespoon olive oil ½ cup celery 1 small russet potato 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock 5 cups (about 2.5 pounds) fresh broccoli 6 tablespoons (about ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) grated cheddar cheese Calories: 140 Fat: 3 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 7 mg Sodium: 249 mg % calories from fat: 28%
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 55
2008 OPFFA HEALTH & SAFETY SEMINAR
uring the week of February 4th, eight members of the TPFFA Health & Safety Committee attended the provincial seminar at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Toronto. This four day, annual seminar, draws prominent speakers in the field of fire fighter health & safety. Following opening remarks from OPFFA President Fred LeBlanc, the Minister of Labour, MPP Hon. Brad Duguid, addressed the members. Members of the OPFFA Occupational Disease Committee, Paul Atkinson and Colin Grieve then made a presentation regarding how the OPFFA had worked with the Liberal government and the Ministry of Labour to achieve the passing of Bill 221, starting with a Private Members Bill, B-111, which was introduced by Hamilton MPP, Andrea Horvath in May of 2006. This Bill failed but was an important step towards achieving the presumptive legislation that we now enjoy. Bill 221 was announced at the HUSAR Centre on the morning of May 3rd, 2007, and was then introduced later that afternoon at Queenâ€™s Park and passed all three readings in one day. On the Tuesday and Wednesday, delegates were sent to different workshops. One of these, Fire Ground Survival Training was led by Geoff Boisseau and John McGill from Toronto Fire and Todd Byers of Barrie. The course, as a
BY IAN HAMILTON, CHAIR, LOCAL 3888 H&S COMMITTEE
component of the RIT program, continues to bring interest from departments across the province. One of the other workshops dealt with flashover chambers. In 2002, Peterborough Fire Fighters raised concerns over issues surrounding skin absorption during these training sessions. Markham Fire Fighters raised similar concerns in 2007, questioning the use of particle board and the possibilities of absorbing toxic chemicals through the skin. As a result of unanswered questions regarding the use of particle board, Markham Fire Department has suspended flash-
over training using this particular material as a fuel. The other Tuesday workshop turned out to be the most dramatic and informative of the day. The presentation by Windsor Fire Chief David Fields and Darrell Ellwood, Chair of the Windsor Health & Safety Committee, dealt with the accident involving Windsor Fire Department Pump 4 on March 2, 2007.
Windsor Fire Chief, Dave Fields attends the manufacturers display with WPFFA Executive Board OfďŹ cer and H&S Chair, Darrell Ellwood, following their emotional presentation on the Windsor apparatus crash.
THE NECESSITY FOR SEAT BELTS WHILE RIDING IN VEHICLES AND THE MEASURES THAT THE WINDSOR FIRE DEPARTMENT HAVE TAKEN TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE STRIKE HOME DURING THE PRESENTATION.
Windsor is sending out the power point presentation to all OPFFA Locals and we are working with management to have this presentation included as part of our ongoing training. The passion and commitment that both Chief Fields and Darrell display during their presentation can never be included on the power point presentation but the necessity for seat belts while riding in vehicles and the measures that the Windsor Fire Department have taken to ensure compliance strike home during the presentation. Lunch and after sessions were part of a manufacturers display where the delegates got to talk to the manufacturer reps and see their products. Wednesday workshops included a presentation on Air Management, a study by the University of Waterloo
and members of Toronto Fire. Michael Williams-Bell, who wrote his Masters Degree thesis based on the study, presented with Geoff Boisseau and John McGill. TFS members participated in different scenarios over the summer to simulate on-air requirements in a high rise fire and also a long entry fire such as a tunnel or big box store. The eventual goal is to create a working formula for incident commanders to identify air requirements. The second workshop on Wednesday was a presentation by Don Fraser, from the Workers Health Center on an overview of Coroners Inquests. Thursday morning began with Ian Crosby, from the Calgary Fire Department, who is an IAFF Instructor for the Health & Wellness Program. Ian has
D L Stevenson & Son Ltd Artists’ Paints 1420 Warden Avenue Toronto, ON M1R 5A3 Tel: 416-755-7795 Fax: 416-755-5895 Email: email@example.com
Toronto Fire Fighter, Geoff Boisseau delivers a presentation to the delegates regarding Fireground Survival Training.
been working with Terry Buckley to get the program up and running here in Toronto. The final presentation was by Trevor Picard of MSA. Another successful seminar and congratulations go out to the OPFFA Health & Safety Committee for their efforts year-after-year in bringing in relevant speakers.
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SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 57
2008 UPCOMING EVENTS Easter Seals Telethon
CBC Building, Toronto
OPFFA “Dr. Eric G. Taylor” Spring Seminar
Niagara Falls, Ontario
April 14, 1300 Hrs
LODD Plaque Ceremony Gary Wilson
East Command Stn. #231
April 17, 1900 Hrs
LODD Plaque Ceremony (34 Presentations)
April 23, Wednesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
April 24, Evening
The Fire Department Credit Union Annual Meeting
May 2, Friday
Sheraton Centre, Toronto
May 20, Tuesday
TPFFA Media Awards
May 25, Sunday
May 26, Monday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
May 27, Tuesday Day meeting only (1000 Hrs)
3888 General Union Meeting
RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.
May 28, Wednesday
3888 Union ofﬁce
May 30, Friday
3888 Retirement Dinner Dance
OPFFA Business Session
Grievance; Denial of Beneﬁts
TORONTO CENTRE ISLAND
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
JULY 9, 2008
*DATES AND TIMES
John Bertram d. December 13th, 1896 Toronto Fire Department After the Globe fire of 1895, the reintroduction of the steam fire engine was commenced. On April 24, 1895, a new “Ronald” engine arrived. This three–horse steamer had a capacity of 1,000 gallons per minute, weighed 7,600 pounds and was
Richard Ardagh d. January 27th, 1895 Toronto Fire Department Richard Ardagh was born in Ireland in 1832 and immigrated to Canada in 1834. In the spring of 1847 at the young age of fifteen he joined the volunteer fire brigade, in which he’d had a great interest while growing up in Toronto. He was a volunteer with Hook and Ladder Company 1, which ran out of the Church Street station. In 1853 he became captain of the same company and continued at that position until 1856, when he left Toronto for California and British Columbia for the gold rush. After a few years’ absence he returned to Toronto no richer than when he left, and resumed a position in the fire department as a firefighter. In 1864 he was elected city councillor for the St. David’s ward. He was “first foreman” or captain when Deputy Chief William Charlton was killed in 1866, and succeeded to his position after resigning from council. In 1874 after the fire department was reorganized into a full-time paid department he was made deputy chief under his brother-in-law, Chief James Ashfield, and gave up his contractor’s business as a bricklayer. He was placed in charge of all firefighting efforts because Chief Ashfield, a member since 1839 and in the twilight of
placed in Hall 16 on Richmond Street to protect the downtown portion of Toronto. At about five p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 1896, John Bertram, driving the steamer, answered an alarm of fire for the corner of Yonge and McGill Streets. About 100 yards from the hall the steamer passed over a pothole about one foot deep in the roadway and Bertram was thrown from his seat. He fell under the back wheel of
the engine and was killed instantly by its enormous weight. John Gilbert Bertram was twenty-five years old and had been on the department about three years. He had only been married three days. He now rests in St. James Cemetery. * Re-printed with permission from the book Their Last Alarm by Robert B. Kirkpatrick.
his career, had only general oversight of the department, due to poor health. Ardagh was given the title “chief of the brigade” in 1878. In 1885 Chief Ashfield resigned and Richard Ardagh was appointed chief of the department, the position he held on January 6, 1895. The Globe newspaper building stood on the corner of Yonge and Melinda Streets and was patrolled by security guard Michael McQuade. At 2:43 in the morning he was just finishing his check of the building when he opened the basement door to the boiler room and was met with a cloud of smoke. It took him several minutes to leave and run to the corner of Yonge and King Streets; he activated Box 21 at 2:48 a.m. to bring out the Toronto brigade. When he returned, the fire had spread up the elevator shaft and engulfed the top floor of the fivestorey building The heavy snow that was falling that night deadened the sound of the fire reels as they made their way to the fire and made the going tough for the outlying stations. Few people living in the downtown area were aware of the start of the battle that threatened the entire business portion of the city. When the crews from the Lombard and Bay Street stations arrived they were faced with an enormous situation and thought the building was beyond saving. The other downtown stations arrived, and in no time
crews had seven streams in operation on three sides of the building. Assistant Chief John Thompson on his arrival ordered a general alarm bringing every station to the scene. Crews eventually had fifteen streams on the building, which ran off hydrant pressure only and were not strong enough to reach the top floor. The fire, growing in intensity and now fed by a gale-force winter wind, leapt north across Melinda Street and in a short time destroyed Webb’s restaurant. To the south of the Globe building was the smaller Brough & Carswell’s printing building. At 3:15 Toronto Fire Chief Richard Ardagh, along with Captain Frank Forsyth of Hose Co. 6 (Queen St.) and Captain Charles Smedley of Hook and Ladder 3 (Yorkville) entered the Brough building to size up the situation. They proceeded inside to see if streams could be operated from there to attack the south side of the taller Globe building. On the third floor they realized the roof of the building they were in was on fire and they needed a hose line up there quickly to cut off the fire. Before they could exit the floor, the south wall of the Globe building fell outward and crashed through the roof and wall of the Brough building. Captain Forsyth was carried down to street level in the avalanche and managed to extricate himself from the debris. Although injured, he immediately
SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 59
Rest in Peace Brothers
June 24, 1956 - March 12, 2008
April 16, 1958 - March 20, 2008
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.
Toronto Fireﬁghters War Veterans Association New Members Wanted! The Toronto Fireﬁghters War Veterans Association has a rich and colourful history dating back to the years just prior to World War II. Eight men, both Toronto Fireﬁghters and World War I veterans, met at the Prisoner of War Club on Shuter and Mutual Streets in downtown Toronto in 1935. The intent of the organization was to provide a social outlet and promote the welfare of Toronto Fireﬁghter ex-servicemen and their families. The Association is currently recruiting new ﬁre ﬁghter members, either veterans or nonveterans and hopefully among them, there will be some who would like to march with the Colour Guard, as they proudly show the Colours to an appreciative public. We welcome active or retired ﬁre ﬁghters from the Toronto Fire Service. Reminder military service is NOT a requirement. Contact Ken Magill for more information Telephone 905-847-6694 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Never Shall We Forget ... Continued from page 59
went for help, thinking the others were trapped. The chief and Captain Smedley were cut off by heavy fire on the barely intact third floor and tried to use an elevator, but it did not operate. They were blinded by heavy smoke and surrounded by fire, which singed their whiskers. Lying face down on the third floor they had to decide whether to jump the forty feet to the ground or face death by fire. They called for a ladder but no one could hear them. The chief turned to Smedley and said it would be better to die outright than to perish in the fire and the two shook hands, said goodbye, and jumped for their lives. Chief Ardagh jumped last and both men landed hard but alive. They managed to crawl from the laneway to Wellington Street where Captain Forsyth, who was responding with a ladder crew, found them sitting on the steps of a warehouse. The chief’s clothing was singed and he had trouble moving his legs, knees and ankles. He had five wounds on the head, his back was bruised badly and he had breathing problems from inhaling hot smoke. Captain Smedley had suffered cuts and a severely strained back from his jump. The ambulance took the pair to hospital for treatment. The fire continued to burn until around six a.m., when it was brought under control only after destroying or damaging twelve buildings. Chief Ardagh was a big strong man and
fought off his injuries while resting at his home on Sherbourne Street. The doctors who were in constant attendance with him thought he would eventually make a full recovery. However, on January 17 he developed pneumonia and at 10:20 a.m. on Sunday, January 27 he lost his three-week battle with his injuries. A week before the chief died his dog, “Old Jumbo,” who had followed him to every fire and on occasion entered burning buildings with him, died of old age. Ardagh was never told of its death. Richard Ardagh was sixty-three years old, married, and had three sons. One son, Charles, was captain of the Rose Avenue fire hall at the time of his father’s death. The chief, who led by example, was a father to the men of the department, who worshipped him. He would always be up front leading his men, often taking the hose to the spot of best attack and encouraging them with his strong voice, which was well known to spectators at fires. His funeral was held on Tuesday, January 29, 1895 at his residence, followed by a procession to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, where his remains were placed in a vault. Due to the ground being frozen solid he was not buried until April 19, a date that would later be remembered for another reason. Ardagh Street in west Toronto was named after him. At the time of the Globe fire the department had no steam engines in service. In the late 1880s, chemical hose wagons were
put in service and these could extinguish small fires quickly. City council was amazed at this new technology and neglected to have the existing steam engines repaired when they deteriorated. Time after time, since 1890, Fire Chief Ardagh had asked council to reintroduce the steam fire engine. He stated that the current water supply system of hydrants, which never exceeded eighty lbs. pressure, was satisfactory for a building four storeys in height, but not for anything higher. Council ignored his requests stating that the department was so efficient a fire could never get beyond control. At one council meeting the chief said, “If a high building in Toronto catches on the top, the brigade will have to wait until the flames come down to where the water pressure will throw a stream.” This is exactly the scenario that played out at the Globe fire. The steam fire engine was reintroduced after the Globe fire. Some at the time thought the chief had sacrificed his life to finally change the thinking of city council. Assistant Chief John Thompson became chief of the department in 1899 and would have four steamers at the start of the Great Toronto Fire on April 19, 1904. The importance of the steamers was demonstrated again, but Chief Thompson needed many more than four on that day. * Re-printed with permission from the book Their Last Alarm by Robert B. Kirkpatrick.
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SPRING 2008 | FIRE WATCH 61
ADVERTISERS INDEX A.J. STONE COMPANY .................. 10
GEOMETRA DESIGN LTD .............. 57
KAY’S WEST INDIAN TAKE OUT .. 10
PHYSIO F-X .................................... 12
ALARM FORCE INDUSTRIES INC . 14
GRAFIKOM ...................................... 7
KENNEDY FLOORING ................... 61
ROSEHAVEN HOMES .................... 14
BELL MOBILITY WESTON ............... 7
GREENWAY THERAPY CLINIC ...... 12
LEGRICE REAL ESTATE ................. 10
SEAGHER MEDICAL GROUP ........... 8
BIOPED FRANCHISING ................. 63
GTA TRUCK AND TRAILER REPAIR 50
MONSTER MORTGAGE.CA ........... 50
SENATOR ....................................... 10
BULL DOG ..................................... 42
HARDING FIRE PROTECTION......... 7
MORTGAGE CENTRE ...................... 4
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES
CARDINAL HEALTH CANADA ...... 12
HUMBER COMMUNITY.................. 6
NORTH CITY GENERAL INSURANCE
DL. STEVENSON & SONS LTD ...... 57
INVESTORS GROUP ........................ 6
DUNDEE SECURITIES ................... 42
JACK STRAIGHTMAN.................... 42
ESTONIAN HOUSE CAFE .............. 62
JIFFY LUBE ............... OUTSIDE BACK
EYES ON AVENUE OPTICAL ......... 42
JOHN-LUC RIZZO GENERAL ........... 6
CREDIT UNION LTD.. INSIDE FRONT
BROKERS LTD ................................ 12
THRU LINE MUFFLER ................... 61
OWASCO VOLKSWAGEN INC ......... 8
TUSHEENA FABRICATING .............. 4
PAUL GROSBEIN INCOME TAX .... 14
VICTORY CAFE.............................. 58
PETIT DEJEUNER ........................... 58
WILLOWDALE SUBARU .................. 4
Classiﬁed Advertising in the Toronto Fire Watch Magazine Name
Ad (20 words max – please print clearly)
# of issues
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 second Tuesday of the month. Send to Toronto Fire Watch, 80 Bloor Street West, Suite 601 Toronto, ON M5S 2V1 or email: LatoyaD@xentel.com
CLASSIFIED AD Are you looking to earn some extra money?
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Were you in product sales or customer service before joining the Fire Service? A growing Fire & Safety Equipment distributor is looking for a computer literate, ﬂexible part-time (2-3 days per week) inside sales person. Interested individuals should fax a resume to 416-781-2827 Attn: Monika. Only those selected for interviews will be contacted.
Thank You for supporting our advertisers! 62
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Etobicoke South 2979 Bloor Street W. 416 234-0481
Oakville - Oakville Place Mall 240 Leighland Ave. 905 339-3678 (Lower Level)
Thornhill 7700 Bathurst Street 905 882-CARE (2273)
Beach 1684 Danforth Avenue 416 778-8853
Markham 4981 Hwy 7 E. 905 479-1211
Richmond Hill 1480 Major MacKenzie Dr. E. 905 737-8788
Toronto - Downtown 726 Bloor St. W. 416 234-0481
Brampton 164 Queen Street E. 905 450-1272
Mississauga Central 1170 Burnhamthorpe Rd W. 905 896-4825
Scarborough North 3245 Finch Avenue East 416 756-2800
Vaughan 3737 Major Mackenzie Dr. 905 879-FEET (3338)
Etobicoke North 3850 Steeles Avenue W. 905 851-4224
Mississauga North 3029 Argentia Road 905 785-3800
Scarborough South 2882 Ellesmere Road 416 283-7721
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2008 Mar 31, ires on p x E r e This Off