Page 1

VOLUME 5

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ISSUE 1 | SPRING 2009

Publications Agreement No: 41203011

FIREHALL SHOWCASE: Fire Station 125


THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 5

18

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ISSUE 1

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SPRING 2009

IN THIS ISSUE 26

32

44

36

5

President’s Message

9

Secretary Treasurer’s Message

11

Vice President’s Message

12

TFS Fleet

15

Chaplain’s Corner

16

Letters to the Editor

18

Demographics & Statistics

26

Toronto History

32

Member Profile on Blair Sharpless

36

Thank you, Toronto FIREPAC contributors

42

Firehall Showcase–Station 125

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

44

The Easiest Gift of Life to Give

47

Executive Talk

50

Collecive Agreement

FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by Xentel DM Incorporated on behalf of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

52

Health & Safety Seminar

CHIEF EDITOR Scott Marks

55

Fit to Survive

MANAGING EDITORS Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail: firewatch@torontofirefighters.org

56

3888 Recent Happenings

58

Fire Fighter Survival & Rescue

60

Events

61

Toronto Fire Fighter Calendar

ASSISTANT EDITORS Marla Friebe, Rodney Johnston, Seonaid Lennox, Janos Csepreghi, Doug Erwin, Damien Walsh ASSISTANT COPY EDITORS Alyssa Petrillo & Marcel Ramagnano DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION Xentel DM Incorporated FIRE WATCH PHOTOGRAPHER Keith Hamilton

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CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011

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Ad Index

PRINTED IN CANADA Copyright © 2009 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association ADVERTISING Latoya Davis, Project Manager Tel: 416.646.3128 Ext. 104 Fax: 416.646.3135 Email: latoyad@xentel.com

Merchant Card Acceptance

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

On The Cover Approximately 300 members participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade March 15, 2009. ��������������� ��

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

T

he field of labour relations has seen vast changes over the last fifteen years. I have written about some of those, trying to keep the members updated on changes that pertain to modified work, accommodations, long term disability and attendance management programs, to name a few. Scott Marks

As quickly as we get settled and educated in these subjects, changes seem to take place. Many of these programs are relatively new and even legal counsel is still proceeding with caution in properly representing our members. The Ontario Human Rights legislation has recently undergone changes that have had an immediate impact on our members. We were well aware that these changes were coming and we had discussed them at OPFFA educational seminars and with legal counsel, but the effects are now being seen. The changes apply to the way the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) accepts complaints. Prior to the change, the process of getting a complaint into the commission required individuals to show that they had exhausted other measures to deal with their complaint. The commission also assigned staff to assist with writing and itemizing the complaint. That process has changed so that individuals can launch a complaint with minimal vetting by the commission. Respondents to the complaint then provide a response and the process carries on. This will and has led to more complaints being filed and the association being required to respond to these complaints. On the surface, it would appear to be more time consuming and costly but the experience in other jurisdictions that have adopted this method has been an improvement in dealing with

matters in a timely way. The system the OHRC has adopted is in use in British Columbia and has been successful in expediting the process. By allowing individuals to set out the facts of their complaint and then have the respondents respond, the Commission is in a better position to determine the particulars and the validity of the complaint. In many cases, they will be able to direct the parties to other means of resolution or determine if the complaint has validity earlier in the process. There is no question that the immediate effect to the association is an increase in time and money to deal with more complaints. The end result may be more complaints dealt with quickly and cheaply, as opposed to fewer complaints

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the workplace. Non-culpable is considered innocent or proper use of sick time. In these situations, the employer is not there to question whether the employee was legitimately sick; they are there to point out that the employee’s sick time use has been greater than the average in the workplace (in our case 9 days in the calendar year). This first phase of the program is the informal stage and consists solely of a meeting where the department confirms the employee’s sick time use and offers assistance to the employee to encourage better attendance. We understand that our members do not like this phase and feel it is an

BY ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS TO SET OUT THE FACTS OF THEIR COMPLAINT AND THEN HAVE THE RESPONDENTS RESPOND, THE COMMISSION IS IN A BETTER POSITION TO DETERMINE THE PARTICULARS AND THE VALIDITY OF THE COMPLAINT.

dealt with in a slower and more cumbersome way. We will see. Attendance management programs (ATM) were virtually unheard of fifteen years ago. In the early and mid-nineties, employers started to put these programs in place. Many unions opposed them and many like ourselves grieved and took their employer to arbitration over the program. Arbitrators have upheld the right for employers to have ATM programs to deal with non-culpable absenteeism in

]

infringement on their rights. Unfortunately, arbitrators have not agreed. Employers have maintained the right to have these meetings under a properly administered program. If the employer feels the use of sick time is inappropriate (culpable) due to patterning or other reasons, they must deal with it differently. The association represents the member to insure that the actions taken by the employer are appropriate under the circumstances. In these situations, we seek advice from legal

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH

5


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6


President’s Message ... Continued from page 5

counsel and members are offered the opportunity to ask our counsel questions as well. More importantly, if the employer chooses to proceed on the basis that the use of sick time is inappropriate or culpable, those days must be removed from consideration under the ATM program. Sick time use can only be dealt with in one manner or the other by the employer. In our case, the ATM program was modified through the arbitration process. As a result, we achieved exemptions as well. No other employees in the City have exemptions in their program. You are required to meet certain conditions to utilize an exemption, but it is still a benefit to our members to have the exemptions available. Any other employee in the City who uses more than the allowed number of sick days, for whatever reason, is in the City ATM program. Under their program, they do not have the right or ability to request

an exemption, even if they have previous perfect attendance and they had an easily identifiable, one-time medical problem. The exemptions are there for your benefit. If you are uncomfortable with meeting the conditions of the exemption, which can include your doctor and the department’s doctor discussing your condition to determine whether the medical problem meets the criteria, you are under no obligation to request or utilize an exemption. However, in such a case, without those conditions being met, the City is under no obligation to grant the exemption. In such a situation, you would enter the informal stage of the ATM Program. The one thing that I want to make clear to all of our members is that regardless of these programs, you should not be reporting to duty if you are not able to fulfill your functions in the workplace due to illness or injury. If

you feel compelled to come to work, even if you are not physically able, due to fear of these programs, you should be contacting a representative of the association to discuss this with them. Changes will continue to occur in the realm of labour relations. Historically, the vast majority of those changes have been beneficial to the employee’s, ensuring safe and fair working conditions. Management will continue to maintain the right to manage the workplace in a fair and responsible manner. It is our job to stay abreast of the changes and make sure that members are treated fairly and properly under these policies and legislation.

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

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SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH!

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n January 9th, I, along with several other Executive Board Officers, had the privilege of welcoming our newest members to Local 3888. Fifty-two operations fire fighters started their careers on January 5th and will partake in eleven weeks of recruit training.

I would like to thank the TFS as this was the third time that they had afforded us the day in order to orientate our new members regarding their careers and their new Association. We spent the day going over fire fighter labour history, discussing our organization and providing a lot of education on various topics such as health and safety, human relations, grievance procedures, WSIB and the value of public relations. We also hosted a BBQ lunch for the recruits which gave us an opportunity to interact with them in a less formal environment. We also invite management representatives so that the recruits see firsthand that both organizations support working co-operatively. I have been fortunate that I have been able to orientate several of our recruit classes and it was refreshing to see such a young class this time. The class was mainly Fire College Graduates and it also had members with past fire service experience. I had the chance to speak to some and I found it interesting that those fire fighters with many years experience with a full-time fire department elsewhere were willing to leave to pursue there “dreams” as they put it and work for Toronto Fire. It made me feel a little bit special that I have been a part of an organization that others envy and want to be a part of as well. It has become a tradition that the recruits get involved in a charity event and this class was no exception. On February 6th, a boot drive was held at Union Station and all of the recruits took part. Thirteen thousand dollars was raised for Muscular Dystrophy of Canada. I was able to free up some time in my schedule and join the recruits on their endeavour. It was at this event that I was approached by an Afro-Canadian male in his 40’s who complained that,

by viewing the members we had in attendance at Union Station, it was clear to him that we do not reflect the community. The man was upset and was very articulate at getting his point across. I listened patiently to him and I acknowledged what he was saying. I was fortunate to be familiar with the TFS hiring process and was able to assure him that the suggestions he was making were already implemented within the Toronto Fire Service. I explained to him that, regardless of the fact that the TFS has thousands of applicants each year, we still have a Recruitment Division and their primary goal is to get candidates to apply that reflect the community. I also explained that visible minorities, once qualified, are placed in their own group and that each class hired would require 50% from the visible minority group and 50% of the white male group. I further explained, that usually after the first class, the visible minority group is exhausted. We discussed the changes toward hiring out of the community colleges and the fact that their representation of visible minorities currently is low and that if the TFS continues down that road then it will be a new challenge for our recruitment outreach program to see higher numbers apply to the colleges. I went over the courses the TFS offers and the assistance they provide to individuals trying to join the Fire Service. The discussion then turned to how we treat out visible minorities. While I was careful to state that I did not want to speak on behalf of individuals and their experiences, I was more than willing to share my own experiences. I was open and honest and I think he sensed that I was being sincere. The conversation took about 20 minutes but his attitude from the start of it to the end had

Frank Ramagnano

drastically changed for the better. He was very appreciative and told me he felt a lot more comfortable with how the TFS was working toward being reflective of the community it serves. He then handed me his business card, at which I thought was strange at first, until I looked at it after he left. He worked for one of our political parties and by giving me the card he was telling me just how important that conversation was. It goes to show you that you never know who you are speaking to and that what you say and do can reflect on the Toronto Fire Services as a whole.

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

We have had our 2007/ 2008 finances audited and it, along with the budget for 2008/2009, were approved at our general union meeting in January. The auditor also reviewed the balance sheet for the Fire Fighters Ball and our Magic Show. The auditor found our finances to be in order and the balance sheets reflect a true record of Local 3888 operations.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH

9


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VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Working through the Budget Process–Again!

I

n the last edition of FireWatch, my article reviewed the process used by Toronto City Council to review and debate the 2009 Fire Services Capital Budget. I was quite optimistic, since both your Association and the Fire Chief had mutually agreed on their proposal, that we would see some positive and timely decisions taken by city council with regard to additional staffing. It has been said that the wheels of government move slowly. However, to date, I am sorry to say that the city has done nothing and seems to be dragging its heels with regard to this very important issue. We will, of course, continue to aggressively lobby on the subject of sufficient staffing for our vehicles. I am as aware as anyone that we are going through some tough economic times but when I compare the Toronto Emergency Services since amalgamation, I must note that Fire is the only one that is still just below our staffing numbers at that time. The police have hired an additional 875 officers, with 62 more coming on board this year, and Toronto EMS has added 340 paramedics. We still need the staffing that was outlined in my last article, to only begin to comply with NFPA 1710. To reiterate; in the year 2001, after ten years of research, a panel made up of union representatives, fire chiefs, management officials and other interested parties agreed on NFPA 1710. It mandated that there should be a minimum of four personnel on each apparatus and that those fire fighters should arrive on the scene of an emergency within four minutes of the call being received by the dispatch centre. Also, in 2007, KPMG, an independent research firm, noted, among other recommendations, that a number of new fire stations should be built in the City of Toronto. The Fire Underwriters, as well as NFPA, acknowledged that there should be one fire station for every 25,000 residents and that consideration for construction should begin when 40% of that total is reached. The City has put into place a plan to build 4 new stations within 10 years,

with a new station to be opened every 2.5 years - the first to be opened in the Midland/Eglinton area. The recommendations above were not just academic exercises. They represent considerable study by knowledgeable people into what is needed for fire fighters to properly do their jobs when protecting the public and ensuring their own safety. The cost to each citizen for this 24 hour per day 365 days a year service is approximately $20.00 per month. I would point out to Council that this is very good value for tax money spent. I also believe that most Torontonians would readily agree, as fire fighters serve them in a myriad of ways such as fires, medical incidents, vehicle accidents, building collapse, natural emergencies; the list goes on. It is not only the groups listed earlier that have come to the conclusion that upgraded staffing is required for Toronto Fire Services. A coroner’s jury recommended that all fire pumpers and aerials respond with four personnel. Even back in 2001/2002, the Insurance Advisory Board rated Toronto at a weak 3 for fire protection, 1 being the best rating. Toronto was one of the few large cities in the country that did not receive a 1. A number of factors go into this rating criteria but the fact that Toronto was considerably understaffed was one of the principle reasons. It appears obvious to me that staffing has been given a low priority by city council for too long and it is now time to rectify the situation once and for all. Council should begin to live up to the Fire Master Plan they adopted in 2007, which agreed that action on adequate staffing would begin.

Ed Kennedy

Your Association will continue to actively pursue the issue of staffing. On February 18, 2009, President Scott Marks presented a deputation to the Budget Committee of the City of Toronto, outlining our concerns and a number of solutions to our staffing deficit. He noted the past history of the issue and where the city has failed to, in our view, live up to its obligations. He ended with the following observation: “We do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I urge the Budget Committee to get us on the right path. The staffing increases requested by the Fire Chief will not get us there, but they are an important first step.” As your Vice President I certainly concur with the above remarks and will continue to make staffing one of my first priorities. On a positive note, you will see in some of the statistics in this issue of FireWatch that the state of our fleet continues to improve. In 2004, your Association lobbied City Council to have proper vehicle funding within our Operating Budget. This is taking place and soon we should be following the Insurance Advisory Boards recommendation that our front line apparatus should be no more then 12 years old and then they should be used as a spare vehicle for approximately 3 years before they are decommissioned.

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

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 11


AGE OF CURRENT FLEET YEAR APPARATUS #

2005 1997 2007 2007 2006 2004 2007 2008 1996 2007 2004 2002 2002 2007 2002 2004 2005 1997 1996 2000 1999 2005 1997 2001 2005 2007 2004 2005 1989 1991 2005 1995 2007 2005 2007 2004 2000 2001 1998 2001 2005 2007 2007 1996 2002 2002 12

P111 R112 A113 P113 T114 P114 AL 114 COM 10 R115 P116 P121 R122 P123 P125 A131 P131 P132 A133 R133 R134 A135 P135 P141 A142 P142 P143 S143 P145 HAZ145 HMS145 P146 P211 P212 WT-212 A213 P213 R214 A215 P215 A222 P222 P223 P224 R224 R225 A226

MANUFACTURER

Spartan/Seagrave Am La France Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal E-ONE Spartan/Smeal Dependable Freightliner / PK Vans Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Am La France/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Seagrave Mack/Dependable Ford Spartan/Seagrave Spartan Spartan/ Smeal Freightliner/Dependable Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal E-One Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal

YEAR APPARATUS #

2005 2002 2007 2000 1999 2007 2004 2004 2007 1998 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 2006 1998 1997 2002 2005 2005 1992 1992

P226 P227 A231 R231 A/L 231 P232 S232 P233 P234 Decon 234 R235 TRS-235 R241 P242 R243 A244 P244 P245 P311 A312 P312 P313 S313 P314 A315 P315 A321 R321 A322 P322 P323 A324 P324 A325 P325 R325 R326 T331 P331 S331 P332 HR332 HAZ332 COM 30 HMS332

MANUFACTURER

Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte GMC/Almonte Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave

Spartan/Almonte International/Dependable Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Am La France/Fort Garry Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Am La France/Fort Garry Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Nova Quintech Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Freightliner/Fort Garry Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Almonte E-One Am La France/Fort Garry Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Dependable Spartan/Seagrave International/Dependable Ford

YEAR APPARATUS #

T333 P333 A/L333 P334 P335B P335 A341 R341 P342 P343 P344 A345 R345 A411 R411 R412 P413 R413 PL415 P415 A421 R421 A/L 421 P422 A423 R423 P424 R425 A426 P426 R426 P431 PL432 P432 A433 P433 R434 R435 A441 R441 P442 P443 R444 P445 S445

2006 1998 2004 2007 1997 2006 1995 1997 2007 2005 2007 2002 2002 2007 1994 2002 2002 2002 1997 2007 2002 2001 1999 2007 2006 2000 2007 2002 2004 2007 1997 2007 2007 2007 1999 2005 1998 2000 2002 2001 2007 2007 1998 2002 2004

MANUFACTURER

E-One Am La France/Fort Garry Freightliner/Dependable Spartan/Smeal E-One/E-One Teleboom Ford/Dependable E-One/Superior Volvo/Superior Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal E-One/Superior Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal E-One/Superior Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte GMC/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Freightliner/Fort Garry Spartan/Seagrave Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Am La France/General Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Almonte Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave Am La France/General Spartan/Smeal Spartan/Seagrave


YEAR

SPARE #

1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1992 1994 1994 1991 1993 1991

P5112 P5121 P5122 P5123 P5212 P5214 P5227 P5241 P5245 P5321 P5331 P5333 P5344

# of Vehicles

New Vehicle Order Status as of Feb 16, 2009

7

1

CAB & CHASSIS

YEAR

Spartan / Thibault Spartan / Smeal Spartan Duplex / Anderson Spartan Spartan Duplex / Anderson Spartan Spartan Spartan Spartan / 3D Spartan / Smeal Spartan

1992 1990 1993 1992 1992 1993 1989

Budget Year 2009

2009

New Truck(s)

Rescues

Squad

1993 1990

SPARE #

P5345 P5422 P5424 P5431 P5435 P5443 Spare Old S232 Spare Old A/L333 Spare Old A423

CAB & CHASSIS

YEAR

Spartan / Superior White / GMC Spartan / Smeal Spartan / 3D Spartan Duplex / Anderson Mack / Dependable

1990

Int. / Dependable Mack / Smeal

Builder Chassis/ Body

1990 1992 1990 1992 1993 2001 2001 2001 2001

SPARE #

Spare Old A324 A5112 A5116 A5212 A5341 Spare Old A222 DC5112 DC5231 DC5332 DC5445

CAB & CHASSIS

Mack / Smeal

E-One Spartan / Smeal E-One Spartan / Smeal Spartan / Smeal Ford 3/4 ton Ford 3/4 ton Ford 3/4 ton Ford 3/4 ton

Status

Spartan/Smeal

The trucks are currently on order. Cab & Chassis inspection is scheduled for mid-April. The bodies are being manufactured from satin finish stainless steel, laser cut prior to forming. These trucks will conform to NFPA 1901-2009 safety standards.

TBD

The truck is currently on order. The Cab & Chassis inspection is also scheduled for mid-April. The design of this truck is very similar to the current Squads with the exception of the generator type. This truck will be equipped with a hydraulically operated generator in lieu of a PTO driven style.

1

2009/10

Command Vehicle

TBD

A replacement Command Vehicle will be designed and specified this year to replace the South unit. This will provide two new units in the fleet with Command-10 now in service, and leave the current Command-30 as a good spare for use when either are out of service, or on-scene for extended periods. The design will be finalized after observing in-service traning and operational use of Command-10.

1

2009/10

HAZ MAT Truck

TBD

The specification to replace the North HAZ MAT truck is near completion, when the required documents will be sent to PMMD for issuance as a request for quotation (RFQ).

1

2009/10

Service Truck

TBD

The specification to replace the former Toronto road-service truck is near completion, when the required documents will be sent to PMMD for issuance as a request for quotation (RFQ).

1

2009

Panel Van

Sprinter

A replacement panel van is currently out to bid. A Dodge Sprinter van has been selected for it’s fuel efficiency and size for downtown streets, in lieu of a cube van.

2

2009

DC Vans

Sprinter

As part of the Fire Services “Green Fleet” plan, two Dodge Sprinters are to be tested as District Chief vans. The Sprinter offers far better interior headroom for the “Command” function of the vehicle, while using less fuel than the current vans and emmitting considerably less CO emissions.

1

2009

3/4 ton pick-up for Fire Hose delivery

TBD

This truck will be purchased as part of a larger Corporate Fleet contract order. The requisition has been submitted, and it’s hoped that an existing stock unit will be available.

2

2009/10

Air/Light Trucks

TBD

Two Air/Light trucks will be specified and ordered to replace the East and West units, pending budget approval.

1

2009/10

CBRN Truck

TBD

A truck is currently being designed to carry all of the CBRN equipment currently carried on two enclosed trailers.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 13


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14

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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER

Burning Down the House... BY BARRY PARKER, SOUTH COMMAND CHAPLAIN

I

n his just published book, “Burning Down the House, Fighting Fires and Losing Myself,” author Russell Wangersky writes of his eight years serving as a volunteer fire fighter in Eastern Canada. It is a very personal and graphic account of his experience.

A testimonial within the book states, “…visceral and affecting, Burning Down the House is an insightful account into the perilous world of fire fighting and an unforgettable memoir of how, in finding his passion, Wangersky lost himself.” This is an interesting read, not only because it tells the story that fire service personnel live day-by-day but more importantly, the author wrestles with the impact of the job on his life and portrays a vivid picture of reality. What is most fascinating for me as a Chaplain is the wrestling match that he undergoes in sorting out his humanity. Our culture rightly holds fire fighters and fire departments in high regard. There is a vital connection to the courage, integrity, passion and purpose embodied in the men and women of the fire service. In fact, this image often gets raised to mythic proportions and the men and women of our fire services are sometimes set up on a pedestal,

held up to a position that no flesh-andblood human being can withstand. The risk then becomes turning into a statue, a caricature of oneself, distorting what it means to be human. That is exactly what this fire fighter and author is challenging. Serving in the fire service does take a toll. There is stress and challenge, and when dealt with appropriately, it is the most rewarding of professions and vocations. However, if we start to believe our own press and think that we are somehow

[

Dr. Barry Parker

SOUTH COMMAND Dr. Barry Parker 416.961.8116 (church) bparker@stpaulsbloor.org and singing kumbaya to get in touch with your inner fire fighter; I am challenging you to take your humanity seriously. And if you are wondering what a Chaplain does, remember that one reason for our existence is simply to remind you that you are human—

... THIS IMAGE OFTEN GETS RAISED TO MYTHIC PROPORTIONS AND THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR FIRE SERVICES ARE SOMETIMES SET UP ON A PEDESTAL HELD UP TO A POSITION THAT NO FLESH-AND-BLOOD HUMAN BEING CAN WITHSTAND.

invincible, not only in body, but in mind, emotions, relationships and our spirits, then statues have a habit of becoming brittle and inevitably decay and shatter. I am not advocating emoting all over, sitting in the fire hall holding hands

]

very human—and you were created in the image of the living God—no matter how broken or fractured you might be. Burning Down the House. A good read. Pay attention to collateral damage.

Devlin E Business Architects Eren Fernandez

Tel: 416-363-6316 185 Frederick Street, Ground Floor, Toronto, ON M5A 4L4

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 15


 e  Le TO THE EDITOR

FIREPAC THANK YOU

PASSING OF LISA COE

I am writing this to thank each and every member who, over the past number of years, has contributed money either via payroll deduction, a contribution from a union substitution or a personal cheque to FIREPAC. Toronto FIREPAC is your Association’s Political Action Committee. It is an integral part of the TPFFA’s efforts to promote the legislative and political interests of Toronto Fire Fighters. FIREPAC is also a political action fund that is sustained by contributions from TPFFA members. We are non-partisan and support those who support us. The monies raised enable the committee members to bring forward Fire Fighter issues that affect our daily lives. Funding allows us to gain access to politicians in venues other than their offices. It allows us to attend functions held by politicians and thus, bring our issues forward in a less formal setting. At most of these functions, usually more than one member of political office is in attendance, along with staff members who can usually spend more time talking to us about our issues when the distractions of the office surroundings are not there. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact either myself or any member of the FIREPAC Committee at firepac@torontofirefighters.org Again, thank you for your continued support!

Recently, after a courageous three year battle with breast cancer, my wife Lisa passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the membership for all the kind words and support that I have received throughout this whole ordeal. I hope you all know how much you have helped me and mean to me. I am truly proud to be a member of this noble profession and honoured to call you all brothers and sisters. On behalf of myself, Lisa and our three children, a most sincere thanks to all of you.

Paul Beams Chair, FIREPAC

3888 CHRISTMAS PARTY DRAW WINNER Frank, I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for going above and beyond in locating the wii. The boys and us love it. Merry Christmas to you and your family, and thanks again. Michael Cane

16

Todd Coe, 222 (C)

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMPASSION I am writing this letter almost two years late. On February 24, 2007, our Mother passed away. For my Sister, and I, it seemed time

stood still. We will forever remember the compassion and professionalism of the fire crew that attended. The crew from Pumper #413, Captain Juris Perkons, Firefighter’s Dave Deraiche, Craig Dennison, and David Hancock, responded that day. Having an opportunity to watch a TFS crew from the “outside” is truly a privilege, knowing how special they are at such a time of need. Our apologies for being so late in this letter being written...time seems to block things out, and heal those moments we wish to forget. The compassion of this crew are now part of the memories we have of that day our Mom died, and we now look back and remember how extraordinary Toronto’s first responders are, Fire, EMS and Police. Tom Karnas Stn #332 “B” Platoon Lu-Anne Adams


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.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IS APPRECIATED Just wanted to thank the Association for the lovely Christmas gift. You’re always so thoughtful and creative. I especially love the pewter fire helmet key chain and I always look forward to the daytimer to carry around in my purse. Thanks again and I’d like to wish you all the very best during the holidays and a prosperous New Year. Ines Liscio, Administrative Assistant to Deputy Fire Chief Daryl Fuglerud, Toronto Fire Services

WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR MUSEUM? It is very admirable to learn of the great support of firefighters, both active and retired, who are making donations to pay for the replacement of the defaced Firefighter’s Memorial at Queen’s Park. It is extremely important that we, as firefighters, respect the memory of our fallen members and preserve our proud history. Personally, I find it very disturbing that the museum at the Toronto Fire Academy no longer exists. No one seems to be able to tell me why, or what became of the historical fire department items that were on display. Sadly, I even detect attitudes of indifference. What ever happened to the many fire scene photographs of fires that occurred throughout the years gone by? Some of these photos are records of tragedies in which we lost firefighters’ lives—they are a tribute to their memory. Are these pictures and historical artifacts

[

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

stored in some basement to be forgotten forever? Or maybe they were even thrown out in the garbage? The only answer that I can get is that after the amalgamation of the six fire departments, the Academy needed the museum space for a classroom. It is an incredible shame and disgrace that this situation has occurred. I feel that along the way, we have failed our younger members by not preserving the irreplaceable contents of the museum. It was an impressive display that all following generations should have had the privilege of witnessing as we did. Presently, I have some very important artifacts that have been donated by the widow of one of our members. She asked that I find a home for them at some fire department museum. I am very reluctant to have them go to another municipality other than Toronto. She feels the same way as these items are in memory of her late husband who served many years with the Toronto Fire Department. Most major city fire departments, and even small departments, have taken steps to record and preserve their history, which they consider to be vital and of the utmost importance. If the City of Toronto is unable to provide space for a fire museum, then Local 3888 should step forward and take responsibility to recover these items and preserve our history until a suitable location can be made available. Ken Magill

]

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 2009 | FIRE WATCH 17


&

Demographics STATISTICS

Toronto Fire Services Staff Complement By Rank (As of February2009)

Division

Firefighters

Captains

District Chiefs

Management/ Excluded Staff/ Local 79

Total

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

8

3

2

4

17

Mechanical Maintenance

31

7

2

3

43

Professional Development and Training

33

5

4

43

Emergency Planning and Research

4

1

5

1 65

24 14*

3 2,790 14

87

60

3,144

Health and Safety Operations Senior Management Offices

2,172

3 529

TOTAL

2,376

621

Note: Based on approved positions as reflected in the approved organizational chart. *Includes Administrative Assistant at Dr. Forman’s Office

18


Apparatus

2008 Run

2007 Run

% Change

2008 Rank

Apparatus

2008 Run

2007 Run

% Change

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 P132 R426 P331 P142 P331 P223 P442 P325 P315 P344 R231 R134 R112 P114 P232 P433 R345 P222 R421 R413 P443 P146 P226 P141 P234 R341 P322 P415 R441 R133 R225 P445 P143 P311 P135 R425 R243 R115 R224

4725 4578 3919 3572 3368 3188 3087 3081 3052 2975 2972 2956 2899 2893 2884 2864 2739 2727 2702 2668 2661 2575 2548 2500 2485 2454 2440 2409 2374 2370 2341 2332 2317 2297 2292 2274 2241 2239 2235 2215 2181 2166 2158 2131

4997 4450 4184 3629 3455 3168 3196 3040 3036 3167 3029 3030 2863 2846 2747 3158 2836 2432 2688 2868 2539 2639 2718 2384 2550 2536 2493 2398 2405 2448 2330 2426 2572 2587 2799 2084 2441 2252 2228 2284 1368 2343 2422 1823

-5.44% 2.88% -6.33% -1.57% -2.52% 0.63% -3.41% 1.35% 0.53% -6.06% -1.88% -2.44% 1.26% 1.65% 4.99% -9.31% -3.42% 12.13% 0.52% -6.97% 4.81% -2.43% -6.25% 4.87% -2.55% -3.23% -2.13% 0.46% -1.29% -3.19% 0.47% -3.87% -9.91% -11.21% -18.11% 9.12% -8.19% -0.58% 0.31% -3.02% 59.43% -7.55% -10.90% 16.90%

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

P323 R423 P324 P145 R411 R235 P245 R435 P426 P121 P343 P244 P334 P111 P242 P233 R122 P342 P113 P116 P431 R444 P413 R321 R241 P212 P123 P432 R326 P213 P227 P125 P422 P131 R214 R434 R412 P424 P211 P224 P215 P335 V335 P346

2117 2110 2060 2049 2047 2021 1977 1968 1963 1907 1903 1896 1835 1797 1793 1791 1768 1687 1680 1643 1641 1624 1603 1583 1571 1548 1497 1487 1485 1480 1470 1464 1455 1454 1390 1370 1338 1331 1161 1100 1033 95 57 32

2130 2234 2321 2048 2096 2123 2061 1898 2264 1958 1794 2283 1818 1977 1752 1795 2311 1742 2126 358 1664 1748 1896 1765 1488 1714 1768 1608 1709 1704 1639 1298 1462 1992 1149 1453 1378 1333 1274 1212 1057 117 44 43

-0.61% -5.55% -11.25% 0.05% -2.34% -4.80% -4.08% 3.69% -13.30% -2.60% 6.08% -16.95% 0.94% -9.10% -2.34% -0.22% -23.50% -3.16% -20.98% 358.94% -1.38% -7.09% -15.45% -10.31% 5.58% -9.68% -15.33% -7.52% -13.11% -13.15% -10.31% 12.79% -0.48% -27.01% 20.97% -5.71% -2.90% -0.15% -8.87% -9.24% -2.27% -18.80% 29.55% -25.58%

Note: Based on Information provided by TFS

2008 Rank

Pumpers/Rescue Pumpers

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 19


20

Apparatus

2008 Run

2007 Run

% Change

2008 Rank 1

S313

2649

2990

-11.40%

2

S331

2065

2694

-23.35%

3

S143

1846

2402

-23.15%

4

S232

1795

2175

-17.47%

5

S445

1659

1688

-1.72%

2006 Run

1

HR332

3949

3992 -1.08%

2

HZ332

931

1071 -13.07%

3

HZ145

828

854

4

LA421

241

289 -16.61%

5

LA333

223

283 -21.20%

6

LA114

188

167

7

FB334

177

227 -22.03%

8

LA231

154

172 -10.47%

9

CMD30 126

190 -33.68%

10 CMD10 120

153 -21.57%

11 DE145

27

22

22.73%

12 HS234

12

12

0.00%

13 TRS235 11

4

14 HS332

7

n/a

15 HS145

4

n/a

16 HS442

2

3

% Change

2007 Run

Specialty and Support Apparatus

2565 9.79% 2586 0.31% 2546 -0.31% 2135 0.28% 2122 -0.52% 1842 5.43% 1619 12.42% 1500 21.13% 1747 2.35% 1773 0.51% 1570 11.34% 1707 -1.46% 1557 6.81% 1407 6.61% 1500 -0.93% 1276 11.36% 1452 -6.20% 1364 -4.40% 1181 6.60% 1085 14.10% 1218 -0.99% 1286 -6.30% 943 25.98% 1131 2.39% 965 16.68% 958 7.20% 1032 -3.49% 295 182.03% 756 7.54% 725 -9.93% 918 649

2008 Rank

2816 2594 2538 2141 2111 1942 1820 1817 1788 1782 1748 1682 1663 1500 1486 1421 1362 1304 1259 1238 1206 1205 1188 1158 1126 1027 996 832 813 653 n/a n/a

Note: Based on Information provided by TFS

2008 Run

A312 A325 A142 T114 A231 A315 A131 A113 A244 T331 A222 A133 T333 A322 A213 A226 A441 A426 A433 A421 PL415 PL432 A135 A345 A341 A423 A324 A321 A411 A215 A125 A311

Heavy Squads

% Change

Apparatus

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

2007 Run

2008 Rank

Aerials/Platforms/Towers

-3.04%

12.57%

175.00%

-33.33%


52.61 27.66 58.94 34.16

52.91 27.98 58.15 33.78

OPERATIONS Captain Average Age Captain Average Years of Service DC Average Age DC Average Years of Service

52.03 27.26 56.97 32.55

79 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

Left TFS

56.06 30.42

L-3888 Average Age L-3888 Average Years of Service Average Age when starting

2008 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

87 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, 2009

55.75 30.01

1 2 4 2 3 4 8 6 6 4 8 3 8 1 2

# of members

# Of District Chief per each service year

Average age when retiring since 1998 55.83 Average years of sevice when retiring 30.62

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

Start Date

District Chief years of Service

2008 45.9 17.41 31.69

3 13 11 4 29 23 64 41 72 83 50 50 29 20 12 16 2 2 1 1

# of District Chiefs each age

2007 45.46 17.13 28.16

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 38 40

Age of District Chiefs

2006 44.91 16.77 28.01

1 3 7 5 11 16 32 44 59 41 50 55 47 46 37 28 16 15 4 4 3 1 1

# of Captains per each service year

1 1 0 2 5 8 6 6 15 7 5 0 3 3

40 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

Captain years of Service

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

# of Captains each age

# of members each age 2 1 5 9 8 6 10 13 11 21 46 39 55 61 77 78 78 76 104 96 109 112 128 150 147 154 150 158 148 145 116 130 107 90 84 82 51 45 30 25 11 16 5 4 6

Age of Captains

Age of 3888 members 21 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 2009 | FIRE WATCH 21


2008 Year End Call Total Command North East South West Total

2008 33024 33118 42852 33058 142052

2007 33026 33431 42742 33281 142480

2006 32354 31796 42444 32227 138821

2008 Total Apparatus Runs 2005 32506 32503 39278 32802 137089

Command North East South West Total

2008 67457 60660 97694 63542 289353

2007 69560 62579 99973 65070 297182

2006 70513 61130 99625 63392 294660

2008 excludes 107 calls for chief’s cars and ATV’s

Fire Services 2008 Net Operating Budget – Actuals by Service Communications and Operational Support 9%

Professional Development and Mechanical Support 7% Headquarters 1%

Fire Prevention and Public Safety 4%

Operations 79%

Salaries and Benefits Materials and Supplies Equipment Services and Rents Contribution to Reserves Interdepartmental Charges Other

$328,660.3 $8,629.7 $1,082.4 $6,673.0 $8,655.1 $6,407.0 $928.8 $361,036.30

Fire Services 2008 Gross Operating Budget – Actuals by Expenditure Type Services and Rents 1.8%

Contribution to Reserves 2.4%

Equipment 0.3%

Inter-Departmental Charges 1.8%

Materials and Supplies 2.4% As in previous years – Uniform Cleaning Allowance of $1,037.7 thousand is showing in Services & Rent not in Salaries & Benefits.

22

Salaries and Benefits 91.0%

1

C33

4755

4947 -3.88%

2

C31

4256

4302 -1.07%

3

C13

3052

3050

4

C14

2524

2621 -3.70%

5

C34

2397

2326

6

C32

2392

2474 -3.31%

7

C23

2210

2279 -3.03%

8

C11

2170

2155

9

C41

2042

2220 -8.02%

10 C12

2037

2039 -0.10%

11 C42

1956

2025 -3.41%

12 C22

1835

1936 -5.22%

13 C24

1639

1657 -1.09%

14 C44

1630

1750 -6.86%

15 C43

1407

1462 -3.76%

16 C21

1020

1132 -9.86%

17 C20

102

97

18 C30

97

136 -28.68%

19 C10

90

78

15.38%

20 C40

75

96

-21.88%

% Change

$3.3 $351.6

2007 Run

$25.8

2008 Run

$30.2

District Chief Cars & Platoon Chiefs Apparatus

$279.7 $12.6

2008 Rank

Operations Fire Prevention and Public Safety Communications and Operational Support Professional Development and Mechanical Support Headquarters

0.07% 3.05%

0.70%

5.15%

2005 72175 62875 102301 66255 303606


Year

Toronto Fire Services Net Operating Budget – Actual Spending (1998-2008) (thousands)

60.6% overall increase since 1998

Net Operating Budget % Increase

1998

$218,964.9

1999

$217,885.7

-0.5%

2000

$230,728.0

5.9%

2001

$248,428.6

7.7%

2002

$262,067.4

5.5%

2003

$277,075.5

5.7%

2004

$297,944.9

7.5%

2005

$303,829.4

2.0%

2006

$327,746.2

7.9%

2007

$330,143.9

0.7%

2008

$351,649.4

6.5%

2003 –2008 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

2008 n/a 7,033 3,511 27,635 8,281 590 1,823 70 10 1 78,251 18 2,322 39 143 10,692 664 1,004

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

142,087 -0.3%

142,515 2.3%

139,368 -0.8%

140,516 7.7%

130,500 -2.1%

133,267

TOTAL NUMBER OF UNIT RESPONSES % Change

289,460 -2.6%

297,287 0.9%

294,660 -2.9%

303,606 3.6%

293,023 -4.4%

306,560

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 23


Rate of Residential Structural Fires with Losses per 1,000 Households

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

Residential Fire Related Injuries and Fatalities per 100,000 Population 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

Urban Fire Operating Cost per In-Service Vehicle Hour Municipal results for fire cost per in service vehicle hour can be influenced by: • The severity or nature of risk associated with each incident, which impacts the number and type of vehicles responding (responses) as well as deployment strategies (number and type of apparatus by response type) • Different salary structures • The type and staffing levels on fire apparatus/vehicles

24


Rate of Fire Fighter Injuries at Emergency Scenes

Municipal results for the rate of fire fighter injuries at emergency scenes is based on injuries reported in Ontario Fire Marshal Casualty report, and can be influenced by: • Severity of fires • Type, age and condition of structure • Firefighter training

90th Percentile Station Notification Response Time (Min:Sec) Fire Calls 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

Each municipality’s results are influenced by a number of factors, including the relative impact of: • The nature or extent of fire risks, such as the type of building construction or occupancy (apartment dwellings versus single family homes versus institutions such as hospitals) • Geography, topography, road congestion and fire station locations and travel distances from those stations ; and • Fire prevention and education efforts, enforcement of the fire code, and presence of working smoke alarms • Differences in collective agreements regarding how many staff are required on a fire vehicle when responding to emergencies as well as how current a municipality’s wage rates are in their cycle of collective agreements

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 25


Toronto History FROM TFS HISTORY BOOK – TWO PART SERIES, CONTINUED IN SUMMER ISSUE

IN 1826 THE TOWN OF YORK DECIDED THAT IT NEEDED FORMAL FIRE PROTECTION. THE FIRST FIRE BRIGADE WAS FORMED WITH A VOLUNTEER ENGINE COMPANY. THE BRIGADE CONSISTED OF ONLY THE MOST RESPECTABLE TRADESMEN AND MERCHANTS IN THE TOWN, AND THEY WERE VERY PROUD OF THEIR FIRST ENGINE, THE YORK, WHICH WAS STATIONED IN A TWO-STOREY BRICK BUILDING ON CHURCH STREET BETWEEN COURT AND ADELAIDE STREETS. THIS PUMPING CART WAS VERY LABOUR INTENSIVE, AS THE FIREMEN FIRST HAD TO DRAW IT TO THE FIRE SCENE AND THEN BEGIN PUMPING BY HAND. THE YORK WAS A GOOSE-NECKED HAND MACHINE AND REQUIRED SIXTEEN MEN TO OPERATE IT. EIGHT MEN STOOD ON EACH SIDE AT THE BRAKES OR SIDE BARS WHERE THE PUMPING WAS EXECUTED. THE YORK HAD A PUMPING CAPACITY OF A 5/8 OR _ STREAM FOR APPROXIMATELY 140 FEET. THE HAND ENGINES WERE EMPLOYED UNTIL 1861 WHEN THE FIRE BRIGADE ACQUIRED ITS FIRST STEAM ENGINE.

A

s the bucket brigade system of firefighting was slowly phased out, the engines soon began receiving their water from ‘Carters’ who transported large puncheons (casks) of water to the fire scene aboard carts. Upon obtain-

26

ing a license to operate as a carter, each man was provided with at least one puncheon. The first Carter to arrive on scene was paid a premium, usually four dollars, resulting in many stormy races between Carters, each hoping to arrive first. The

second Carter was paid three dollars, the third two dollars, the fourth one dollar, and each man after that received a York shilling for every puncheon carted to the fire scene. Typically the barrels would be half full by the time the Carter reached


the fire as City roads at this time could be rough and muddy. Anyone discovering a fire was obliged to rush to the St. James bell to ring it. On March 6, 1834, when York was incorporated as the City of Toronto, this method of firefighting was still considered to be quite modern. Despite everyone’s valiant attempts, fire losses continued to be significantly high. During the 1850’s arson was a chronic problem in Toronto, with the scarcity of water allowing these fires to burn out of control. Volunteer patrols were organized, and during the evening these patrols walked the streets and looked for the perpetrators of arson fires. A reward of $1,500 was offered for any information that would lead to the capture of an arsonist. Toronto’s water supply was pumped from a reservoir on Huron Street to twenty fireplugs through a system of wooden pipes. The water was intended for firefighting purposes only, and unfortunately was a complete failure as many of the pipes were improperly installed. This established water system had been in operation since 1843, but was so inadequate that hydrants were not solely providing water needed at the fire scene. The Fire Protection Act of 1845 made it compulsory for Carters to continue to attend every fire to augment the water supply. In 1861 the Citizens of Toronto purchased their first two steam fire engines. Pulled by horses hired on contract, the Firemen were greatly pleased with their new acquisitions as their energy could now be better utilized at the fire scene. However, initially the new engines did procure some jealousy on the part of the engine companies that still maintained their manual pumping carts. The engines

were purchased from Messrs. Silsby & Co. of Seneca Falls, New York for $6,000. Fed by various new water reservoirs built throughout the city, the steam engine materially altered the Fire Brigade forever. It was felt that the horse drawn engine reduced the need for as many fire stations since the engine could arrive on scene faster.

Fire Alarm Telegraph

Prior to modern modes of communication in the mid-1800’s, the standard way of reporting a fire was done by the continuous ringing of the St. James Cathedral bells. By 1869, the Committee on Fire, Water and Gas urged City Council to consider the purchase of a fire alarm telegraph, however the request was ignored. Not until 1870 were tenders invited and the contract awarded to the Gamewell & Co. from New York for a sum of $12,000. The system was finally complete on June 14, 1870. The Alarm Office, at the Bay Street Fire Hall, was continuously monitored around the clock and pull stations were located at highly visible street corners throughout the city. Upon the discovery of a fire, a Citizen would locate the nearest alarm box and activate it. Each box had its own number, and the corresponding number was struck on the public bells at the St. Lawrence Hall, St. Andrew’s Market at Richmond and Brant streets, and at the Berkeley and Yonge Street Firehalls. The system had its problems, however. The bells were slow and only one alarm could be accepted at a time. In 1887 a new firehall was constructed on Lombard Street and the Alarm Office was relocated here to larger and newer quarters. As the city expanded, the telegraph system provided

a much quicker and more efficient mode of alarm, however, there were still areas in the city where a messenger was required to make long trips to the nearest engine house to notify the men of a fire. As the city grew, so did the Toronto Fire Department and it soon constructed a new facility for the Alarm Office next door to its new Headquarters at 152 Adelaide Street West. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Company was commissioned to install a new fire alarm monitoring system that boasted improvements such as giving dispatchers manual control over which boxes were transmitted to the halls, and the removal of the strikers from the public bells. Now just the fire bells in the stations would be rung. In 1926 the system was expanded to handle the annexation of suburban areas. Over the years as the telephone made its way into everyone’s homes, the use of the alarm boxes was reduced dramatically. In 1971, the Fire Alarm Office again relocated to the newly constructed Fire Station #1 at 260 Adelaide Street West. In the summer of 1978, the boxes were removed one by one from their painted red posts. The last box removed was Box 12 at King and Bay Streets where notification of the Great Toronto Fire was rung from in 1904.

Toronto—a Professional Department

The year 1871 saw a reorganization of the Fire Department so that it consisted of 57 men; one Chief Engineer, one Assistant Engineer, four steam engine Engineers, four steam engine Firemen, one bugler, and 40 men. The 40 men were divided into five sections of eight men each. In turn, four sections

DURING THE 1850’S ARSON WAS A CHRONIC PROBLEM IN TORONTO, WITH THE SCARCITY OF WATER ALLOWING THESE FIRES TO BURN OUT OF CONTROL. SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 27


Toronto History ... Continued from page 25

were assigned to the four steam engines and one section was assigned to the hook and ladder truck. The Engineers and Firemen were on duty continuously at their stations; however, the forty men only were required to report to duty in the event of a fire. While still primarily a volunteer department, it was becoming increasingly difficult to provide prompt service when such a large percentage of the firefighting force was employed elsewhere during the day, and often the volunteers were required to travel quite a few miles in order to reach the city’s centre. Petitioning City Council in 1874, the Chief Engineer urged the acquisition of a paid corps of 36 Firemen who could devote all of their time explicitly to the Department. Toronto finally obtained its request later that same year.

Yorkville

On November 29, 1875 Yorkville established a by-law to provide for the appointment of a fire warden and a village fire brigade. By September of 1877, Yorkville’s

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fire alarm telegraph system was complete with the original contractor having been replaced with another during the process. The village’s new fire hall was complete with an 80’ hose and bell tower, accommodations for their Chief, John Robinson, meeting room facilities for the twenty-man department, and bays for their two hose reels and ladder truck.

Parkdale

At first the Village of Parkdale depended on the City of Toronto for their fire protection, but this system had its challenges. The nearest fire station was located at Dundas Street, north of Queen (now Ossington Avenue) and the nearest hydrant was opposite the Provincial Lunatic Asylum on Queen near Strachan Avenue. The railway crossing at Queen and Dufferin Streets was also an issue as the fire hoses were forced to be uncoupled every time a train passed over the tracks. Parkdale was called upon on May 27, 1880 when a devastating fire began in Moore’s Hotel located on what is now Queen Street

West. With no formally organized fire protection, the villagers formed a bucket brigade, which unfortunately was no match for the blaze which first jumped from store to store, and then eventually traversed the street. The Toronto Fire Department responded, but with no hydrants available, was forced to call for a downtown engine. A water supply was secured east of Dufferin Street, and the steamer that responded was instrumental in suppressing the fire. The $50,000 fire encouraged Parkdale to form a brigade one year later. Again on September 23, 1880, Parkdale suffered a large fire. Starting in a frame building on Queen Street, the fire was far too advanced when it was discovered. Without a fire brigade, the villagers stood and watched as a hotel, a store, and several offices were consumed before Toronto responded. By August 1880, Parkdale’s first fire brigade had formed, and by the year’s end the village Council had purchased a fire engine, hose reel, and a temporary fire hall. The cost of the new fire hall


FIREMEN WERE REQUIRED TO KNOW HOW TO READ AND WRITE, BE NOT MORE THAN 26 YEARS OF AGE, STAND NO LESS THAN 5 FEET 7 INCHES IN HEIGHT ... was $64.50, which included lumber and labour. Council also donated $50 towards a new bell that was to be rung in the event of fire for St. Mark’s Church. By autumn of 1880, the brigade was offered a permanent spot on the ground floor of the new ‘McLachlan and Walker’ public building near Queen and Cowan Avenue. When it officially opened in 1881, the Chief of the brigade, Thomas Coles, had 34 volunteer men.

North Toronto

The Town of North Toronto maintained three outposts of their volunteer fire brigade. By 1910, fire alarms had been installed into the homes of some of the Fire Fighters for quick notification when needed at a fire. The Fire Fighters also partook in the daily drill practice of ‘harness dropping’ from the ceilings onto the horses. Their pay was $2 per fire. A testament to the number of fires they must have fought, by 1916 their Fire Chief, F.A. Murphy, was compelled to ask the Town Council to have his own salary of $100 per year doubled just so that he could stay ahead of his own men.

West Toronto to Junction

On May 7, 1891, West Toronto Junction’s Box 15, located at Dundas Street and Frederick Street, was struck for a fire in some row houses under construction. The fire was located on Maria Street. The 0530 hours fire completely destroyed the two-block building. On July 5, 1891, West Toronto Junction acquired a new ladder truck for its Station No. 1, with a chemical engine soon to follow. By October 7, Station No. 1 had expanded to include a shed on the side for the ladder truck when the chemical engine arrive\

Toronto Begins as a Full Time Department in 1874

Toronto’s permanent force was formed in 1874, and after reorganization, consisted of a Chief Engineer, two Deputy Chiefs, one electrician, one assistant electrician, four engineers, four Firemen, seven foremen, and 26 men. Horses and drivers were kept on contract, saving the city about $6,700 dollars annually. Chief Engineer, James Ashfield had been a member of the Toronto Brigade since 1839, and due to his long service, he was relieved from attendance at fires, but was permitted to have a general oversight over the brigade at a salary of $1,000 annually. Chief Engineer Richard Ardagh was promoted to Chief of the Brigade in 1878, and at this time was one of the oldest Firemen in the City of Toronto, having joined the brigade when he was just 15 years of age. As Chief of the Brigade he was paid $1,000 per year. It was also in this same year that the Salvage Service was discontinued, and the members of this section were transferred to the new Hook and Ladder section which had been formed at the Portland Street Station. A few years later two new Deputy Chiefs were made with Chief James Davis to oversee the West side of the city, and Chief John Thompson to oversee the East side of the city.

Rules and Regulations

On January 31, 1887, by-laws were passed by Council to allow the Fire Chief to have complete control of all of the men assigned to duty in his department and for the creation of a number of new rules and regulations. The by-law included

subjects such as the purchase of any supplies needed by the men, the permission of each Section to allow one member to have a leave-of-absence one half day and one night in each week, dismissal from duty for not wearing a uniform while on duty, and dismissal for absence from a fire without sufficient reason. The by-law also demanded that all department members to be subjects of Great Britain and that no person could be appointed to the Department having been convicted of a crime. Firemen were required to know how to read and write, be not more than 26 years of age, stand no less than 5 feet 7 inches in height, and weigh no less than 135 lbs. Successful candidates would also have to pass a stringent medical examination.

Terrible Toll of 1904

The Great Toronto Fire of 1904 occurred on April 19th of that year. The fire destroyed the entire Iron Block of the city. After ten hours of firefighting the blaze was under control, but for two weeks the department battled spot fires. The total annual loss of $11,000,000 was contributed to greatly by this fire. A total of 104 buildings were destroyed, and incidentally, there was not one fatality that was attributed to the fire. A conflagration of this magnitude has never occurred since in Toronto’s history.

First Motorized Apparatus 1911

On October 18, 1911, the first motorized apparatus was purchased for the Department, signalling the doom of the horsepulled wagons and apparatus. The first apparatus was a chemical-hose combination truck, and was stationed at the SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 29


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Toronto History ... Continued from page 29

Fire Prevention

College and Bellevue Hall. Carrying 1,000 feet of hose, 200 feet of chemical hose, a tank, and two ladders, the Firemen and Council were thrilled with their new purchase. The new motorized trucks meant that three apparatus could be combined into one cost effective truck. The new motors replaced the steamer engine and the horse-drawn cart, and also had a chemical wagon component. These trucks could travel much faster, and move from one end of the city to the other on extremely short notice. In addition, there was no danger of the horses ever becoming overtired Further expansion occurred in 1911 with the construction of three new halls, and the acquisition of 19 new men. This change required the creation of two more District Chiefs, for a total of six. With modernization at the forefront, four more motorized apparatus were purchased in 1912, and two of these were chemical-hose combination trucks. The Ossington Hall, known then as Lower Dundas, received the first apparatus, and the Yorkville Hall received the second.

New Fire Chief Sanctions Union

On January 1st, 1916, William Smith was promoted to the position of Fire Chief and almost immediately sanctioned the formation of a Toronto Fire Department Union. The department continued to lose men to the war effort. As a result of the loss of 42 men, the staffing complement dropped to just 342 members.

The Toronto Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau was created in 1917. There was one Inspector, William Slaght, who was assigned to the bureau and he travelled to his building inspections by bicycle. Two additional Inspectors were added to assist Slaght later that year, one of who was the former Chief of the West Toronto Fire Department, John Robinson. New uniforms of blue serge were issued for the very first time in 1917.

A Fire Fighter’s Best Friend

Most people historically connect the Dalmatian dog with the fire service. Dalmatians were first summoned into the stations for utilitarian purposes. Dogs have always been notorious for making a game of chasing after horses and nipping their hooves, however, the Dalmatian did not pleasure in bothering the horses. They were excellent dogs for running alongside the horses that pulled the hose wagons and steamers, thus keeping the other canines away. The Dalmatian became a welcomed addition to the station for this purpose, and for the company they provided to the men who resided there.

Horse Tails

Over the years as motorized apparatus were added to the department, the number of horses decreased. The Fire Fighters mourned the loss of their horses, as they had become very attached to these animals, always making sure they were well cared for. At the Portland Street Station, the Fire Fighters had been known to feed the horses candies after a fire. After completing their stoking and equipment maintenance around the hall one evening, the crew proceeded upstairs to the kitchen to prepare their dinner. The horses,

however, anticipated further treats and while looking for the men, they climbed the stairway and wandered into the kitchen. Startled, the Fire Fighters did everything possible to lead the horses back down the stairs. The horses, however, had made their minds up—they were not going down the way they had come up! As a last resort, the crew used planks, ropes, and muscle power to slide the horses back down to the first floor. Fortunately, no calls came in at this time and the horses were not distressed by the incident. Toronto’s last horses were removed from duty in 1931 when this year saw the final horse-drawn apparatus taken off the TFD’s vehicle roster. Hose 28’s twohorse hose wagon was replaced with a 1930 Bickle when the last road was paved in the area of North Toronto.

Apparatus Maintenance Division

Since the birth of motorized apparatus on the Toronto Fire Department, mechanically inclined Firemen initially performed truck repairs in the stations. In 1915, the first motor shop was created at the rear of the Adelaide Street Station to accommodate apparatus maintenance. As the need for more space occurred, 32 Ordnance Street was acquired and a motor shop was built in 1932 to deal with the repairs required by a now fully motorized Department. The new shop was ideal, with enough space for the trucks, a paint shop, a carpentry shop, and a stores section, and was staffed by mechanics and other personnel. The Ordnance Street motor shop operated until 1995 when the Toronto Fire Department’s Master Fire Plan ’94 deemed it no longer financially viable. TFD Mechanics then moved to their new facilities adjacent to the Eastern Avenue City Garage. —to be continued Summer 2009

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 31


BY TONY MACDONALD, TORONTO FIRE CAPTAIN, STATION 445A

Blair rides in the 1991 Barrie National Hare Scramble.

Member Pr file on

W

hen he was six years old, Blair Sharpless looked under the Christmas tree and was thrilled to find a mini-bike. From that point on, motorcycles have played a large role in his life and oddly enough, even led him to join the fire department. Blair’s father, Bill, had many National motorcycle racing titles under his belt. Bill and his wife owned Sonic Motorcyles on Eglinton Avenue in Scarborough, so it was only natural that Blair and his brother and sister began riding and then racing.

At thirteen, Blair began working part-time at his father’s motorcycle shop. He learned to assemble the new motorcycles out of the shipping crates for their customers. When Blair wasn’t at school or work, he went racing on weekends. He would race motocross, trials events, flat track and ice race in

32

the winter. Even at such a young age, he was successful and found himself racing well against older riders. To compete at Enduro riding, one requires a driver’s license, since the trail sections are linked together using public roads. Blair rode his first Enduro when he was sixteen years old. Enduro racing is like a car rally on a motorcycle, without having a navigator beside you giving you directions. There is a prescribed speed average and time schedule for the road sections, but the racing is in the woods where the riders try to set the fastest time for the off-road sections. Written instructions are given, which lead the riders through forests, along rivers, over jumps and around extreme obstacles. The riders must follow them within a specific amount of time. “Sometimes the challenge is simply making it through the course, never mind doing it faster than anyone else,” states Blair. The events take the entire day, or as Blair found out later, can last up to six days. Having mechanical aptitude is also an advantage during the times when you break something on your bike or drown it after dropping it in deep water. Although Blair was the youngest competitor in his first Enduro, he won his class and finished second overall! He was a natural for this type of competition and he excelled at it. This was the true start of Blair’s remarkable racing career. In 1981, Blair’s parents sold Sonic Motorcycles, so Blair decided to open his own shop. The Sharpless Can-Am dealership began by selling and servicing Bombardier Can-Am motorcycles and a year later he added the Husqvarna line

as well. On top of racing all over North America and Europe, Blair built a successful business. In 1983, the shop was sold, and Blair worked for Suzuki Canada as a race mechanic for Ross Pederson, who was the best in the Motocross racing world. Blair would travel with Ross all summer, and then ride his own Enduro events for Can-Am in the fall. When Blair was driving to and from events, he preferred to share the drive with other riders. Part of the reason was that if one of them hurt themselves at a race, the other could get them home. One of the riders that Blair would drive with was a Toronto Fire Fighter named Ian Peters. During their long drives, Ian would often try to talk Blair into joining the Fire Department. Blair was not really interested. One time, Ian handed Blair an application form and told him that he only had a couple of weeks to apply because the Toronto Fire Department was hiring soon. Although Ian pestered him, Blair did not follow up on it. On the last day, Ian filled in the application and then persuaded Blair to sign it. Ian sent it in and Blair went through the hiring process and was hired as a fire fighter in February 1987. He started as a recruit at Station 333 on B1 shift. Blair remembers all of this with a grin, because he says it was the best thing that could have happened to him. He loves the job. He spent two years in Fire Prevention in the P.I.P. program, and then came back onto the trucks. Blair is now an acting Captain at Station 313 on “B” platoon and is trained on the many extra technical rescue duties that Squad personnel learn. He rode Can-Am’s until they stopped making them in 1987, and then he


Blair Sharpless “I am obviously a competitive person, and would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy winning, but I also enjoyed the adventure of all the travel.” switched to riding Suzuki’s. His successes were amazing. He won seventeen Canadian National Championships and is still the only Canadian rider to have ever won a United States National Championship Enduro. In the legendary Two Day Corduroy Enduro, Blair still holds the record with seven overall wins. He set another record in 1983 by being the only rider in the twenty-six year history of the Corduroy to complete the event with zero time lost! In the twenty-five years since then, that feat has still not been repeated! In Europe, there is a grueling six day Enduro called the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE). Blair’s record against the best in the world continued to amaze. Between 1984 and 1993, Blair won two Bronze medals in France and Holland, seven Silver medals in Italy (twice), Wales, Poland, France, Sweden, and Holland, and a Gold medal in Germany. He has too many other accomplishments to list, however, some other highlights include coming third in the Baja 1000, getting a Silver medal in the Australian four day Enduro, and winning Gold at the World Police and Fire Fighter Games in both Vancouver and Calgary. He is also the only Cana-

dian rider to have ever won the Alligator Enduro that is held during Daytona Speed Week, before the Daytona 200 motorcycle road race. When asked what he loved about racing, Blair responded, “I am obviously a competitive person, and would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy winning, but I also enjoyed the adventure of all the travel. I enjoyed getting to know riders from all over the world and the challenge of competing, not just against the other riders, but also against the terrain itself. When the conditions were bad, like rain or snow, the win was always more satisfying. Even now that I don’t compete, I still enjoy riding the tough trails. The best riding for me, is when I am out exploring, seeing if a trail goes anywhere, and if I can get through it.” Blair met his wife Stacey at a 9-1-1 Charity Dance at the Fort York Armories in 1996. They now have two girls,

Emma, who is 9, and Megan, who is 7. Both girls have mini bikes and started riding when they were 2 years old. Stacey grew up figure skating, so skating and skiing are the winter sports enjoyed in the Sharpless household. It didn’t take long for Blair to recall a memorable Fire Department incident: “A few summers ago, when there was a very heavy rainstorm, the Don River flooded its banks and trapped some of the homeless people who were living in the woods next to the river. The river rose sixteen feet in minutes and became a couple of football fields wide, full of debris, and very fast. The water came up so fast and was so strong that it washed cars off the Bayview extension into the ditch. It was an unbelievable sight when we arrived. Toronto Fire Services has very few people trained in swift water rescue. One of them, John Radford, is part of our station crew and thankfully, he was

In 1987, Blair travelled to France for the International Six Days Enduro race. He came home with the Silver medal and the Ontario Cup.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 33


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Blair Sharpless Member Profile ... Continued from page 33

At one point, there were six of us in three different Fortuna boats, four cops in dinghy’s and another cop on a Waverunner, all in the river at the same time.

dangerous at this location, so Dave and I had it easy compared to John, Rob, and Chris. We were at the call for 8 hours and some of the guys were in the suits and boats the whole time. It was definitely a memorable night.” When Blair quit serious racing at the end of 1993, he started a motorcycle riding school in the Ganaraska Forest, near highway 115. The “Blair Sharpless and Company Trail Tours and Dirt Bike School began in 1994. Over the next four years, he improved the riding abilities of over 5,000 riders. The school was sold in 1997 and is still in operation today under the new ownership. Blair rode his last race in 2003, which he won, and now limits his involvement in the motorcycle world to organizing the Coruroy Enduro event in Haliburton. In 2006, the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame was organized. Of all the motorcycle racers that had competed for Canada in previous years, Blair Sharpless was recognized for his many accomplishments and was inducted in the first year. Congratulations Blair!

the victim with the broken arm and the officers safely into their boats but they couldn’t return to shore until a high line was February 1987 saw rigged to pull them upriver out Blair competing in the of the trees and pendulum back O.C.M.C Ice Race in Port Perry. to shore. Captain Andy Pett, Liam Cullen (P313) and Squad 331 went over to the DVP side of the on the truck that night. Following river to rig the high line. They used John’s lead, we managed to rescue 6 the Police Marine Unit’s Waverunner homeless people from treetops, and 2 to get a line across river. While that police officers as well. The Officers’ was happening, Squad 313 Captain dinghy got trapped in a strainer formed Dave Payne and I had to go get five othby trees, and crumpled when they were er people who were trapped on some trying to assist with the rescue. Chris high ground a little ways up the river. Dickinson was nearby when the OffiThe distance to shore was short and cers fell into the water and he was able the water conditions were not nearly as to maneuver close enough to pull them into his boat before they were sucked Blair poses with his crew from Station 313. From left to right: Blair Sharpless, Liam Cullen, under the trees. John Radford and Rob Rob Wonfor, Mike de Bruyn, Captain Andy Pett. Wonfor had to leave their boat and swim through the treetops to rescue a guy with a broken arm. At one point, there were six of us in three different Fortuna boats, four cops in dinghy’s and another cop on a Waverunner, all in the river at the same time. A rope was rigged from the Bloor Viaduct, to lower drinking water to the crews whose boats were trapped in the trees. Since we only had our ice rescue dry suits to wear, dehydration was a big problem. Rob, John, Chris, and Chris Markham (Squad 331) were able to get

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 35


Thank you, Toronto FIREPAC contributors “When you drink from a well, remember those that dug the well”

– African proverb

BY DAMIEN WALSH – CHAIR, 3888 GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

Y

our Toronto FIREPAC program was established in 2001. With the city still in the throes of amalgamation, our Association embarked on a course of action to have our issues and concerns addressed by our political leaders in a changing city. There were many more stakeholders coming to the municipal table but our Association had always been vocal and active on items affecting the lives of fire fighters and the citizens that we protect. The fleet of front line fire apparatus was aging and in disrepair; our staffing levels were low and not standardized across the city; we were in the middle of a lengthy arbitration process trying to harmonize previous collective agreements into one; and so, Toronto FIREPAC was born and our Association established itself as a viable force in the political arena. Many members gave of their time and money to assist in electing candidates who supported us. That was then. Much has changed since the early years, and today, thanks to the support of our members, we continue to show the community at large that Toronto Fire Fighters are a concerned group within our city that will fight for issues affecting Fire Fighters and the safety of its citizens. Our efforts have been very successful. We now see a much improved fleet, with a commitment to continuous upgrading on a regular basis through the annual budget process; funding to provide each fire fighter with a portable radio on the fire ground; and consecutive freely negotiated collective agreements that are second to none in our province.

[

WE NOW SEE A MUCH IMPROVED FLEET, WITH A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUOUS UPGRADING ON A REGULAR BASIS THROUGH THE ANNUAL BUDGET PROCESS; FUNDING TO PROVIDE EACH FIRE FIGHTER WITH A PORTABLE RADIO ON THE FIRE GROUND ...

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]

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GOLD Adams, Todd Ahola, Pekka Aikens, Gord Anderson, Greg Archer, Tim Baker, William Banwell, Peter Barr, Jim Barrett, Don Barrington, Mike Baxter, Dan Bills, Mark Blake, John Burrell, Chris Cherun, Derrick Clark, Norman Cullen, Liam Downes, Matthew Downey, Leo Doyle, Moe Drimmie, John Dunbar, Bruce Dunn, Stephen Dyer, John Eldon, Richard Ellement, Darrell Eyers, Scott Falconer, Dave Gayman, Tim Geekie, Tim Green, Jim Haley, Greg Hickey, Tony Hurlburt, Mark Jackson, Keneth Jansen, Craig Knaggs, Chris Krigos, Jim Laffey, Nick Landman, Eric Leonard, John Loibl, Ron MacLachlan, John Martin, Natalie McCannell, Ross McDonald, Kevin McKinnon, Neil Meagher, Carol Morgan, Rick Noakes, Robert Norris, Glenn

Orrett, John Pace, Herc Pineau, Dave Ptasiuk, Igor Rhodes, Clifford Robb, Steve Romard, Ron Roynon, Dave Sabino, Al Salb, Mike Shapiera, Kevin Sheppard, Joseph Silverthorn, James Sinclair, Michael Starr, Pat Stroud, Robert Trotter, Trevor Turnbull, Mike Vanderlinden, John Von Der Heide, Sabina Walsh, Dave Watson, Alan R Wilson, Craig Woodroy, Brad SILVER Alston, Dan Barnes, Jon Bentham, Paul Bernardi, Carlo Blacklaws, Mike Boyd, Brian Bradley, Kevin Bradley, Royal Braiden, Kenneth Bryan, Steve Buckley, Bertram Burland, Robert Cairns, Michael J Cassidy, Michael Catton, Greg Cavanagh, Scott Churchmack, Rick Clifford, Keith Close, Ken Coleman, James Comolli, Daniele Compton, Mark

Connor, Robert T Correa, Bruce Cossarini, Jack Coyne, Peter Crews, Brian Cunningham, Paul Daniels, Michael Danks, James De Vries, Elik Demarco, Joe Dennison, Craig Dixon, Traci Dowdell, Andrew Duff, Devon Ellery, Drew Elms, Neville Erwin, Doug Erwin, Trevor Evans, John Feeney, Robert Fisher, Taylor Florian, Marc Gaboury, Richard Galicia, Andrew Gambier, Steve Gaudet, Paul Gonzalez, Carlos Graley, Trevor Hanson, Don Harrison, Colin Hart, Jim Heinemann, Mike Hill,Kevin Hughes, Kevin Ingles, David Irvine, Brian Ivins, Darren Jakopcevic, Goran Jessop, John Johansen, Glen Johnson, Wally Jones, Alex Kassen, Tom Keough, Glenn Killen, Shane Kralik, George Kurtz, John Langill, Chuck Lewandowski, Mike Lines, Ken Linka, Vic

Today, our political priorities are directed by your Executive Board, through consultation with the Government Relations Committee, and then they are put into action through FIREPAC. On the Provincial level, we have seen many significant pieces of legislation passed through a strong lobby effort in conjunction with the OPFFA. These include: Bill 221 (in 2007) – Presumptive Cancer Legislation – which provides line-of-duty benefit coverage to fire fighters contracting certain cancers as well as heart injury within 24 hours of a fire. Bill 206 (in 2006) – an act to amend the OMERS pension plan to improve pension benefits for emergency service workers Bill 28 (in 2006) – The Mandatory Blood Testing Actrequiring the taking and analyzing of blood to protect Emergency Services workers who may have come in contact with bodily fluids in performance of their duties. Bill 40 (in 2004)– an act to amend the Insurance Act to protect Emergency Services workers while driving emergency vehicles. On the Federal level, we have achieved significant funding for Hazardous Materials and CBRN training programs. These changes don’t happen overnight and politicians don’t agree to our demands just because we are fire fighters. It takes a sustained and vigilant lobby effort. It takes time, money and consistent relationship building to educate legislators on

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 37


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Thank You for supporting our advertisers! 38


Thank you, Toronto FIREPAC contributors ... Continued from page 35

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AS MEMBERS OF OUR ASSOCIATION, TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE EFFORTS OF THOSE WHO LAID THE GROUND WORK FOR THE MANY IMPROVEMENTS WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE PAST THAT WILL BENEFIT FIRE FIGHTERS FOR YEARS TO COME.

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our issues. Our successes have proven that we have a winning formula but there will always be challenges to meet. None of these achievements would have been possible without the contributions of time and money from you, the membership. As members of our Association, today and in the future, it is important to remember the efforts of those who laid the ground work for the many improvements we have achieved in the past that will benefit fire fighters for years to come. We are grateful to those who dug that well for future generations of fire fighters. We now have overwhelming evidence that FIREPAC works and fire fighters can have a strong and significant impact at all levels of government. This is why Jim Lee, Assistant to the General President for Canadian Operations of the IAFF calls FIREPAC, “ the number one tool in the professional fire fighters legislative toolbox.” While we are proud of our accomplishments, we must continue to move forward with our issues that have yet to be addressed. We must continue to work to elect political leaders who support our issues. We must continue to be proactive in working to support those that support us. What can you do to help? • Find out who your councillor is in the ward that you work in and live in.

Lokstein, Chris Lord, Diana Luty, Tim MacDonald, Rick Macken, Murray Maclennan, Daryl Markham, Dale Mayor, Jim McAlinden, Brian McCann, Mike McCready, John McEachern, Cam McKelvey, Scott McKinnnon, Mark McKinnon, Kevin Mechano, James Miles, Jeff Miranda, George Missons, John Mogford, Steve Morris, Terrence Motton, Eric Mullin, David Nastamagos, Sam Neary, Peter North, Bill

O’Halloran, Fergus Orrett, Mark Pade, Raymond Patterson, Ron Peters, Ian Pezzetta, Lino Plugowsky, Jason Porier, John Pos, Jeff Power, Brian Pratchett, Vincent Price, Craig Quibell, Mike Randall, John Ratushniak, Bryan Robinson, John Sadler, David Salvitori, Dan Sansosti, Marilena Smalley, Kevin Smith, Michael Smith, Wayne Snellings, Gord Speight, Dan Speiran, Ian

Steffler, Greg Steffler, Jonathan Street, Kevin Swiderski, Ed Tewnion, Gordon Tullett, Neil Tustin, Dominec Van Tol, Jason Versace, Paul Wagner, John Walton, Stephen Warden, Matthew Warnock, Sam Watters, Glenn Weaver, Scott Whitehead, Matt Whiteman, Adrian Wickens, Shane Wilhelm, Rob Wilson, Robin Wilvert, Chris Wittemeier, Jurgen Wood, Mike Wright, Sonny

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 39


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Amiri Faridoon Tel: 416-993-0927

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GET NOTICED Call Latoya Davis at 416-646-3128 Ext: 114


Thank you, Toronto FIREPAC contributors ... Continued from page 37

• Also your MPP and MP. Do they support fire fighter issues? • Contribute to FIREPAC. You can donate part of a Union sub, monthly contribution through the TFDECU or a direct contribution. • Get involved in the next campaign. A couple of hours of your time can make a significant impact. Contact a member of Toronto FIREPAC or come out to a Union meeting to find out more. This year has seen a lull in the political trenches but November 2010 will bring a municipal election and November 2011 will see a Provincial election. It would be remiss to not recognize the efforts of your Toronto FIREPAC committee. They work year round, attending political events, staying on top of issues on the political scene, as well as delivering information and, of course, incentives to the membership. If you know any of the following people, say thanks for their efforts on behalf of all fire fighters—Paul Beames, Chair, Alex Kreposter, Mark McKinnon, Gerlando Peritore, Ernie Thorne, Tracy Lamb, Gord Snellings, Randy Smith, and John Woodbury. Most importantly, if you have contributed to FIREPAC in any way over the years, give yourself a pat on the back. YOU have made a difference. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet, there is still much to do and we look forward to having you on board in the future. For more information, contact a member of FIREPAC or your Government Relations committee as we look forward to even greater results as we move ahead with our issues.

BRONZE Anderson, Alan Andrew, Peter Antonucci, Michael Aprile, Steve Arabia, John Ash, Peter Atkinson, Paul Babcock, Doug Bailey, Scott Baldwin, Andrew Bedford, Randy Bigham, Jeff Billich, Ian Bince, Glen Bishop, Scott Bisset, Gord Boyd, Bill Boyko, Laura Bright, Jason Brooks, Douglas Brown, Greg Brown, Lee Bruyn, Mike Bryant, David Burkitt, Michael Cairns, Mike C Cameron, Dave Carson, John Carter, Dennis Casarin, Tony Chambers, Bill Chrisp, Robert Clarke, Bob Cloer, Stefan Coles, Shane Condran, Cliff Corradetti, Piero Costoff, Martin Crummey, Jim Crummey, Robert Cunningham, Rod Czulinski, Peter D’Aloisio, Dan David, Jeff DeAmicis, Gino DeBruyn, Mike Delo, Rob Dempsey, John Dies, Robert Denysek, Dave Divalentin, Richard Dodds, Paul Donnely, Matt Dosant, Al Dube, Marc Dubkov, Rayanne

Eagelson, Cory Eagleson, Cory Edwards, Wesley Eyers, Jason Fiset, Paul Fitzgerald, Mike Fowler, Kenneth Freeman, David Ganguly, Andrew Goldsworhy, William Goldsworthy, Brian Green, Timothy Gunns, Richard Hacking, Barb Hannah, Stacy Hasson, Mike Hoffmann, Samantha Holloway, Scott Hoy, Brad Hube, Will Hunter, Johnathan Jaciw, Dan Jacklin, William Janusas, Al Jeisel, Perry Jones, Doug Jones, Paul Kalliokoski, John Kelly, Brian Keskikyla, Alan King, Mark Knott, Jim Krolow, Ed Kurmey, Dave Kwiatkowski, Paul Lai, Kar-Wing Lancia, Tony Law, Greg Ledig,Martin Leeson, Larry Lines, Don Loukides, William Lovitt, Rob Lunau, Jeff MacAskill,James Magnan, luc Malcolm, Ron Mandarano, Antonio Manderson, Scott Marengeur, Cary Marshall, Brian Marshall, Steve Masters, Scott Matheson, Dave McCardle, Robert

McCarron, Joe McFarlane, Peter McFater, John McGuirk, James McKee, Rod McLaughlin, Colin Mears, Brett Miller, Grant Moyle, Steve Murray, Brian Nardi, Silvio Neu, Michael Nicholson, Keith O’Prey, Kevin Ocquaye, John O’Dacre, Tim Opie, Suzanne Panzini, Joe Pelayo, Bernie Petruzzellis, Julie Porter, Ian Quinn, Dave Rabjohn, Bruce Rathgeb, Charlene Richardson, Jeff Robinson, Dave Roger, Stephen Ruddy, Mark Ruth, Richard Safian, George Sault, Bill Schultz, Greg Sherwood, Glen Smith, Steve So, James Soares, Mario Sprat, William Stark, Graham Statkiewicz Mariusz Stewart, Terry Straub, Rick Sweeney, Graeme Thompson, Keith Thompson, Dennis Thornhill, Mark Tratnik,Mark Tsukamoto, Todd Vaillancourt, Darrell Van Erp, Nicholas VanGoethem, John Waddell, Blair Walker, Ivor Way, Brian Whitlock, Greg Wong, Andrew Zikovitz, Carl

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 41


STATION 125 BY JON LASIUK, TORONTO FIRE SERVICES ACTING CAPTAIN

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anuary marked the twenty-fourth anniversary of the opening of what is today known as Toronto Fire Station 125 at 1109 Leslie Street. As is often common, the story behind the need and impetus for a new fire station in that location was cemented in tragedy several years before that.

What was at that time, the Township of North York, worked hard to extend fire protection into the far south-east portion of the municipality during the postwar boom years of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The area around Eglinton Avenue East and Leslie Street remained a victim of the peculiar municipal boundaries of pre-amalgamation Metropolitan Toronto, remote from the established fire stations on Bond Avenue and Bermondsey Road. The area proved well situated for a grand hotel and by 1963, the Four Seasons Hotel chain chose the promontory at the north-east corner of Eglinton Avenue and Leslie Street for a new showpiece hotel. The Inn on the Park consisted of two separate guest room towers, interconnected by two, twolevel promenades which contained several convention rooms, restaurants and shops. During its heydays in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was the place to see and be seen, with many well-known celebrities and musicians staying there. The Inn on the Park soon became infamous for another reason—albeit a tragic one. Just after 2 A.M. on the morning of January 17th, 1981, a fire broke out in the 2nd floor Tower Seminar Room, adjacent to the west guest tower. An 42

unextinguished cigarette butt in a vacuum cleaner bag was later determined to be the likely source. According to evidence later given at a coroner’s inquest, the building’s fire alarm system—not connected to a monitoring company—was twice silenced by hotel staff while a night staffer was sent to investigate. The fire department was not called and guests who phoned the hotel switchboard were told there was nothing to worry about. Located at the far end of the hotel, it took several minutes for the hotel staff to reach the conference room, by which time, flames were shooting out of the

door and up an adjoining elevator shaft. Smoke poured up the unpressurized elevator shaft and stairwells, making escape impossible. Flames spread across the elevator lobby to engulf a gift shop. An elevator car on the 6th floor was melted while the cables holding others parted from the heat. North York Fire Control finally received the first telephone call at 2:15 A.M. Upon arrival, crews from #5 Hall and #6 Hall were met by a serious working fire with victims hanging out of windows on several floors. Second and Third Alarms were quickly struck as an aggressive interior attack was


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ACCORDING TO EVIDENCE LATER GIVEN AT A CORONER’S INQUEST, THE BUILDING’S FIRE ALARM SYSTEM—NOT CONNECTED TO A MONITORING COMPANY—WAS TWICE SILENCED BY HOTEL STAFF WHILE A NIGHT STAFFER WAS SENT TO INVESTIGATE.

commenced. A bullhorn was used to tell guests to shelter in place as no P.A. system was available in the hotel. As crews were sent throughout the floors to conduct search and rescue, they began finding victims. All told, of the 87 guests staying in the tower, six were killed, including two young girls aged 7 and 10 who were found by fire fighters, huddled in a sixth floor stairway along with one of the girl’s mothers. A male victim was also found dead in the stairway, while two other men were found dead on the 22nd floor— one still in his bed. Platoon Chief John Gibson and at least three other fire fighters were transported to hospital after being overcome by smoke during the rescue effort. Police Constable Bruce Brown of 33 Division was also transported after carrying a victim down from the 22nd floor by himself through choking smoke. With all of the elevators out of commission, crews were forced to walk up 23 floors. Political fallout from the blaze was immediate. Questioned by the media as to why a 1979 O.F.M. report, critical of the number of city fire stations and staffing levels was ignored, the city’s mayor criticized the report as having, “completely ignored the unique character of North York.” Nonetheless, the dye was cast and on January 19th, 1985, the North York Fire Department opened #18 Hall with a single pumper. No additional staff were hired, resulting in 6-Pump-2, the second pumper at the Bayview and York Mills fire hall, being relocated to the new hall. This was actually the sixteenth new fire hall in North York, the city skipping #16 and #17 Halls in

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the official plan to expedite the construction of the Leslie Street hall. The very first call from the new #18 Hall occurred at 18:26 hours on January, 20th ,1985, for a residential alarm at 30 The Bridle Path. With the opening of the North York Fire Department’s #19 Hall on Curlew Drive in 1995, several apparatus were relocated in the east-end of the city. The pumper assigned to the Leslie Street fire hall was moved to Curlew Drive and the aerial company assigned to #5 Hall on Bond Avenue was moved to the Leslie Street station. With this move, #18 Hall became the first fire hall in Metro Toronto to house only an aerial truck. Referred to as the “Quint Concept”, the aerial would run as a pumper in its first-in area, and as an aerial in the rest of the district. A new E-One, 23m, rear-mount quint was purchased for the hall. The Toronto Fire Services amalgamation of 1998 brought even more changes to the Leslie Street fire hall. The hall would be renumbered as Station 125. Following the KPMG fire station location study, a pumper was relocated to the station to improve coverage to Sunnybrook Hospital and in anticipation of the opening of a new fire hall in the area. Station 125 remained with a pumper and aerial in service until August 20th, 2007, when the aerial was disbanded to organize Pumper 116, a new company. Pumper 116 remained at Station 125 until December 20th, at which time they got to move into their new fire station on Old Leslie Street. The fire fighters who staff the Leslie Street fire hall have seen a lot of changes in the area since the hall opened

more than 24 years ago. The Inn on the Park, the place where the tragic fire occurred that started the wheels in motion to construct the fire hall in the first place, has recently been torn down. Only the fire hall itself remains today in memory of that tragic morning.

APPARATUS ASSIGNED TO STATION 125 Pumper 125 – 2007 Spartan/Smeal Class “B” Foam pumper. Shop # 24142.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 43


The Easiest Gift of Life to Give BY AL WATTERSON, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER, STATION #223

M

y name is Al Watterson. I have been a Toronto Fire Fighter for 19 years and I am currently stationed at hall #223. I started donating whole blood when I was 21 years old. The reason behind this was the thought of my healthy blood being used to help and possibly save a life. So, I started donating on a regular basis. I even remember back to my first donation; it went very well except when I said it felt hot in here. The nurse ran over to me and started fanning me thinking I was about to pass out. Of course, I didn’t and had a good laugh about it afterward. Blood donations are relatively easy. You make an appointment, fill out a questionnaire, have your blood hemoglobin level tested and then you donate. The whole process takes about an hour. In 1995, while snacking on cookies and coffee after a routine blood donation, I was reading a brochure about the One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network (then known as the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry). I was so overwhelmed with how rare it was to be matched as an unrelated donor that I filled out the application and handed it to the volunteer serving coffee. The thought of being on the database and possibly

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being that one match to save a life was again, a great feeling. After the information seminar, which was necessary back then to explain the registration process, the one thing that was mentioned was that once you are added to the database, there is only a rare chance that you will be matched to someone in need. Eight years later, in early July, 2003, there was a message left on my machine from a Canadian Blood Services staff member saying that I was a potential match and asking if I would continue with the second set of tests. The thought of being a match to someone unrelated to me was definitely surprising and a bit emotional. I phoned immediately and they set up an appointment for more blood tests. On July 23rd, 2003, I had a number of vials of blood taken from my arm and was told that someone would be in touch with me. On August 22nd, I received a package from a courier containing several forms that needed to be filled out and a guide for potential donors. This guide was very informative and really educated me about the entire process. On September 3rd, I had my physical with my family doctor and two days later I had an interview with the collection


center where the doctor explained to me how they would collect the stem cells contained in my bone marrow, which were found in my pelvic bone and that they would essentially remove a litre. Everyone I dealt with was truly great and completely put me at ease. I was told early in the process that I could back out at anytime. However, if I was to back out up to two weeks before the donation, there was a very good chance the recipient may die. The reason is that they “super” chemo the recipient in order to receive the healthy bone marrow. I assured the doctor and others that I would not back out. If I did the guilt would be tremendous. After my interview with the doctor I needed to fill out a bone marrow predonation survey and on September 10th, the last of the pre-donation blood samples were taken. I found out the donation would take place on September 25th and I had to be at Princess Margaret Hospital by 6:30am. When the Toronto Fire Service and the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association found out what I was doing, the fire service gave me three days special duty and the union supplied me with two union subs so that I would not have to take sick leave. This meant a lot to me as it truly demonstrated just how supportive both of these organizations were toward my donation. On September 25th, I was admitted at 6:15am. I was shown my room and settled myself in. At 7:45, I went to the operating room for the procedure. I wasn’t nervous at all, I felt very proud of myself for what I was about to go through. When I awoke in my room, from the anesthetic, the nurse came in and asked me how I was feeling. My answer, “Hun-

gry and I need a coffee.” Not ten minutes later, the nurse came back with a jumbo coffee and muffins. The rest of the day I felt some discomfort, not pain, just discomfort. The next day I felt better but the discomfort was still there. The only true pain I felt was when the nurse literarily tore the surgical tape off my butt. Now that was painful! When my wife came to take me home I was told not to lift anything heavy or to overexert myself for five days. As part of the process, a few days later I needed to fill out a post-donation survey and then another one two weeks later. One year later, and not really knowing how the recipient was doing, I filled out a “consent to release a donors’ personal information” form and so did my recipient. I was ecstatic to know that he had survived and was doing well. I sent him my email address so we could keep in touch. In April 2005, I sent an email and explained to him that I would be visiting Hull, Quebec for my daughter’s dance competition. He indicated that he only lived two hours away so we made plans to connect once I arrived. The day of our meeting arrived and I was so excited and thrilled that I waited in the lobby of the hotel for about an hour and a half. When he walked in, I just

knew it was him. He looked at me, called my name and gave me a big hug and so did his wife. We spent about three hours together with our wives before we had to go our separate ways. The only thing I can say is that it was one of the happiest days of my life. We continue to keep in touch through email and call each other ”blood brothers”. In June 2005, I decided to try something different; I started to donate platelets once a month (although you can donate platelets every two weeks). This procedure lasts about one hour and is also very rewarding for me to know that what I’m doing is helping a person in need. There are two other fire fighters who I see sometimes donating platelets at the blood donor clinic. The way I see it, if just one more fire fighter decides to start donating blood, platelets or registers their name on the One Match Stem Cell and Marrow Network, that would be one more that we didn’t have before. After reading my story I know that you’ll feel the same way. Oh and one more thing…at the time that I wrote this, I have donated 135 times and counting.

The only TRUE PAIN I felt was when the nurse literarily TORE the SURGICAL TAPE of my BUTT. Now that was PAINFUL! S P R I N G 2 0 0 9 | F I R E WATCH 45


Vladimir and Ellen Ivanov

46


EXECUTIVE TALK DAMIEN WALSH

walsh@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 316 (416) 948-3887 (cell)

I am grateful and honoured by the strong show of support accorded to me by the members of South Command in our recent election. I will endeavour to earn your confidence and to serve all Toronto Fire Fighters with the respect and honour that you have come to expect from the representatives that you elect. Your Executive Committee has been successful in achieving many goals which have improved the lives of our membership in the recent past. Consecutive, freely negotiated Collective Agreements and positive legislative changes have been great accomplishments but we cannot rest on our laurels while every day, new challenges arise which must be faced. The rights and privileges which have been achieved must be protected for the future of our membership. As Chair of your Government Relations Committee, I will do my part to continue our present course of success while looking for new ways to improve the lives of our membership. There are many political challenges ahead, where our most important work will take place on the municipal level, ensuring that we continue to push for proper staffing levels, a quality fleet of vehicles, well maintained work locations and of course, a freely negotiated Collective Agreement. In today’s challenging economy we will have to work diligently to achieve these goals. We will continue to build on the successes achieved at Queen’s Park and on Parliament Hill where fire fighters have made their presence known with significant legislative changes. We have much work before us but there is no challenge that Toronto Fire Fighters have not met in the past and your Government Relations Committee will work to ensure the legacy established by past Executive Boards will continue to be honoured. I am grateful for the counsel and assistance afforded me by current Executive Officers as well as the support of the membership. I look forward to working hard on your behalf for the next two years. Time to roll up the sleeves!

RICK BERENZ

berenz@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 302 (416) 986-4130 (cell)

As the recently appointed Chair of the Association’s Human Relations Committee, I have made a commitment to try and incorporate a more workplace oriented training program for the members. With the cooperation of the Department, the Human Relations Committee is in the process of creating a training program that will better equip our members with skill sets to cope with human relations issues in the workplace. While at work, many of us face challenges that can be frustrating and stressful. How we deal with these challenges can have a major impact on the outcome. It is our hope that after this training all of us will be better equipped to cope with today’s workplace challenges. The role of your Human Relations Committee is to mediate a resolve between members, which exists in the workplace. It can be best described as an informal, low level involvement in which Committee Members arrive in your workplace and attempt a resolve. At any time, the member(s) have the ability to formally initiate a complaint through the Department, the City or even the Ontario Human Rights Commission. In most cases, we are able to mediate successfully if given the ability to start our involvement sooner rather than later.

JOHN MACLACHLAN

maclachlan@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 312 (416) 951-3887 (cell)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted for me in west command. I transferred to west command when all Acting Captains decided upon their first pick of halls in Nov 2000. I chose station 422, C shift. I was there until this past August, 2008, when I transferred to station 445, C shift, which is where I remain. Before being elected, I was on the West Command Health and Safety Committee, serving under Scott Eyers and Dave Holwell. I am the West Command Health and Safety Chair and I know that Scott and Dave have set the bar high and I will work to meet these standards to the best of my ability. Other committees that I am on are; Chair of the Stewards Committee (by serving as a steward over the past two years I know we have a great team in place), Charities and Government Relations. I look forward to serving the membership for the next two years.

IAN HAMILTON

hamilton@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 306 (416) 708-3887 (cell)

After six years as Co-Chair of the Health & Safety Committee, the time has come to turn it over to Hugh Doherty. Hugh will serve as the new Co-Chair and I will continue to Chair the North Command Committee. My new position as Chair of the Finance Committee, along with members Frank Ramagnano and Doug Erwin, will be challenging and I look forward it.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 47


EXECUTIVE TALK DOUG ERWIN

erwin@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 311 (647) 220-8787 (cell)

I welcome the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board. As a new member of the Board, I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. I would like to thank the other members of the Board and the office staff for all of their help as I “learn the ropes”. I am the new chair of the Entertainment Recreation/Social Committee. Also, serving on the Committee are Janos Csepreghi, Frank Ramagnano, and Damien Walsh. The Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all those (and there are many) who have helped to make our Retirement Dinner, Picnic, and Christmas party such successful, well attended events over the past years. Planning for this year’s events is well underway. The date and location for the Retirement Dinner will be confirmed in the near future. The Annual Picnic will be held July 16th on Centre Island, and the Christmas party will be at Variety Village in late November/early December. Even though the Committee has these three events as a main focus during the year, there is the Recreation/Social element as well. I believe it is in this area that we, as a Local, have an opportunity to bring a social aspect back to the job that many feel has diminished in the past years, whether because of amalgamation, the 24-hour shift, longer commutes, or other factors. The Committee welcomes input from members who have any ideas or suggestions. One suggestion I have had from some members is an Annual Christmas Dinner/Dance. I would like to hear from you, the members, and if there is enough interest, we could help to get an event like this off the ground. I would like to thank Fire Watch for this opportunity to address the membership and on behalf of the Committee we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at this year’s events.

KEVIN MCCARTHY

mccarthy@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 320 (416) 708-6817 (cell)

Ten years and Counting! Back in 1999, I was elected to the Executive Board as a West Command Representative, the same year I was married to my wonderful wife Penny. Sure, there have been many bumps along the way, from the Teplitsky awards to my mother in law, but both experiences have been extremely rewarding. I draw a parallel between the two because, just like marriage, when you get involved in the labour movement, it requires a commitment beyond anything you can imagine. It is one of those things that can bring you unprecedented joy when you make a difference in a member’s life, or there can be tremendous frustration when things take too long because it gets caught up in the process. The hardest thing for me was coming to the realization that you will never make everyone happy. There are countless opportunities, as a member of the Executive Board, to gain experience and knowledge but with it comes more and more responsibility. What I have learned along the way is that the membership wants us to listen, they want to be treated fairly and to be educated. I have been fortunate enough to have been elected in two commands (West and East) and have served this membership for almost a decade and although I am unsure of what the future holds for me, please know I will always stand up for what is right. Ten years and counting ...

DAVE HOLWELL

holwell@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 309 (416) 807-7753 (cell)

The phrase, “A change is as good as a rest,” may not always be true I have suddenly come to realize. I start this new term on the Executive Board with a big change for myself but have yet to see the restful part come into play. The position of Chair of the Public Relations Committee, which I now hold, starts off with a bang in the Christmas season. The experience and the interaction with children and staff on the hospital visits on Christmas Day is amazing. The opportunity to see Santa in action first hand gives me a new appreciation for the time and effort guys like Jon Jones, Paul Kennedy and Dan Driscoll give to the kids. The overwhelming support of and for the Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive during the season is tremendous and always satisfying. Doug Sargent and his many volunteers put in countless hours to make it work. Without their support, and that of our members during this time, we would never be able to fulfill the commitment we have to so many groups and institutions at this time of year. The bonus for the community as a whole is that our members have that commitment and desire to help and participate all year in many other benefits, events and fundraisers that we have a part in. I hope to encourage this involvement throughout the year and make it an as enjoyable and worthwhile relationship as we can for all those involved. Our position in the community is sacred. It is up to us to put the effort in to nurture and maintain our good standing and trust in all that we do. Be involved, be proud and most of all respect the position we hold and have fun helping others.

KEVIN ASHFIELD

ashfield@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 308 (416) 605-3889 (cell)

Last November, while assisting a crew member with a building project, I fell from about 11 feet and landed on the concrete below; I broke my elbow and underwent surgery to repair it. I met many people during the hours I spent in the various waiting rooms at Sunnybrook Hospital, listening to stories about their injuries, the waiting period for them to get into OHIP physiotherapy programs and wondering when they could get back to work so they could start collecting a paycheck again. After hearing these stories, I realized how fortunate we are to be part of an organization that has bargained a strong collective agreement that provides benefits and security to us and our families; the things we take for granted such as sick days, medical and dental benefits, job security and a collective agreement, to name a few, are not enjoyed by all workers in this province. One question I always get is, “Why do we get 18 sick days a year when we’re not allowed to use them?” I didn’t have a good answer for this until after I had this accident but this is my thought. Our sick time is like an insurance policy, we complain about what we pay into it each year but when an event occurs that requires us to use it, we’re glad we have it. Our collective agreement is there to be used, not abused. Pay tribute to those who fought for our rights before us and remember to leave this a better job for those who will come after us.

48


EXECUTIVE TALK JANOS CSEPREGHI

csepreghi@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 304 (416) 806-6286 (cell)

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.

SCOTT EYERS

eyers@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 305 (416) 948-9598 (cell)

This is my fourth term serving the membership of our local. As the Chair of the Grievance Committee, my duty is to monitor the department and ensure the rights and privileges contained in our Collective Agreement (CA) are adhered to by all. Often we deal with members when the stress and potential ramifications are very high. It is the right of Management to discipline employees and it is the sole right of the Association to represent our members and grieve the discipline. In all cases, we strive to ensure that a proper investigation is conducted by the department. It is important to note that our Association spares no expense when it comes to providing this membership with the best legal advice. Issues are addressed, grievances filed and the final decision often rests in the hands of an independent Arbitrator. With the ability to forgo the ‘unknown’ and the stress of the time delays inherent to the arbitration process, the negotiated settlement is an option available to the member. To achieve this result, Administration, the Association and the member, in consultation with our legal counsel, must be satisfied with the resolve. The advice received from legal council is based on case law and arbitrated awards from across the country and our negotiated settlements reflect what is fair and acceptable to our counsel and our member. It is important to note that it is these areas that help to form the labour climate of today. What may have been an accepted practice in the past, may not be the case as things evolve in the present. After full consultation with legal counsel, the member decides the course of action to be followed. If the member chooses to challenge the penalty – we grieve. If the member decides the best course of action is to negotiate – we attempt to negotiate an acceptable settlement – or grieve if a desired resolve is not attained. Although the Association holds carriage of grievance issues, it is a long standing practice of this Association to allow the member to choose the path travelled. Negotiated settlements all contain a ‘confidentiality clause’ that precludes the parties from discussing the particulars of the issue. Arbitrations are public documents and are posted on our website for all to review. When in doubt, please contact a member of your Executive. Always remember ‘Rule number one – obey now – grieve later’.

HUGH DOHERTY

doherty@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 303 (416) 433-0446 (cell)

Your Executive Board has just commenced another term in representing you and many new challenges will have to be addressed as we move forward. We have new members of the Executive and all of us will have many difficult decisions to make. As we see daily on the news, the current state of the economy is the lead story. The economy will have an impact on our ability to provide for our families and to secure retirement benefits. We see many friends and family showing concern for their jobs - wondering will they too become an unemployment statistic? We must ensure that the health, safety and well being of our members is not a casualty of this economic environment. Recently, the Association and the City have developed an educational program to assist members in taking control of their health. The Health and Safety Committee, in conjunction with the City (TFS and Occupational Health) will be educating members in stress management, fitness and personal well being, and early detection of cancers. This will commence with a two-day mandatory course. One initiative of this program is to assist our members in ensuring when you have your annual physical that indeed you are prepared. You will be able to request critical medical tests to protect yourself and to provide a piece of mind that you are healthy. Many family physicians are not aware of the hazards we face in the performance of our duties as fire fighters. This information is also critical for those in all support divisions to request the same medical tests. The committee will continue to strive to ensure our workplaces are safer and healthier. We must all do our bit to ensure our work locations are safe. If you have any concerns, suggestions or comments please contact a member of your Health and Safety Committee.

NEIL MCKINNON

mckinnon@torontofirefighters.org Office Ext.# 310 (416) 659-2624 (cell)

Here we are again, another year older and hopefully, another year wiser. The last 2 years on the Executive Board was an interesting journey that brought a whole new meaning to the phase “24/7 – 365 days a year.” As a member of the Grievance Committee, it became quite clear, quite quickly, that the next 2 years were going to be interesting, to say the least. Never mind sitting on the Ceremonial & Bereavement Committee, which, with the introduction of the new presumptive legislation, had its busiest year ever. Not that I’m complaining, I did ask for the job and I have thoroughly enjoyed representing the membership for the last 2 years. So much so, that I put my name forward again and by the will of the membership, was re-elected. I look forward to the years ahead and the new committee assignments. As Chair of Constitution & Policy and a member of the Health & Safety Committee, I imagine there will be many challenges and plenty of things to be learned. Also, I have been assigned, once again, to the Ceremonial & Bereavement Committee and the Grievance Committee, where I hope that my years of experience will make me a valuable asset to the committee. Only time will tell what the next 2 years will bring us. That being said, all I can do is promise to do my best to ensure that the membership gets the proper representation that they desire.

49

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 49


COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT REVIEW Article 10 Overtime and Article 37 Duty Exchange THE ARTICLES OF THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT RELATING TO OVERTIME AND DUTY EXCHANGE DO NOT AFFECT OUR MEMBERS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS. HOWEVER, IN DISCUSSIONS WITH MEMBERS, IT HAS BECOME EVIDENT THAT THERE IS A MISUNDERSTANDING BY MANY OF THE APPLICATION OF THESE ARTICLES. THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTICLE WILL BE ON THE MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS RELATING TO THESE TWO ARTICLES.

Duty Exchanges

person is you when they report to duty. All of the entitlements for working that day flow to you, not your exchange person. The pay for the day goes to you; any acting pay goes to you; and if it was a day that incurred designated holiday pay, that too would flow to you. For purposes of acting time, the person working for you carries your seniority on that day. If you are to work a duty exchange for someone and you become sick you must contact the person you are doing the exchange for and both of you must attempt to make alternate arrangements to get the shift covered. If you are unable to do so, you as the person doing the exchange, must contact the on duty Platoon Chief and inform them that you are unable to report to duty due to sickness. You will be deducted a sick day from their sick bank in this situation. The most common misunderstanding of this article is the number of duty exchanges allowed in a calendar year. You are allowed

a maximum of thirty (30) duty exchanges per calendar year. Each duty exchange must be repaid within one hundred and eighty (180) days. Duty exchange requests must be submitted to the appropriate officer and be signed by both parties. Any duty exchange that is 12 hours or less is considered one duty exchange. A 24 hour duty exchange is two duty exchanges. Failing to comply with these conditions, including not paying back duty exchanges, could result in disciplinary actions being taken against an employee. We have had many situations where members have been questioned on duty exchanges not paid back or vice versa. If there is a legitimate reason or unusual circumstance that affects your ability to pay back a duty exchange, then you should get that cleared with their Platoon Chief prior to the day so that this is not an issue later. The Association can assist you in those situations.

Overtime

time. Once you pass the 07:15 mark you are entitled to overtime plus fi fteen (15) minutes of cleanup time if it is required after an emergency response. Overtime request forms must be fi led no later than the fi rst shift an employee returns to work immediately after the shift which incurred the overtime. If you stay in the station to wait for relieving personnel, that situation is covered by an AFS that still applies. It states that it will be at the employee’s option to wait or not wait for the relieving personnel and in this case, the 15 minutes does not apply. Employees will be paid from 07:00 hours on. The department has also stated that they will con-

sider requests for overtime that fall outside of these parameters if there are extenuating circumstances. If you feel you should be entitled to overtime in the fi rst 15 minutes, you should submit it with an explanation. It will be considered. In this article, I have outlined some of the common misunderstandings of these two articles of the Collective Agreement. These are not the only provisions or conditions of these two articles. Members should make themselves familiar with the entire articles. If you have questions on them after doing so, contact a member of the Executive Board for further clarification.

The duty exchange article is one that is there for the benefit of our members. Without it, we would not have the right as employees to trade off our shifts. This article allows reciprocal agreements to be made between employees to work for each other, provided they meet the conditions of the article. The employer is not responsible for paying the employee coming in to work for another. However, that employee is covered by WSIB while at work. The conditions speak to the requirement that the person coming into work for you must be able to perform the requirements of the job. You are required to get a person of equal rank or if you are in an acting capacity and know you are acting that day, you are required to ensure that the person working for you is either an officer of that rank or a qualified actor. For all intents and purposes, the exchange

The overtime provision of the Collective Agreement sets out how overtime is calculated when employees are required to work past their regularly scheduled hours. This article was awarded during the Teplitsky Arbitration. The most common misunderstanding of this, concerns when it actually applies. Under this clause, the employer is granted a fi fteen (15) minute grace period. Therefore, overtime only applies when the crew is required to work past 07:15 hours. The time the apparatus is logged back in station is the time that is used to make this determination. Therefore crews that are back in station prior to 07:15 are not entitled to overtime or cleanup 50


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“Providing professional advice over 25 years. Your satisfaction is my reward.” ��������� ������������������� ����������������� ������������������������������������

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• JOY HENDERSON • • ALLIED HALO INDUSTRIES INC • • LINDA E. HEIKKILA •

Thank You for supporting our advertisers! SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 51


The OPFFA HEALTH

& SAFETY SEMINAR

CONTINUES to EDUCATE BY HUGH DOHERTY, LOCAL 3888 EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER

T

he Health and Safety Committee once again attended the OPFFA’s annual Health and Safety seminar held at the Courtyard by Marriott from January 26th to 29th 2009. Each day was filled with a variety of guest speakers and presentations on many issues being faced by Associations and Fire Fighters across the Province. The delegates were welcomed by OPFFA President, Fred LeBlanc and Chair of the OPFFA Health and Safety Committee, Ellard Beavan, from Timmins. The delegates were able to listen to presentations from Mr. Patrick Burke, Fire Marshall for the Province of Ontario, as well as the Honourable Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour. A presentation was conducted by Mr. Matt Pegg, Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Brampton. Chief Pegg outlined the NFPA Standard 1851-2008; Standard on the Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting—and the impact on Cities, Associations and Fire Fighters in meeting the standard. It was illustrated that the standard is not legislation but rather a best practice. The key terms that we all must understand in reviewing

52

this standard are as follows: • ISP—Independent service provider. • Verified—a 3rd party is certified to perform repairs and advanced cleaning and inspections. • Ensemble—refers to all PPE components—bunker gear, helmet, boots, gloves, and hood and interface elements. The session continued and he addressed the routine inspection that we, as fire fighters, need to perform after each use. He also stressed the importance of an advanced inspection by an ISP that includes thorough inspection of suit liners. Finally, Pegg spent a lot of time on the

“ten year issue”. This is the requirement that states, once an element has reached ten years from the date of manufacture, that element must be retired from active fire fighting. The role of fire fighters and their responsibility to maintain the PPE as required by the manufacturer was debated. This presentation outlined the amount of work we all have to do in order to meet the NFPA requirement and, that indeed, we will face many challenges to be in compliance with NFPA 18512008. On day two of the symposium, the delegates were broken into smaller working groups. These sessions covered


airbag/auto extrication and recent challenges facing fire fighters due to technical changes in vehicles, propane fires (with a brief overview of Murray Rd.) and a presentation on “Bladder checks”. The “Bladder Check” presentation was most informative. It encourages all members to consider this non-invasive medical test when we consult with our family practitioner for our annual medical examination. This test has a cost of approximately forty dollars. It is known as NMP22 Bladder check test (distributed by Stellar Pharmaceuticals). This test is very quick and simple and requires the following: • four drops of urine; • results in 30 minutes; • no medical equipment; • can be performed by any office or clinic We highly recommend that all members speak with your health care provider and have this test completed on an annual basis. Wednesday was the highlight for many delegates—a trip to TFS Special Operations. This was organized by Geoff Boisseau and the RIT instructors. This

[

event during the seminar took extensive planning and was a first for the OPFFA. Over 50 delegates were transported on the HUSAR bus to the Bermondsey Special Ops Training Centre. A brief introduction took place and they were off to explore the dome. The RIT presentation included detailed explanations of the various stations by many TFS RIT instructors. The Ontario Fire College Survival and Rescue Trainers program was distributed along with the Section 21 guidance notes. Hats off to Geoff and his RIT trainers for their assistance in making this event happen. It was informative and timely for many locals in the province. The delegates look forward to this event next year. We were fortunate that during the symposium one of our Divisional Commanders was in attendance each day.

THE “BLADDER CHECK” PRESENTATION WAS MOST INFORMATIVE. IT ENCOURAGES ALL MEMBERS TO CONSIDER THIS NON-INVASIVE MEDICAL TEST WHEN WE CONSULT WITH OUR FAMILY PRACTITIONER ...

Commanders Buckingham, O’Hallaran and Kostiuk attended the seminar. This certainly will assist the Command Committees in addressing Health and Safety issues we all face. On Tuesday, association and management representatives collectively walked through the manufacturers display. This permitted a collaborative examination of protective clothing and some of the new technology that we may be wearing in the future. This event has become a major method for both management and associations to share ideas and explore the many challenges we face as fire fighters. The exploration is not limited to the fireground but also includes stations, apparatus, protective clothing, communications and the collective well being of the men and women who work in our profession. One leaves this seminar with more knowledge than when they arrived and also with many questions to discuss and resolve in our work locations. If you have any questions on any items discussed please contact a member of your health and Safety Committee.

] SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 53


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HEAD OFFICE 141 Bentworth Avenue, Toronto, ON M6A 1P6

Toll Free: 1-800-205-3473 www.ajstone.com email: firesafety@ajstone.com

One Source for Fire & Safety

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54


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/.

How to control your alcohol consumption The immediate effect of alcohol is that reactions of the brain and nerves are dulled. When taken in small quantities, the effect is a pleasant, relaxed feeling. However, when consumed in larger amounts, alcohol can impair judgment, coordination, and memory. For some people, alcohol is seen as quick relief for a variety of personal problems. These can range from criticism by a supervisor at work, a nasty argument with a friend or loved one, to even more serious events such as job loss or a death in the family. The short-term effects of having a number of drinks in such situations may be attractive. In the long term, however, the effects are more serious, especially for the heavy drinker. If people close to you—family, friends, or coworkers—have told you they think you might have a drinking problem, this article presents some strategies to help you reconsider your use of alcohol to smooth out the rough passages in your life. When drinking becomes a problem, people invariably experience negative consequences. These include difficulties with personal relationships, job performance, and health. While it may be difficult to face these consequences, doing so will give you a more realistic view of your use of alcohol and provide an incentive to modify your habits. Careful consideration of the following questions will help you assess the consequences of your drinking habits. We suggest that you give them serious thought. What are the negative consequences I have experienced as a result of my drinking? In answering this question, list the behaviours you find yourself regretting afterwards. For example, driving when you know you have drunk more than the legal limit or taking out your anger on family or friends. Also consider the consequences of going to work with a hangover in terms of your work performance and relations with co-workers. Consider how your drinking affects people you share your life with. Be as specific as possible. For example if drinking has been a direct cause of a fight with your spouse, or your losing patience with your kids. List occasions when you have lost control and engaged in verbal or physical abuse. How would being sober have a positive impact on your life? Make a list of the positive outcomes of

controlling your alcohol consumption. In making the list think of your family relationships, your friendships, your work life, and your health. Life is often challenging and problems invariably crop up. It may be that you have been using alcohol as a means of easing your problems. If you have come to recognize that drinking does not make the problems go away, you are ready to take the next step. That is to stop using alcohol as a means to ‘freeze’ or neutralize your problems and anxiety. If you can take that step, you have put yourself in a position to develop the skills to deal realistically with your problems and anxieties.

CONTROLLING YOUR DRINKING Take note of the circumstances in which you don’t drink or feel the need to drink. Also make note of what you do when you overcome the urge to drink. Being conscious of what happens in these moments will help you increase the frequency with which they occur. As these moments multiply, so will your feelings of confidence. The more you value yourself, the less you will feel the need to use alcohol to freeze feelings of anxiety or discomfort. Tell your friends and your family, people you can count on, that you want to stop drinking. Remember you are not alone. You may even have a friend who has had to deal with his or her drinking problem who can provide you with support and encouragement.

IF SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU HAS PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL Friends and family often shield the drinker from negative consequences of his or her behaviours. They look after them when they’re drunk and hung over, and even take over their responsibilities. Both in the short and long run, this does not help. Allowing the problem drinker to deal with the consequences of his or her drinking is the best way to encourage change. If alcohol is seriously affecting your personal life, your work, or your physical health, you should seek professional help. LifeSkills is a publication of Human Solutions™. LifeSkills is not intended to replace professional assistance. Taken from Manulife Website Health for Life Section

Chicken Wraps w/curry & coconut INGREDIENTS

½ cup regular or light coconut milk 1 tbsp. Thai green curry paste 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro 1¼ cups shredded cooked chicken ¼ cup shredded carrots 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions 2 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts (optional) 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas or wraps 1 cup shredded green leaf lettuce

RECIPE

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk and curry paste until smooth. Stir in cilantro, chicken, carrots, green onions and peanuts and toss to coat. Arrange tortillas in a single layer on a flat surface. Place ¼ of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with lettuce and roll up tortillas burrito-style, tucking the ends in and wrapping each up snuggly. Halve each crosswise and serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat. Serving Size: 1 wrap, 4 servings Calories: 560 • Total Fat: 22 g Sodium: 670 mg • Total Carbohydrates: 55 g Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 31 g SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 55


3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS

Frank Ramagnano, Janos Csepreghi and John Maclachlan participate in Sick Kids Hospital Burn Prevention Day. Special thanks to FF Raul Cano for bringing Sparky.

Toronto International Boat Show puts the city’s finest to the test in the world’s largest indoor lake at Ricoh Coliseum. Our team in the second annual “Anchors Aweigh” race.

Australian Wildfire Benefit withs Marcus Martyn-Jones (143B), Greg Everett (311A) and Australian ConsulGeneral Stefan Trofimovs. Raised over $10,000.

Members of Toronto FIREPAC and Stewards attended Trivia Night hosted by Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St Pauls) in support of Wychwood Barns.

56


Scott Marks and Frank Ramagnano present a $15,000 donation to Variety Village on behalf of Local 3888. Also pictured are Varity CEO John Willson, City of TO councillor Michael Thompson, MP Michelle Simson.

John Graziano serves up lunch at the Toronto House League hockey player appreciation day at Ted Reeve arena.

52 Operations recruits were sworn in on January 9, 2009. Local 3888 representatives spent the day with our newest members.

Our new recruits conduct a boot drive for Muscular Dystrophy and raise $13,000.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 57


&

FIRE FIGHTER

SURVIVAL & RESCUE &

Are you ready when the MAYDAY is called? BY TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS GEOFF BOISSEAU and JOHN MCGILL

YOU ARRIVE AT A ‘ROUTINE’ HOUSE FIRE. LINES RUNNING IN THE HOUSE, FLAMES COMING OUT OF A WINDOW, SMOKE COMING FROM UNDER THE EAVES, IT LOOKS LIKE A GOOD WORKING FIRE. SO NOW IT IS TIME TO GET TO WORK—YOU ARE THE RAPID INTERVENTION TEAM (RIT). SUDDENLY THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENS—A MAYDAY CALL COMES ACROSS THE RADIO. A FIREFIGHTER IS IN TROUBLE. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE? ARE YOU PREPARED? HAVE YOU PRACTICED? WILL YOU BE ABLE TO DO WHATEVER IT IS THAT IS ASKED OF YOU? AFTER ALL, THAT FIREFIGHTER, MUCH LIKE YOU, WANTS TO GO HOME AT THE END OF THEIR SHIFT. WILL YOU BE ABLE TO LOOK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND SAY THAT YOU DID EVERYTHING YOU COULD?

A

t every fire ground emergency there are key roles to play. In this issue we are going to discuss your role as a member of a RIT and your team’s involvement in a firefighter rescue. Read it, and then you can decide if you are ready.

deployment so that means you cannot be on air. If you go on air before a MAYDAY, you are no longer considered deployable as RIT. Upon Deployment: Once deployed, a RIT has many objectives and goals. A RITs three main objectives are: 1. Rapid entry 2. Rapid location of firefighter 3. Rapid assessment and extrication A RIT’s primary goals are: • Locating the downed firefighter • Supplying emergency air to that downed firefighter • Connecting a fixed link to the downed firefighter

THE RIT CREW It is well documented that Rapid Intervention is rarely Rapid. Therefore it must be emphasized that having a RIT Team in place is still no substitute for fire fighters keeping themselves out of trouble. However, having said that, it is still a fact that NO ONE other than a RIT, will be coming in to save us as fire fighters if something goes wrong. Your role, and that of your RIT Team is to act as the last line of defense for firefighters against the hazards of the fire ground. The RIT’s job is to save firefighters, period RIT CREW RESPONSIBILITIES Upon arrival: You may be required to perform proac58

tive tasks on the exterior upon arrival. They may include: arranging additional egress for interior crews, positioning exit lights, removing security bars or just acting as an extra set of eyes. Whatever proactive tasks you are performing you must always be ready for

It is vital that as a member of a RIT you work together efficiently and effectively with the rest of your RIT crew in order to achieve the goals and objective as set out above. In order to do this in a timely manner you must as a crew know your positions and responsibilities PRIOR to making entry:


[

WHATEVER PROACTIVE TASKS YOU ARE PERFORMING YOU MUST ALWAYS BE READY FOR DEPLOYMENT SO THAT MEANS YOU CANNOT BE ON AIR. IF YOU GO ON AIR BEFORE A MAYDAY, YOU ARE NO LONGER CONSIDERED DEPLOYABLE AS RIT.

]

Air Supply Position: • Follows RIT Leader’s Directions • Carries Rescue SCBA –Assesses and secures air supply for FF • Deploy a search line Search Team Positions: • Search Team when directed • Tend search line • Follow direction from RIT Leader: • Assist with air supply, packaging and removal • Secure search line when FF is located Remember Keep it simple: • Secure air supply • Prevent further injury • Get the Firefighter out!

Local 3888 Picnic Thursday July 16, 2009 - C Platoon Working Toronto Centre Island

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 59


2009 UPCOMING EVENTS April 5, Sunday 1300- 1400

Easter Seals Telethon

CBC Building, Toronto

April 5-9

OPFFA “Dr. Eric G. Taylor” Spring Seminar

Niagara Falls, Ontario

April 14, Tuesday

Stewards Meeting

Union Office, Toronto

April 20, Monday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

April 23, Evening

The Fire Department Credit Union Annual Meeting

Empire Banquet Hall, Etobicoke

April 26-29

IAFF Legislative Conference

Ottawa, Ontario

May 11, Monday

TPFFA Media Awards

Palais Royale, Toronto

May 20, Wednesday Night meeting only (1900 Hrs)

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

May 26, Tuesday

Ross Forfar Golf Tournament

Sleepy Hollow Golf & Country Club

May 29, Friday

3888 Retirement Dinner Dance

Q’Ssis, Toronto

May 31, Sunday

TFS/TPFFA Memorial

Station #334

June 15, Monday

Stewards Meeting

3888 Union office

June 1-4

OPFFA Convention

Guelph, Ontario

June 7-10

IAFF EMS Conference

Miami, Florida

June 17, 2009

TO Fire Prevention Golf Tournament

Remington Parkview Golf and Country Club

June 18, 2009

2010 PMH Fire Fighter Calendar Competition

X S Nightclub, 261 Richmond Street

June 20, 2009

Beach Ribfest TPFFA BBQ Cook-off

Woodbine Beach, Toronto

July 16, 2009 Thursday

60

LOCATION

TPFFA Picnic

Toronto Centre Island

Caspian Travel and Tours

Karageorge

Tony Asgarian Tel: 416-730-1707

Theodore Tel: 416-462-1908

239 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 205 North York, ON M2N 3A8

819 Pape Avenue Toronto, ON M4K 3T2

SUBJECT TO CHANGE

EVENT

*DATES AND TIMES

June

May

April

DATE*


I

’ve been training for the calendar competition for the last seven years. But with each passing year it seems that my aspirations for calendar immortality, along with my size 32 waist, slip further away. Nonetheless, it looks like the 2010 calendar may hold some promise. No longer will the competition be entirely based on muscular definition and dimples. For one month good looks have been taken out of service.

The next edition will take into account the size of your heart. The 2010 edition of the Toronto Fire Fighter Calendar will award one month to the crew that raises the most money towards Princess Margaret Hospital’s Fire Fighter Cancer Research Fund. Crews in all TFS divisions will compete against one another to raise the most money for fire fighter cancer research. The winning crew will receive a professional photo shoot and have their picture placed in the 2010 PMH Fire Fighter Calendar. No need to take your shirt off, no need to crawl down the catwalk. Just you and your crew plastered on the wall of every staff room and salon in the city. Of course for

the other eleven months it’s back to waxed chests and spray on tans. Princess Margaret Hospital established the Fire Fighter Cancer Research Fund (FFCRF) in 1998 and has raised almost $1,000,000, including over $200,000 from a successful 2008 campaign. The money goes directly towards research, treatment, and clinical trials directly related to fire fighter cancer. PMH is considered one of the top cancer research hospitals in the world, administering state-of-the-art treatment for patients and taking a lead in groundbreaking research with stem cells and bone marrow transplantation. The relationship between PMH and the TPFFA has been established over numerous fundraising events including the Rob Penny Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament, the Ross Forfar Memorial Golf Tournament, the Toronto Fire Fighter Magic Show and of course the calendar. “In memorial” donations are also accepted. Sandra Yoshikuni, PMH’s driving force behind the calendar says the partnership between Toronto Fire Fighters and Princess Margaret Hospital has been hugely successful. “Fire fighters are so well-regarded in the community that everyone wants to include them at their event.” Everyone involved in these events, from the organizers to the competitors, have a personal reason for getting involved. These are fun events with se-

rious motivating factors. Cancer is something we all must work together to eradicate. The time and effort put forth by all the people involved is greatly appreciated, and highly productive, as noted by the vast amount of money raised. The calendar competition this year will be held on June 18, 2009 at X S Nightclub & Event Centre 261 Richmond Street (Richmond/ John). Applications and details are available on the union website or at the calendar website www.torontoffc.ca. Applications, including pledge sheets, for the Crew Competition are available on the union website. Completed pledge sheets and money must be dropped off to the union office no later that 4pm on Friday June 12, 2009.

SPRING 2009 | FIRE WATCH 61


ADVERTISERS INDEX 3 DISTRICT TOWING ................. 14 A.J. STONE COMPANY ...............54 AI FAST LUBE DRIVE CLEAN .....46 ALARM FORCE INDUSTRIES ..... 10 ALLIED HALO INDUSTRIES ....... 51 ALLSHINE STEAM CLEAN .........40 ANGLO ORIENTAL LTD ..............40

DAYTONA AUTO SALES & SERVICES ..................................6 DEVLIN E BUSINESS ARCHITECTS .............................. 15 DOMESTICARE ............................8 EMAGRO FOODS CORP .............38 ESTONIAN HOUSE CAFÉ ...........40

BEAVER VALLEY STONE ............. 14

EXECUTIVE REALTY SERVICES INC ............................34

BIO PED ........................ Inside Back

FACTORY TILES DEPOT.............. 14

BUCHANAN RUBBER ..................40

FINE CRAFT CUSTOM SHUTTERS LTD ............................4

CARIBBEAN CUISINE DELIGHTS ...................................46

GEORGE BELL ARENA ..................6

CARLOT CANADA.COM ............30

GERTEX HOSIERY INC................38

CASPIAN TRAVEL AND TOURS ...............................60

HOLLYWOOD COIN LAUNDRY....8

CASTLE HONDA .........................54 CHARLOO’S WEST INDIAN FOODS ..........................46 CITY PONTIAC BUICK CADILLAC ................... Inside Front CONSUMERS CHOICE ................... ................................... Outside Back CRAFTDOOR DESIGNER INC .....38

IBI GROUP ..................................38 INNER CITY AUTO GLASS ...........8 JACK M STRAITMAN .................54 JOY HENDERSON ....................... 51 KARAGEORGE THEODORE ........60

LEGAL OFFICE ...........................40

SPADINA SECURITY INC ............30

LINDA E. HEIKKILA .................... 51

SUPERIOR QUALITY RENOVATIONS AND CONSTRUCTION ...............46

LIUNA TRAINING CENTRE LOCAL 183 .................................34 LUCIFF COMPANY LTD .............46 M Y PRODUCT ............................40 MAPLE LEAF HOUSE GRILL LOUNGE .....................................34

SUTTON GROUP - LIFESTYLE REAL ESTATE LTD BROKERAGE...........30 THAM SHANMUGARAJAH SURVEYING LIMITED ................46 THANE DIRECT ..........................62

MINTO MANAGEMENT LTD ..... 10

THE ART OF WEDDINGS ..............8

MORTGAGE CENTRE .................34

THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION LTD ..................................4

NO LIMIT AUTO COLLISION .....38 ONTARIO HYUNDAI ..................54

THE PLAN GROUP ......................30

PET VALU ....................................46

TODD GLEN CONSTRUCTION ...30

RATNA AUTO BODY WORKS INC ................................46

TUSHEENA FABRICATING ...........4

ROYAL BANK:BARB TAUS .......... 51 SANDBANK HOMES ................... 14 SECOND CUP .............................40 SHIBLEY RIGHTON LLP ..............40

KEN WEINBERG PHD..................34

SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPPERD...................................62

KNOX INSULATION ROOFING ...................................46

SOS SMART OUTSOURCING SERVICES....................................46

UNIFIED MOTORS INC ..............40 VIKING FISH & CHIPS ................30 WAL-MART .................................30 WESTOWNE MAZDA..................34 Y B NORMAL ..............................30 YONGE LAWRENCE TOYOTA ........................................6 ZIGGY CYCLE AND FITNESS .......8

Classified Advertising in the Toronto Fire Watch Magazine Name

Division

Work Phone

Home Phone

Ad (20 words max – please print clearly)

# of issues

Payment: Cheque

Signature

Credit Card #

Price: $25/issue + GST=

Ads run one issue free of charge. Home phone or pager numbers will be used. Ads MUST be submitted in writing. Phoned ads are not accepted. Submit before the 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

62

Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Thane Direct

Sister Gilda Tel: 416-787-4285

Christine Smith Tel: 416-621-3700

25 Good Shepherd Court North York, ON M6B 4E7

5409 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 203 Etobicoke, ON M6C 5K6


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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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Fire Watch (Spring 2009)  

Approximately 300 members participated in theSt. Patrick’s Day parade March 15, 2009.

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