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Local 3888 Media Awards VOLUME 3

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Gary Allen Wilson A Tribute to our Fallen Brother

Publications Agreement No: 41203011 Publications Agreement No: 41203011

TORONTO FALLEN FIRE FIGHTER MEMORIAL

ISSUE 2 | SUMMER 2007


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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE TORONTO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS’ ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 3

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ISSUE 2

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SUMMER 2007

IN THIS ISSUE 22

19

32

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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 FIRE WATCH is published quarterly by Xentel DM Incorporated on behalf of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association CHIEF EDITOR Scott Marks MANAGING EDITORS Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail: firewatch@torontofirefighters.org ASSISTANT EDITORS Rayanne Dubkov, Marla Friebe, Rodney Johnston, Seonaid Lennox, Neil McKinnon ASSISTANT COPY EDITORS Alyssa Petrillo & Marcel Ramagnano DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION Xentel DM Incorporated CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL Agreement No: 41203011 PRINTED IN CANADA Copyright © 2007 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association ADVERTISING Sheena Seguin, Project Manager Tel: 1.800.366.3113 Ext. 102 Fax: 905.522.7483 Email: publications@xentel.com

Merchant Card Acceptance

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President’s Message

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Secretary Treasurer’s Message

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Vice President’s Message

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Chaplain’s Corner

14

Letters to the Editor

16

Firehall Showcase – Station 227

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MD Hydrant Curling Championship

20

Off-Duty Awards

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Boston Marathon

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Member Profile on Kent Burtenshaw

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TPFFA & TFS Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

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The 2007 Media Awards Dinner

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A Tribute to Fallen Brother, Gary Allen Wilson

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Why Contribute to Your FIREPAC

43

Never Shall We Forget

44

Thinking of Retiring?

46

Privacy in the Workplace

48

Fire Fighter Survival and Rescue

51

District Chief’s Vehicle of the Future?

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Local 3888 Honours its Retirees

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3888 Recent Happenings

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Seat Belt Safety

59

Fit to Survive

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Upcoming Events

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Local 3888 Staff Profile – Beatriz Bedrich

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Ad Index ��� ���������� ��������������

On The Cover Photo by John Hanley

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, 33 products and services does not indicate endorsement of same by the TPFFA, and the TPFFA assumes no responsibility for their accuracy.

Gary Alle W ilson

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

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ontract negotiations are never an easy task. The Bargaining Committee of the Local is resigned to many hours away from family, work and friends and is sequestered in meeting rooms where they try to hammer out the details of a Memorandum of Agreement.

If all goes well, in the end an MOA is reached and the committee goes back and attempts to summarize months of work into a package that can be presented to the Executive Board and the membership. The hope being that all the parties will also see the MOA as a fair and good deal for the membership. It is a difficult task to summarize months of back-and-forth negotiations into an hour long report at a ratification meeting. While each round of bargaining and negotiations clears the slate of some outstanding issues, it would also seem that for every item resolved, a new item emerges that is put on the slate for a future round of discussions. Many times the parties agree that these items will be prepared and discussed during the term of the agreement with the parameters of the discussion being spelled out in a letter of intent. This round of bargaining proved no different and one of the most significant letters of intent is the one for the parties, through a joint committee, to review and assess the following benefit related issues: • Short Term Disability Plans • Dispensing Fee Cap • Line of Duty Death • Post 65 Retiree Benefits • Post 65 – Active Benefits • OMERS Supplemental Plans • Fertility Treatments • Counselling Services • Joint education of employees on the costs and utilization of benefits While many of these items are of great importance to our members, conversely, many are important to the City,

due to the escalating costs of some of these benefits. Simply put, there are pressures on both sides to find ways to negotiate benefits that truly meet the needs of our members while at the same time maintaining costs in a way that does not impact the level of benefits you receive. To do this there must be transparency and understanding of all of the factors affecting the delivery and costing of these benefits. This joint committee will be charged with the task of going through the details of the costing and utilization tables. Through this letter of

[

Scott Marks

and services more efficiently at no reduction to service then members need to understand that this can then be translated into increased benefits for other services. There needs to be a system of checks and balances to ensure that this process is not simply a cost reduction exercise for the City or a way for us to artificially inflate benefit levels. It is hoped that this process will actually provide ways to channel what we currently have in a more efficient manner.

SIMPLY PUT, THERE ARE PRESSURES ON BOTH SIDES TO FIND WAYS TO NEGOTIATE BENEFITS THAT TRULY MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR MEMBERS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAINTAINING COSTS IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT IMPACT THE LEVEL OF BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE.

intent we have the capability to bring our experts, in benefits and costing, to the table to review the information presented. This will assure transparency. In the end, the findings of the committee will be reported to both sides and hopefully will provide an agreed to accounting that can be the cornerstone for future negotiations. I believe there is a desire by both sides to make sure that the benefit dollars being spent are providing the greatest value to the members. Money spent on a benefit in an inefficient way is not only wasteful; it is money that cannot be spent on a benefit that is truly needed. The findings of the committee must be prepared in a manner that will educate the membership as well. If there are ways to access your benefit needs

]

That, coupled with negotiated benefit improvements, will translate into services being provided that greatly exceed strict cost of living type increases. This committee has a difficult task in front of them. More importantly, as we move towards change, our own members will have the task of educating themselves more on benefit usage. This will translate into an ability to continue to keep our members on the cutting edge, with a benefit package that provides the greatest amount of services to those who need them.

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

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH

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SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE

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believe the recent Memorandum of Agreement was a positive step for this Association in more ways than one.

I will not go into the technical details as to why I believe it was a positive step, as that was done at the ratification meetings. Rather, I believe that it had spinoff effects that will enable this Association to grow and become stronger. Some may not believe this but I was happy to see the many questions and the lively debate that the MOA generated. I maintain that all decisions that affect the wellbeing of this great union should be very carefully scrutinized and evaluated on their merit. I think it is important for all of our members to understand that our goals are the same. While you may have been working beside another member that had a different opinion on the MOA than yourself, it is important to understand that you both share the same common goal. That goal is to make a decision which is best for Local 3888. With the same common goal in mind, all viewpoints must be listened to and respected. That being said, I was disappointed with the very small minority of members who dismissed and disrespected any countering viewpoints. If we are to grow and become a stronger organization, then we need to understand that we are all in the same boat and we need to respect and work with each other. Some of our members also stated that voting for the MOA was equivalent to turning your back on union principles. I found this offensive and thus it led me to do some research and review my union history books. What are the guiding principles of a trade union? Almost all of the material I reviewed stated basically the same thing; unions are formed to improve the everyday lives of working people. Better wages, benefits, safety, time off, pensions, and bringing fairness and balance to the workplace. I believe where we find the differences as members are in

the areas of fairness and balance. This is logical, as these areas tend to be subjective and open to individual interpretations and varying personal needs. What one person may find fair, the other, depending on their personal situation and environment, would find unfair. It is also the area where I have seen different Executive Boards struggle the most. I believe that it was the concept of fairness and balance too that caused the main debate over the MOA. I am an advocate of our senior qualified system. During requests for 2001 bargaining submissions, I submitted moving to a senior qualified module

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Frank Ramagnano

The period of presenting the MOA to the membership and receiving feedback was a stressful period in my life. In hearing some of the negative comments, it made me question my decision. They say that fire fighting is your second family. Well, as you can well imagine, you would

IT IS TIME TO MOVE FORWARD AND CONTINUE ON THE PATH TOWARD OUR COMMON GOAL OF IMPROVING THE UNION.

based system. I believed that this would secure our senior qualified system for the future. During the 2003 negotiations, the City wanted to move back to a merit based system. Both sides, hearing what the concerns were with the process, agreed on a letter of intent to investigate the module based system. I sat on that committee and we brought back a report to the membership on the system that we envisioned. The membership was apprehensive but they listened to the proposed system and the arguments of why it would make our senior qualified system stronger. They endorsed it, and after some growing pains, the module based system is working and has made our qualified system stronger. This round of bargaining, the City did not ask to go back to a merit based system. In fact, the TFS has been promoting our current senior qualified system to other departments. Only time will tell how the future will judge our current MOA and its effects on our promotional system.

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never want to do anything wrong to harm your family, whether it be your first or second family. I know that I was not the only one to experience this stress, and that includes individuals on both sides of the issue. I believe this was due to our common goal to improve things for the Local as a whole and not wanting to do anything that would harm the union. It is time to move forward and continue on the path toward our common goal of improving the union. We must continue to advance the everyday lives of fire fighters; better wages, benefits, safety, time off, pensions, and bringing fairness and balance to the workplace. These are the principles that must guide us.

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

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH

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IN LOVING MEMORY OF WALTER CHURCHMACK, RETIRED TORONTO FIRE SERVICE CAPTAIN WITH 37 YEARS SERVED. PASSED AWAY MARCH 17TH, 2001

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VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING INTEREST ARBITRATION VS. SIGNED AGREEMENTS

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s the Chair of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association Education Committee, it is my task to organize and plan two seminars each year.

Both sessions are held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, one in the spring and one in the fall. The OPFFA recently renamed these seminars in honour of Dr. Eric Taylor who educated professional fire fighter representatives at these gatherings for 32 years from 1958 to 1990. Fire fighters attend from across not only all parts of the Province of Ontario but often from Manitoba and Newfoundland as well. Dr. Taylor has passed away but these seminars continue to carry his conviction that fire fighter education is critical when it comes to relations with our employers. He was of the opinion that fire fighters are the best people to represent fire fighters, whether at the bargaining table or any other arena. With the ratification of our most recent Memorandum of Agreement, it seems appropriate to update you, the membership, on some of Doctor Taylor’s ideas. Every Collective Agreement contains a ‘Recognition’ clause which notes that the Corporation recognizes the Union as the exclusive bargaining agent for their members. The parallel of this is that Local 3888 recognizes the City of Toronto as the exclusive agent of the Corporation. Legally this sets in stone at least two truths. One, is that individuals from either side cannot make their own side deals, and the second is that both sides get an opportunity, at the negotiation table or an Interest Arbitration Board, to alter the terms and conditions of the Collective Agree-

ment. Although there may be numerous rules surrounding our labour relations, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act mandates that when it comes to labour relations, the Union is the equal of Management. Dr. Taylor insisted that by educating ourselves on effective negotiation strategies we would always hold our own at the bargaining table because no one understands fire fighter issues like fire fighters. He was also of the opinion that, whenever possible, it is better to come to a negotiated agreement than to have one forced upon us by an Arbitrator. He would often say; “This particular round of negotiations will

[

Ed Kennedy

Province of Ontario, arbitrators can and have, altered or deleted clauses in Collective Agreements to the detriment of fire fighters when, in their opinion, the City has made a compelling case for their point of view. It would be wrong to assume that we would automatically achieve everything that we asked for and that the Corporation would get nothing at Interest Arbitration Boards. Dr. Taylor often stated that there is, and should be, a ‘risk’ to both sides when they choose arbitrations rather than good faith bargaining.

DR. TAYLOR INSISTED THAT BY EDUCATING OURSELVES ON EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES WE WOULD ALWAYS HOLD OUR OWN AT THE BARGAINING TABLE BECAUSE NO ONE UNDERSTANDS FIRE FIGHTER ISSUES LIKE FIRE FIGHTERS.

end but the relationship goes on.” This holds particularly true for our current situation. We have a positive relationship with the City and the Fire Chief which has proven to be advantageous to both sides. With the exception of our initial round of bargaining, due to amalgamation, we have been successful in freely negotiating our contracts. However, sometimes this will not be possible, despite our best intentions. Arbitration then becomes our next step in the process, and one that we would not hesitate to use if necessary. It’s important, however, to understand that in the

]

Dr. Taylor’s litmus test for each amendment to the Collective Agreement was threefold; • Is it morally sound? • Is it legally defensible? • Is it reasonably practicable at this time? Our intellect should tell us if it is morally sound, and the courts will insist that what we negotiate is legally defensible, for neither the Union nor the City can sign any agreement which is outside the laws of the land. The third item, “what is reasonably practicable”, changes over time. One glaring example of this is the fact that over twenty-

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH

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Vice President’s Message ... Continued from page 9

five years ago, Dr. Taylor encouraged all fire fighter unions in the province to negotiate ‘no contracting out’ and ‘technological change’ clauses into their Collective Agreements. Most Locals took this seriously and the vast majority have been successful in attaining these job protections. These clauses would be much more difficult to negotiate in today’s climate of downsizing and privatization. In fact, many, if not most of the strikes and disputes in the public sector today relate to contracting out of union jobs or the reorganization of the workplace.

As someone who has been a member of the Local 3888 Bargaining Committee since its inception, I am proud of how far we have come and of the fact that we have been able to hammer out an agreement that our membership has overwhelmingly endorsed. I do know that the recent ratification of our Memorandum of Agreement was a difficult one, with much heavy debate and concern over the succession planning clause, the changes to our transfer language, and the fact that there are still no Post-65 benefits for all of our members. Even though different opinions

exist as a result of our Memorandum of Agreement, we must move forward as a strong and united membership. The legacy of Dr. Eric Taylor lives on at our educational seminars. His tenets have stood the test of time and have enabled us to keep up with current trends and interact with confidence at the bargaining table.

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

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CHAPLAIN’S CORNER “Don’t walk behind me, I may get us lost. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not keep up. Instead, we should walk along side one another… for together we’ll surely find our way.”

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hat philosophy has been central to the work and life of North Command’s newest chaplain, The Rev. G. David King. An ordained minister with The United Church of Canada for the past 17 years, David has worked in 4 congregational settings, 3 institutions, and is presently employed at his denomination’s national office in the area of human resource policy development. As a chaplain, David has been associated with Millhaven Penitentiary, the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, and a GTA funeral home. When asked why he accepted an invitation to join TFS chaplaincy, the padre replies: “You know, it’s really quite simple. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had this real respect and appreciation for folks in the fire service. Their work is demanding at all sort of levels—physical, psychological, even social. Because of that, I’d like to make myself available to them should they ever have troubles navigating through life. I can

do that, just like my fellow chaplains can, because by nature and training we’re able to listen intently, inquire sensitively, empathize appropriately, and yet, at the same time, be relatively objective.” “These skills allow me to walk along side someone without having a specific agenda, or a particular set of expectations in mind. As I practice it, chaplaincy is all about giving meaning to the journey, and not necessarily about getting someone to a particular place.” In addition to his counseling capabilities, David is also licensed to conduct marriages, and is entitled to conduct baptisms and lead funeral services. To be sure, this padre doesn’t just know about chaplaincy, he also knows something about firefighting. For a little over 2 and a half years, he served as a volunteer fire fighter with a rural Saskatchewan fire service. “While we handled some medical-assist calls, and even a few vehicle accidents, the majority of our incidents related to prop-

Rev. G. David King

NORTH COMMAND Rev. G. David King 416.723-8375 dking@united-church.ca erty fires —especially farm fires where grass, straw, or hay combusted.” As a counter-balance to his work, David enjoys spending time with his 14 year old son, Cameron, renovating their 100 + year old home in Port Hope, designing and creating stained glass panels, and travelling aboard cruise liners or sailing ships. To date, he has made some 8 voyages, 2 of which were transatlantic crossings from Portugal to Barbados aboard sailing vessels. It’s likely that personnel in the North Command will meet David as he goes about his hall visits. Should you need to speak with him directly though, please feel free to call him anytime, 24/7, at 416-723-8375.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 13


 e  Le TO THE EDITOR

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART

As of March 14th, I completed the 6 month qualifying period for LTD. As you know, I didn’t have enough sick time to get me to that date. It was the incredible people in Fire Prevention who selflessly stepped up to help me out. Every day I am overwhelmed and humbled at the fact that all of you wanted to help me. I am privileged to work with such amazing people. At a time when I was only able to focus on trying to get better, you gave me one less thing to worry about. So, from the bottom of my grateful heart, I want to thank you all so much for your kindness and generosity. I don’t know how to put into words how much I appreciate what you have all done for me! It brings tears to my eyes! I would also like to thank Captain Iain McTavish, Roman Wojnarski and Christine for co-ordinating this enormous undertaking. I know I may have been a “pain” to Iain at times, but he had no idea how much of a “pain” I could be! (hee hee) I would also like to thank Chief Lamie, Chief Gerrard, Chief Dobson, Scott Marks, Hugh Doherty and Kevin McCarthy for coordinating an agreement which allowed people to work for me. Again, thank you all so very, very, very, much for everything. I will be back at work as soon as I am able! Kari Delaney

ROY SILVER AWARD I wanted to send you a note on my impressions regarding the events March 30. This whole thing came as such a surprise to me, perhaps all my inquiries gave that away. I found out there that it was my son who was responsible for a letter to the executive. At the writing of this note, I am still floored with the attention bestowed upon myself and the other recipients. This is a day I will never forget. Thank you for your consideration and that of the others involved, Neil, Kevin,and Frank just to name a few. I don’t want to get all sappy but I was made to feel very special, and as well my wife Corrine. 14

Contrary to popular belief, that is not the usual crowd I’m seen with. Meeting Jack Layton as well as so many other people was tremendous. I believe that all firefighters carry with them a few or so “incidents” that will never go away. The honour that I have received sure goes a long way. Paul Assaf

LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE

I just wanted to convey my thanks for my inclusion to participate in the Leg. Conference this week. I am grateful to the Executive as well as the GR committee for having the foresight in involving unelected members at important events like these. I have learned a great deal from this experience and look forward to putting this knowledge to use in order to further serve this Association. Damien Walsh, Chief Steward South Command 31 & 34 ‘C’

A FIRST CLASS AFFAIR My wife and I would like to extend our thanks to the Entertainment Committee, Office Staff and the entire executive of Local 3888 for the Retirement Dinner and Dance last Friday evening. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the entire evening was a first class affair. The gifts we received were a pleasant surprise and very much appreciated. We really like the print that we received and the plaque with our picture is a very nice touch. Both are already hanging on our wall. During many conversations I had that evening and listening to the speakers, I got the impression that the hundreds of years of service of the retirees in that room were truly appreciated and beautifully recognized. Thank you once again for all the hard work to make this evening a great success.

David Taylor, (retired)


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.

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

A JOB WELL DONE Just a quick note to say thank you very much for all of your hard work in coming up with our new Collective Agreement. Hopefully after so many months of meetings and negotiations—you’ll be able to take time this summer to relax, enjoy and make up for lost time with friends and family. Denise Hynes, Fire Prevention Division-South Command

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU On behalf of the families and children of Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House, please accept our heartfelt thank you for the generous support the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association provided on McHappy Day on May 9th, 2007. As you know, Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House is a “home away from home” for out-oftown families with seriously ill children being treated in downtown Toronto hospitals. We strongly believe that when a child is seriously ill, the love and support of family can be as important as any course of treatment. Events like McHappy Day are so important because they raise the much needed funds and aware-

ness necessary to support our families during a very difficult time in their lives. This McHappy Day, members across our community chipped in to support Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House and other local charities. We were honoured to not only receive a portion of the funds raised, but to also have such a strong showing of support from volunteers such as the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’. We would like to thank the following Fire Fighters’ who volunteered their time on McHappy Day: Jack Cossarini, Dave Cosset, Janos Csepreghi, Axel Gold, Tom Imray, Susan Ing, Adina Kaufman, Ian Law, Bob Lennon, John Poirier, John Tuffner and Crew 113. A special thank you goes to Paul Beames for not only volunteering, but for coordinating all of the volunteers; he was an important part of the success of McHappy Day and was a pleasure to work with. We hope that the Fire Fighters’ enjoyed their involvement with McHappy Day and found the experience to be a rewarding one. Once again — thank you. Judy MacGowan, CFRE Director of Business Development

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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

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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.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 15


STATION 227 Toronto Fire Fighter JON LASIUK (With information supplied by retired Local 3888 member Gary Wignall)

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hether you call it “The Beach” or “The Beaches”, there is no doubt that the area centred around the far east end of Queen Street is today, one of Toronto’s hippest, hottest locales.


The area began to take shape in the 1870’s as a summer resort for the residents of the City of Toronto. Originally referred to by several names, including Kew Beach, Kew Gardens, and—further to the east—Balmy Beach, the area quickly became a working suburb requiring an organized fire service. By 1887, the area west of what is now Spruce Hill Road, was annexed by the City of Toronto, with the Toronto Fire Department gaining responsibility for this remote area. As Kew Beach was still quite undeveloped, the City of Toronto encouraged the formation of a volunteer fire service in that area. In response, the residents organized the Kew Beach Fire Brigade in 1891. Today, Toronto Fire Services Station 227 is the direct descendant of that early volunteer brigade. The first fire station in the area was constructed on the south side of Queen Street, just east of Lee Avenue. The Toronto Fire Department supported the volunteers with hose, equipment and training, while the city gave the brigade $8 per month for expenses. By 1896 the brigade was receiving $150 per year from the city in return for their services. The original station was quickly outgrown, and a new two-bay wood frame fire station was soon built at 1993 Queen Street East, near the site of today’s Kew Gardens Park. The hall was built for about $1,000. Today, the same land would probably be worth at least 1,000 times more! In return for the assistance in organizing their brigade, the Kew Beach volunteers were quick to race downtown on the evening of April 19th, 1904 when flames tore apart more than 100 buildings in Toronto’s financial core. Fire Chief Thompson later commended the Kew Beach men for their excellent work alongside Toronto crews. The days were numbered though for the Kew Beach volunteers. By the turn of the century, continued development required the construction of a full-time fire

station in the community. Construction started on a new one-bay brick fire station at 1904 Queen Street East in 1906 and on August 16th, T.F.D. Station # 17 opened with a horse-drawn hose cart. Shortly thereafter, on November 30th, the T.F.D. purchased their seventh steam pumping engine and placed it at Station # 17. This engine, a Waterous 750 g.p.m. rig pulled by two horses, was the third-tolast steam fire engine purchased by the T.F.D. before the motorization of apparatus began in 1911. Fire Station # 17’s running area soon

escaped death when the structure collapsed. Several boats were also destroyed. Twelve years later, on June 17th, 1959, # 17 Hose was again first-in as another second alarm fire destroyed a large number of stables at the old Woodbine Racetrack. Fire fighters struggled to bring panicking horses to safety as fire consumed the wood framed buildings. In order to increase aerial coverage in the eastern part of the city, the T.F.D. won approval in 1961 to organize an aerial company at the Beaches fire station. A one-storey addition was constructed on

grew when, in 1909, the City of Toronto annexed both the Balmy Beach area and the Town of East Toronto. The East Toronto Fire Department station on Spruce Avenue (now Spruce Hill Road) was closed, while the crews at the Beaches hall were now able to rely on much quicker back-up from the full-time station on Main Street. Just five years later, the Beaches station proudly received the first LaFrance motorized fire engine purchased by the T.F.D. The 1914 Type 12 hose and chemical rig was only the fourth motorized apparatus on the job and allowed for a much quicker response in the hilly areas east of the station than could be afforded by the horse-drawn rig. Although situated in a predominately residential neighbourhood, Fire Station 227 has, over the years, been first-in to many large, newsworthy fires. On February 7th, 1936, while fire fighters were fighting a major blaze near Adelaide and Yonge Street, flames broke out at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club at the foot of Beech Avenue. Several fire fighters, including Platoon Chief Alex Gunn narrowly

the west side of the hall and Aerial 17 went into service with a beautiful and rare Mack 100’ open-cab aerial. It was one of only two such trucks ever to serve on the T.F.D. and would see twenty-five years service at that station. The 1990’s saw more fire fighting changes to the Beaches station. The 1994 Master Fire Plan saw a massive change to the location of apparatus and companies in the City of Toronto. Aerial 17 was disbanded and the crew and apparatus sent to Station 34 in the far north end of the city to organize a new company. In order to provide aerial coverage to the area, Aerial 12 was relocated to Station 30 at the Fire Academy, but this second move quickly proved to be unworkable due to the size of the station. Today, the Beaches fire station remains a single-company hall. With the amalgamation of the City of Toronto in 1998, the Beaches fire station was soon renumbered # 227 in the East Command. The ornate clock on the fire station’s hose tower today remains a beacon anchoring the entrance to the Beaches community and a fine reminder of the area’s rich history. S U M M E R 2 0 0 7 | F I R E WATCH 17


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2007 MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY HYDRANT CHAMPIONSHIP BY PAUL MOGAVERO – TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER

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he proud City of Thunder Bay was host to the 2007 Muscular Dystrophy Hydrant Championship. This is the eighth year of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s association with the Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Championship. It looks like the bond with Ken Kramer, Chair of the Boards of Directors of MDC, is as strong as ever. He commenting that not only the funds raised at this championship and all the provincial playdowns benefit their programs, “but perhaps more importantly, your association and support of MDC allows us to reach many persons who might not be aware of our cause and the needs of persons with muscular dystrophy”. Across Canada, fire fighters have been a key element in the success of Muscular Dystrophy Canada since 1954. This partnership can only strengthen the bond between fire fighters and MDC in Canada. This year’s event is the 48th Annual Canadian Fire Fighter Curling Championship, making it the second oldest national curling championship in Canada behind only the Brier. This event has featured many of Canada’s top curlers, including former World Champions Ed Werenich, Gerry Richard, and Neil Harrison. Along with Southern Ontario’s Neil Harrison, at this year’s event was fellow Brier all-star Dale Ness from Quebec. Also involved in the Alberta playdowns this year, and losing the provincial final was John Morris, two-time World Junior Champion and current member of the Kevin Martin rink, the top money earning team in Canada this year. This year’s competition was well supported in Thunder Bay by fans and especially the media, with daily televi-

sion and front page sports coverage. The curling was very intense all week with a possible 8 teams making the playoffs going into the last draw. When the smoke cleared after the last draw, Southern Ontario finished on top, followed by British Columbia in second and Quebec in third. The local fans were given a thrill with a Northern Ontario victory in the final round robin game to get into a tie breaker with Alberta, the 2006 champions. Alberta won a tough tie breaker against the host Northern Ontario foursome and

Henderson. In their third and tightest game of the week, Neil Harrison and his Toronto Fire Fighters defeated the British Columbia team by a score of 6 – 4, capping a perfect 12 – 0 record. The week was full of social events and meeting fire fighters from across the country. The events included fire fighters cooking for fellow competitors each night, showcasing specialities from their home province. Also, talent—or lack of talent-shows for entertainment after the meals by the teams, followed by local professional bands and DJ’s.

kept the momentum going with a win over Quebec in the 3 versus 4 game. In the 1 versus 2 game, with a bye to the final at stake in the Page System playoff round, Ontario defeated British Columbia. Alberta and BC faced off with the winner moving on to the final against Southern Ontario. In a back and forth nail biter, the fire fighters from Saanich, skipped by Brad Clarke, defeated the Edmonton Fire Fighters and defending champions, skipped by Jim

It was a job well done by Glen Graydon, his host committee and the dozens of active and retired Thunder Bay Fire Fighters that volunteered their time to help make it a memorable week for all. Next year’s event is being hosted by Glen Tinkley and the Richmond Fire Fighters. The 50th anniversary will be held in Charlottetown, PEI in 2009. For more information on past and future events you can visit www.cffca.ca.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 19


2006

Awards

Off-Duty

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t is no secret that each and every day our members serve their communities in an exemplary manner while on-duty. These efforts are highlighted in the various media outlets across the city on a regular basis. However, a less known fact is that many of our mem-

bers encounter situations while off-duty that are very deserving of recognition. Each spring, Local 3888 hosts an Off-Duty Awards luncheon in order to recognize the exceptional efforts and achievements of our members while off-duty. Three awards are presented to

Local 3888 members by the TPFFA and one award is presented by the members of Box 12. The first award is the Bernard “Ben� Bonser award which is awarded to a Toronto fire fighter who, while off-duty, made a rescue or was involved in saving

Award winners from left to right: Ron Weltman, Paul Assaf, Roy Law, Doug Rogers and Chris Burrell. 20


the life of a citizen in a hazardous or life threatening situation. The second award is the Al Pearsall award. This award is presented to the Toronto Fire Fighter who best contributed their time and abilities while off-duty toward the improvement of his or her community. And the final Local 3888 award is the Roy Silver Award. This Award is presented to the Toronto Fire Fighter who, during the past year, best distinguished himself/herself by performing first aid and/or CPR while off-duty. The Box 12 award is presented in recognition of outstanding volunteer service for the direct benefit of Toronto Fire Fighters. This year’s luncheon was held on Friday March 30th at the Downtown Sheraton hotel on Queen Street West. In attendance were the award recipients and their families, the Honourable Monty Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, your Local 3888 Executive Board, senior TFS management staff, and members of the media. The following members received awards for their efforts and achievements which occurred while off-duty in 2006: BERNARD “BEN” BONSER AWARD PRESENTED TO TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER DOUG ROGERS, FIRE STATION 343, B-PLATOON, SOUTH COMMAND, FOR HIS ACTIONS AT A FOUR ALARM FIRE ON DECEMBER 10, 2006, AT 927 ST. CLAIR AVE. W. While driving to Fire Station 343 to report for duty, Captain Rogers discovered smoke in the area of Dufferin & St.

Clair. Stopping to investigate, he found a serious fire on the fourth floor of 927 St. Clair Ave. West. He called 9-1-1 and put himself in harms way, beyond the call of duty, by alerting tenants on the fourth floor of the danger. Captain Rogers could only withstand heavy smoke, heat and flames for about 15 seconds before being forced to retreat, where he orchestrated an evacuation from the third floor. Upon arrival of Pumper 343, Captain Rogers assisted in size-up for incoming crews to expedite fire attack as well as search and rescue operations. The fire quickly escalated to four alarms, involving 27 fire units and 100 fire fighters. Five dramatic rescues were performed and damage was estimated to be $350,000. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries occurred, likely due to the quick notification, evacuation and sizeup information provided by Captain Rogers. AL PEARSALL AWARD PRESENTED TO TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER CHRIS BURRELL, FIRE STATION 234, D-PLATOON, EAST COMMAND. Fire Fighter Burrell organized a band of Fire Fighters called FireSound that recorded fire-related hit songs, produced a CD called “Burning Love”, and performed live. Total proceeds of about $20,000 were donated to Muscular Dystrophy Canada. ROY SILVER AWARD PRESENTED TO TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS PAUL ASSAF, FIRE STATION 214, D-PLATOON, EAST COMMAND, AND DISTRICT CHIEF ROY

LAW, FIRE STATION 111, A-PLATOON, NORTH COMMAND. On December 26, 2006, during a Wexford Showcase Midget AAA hockey tournament at Scarborough Ice Sports, Fire Fighter Assaf and District Chief Law performed CPR on a 17-year-old who collapsed from a cardiac arrest. Despite the valiant efforts from the Fire Fighters, the youth did not survive. BOX 12 AWARD PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF BOX 12 TO TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER RON WELTMAN, FIRE STATION 426, D-PLATOON, WEST COMMAND. Inspired by the events of September 11th, 2001, and his trip to New York City for the Fire Department memorial service, Ron began a project to have the traditional style helmets returned to service in the newly amalgamated Toronto Fire Services. Ron’s interest, recognition of tradition, and perseverance helped reintroduce a classic symbol of fire fighting to the City, while maintaining equipment safety, and paved the way for the creation of a new visual accountability system for fire fighting personnel. For the many hours he spent of his own time to help bring this to fruition, the Box 12 Association is proud to choose Ron as this year’s winner.

Nomination forms are distributed in early January of each year to solicit entries for the TPFFA off-duty awards. All members of Local 3888 are encouraged to submit an entry for consideration on behalf of a fellow deserving member.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 21


2007 BOSTON BY CARLOS GONZALEZ, TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER

T

he Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon at 111 years old. It is run every April on Patriot’s Day; a holiday commemorating the start of the revolutionary war and recognized only in Massachusetts and Maine, USA. Over 20,000 runners finished the race this year. The official marathon distance is 26 miles

and 385 yards or 42.195 kilometers. Entry to this particular race is gained by qualifying from a previous marathon, according to your age group and allotted time. In my case, being in the 45 -50 year age group, I had to achieve a sub 3 hours 30 minute race, which I accomplished at Casino Niagara with a 3:19 marathon. My story begins with a white knuckle drive through the Berkshire Mountains, through a wild winter snowstorm which turned into a “Nor’easter” with high winds, and steady rain once we entered Boston. Race morning, April 16th, 6:15 a.m., I’m to meet with another fellow fire fighter, Kevin Sebastian, at Boston Common, a very large park in downtown Boston. As in the three previous years, I decided to hop on the subway which was free to Boston Marathoners,

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or so I thought, only to be refused at the turnstiles. Close to being arrested by Boston’s finest, after threatening a B&E, a fellow marathoner rescued me with his subway pass, as I didn’t have a nickel to my name. Finally, I met Kevin at Boston Common; it’s pouring rain, 7 to 10 degrees celsius, cold and windy. The “Nor’easter” is still being discussed on all the television broadcasts with regard to whether the Boston Marathon will still take place despite the brutal conditions. Due to my Canadian Niagara marathon experiences, usually bone chilling and wet, I wasn’t in as much shock as my fellow runners from the southern U.S. states. We got lucky with the last seats on the bus, stretched out and enjoyed the 45 minute ride to the start in Hopkinton, a small town 20 miles outside of Boston. At the Athlete’s Village (local high school sports field), we are herded in by

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loudspeaker to proceed to our assigned corral. It’s time to change into our final race clothing, socks and shoes. Kevin is super fashionable in his Value Village pre-race throw away outfit and I’m outfitted by the Dollar Store and old thermal blankets. I wish I had a camera to take pictures of all the different rain gear. It’s a half-mile walk, our race shoes are soaked again by the time we get to the corrals. I saw some people that had taped plastic, shopping bags over their running shoes, and I wished that I had thought of that! We’re most impressed with the guy dressed in a pink tutu, matching pink running shoes, and pink Boston Red Sox cap. The U.S. National Anthem starts, fighter jets fly in formation overhead, and the cannon fires to signal the start of the race. It’s all very exciting! The first four miles, people are shedding clothes which are being tossed helter

DUE TO MY CANADIAN NIAGARA MARATHON EXPERIENCES, USUALLY BONE CHILLING AND WET, I WASN’T IN AS MUCH SHOCK AS MY FELLOW RUNNERS FROM THE SOUTHERN U.S. STATES.

the National Guard. It’s approximately 8:00 a.m. now. There are several big tents for cover, all of which are crowded with nowhere to sit and stretch. We’re standing, shoulder-to-shoulder to keep out of the rain. It’s a sea of rain ponchos, rain gear, pup tents, and tarps thrown over baseball dugouts for shelter. Finally, 9:30 a.m., we’re paged by a

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skelter through the air into the crowd— some nice stuff I might add! —and people are running into the woods for last minute potty breaks. We settle into our pace, the rain stops around mile 4, but we still have a strong headwind. The crowds are a little thinner due to the rain, until we get to the 8 mile mark at Framingham. At mile 9, my back is get-


MARATH N ting tight; I’m wondering if I’m going to have a good race, due to the rolling terrain, and downhill stretches. We start to hear loud cheering approaching Wellesley College (the 12.4 mile mark); otherwise known as the “Shriek Tunnel”. Tradition is that every female student has to receive a kiss from a Boston Marathoner before they graduate. The girls are wearing “Kiss Me” buttons, and Kevin spots a girl in a bikini with “Kiss Me” written on her stomach! We also passed a Bjorn Borg look-a-like, dressed in vintage tennis gear with a wooden tennis racket. Shortly after this, I lost Kevin at the mile 14 potty break. At mile 16, one of the most deceptive stretches, it’s a tough climb that spans Route 128, Kevin is nowhere in sight. I push hard into the hill, and got though it unscathed. As I arrive at the 17.5 mile mark, the Newton Fire station, I turn right to face the first of the famous Newton hills; the race’s legendary ogre. The first hill is a steep rise. The second hill is a quarter mile long, after which follows a flat recovery mile. The crowds here are five deep, full of college kids. The third hill is a sharp, wrenching half mile long climb, at the Newton City Hall, 19 mile mark. The crowd noise is more intense as I get closer to the legendary “Heartbreak Hill” at mile 20. The incline is merely challenging, but after 20 miles and a strong headwind, it becomes the toughest stretch of the course. As I get to the summit of Boston College, the school band is playing, the students are cheer-

ing, and their red mugs don’t have coffee in them anymore. They were going nuts for Amy, a fellow B.C. student running beside me. At 21 miles, my quads are getting punished on the downhill. Miles 21 thru 25, I’m running past Fenway Park, getting into the downtown core. The crowds are getting louder, and thicker, as the road narrows. At 25 miles, I gather my inner strength, I pick up the pace, thinking that it’s only 9 to 10 more minutes of pain, and then it’s all over. My legs still feel good. I’m confident due to my prior marathon experiences, I know that my veteran legs will

carry me over the finish line. I have been running along Commonwealth Ave., and the Citgo sign has been visible for quite some time. With one last turn onto Hereford St., a short incline, and a final left onto Boyleston St., I see the finish line and it seems so much further away than I thought. Nothing is left but everything is summoned, and I finish my fourth Boston Marathon in 3:28:06, a personal best in Boston. In case you’re wondering about what happened to Kevin, he finished his second Boston Marathon in a very respectable 3:34:55.

Carlos Gonzalez (left) and Kevin Sebastian (right).

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 23


Member Profile on BY TONY MACDONALD, SQUAD 445 CAPTAIN

K

ent Burtenshaw has worked for the past 14 years as a fire fighter, most of this time at Station 445 on “A” platoon. He has not only been an integral part of the team at 445 but he has also led a very interesting life outside of the fire department as well. Kent came to Canada from Australia in 1981 when he was 15 years old. Once he graduated from A.Y. Jackson high school, he began to work for the Clane concrete restoration company in Toronto. Over the next 10 years he put in thousands of hours using heavy jackhammers, concrete drills and saws, as well as many other demolition tools, breaking up and restoring concrete. Following a presentation by the Canadian Armed Services at his high school, Kent developed a keen interest in the military. He joined the Canadian Forces Militia - Corps of Engineers, in May of 1985. Military engineers are responsible to conduct tasks to allow friendly troops the ability to live, move, and

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THE CANADIAN MILITARY WAS LIGHTLY ARMED, IN THAT THEY CARRIED LIGHT GUNS OR PISTOLS BUT NO AUTOMATIC OR HEAVIER WEAPONS, NOR DID THEY BRING ARTILLERY OR TANKS.

fight, and to deny the same to the enemy. This means that engineers will build housing, roads, bridges, and defensive or firing positions, and will destroy these same items that the enemy needs. Working around his full-time job, Kent trained with the Militia twice a week and every weekend that they were active. 24

KUWAIT In September of 1992, Kent was sent to Kuwait. Canada’s involvement was led by the United Nations and was primarily a peace enforcing mission. The Canadian military was lightly armed, in that they carried light guns or pistols but no automatic or heavier weapons, nor did they bring artillery or tanks. There were Officers from many nations acting as observers to ensure that soldiers from

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both Iraq and Kuwait stayed out of the demilitarized zone. Some of his duties there included explosive ordinance disposal and construction of barbed wire fences. His unit also worked with Swedish and New Zealand surveyors to mark the border. While the surveyors worked, Kent’s unit protected them from any unfriendly troops or

Bedouins that approached. While this surveying proceeded, the engineers also had to sweep for land mines in all areas that the team would venture into. Kent was just five feet from a buddy who lost two fingers when a blasting cap (grenade fuse) detonated while working on it. The threat level was low during this deployment and was, in general, a relaxed involvement. Only once, were they close to an attack. Kent returned to Canada in May of 1993 after seven months abroad. The Etobicoke Fire Department had kept the lines of communication open with Kent during his tour of duty and he arrived home just in time to start a new career as a fire fighter. Kent arrived home on a Tuesday, passed his York University stress test on Thursday, was hired on Friday into a class of twelve recruits and started training on the following Monday. BOSNIA In 1997, Kent was working hard to master his fire fighting craft, working on a


Kent Burtenshaw Squad in Etobicoke. In order to prepare for a return to military duty in Bosnia, Kent was working almost every day for the fire department in December and January. He worked all of his own shifts and filled in most of the other time with exchange days. This reduced the impact his time away would cost him in time and money. He began his pre-training in Petawawa in February of 1998 and was deployed to Bosnia in August. Canada’s peacekeeping involvement was different this time. In Bosnia they were sanctioned by NATO rather than the United Nations. This meant that the rules of engagement were more aggressive. Many of Kent’s duties were similar to duties in Kuwait but a major difference was that the threat level was higher. No military traffic traveled on any ground that had not been “proved” by the engineers. This meant all areas had to be assessed for mines, booby traps, and other hazards before use. When not actively “route proving”, they would handle various routine construction. They would create housing in the camps and also out in the field. Another regular duty was to dispose of unexploded ordinance, confiscated weapons and explosives. They would pile up large quantities of ordinance, then wire C4 or another explosive to them, stand back and destroy it all in one large explosion. They had been trained to locate and handle unexploded ordinance but often got hints from the local people. An obvi-

ous example of this is when they passed many cultivated fields but came across one that was overgrown, it sometimes meant that the locals knew there were mines in the field and had avoided it. Often, since the locals knew that the engineers would remove and destroy ordinance, they would stack up various mines and bombs beside the road for the engineers to deal with. I have to wonder how many untrained farmers had a bad experience with one of these items? There were four engineering sections, each with eight guys. One section was always tasked as the Quick Reaction Force. This meant that they had to be ready in fifteen minutes to deploy with a platoon of soldiers and a medic vehicle. They would mainly respond to land mine detonations or vehicle collisions. One incident that Kent’s unit responded to involved an armored vehicle that had rolled over, killing the driver. They faced more restrictions and military discipline in Bosnia than there had been in Kuwait. Kent never got a full day off while in Bosnia. Every few days a Canadian politician or celebrity would visit however, and each visit would require a

“dog and pony show” where each unit would show-off their capabilities. Military discipline included “enforced fun.” For example, at Christmas, the troops were outside in minus 22 degree weather to play in a volleyball tournament on hard frozen sand that still held the shapes of footprints from warmer weather. Soldiers were not allowed to be alone, particularly at times of depression such as holidays. In February of 1999, Kent returned from Bosnia to the amalgamated Toronto Fire Services. One of the unusual ways Kent assisted his crew at Station 445 was to run an awareness level weapon recognition course. Kent brought safe (inert) training aids to show us what various items looked like, what they were called, how they worked, and the distance one should keep back if such an item was discovered. We were able to see, feel, and understand the working methods of many types of bombs, mines, guns, and explosives. Kent belonged to the Canadian Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. This was a military team that any police force in the Toronto area could call to handle military ordinance found in the Toronto vicinity. Kent worked with the team from 1997 until it was disbanded in 2001. In June of 2001, Matt Drenters, from Squad 445, led Kent and 6 other fire fighters to Maine to climb Mount Katadyn. This is a 5,300 foot mountain that also allowed the group to spend time rappelling after they climbed SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 25


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www.northcity.ca/fire


Member Profile on Kent Burtenshaw ... Continued from page 25

it. Since that experience, Kent and a small group of fire fighters have gone on two trips per year. In June they go to Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia to explore caves. In October they go to West Virginia to rappel from a Bridge that is 876 feet above the New River Gorge. Kent was married to his wife, Roxane, in 2002, and their first child, Cameron, was born in 2004. These two facts changed his perspective in that he had others to think about now and these new responsibilities added weight to the decisions that he made. AFGHANISTAN President George Bush reacted to the September 11th, 2001 attacks on American soil by sending troops to Afghanistan. Canada was one of the allied countries that sent troops as well. Members of the Canadian Militia, now known as the Reserves, have a full choice on whether they serve in a conflict or not. Kent decided to serve his country once more and began his pre-training in March 2005. Kent found the training was very different this time. Due to the high threat level they would face when they were deployed, the training was much more aggressive than before. For example, they trained on reaction to ambushes, in live fire exercises. Kent was now a Section Commander, and had to have his section ready to handle aggressive attacks against them. They deployed to Afghanistan in August 2005 and were sent to Kabul. The Canadian camp and vehicles were the most secure in the country as the allied countries’ personnel travelled in HumVees or Land Rovers, while the Canadians traveled in LAV armored vehicles with 25mm chain guns mounted for defense. This gave them some peace of mind because the Taliban

would generally attack the easier targets and leave the Canadians alone. The “route proving” had now been renamed to “route designation.” This was a more refined process than in Bosnia. As well as roads, they would assess large areas of land for future operations, before the troops would enter. They still ran four engineer response sections and as before, one section was always ready to respond within fifteen minutes. Kent had regular e-mail and telephone contact with his wife during this tour and he was able to feel the constant concern that she felt for his safety. This was not something he had experienced in his previous deployments. Roxanne was also due to deliver their second child in February of 2006. After the Afghan elections, the Canadians moved from Kabul to Kandahar. The preparations were immense and there were soldiers tasked for weeks with no other job than to burn equipment and all items that were not going to be taken on the trip to Kandahar. The trip involved six weeks of convoys leaving every two or three days. When the tail end of the convoy left the camp in Kabul there were thou-

sands of locals waiting. As the last vehicle left, the locals entered to pick up whatever they could carry. Some of the engineers went to Kandahar early to begin construction of the Canadian camp. Each time a group of vehicles got within 60 kilometers of the camp, these crews would stand by at the front gates to the compound ready to assist if the convoy was attacked. One of the largest construction jobs the engineers performed at Kandahar was to build an international ammunition storage point. Each storage building was separated from the others, and an earthen berm surrounded each to protect the others in case of a rocket hit. Kent returned to Canada and the Toronto Fire Services in February of 2006. One week later his daughter Saige was born. Over the years, Kent has received some specialized training. He learned higher levels of ordinance disposal in 1997 and qualified as a heavy equipment operator in 1988. In 1999, Kent was trained to be a rappel master. A rappel master is responsible for checking systems and checking soldiers before they rappel out of buildings, helicopters or towers. In 2001, Kent received his military parachute training. In the spring of 2007, Kent’s Commanding Officer from the Military, Lt. Col. Brad Chin, and Local 3888 President Scott Marks were in attendance at a ceremony where Chief Stewart presented Kent with a T.F.S. Letter of Recognition, recognizing Kent’s extraordinary service for his country. Do you know of another Local 3888 member who lives an interesting life outside of the job that we could profile in an upcoming issue? If so, please email coones@torontofirefighters.org with the details and contact information.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 27


TPFFA & TFS Fallen Fire Presidential speech by Scott Marks, Local 3888, Sunday, June 3, 2007.

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oday we are brought together for the purpose of honouring and remembering your loved one and recognizing their sacrifice on behalf of the communities they served. There are few professions that carry the legacy of fire fighting. A legacy built on the brave and heroic acts by a few that mean so much to so many. These acts are not random acts of chance—these acts are deliberate and are built on a desire to bring help and compassion to those in their time of greatest need. Fire fighting is an honourable profession and the men that we remember today rose to the top of that profession when they were needed. That is no small task. We, as their

brother and sister fire fighters recognize this—and that is why we are here today—to let you know that we will never forget. These are men that were driven by a sense of caring and compassion that over-rode personal safety to carry out their tasks. The dangers fire fighters face have changed. Fifty years ago, fire fighters faced risks based on traumatic factors; a building collapse, smoke inhalation, falling from a burning rooftop. These dangers were accepted as the risks of the occupation—but diligence has prevailed and fire fighters have achieved getting better building codes that allow buildings to withstand heat and fire fatigue. As well, our own personal protective equipment, including self contained building apparatus, has meant that many of these traditional risks have been mitigated,

and in that sense, fire fighting has become a safer profession. However, it is clear by the number of names being added to the memorial today that fire fighting is not a safer profession. It is quite simply, more deadly than ever. Today’s risks cannot be eradicated with safer building codes. Today’s risks are invisible and latent. The products in our homes and places of work are no longer made solely of natural fibers. Science has created synthetic materials that may be efficient in their use but create an environment of toxic substances when released under high heat or burning conditions. As much as our personal protective equipment has evolved, they are no match for toxins which permeate the skin and are carried in the blood stream for days, months or years, causing damage to the bodies of the

MEMBERS ADDED TO THE MONUMENT WALL IN 2007

Captain Kevin Conlon, former Toronto Fire Dept

Firefighter Kenneth R. Best, former Toronto Fire Dept

Captain Harold H. Beaton, former Toronto Fire Dept

Platoon Chief Thomas G. Humphrey, former Toronto Fire Dept

Captain Patrick J. Dineen, former Toronto Fire Dept

Captain Carl Quinn, former Toronto Fire Dept

Captain Lorne E. Hartley, former Toronto Fire Dept

District Chief James A. Warren, former Toronto Fire Dept

Captain Steve Cudnik, former Toronto Fire Dept

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Captain Joseph F. Moss, former Toronto Fire Dept Captain Albert G. H. Solmon, former Toronto Fire Dept


Fighter Memorial 2007 fire fighters exposed. And virtually all fire fighters will be exposed to some degree or another. Who will fall and who will not has become a deadly game of russian roulette that fire fighters now live with. Still, everyday the fire trucks roll and our members face those risks knowingly, in an effort to make our communities safer. This last year has been historic for a number of reasons; one is the number of fire fighters who are now being recognized for the occupational diseases and illnesses they succumbed to—that is a piece of history we do not wish to repeat. Another historic factor is the changes to the Workers Safety Insurance Act that will finally recognize, through presumptive legislation, that many cancers and diseases are directly linked to the profession of fire fighting and that the onus will no longer be

on the fire fighter to establish that link when diagnosed with one of these diseases. No longer will fire fighters spend their last days worrying about whether their illness will be recognized by WSIB, ensuring their families will be properly cared for at their passing. Instead, they can turn their attention and remaining strength to dealing with their illness and spending time with the ones that they love. We, as fire fighters, commend the government of Ontario for rectifying this situation with this historic legislation. The legislation is the first step on this journey. It allows us to move on to the more important steps of beginning to eradicate these new, more potent and latent risks that fire fighters face. This can only be done through continued work in advancing the technology of developing the safest possible protective equipment

for fire fighters and also in educating fire fighters to make them more aware and safety—conscious in the performance of their duties. Today we are here to pay homage to the sacrifices made by these fire fighters that took these risks on a daily basis. Their names will be inscribed here to ensure their legacy lives on forever. Fire fighters and the community thank you for what your loved ones have given us. Let us leave today with a commitment to carry on their legacy in another way—let us all commit to working to eradicate these risks for the fire fighters of today, and of the future, so that memorial services such as this become a historic thing of the past and we get to a point where we come to recognize the sacrifices of the past but to add no new names to these walls.

Captain Ian Gatehouse, Toronto Fire Services

Deputy Chief Ross Forfar, former Scarborough Fire Dept

Firefighter Mike French, former North York Fire Dept

Acting Captain Jeff Laishes, Toronto Fire Services

Firefighter John Bricknell, former East York Fire Dept

Captain Mel Jones, former Etobicoke Fire Dept

Platoon Chief Bernard Leach, former York Fire Dept

Captain Robert Campbell, former North York Fire Dept

Firefighter George Muir, former North York Fire Dept

District Chief Doran Collins, former Etobicoke Fire Dept

Captain Gord Thatcher, former York Fire Dept

Captain Gary Wilson, Toronto Fire Services

Acting District Chief Roger Holmes, former Scarborough Fire Dept

Captain Ken Burfield, former Etobicoke Fire Dept SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 29


THE 2007 TPFFA MEDIA AWARDS DINNER BY JAMES COONES – FIRE WATCH CO-EDITOR

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t’s a common occurrence in Toronto fire halls; you report for duty at 0630 hours and during the switchover with the other platoon, someone mentions the big call that they or another district or command worked the night before. Naturally, you want to know more about it. How big was this fire? Where exactly did it take place? Was anyone hurt? Were there any dramatic rescues? Were any colleagues there that you might recognize? Did anyone get photos or video of the incident? How can you have these burning questions (no pun intended) answered? Thanks to the dedicated work of all the reporters, photojournalists, camera operators and other media personnel in the Toronto area, you shouldn’t have to look too far to satisfy your curiosity. We are fortunate to be surrounded by the

most extensive network of media outlets in the country, including print, radio, and television. Luckily for us, most times that we are out doing extraordinary work for the citizens of Toronto, whether it be at a large scale incident or at one of the many charitable events that we participate in, the media, and the public who buy and subscribe to the media, consider it to be very interesting and newsworthy work. The power of the media to portray us in a positive light to the public should not be under estimated or taken for granted. It is this constant positive exposure, highlighting the risks that

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IT IS THIS CONSTANT POSITIVE EXPOSURE, HIGHLIGHTING THE RISKS THAT WE TAKE AND THE RESULTS THAT WE ACHIEVE, WHICH CONSISTENTLY PLACE US AT THE TOP OF THE MOST TRUSTED PROFESSIONS LIST, YEAR-AFTER-YEAR.

Members of the City-TV team responsible for the winning entry for “Best News Story on Television” proudly display their hardware at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex.

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we take and the results that we achieve, which consistently place us at the top of the most trusted professions list, year-after-year. In general, we are well respected by the community-at-large due to the fact that they are able to gain easy access through the media to witness the efforts that we put forth on their behalf. To honour these media personnel who provide such coverage, Local 3888 holds an annual media awards contest where submissions are solicited in seven different categories, encompassing all of the various forms of media. Once received, these submissions are then

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reviewed and judged by a panel of experienced media personnel. A winner is then chosen from each category and invited to attend the TPFFA Media Awards Dinner, usually held each year in May. This year’s Media Awards Dinner was held on Tuesday May 15th. For the first time in several years, it was held at a location other than the Ontario Club on Wellington Street in the downtown core. This year’s event was hosted at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex, located on the grounds of the CNE. Aside from just the award recipients, the event was attended your Local 3888 Executive Board, as well as Toronto Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker, Raymond Cho, Paul Ainslie, Susan Hall, Norm Kelly and Ron Moeser.


The winner in each category receives a cheque for $500.00 and a replica fire helmet. The following is a summary of the awards that were presented at the 2007 TPFFA Media Awards Dinner:

JIM MORRIS AWARD – BEST NEWS STORY ON RADIO Awarded to: Bob Komsic Media Outlet: CFRB 1010 Bob won this year’s Jim Morris award for his thorough, timely and dramatic coverage of the Ontario Paint Store fire which occurred on Friday October 20th. More than 150 Toronto Fire Fighters were called to the 130 year old building on Queen Street East to battle the stubborn blaze which eventually went to seven alarms.

BEST NEWS STORY ON TELEVISION Awarded to: Tracey Moore, Bert Dandy, Tim Maeba, Bryan Carey Media Outlet: CITY TV City TV won this category for their coverage of the same Ontario Paint Store fire as described in the Jim Morris awards above. The judges cited the City TV team as delivering “strong visuals, excellent camera work and good interviews”.

John Riddell’s winning entry for “Best Unpublished Photo”, taken of Tower 333 at the Ontario Paint Store fire on October 20th, 2006. This three photo spread has received much notoriety since first being published in the Toronto Sun. The fire, which occurred on February 27th at 35 Ardmore Road, shows the exceptionally tense moments that Toronto Fire Fighters faced while bailing out of a second story window after a flashover inside the house.

Drums Band, which appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of Fire Watch.

GLEN COLE AWARD – BEST NEWS FEATURE

The photo pictured on this page is John’s winning entry for Best Unpublished Photo. The photo of Tower 333 in action was taken at the Ontario Paint Store fire on Friday October 20th.

BEST PHOTO IN NEWSPRINT (CIRCULATION UNDER 100,000)

Awarded to: Andrew Palamarchuk Media Outlet: Scarborough Mirror

Awarded to: John Hanley Media Outlet: The Villager

Coverage of this incident, a basement fire rescue of a single male on June 2nd, went, in the words of the judges, “beyond the bounds of just an excellent story” and qualified Andrew for the Glen Cole Award.

John was on the scene of a fire which started in the basement of a vacant home near Dupont and Westmoreland on September 22nd when he took this dramatic photo. More than 100 Toronto Fire Fighters battled this five-alarm fire which saw more than 20 surrounding homes evacuated.

BEST PHOTO IN NEWSPRINT (CIRCULATION OVER 100,000) Awarded to: John Hanley Media Outlet: Toronto Sun

BEST TORONTO FIRE WATCH ARTICLE Awarded to: Marla Friebe Media Outlet: TPFFA, Local 3888 Marla garnered this award for her exceptional writing skills and talented reporting on the founding and history of the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and

BEST UNPUBLISHED PHOTO Awarded to: John Riddell Media Outlet: Not published previously

SPECIAL THANKS Jack Boland from the Toronto Sun was also recognized at this dinner for his coverage of the passing of OPFFA District 7 Vice-President, Joe Adamkowski, from colon cancer. On May 26th and 27th, articles appeared in the Toronto Sun which contributed to raising the awareness of the public, as well as the various levels of government, to the many occupational illnesses and diseases that we as fire fighters contract from our regular exposures to the various toxins that are produced during fires.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 31


GARY ALLEN 1958 - 2007

A Tribute to our Fallen Brother BY MARLA FRIEBE – FIRE WATCH COMMITTEE MEMBER

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t was a simple message; Gary Wilson wanted to know that he was making a difference in the world by coming to work every day. Anyone who seemed to know Captain Wilson depicted him with similar adjectives: deeply caring, highly optimistic, energetic, and quite simply the kind of guy who could take an intensely difficult situation, find humour in it, and then quietly turn it into something positive. Co-workers described him as unique

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and easy to be around. His wife, Daniela, alleged Gary was a strong calming influence in her life and spent countless hours helping those he met in the Upper Beaches neighbourhood where he lived, and during his career as an East York and Toronto Fire Fighter. Sadly, after a long and valiant struggle, Gary died due to cancer after repeated exposures to smoke and chemicals during 24 years of fire fighting in Toronto. His death is regarded as a ‘line

of duty death’ by the WSIB as his colon cancer is recognized as a work related illness. Gary, however, lived to be a fire fighter despite the evident risks; statistics now show that two out of every three firefighters will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Gary was born on August 29th, 1958 and saw his lifelong dream to become a fire fighter actualized when he joined the East York Fire Department on December 5th, 1983. Gary never believed that the cancerous tumour that was growing inside him would ever kill him. Fighting cancer once before as a teenager, Gary alleged that the fortitude that he developed then would help him to battle it successfully a second time. It also gave him a tremendous sense of compassion, and that was evident in the regular quiet visits he made to sick children in hospitals. It also could be seen in the work he did throughout his community, even taking the time to rewire an elderly widow’s home (Gary was also a licensed electrician) free of charge,


WILSON once he discovered it was a fire trap. Daniela recounted that Gary had done this type of thing on more than one occasion. She also knew that Gary had an incredible way with the ladies, particularly with one elderly woman who placed regular calls to 9-1-1 just to get Gary back in her home! Gary possessed an incredible ability to put people at ease at any scene, and deeply cared for people in general. It was evident in how he lived his life, in his deep love for his wife Daniela, and even in how he treated his co-workers at station 231. Gary took the time to organize an annual station Christmas party and

even provided a special place in his own sleeping quarters for snorers! However, it is clear that no one could have loved him more than his wife. Daniela met Gary in 1999, and they were married by 2003. “He was an amazing leader,” she said, “And knew how to build camaraderie, and teams. Gary was gentle, and never knew the word ‘hate,’ he was just an amazing man.” Daniela and Gary were married by Toronto Fire Services Chaplain Ron Nickle, accompanied by Platoon Chief Jack Walford, in Edward Gardens. “When I married Gary,” she responded, “I married both him and the

fire department.” Daniela commented on how their neighbours loved him because he was the kind of man that brought their recycling boxes up to their houses for them, and they in turn felt safe giving him their house keys when they went away. Her marriage with Gary was wonderful, and when he was diagnosed with cancer in October 2005, she immediately quit her full-time career in the film industry to take care of him. Gary had suspected that the pain he was feeling was appendicitis, not knowing that he had been carrying a tumour in his colon for four years. In December 2005, he was

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 33


A Tribute to our Fallen Brother ... Continued from page 33

scheduled to have the tumour removed at St. Michael’s Hospital, and then begin chemotherapy at Princess Margaret Hospital. Gary believed in chemo, because it had saved his life as a 16 year old boy with Hodgkin’s disease, despite the fact that it had left his face scarred from burns he received during the treatment. After his last dose of chemotherapy was completed

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DANIELA HOPES THAT GARY HAS BEEN A FRONT-RUNNER FOR THOSE TO COME, AND THAT HIS DEATH CAN BE TURNED INTO SOMETHING VERY POSITIVE; AFTER ALL, BY REMEMBERING GARY AND WHAT HE STOOD FOR MEANS THAT HE IS NOT REALLY GONE—HE WAS A MAN THAT SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

in 2006, Gary was left with no feelings in his extremities, and it was up to Daniela to nurse him back to health. After much research and consultation, Daniela cared for him through the use of herbs and alternative medicines. By August of 2006, they celebrated Gary’s 47th birthday together, and hoped desperately that he had made it through the worst. Unfortunately, by October they discovered that the cancer had 34

metastasized to his liver, realizing that the chemotherapy had not killed all the cancer in his body. Liver surgery was then scheduled with one of the most respected surgeons in Canada, Dr. Steven Gallinger, at Mount Sinai Hospital. However, during surgery it was decided to close Gary back up as the surgeon discovered that the cancer had now spread to his lymph nodes. Danie-

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la began to treat Gary once again through the use of herbs, certified organic fruits and vegetables, and alternative medicines with the intention to improve Gary’s immune system to help him fight this degenerative disease. Within three weeks of commencing this therapy, Gary’s rate at which the cancer was spreading slowed by 68%, a remarkable feat which was recognized by Dr. Gallinger who later acknowledged that Daniela’s proactive treatments (which

required 16 hours/day of preparation time) were a great asset to extending and improving Gary’s life. Gary also slowly regained feeling in his extremities, felt very happy and had many moments of great clarity. He was still convinced that together with Daniela, they would beat this disease. Up until Gary’s death in March 2007, Daniela continued to care for Gary with the intention to never give up. She hopes that others may one day have the ability to choose between the traditional health care system and alternative health care, or even have the ability to utilize both. Daniela hopes that Gary has been a front-runner for those to come, and that his death can be turned into something very positive; after all, by remembering Gary and what he stood for means that he is not really gone—he was a man that should never be forgotten. During his funeral at St. Margaret in the Pines Anglican Church, Gary’s life was praised. The hope and love that characterized Gary’s life and career were very clear throughout the comments made in each eulogy:


“Its been painful for Gary to go through what he’s gone through, it’s been painful for his loved ones to see his condition deteriorate so, and its been painful for his crew at Station 231 and other colleagues with whom he worked at the fire department to lose a brother in the line of duty.” Chaplain Hugh Donnelly “Every time you hear a siren, take a moment and say Gary’s name, it may just make you feel better.” Frank Palmer, Brother-in-law “Everyone who knew Gary well understood his sense of humour, and it was this sense of humour that has me standing up here today. Gary knew that public speaking was not one of my strongest traits, so the running joke between the two of us was that I would do his eulogy, or he would do mine. … Kermit, Drag, Hawk and Psych, as you know most fire fighters have a nickname. Gary was fortunate to have two. The first was Whiz. Recently I learned the meaning of that nickname; unfortunately, I am not able to reveal it to you. The second was ‘Mother Wilson.’ With that said, Gary had a heart of gold. He was the type of person who always put others before himself under all circumstances.” Firefighter from Station 224 and close friend, Henry Hong

“I would like to thank everyone, Gary’s family, his friends, his wife Daniela, and Local 3888 Executive Members for all the things that were done for Gary during his illness. It is presumptuous of me to say thank you to people who were so much closer to Gary than I, but I have never seen such support for anyone before. And there’s good reason for it; it was because of the type of person Gary was.” Bob O’Hallarn, East Division Commander “We can all say with certainty that Gary’s professional career as a fire fighter was to add to the esteem and respect that fire fighters have—he raised the bar a little bit. Every time we put on our uniforms, we can raise our heads a little bit higher because of Gary.” Scott Marks, President of the Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association, Local 3888 “He’s a true hero who faced risks every day to protect the City of Toronto… Gary did more than his job, more than any job should require, he made the supreme sacrifice.” Frank Lamie, Acting Fire Chief “It is with tremendous sadness that I address you today … Today, we honour Captain Gary Wilson, a man who dedicated his life to serving Torontonians

and ended up making the ultimate sacrifice. Today we are all safer because of his noble service.” David Miller, Mayor of Toronto Gary received a hero’s send-off at his funeral on March 21st, 2007. Before his coffin was lifted aloft, the traditional fire bell was sounded three times. His coffin, draped with the Canadian flag, was marched beneath two extended aerial ladders and a massive Canadian flag hoisted high overhead. Traffic completely stopped for Gary’s Last Alarm, slowly riding along Lawrence Avenue East atop Rescue 231, his own truck. Five hundred fire fighters from right across the province saluted Gary in white-gloved hands as he made his way back to his Markham Road station for the very last time. Many members of the Toronto community also stopped to line the streets, asking about the firefighter who had died, and so many expressed the same comment. “I never realized how much firefighters risk as a part of their job.” Now they know, as Gary’s family knows, as Daniela knows, and as fire fighters have long known. As Chaplain Hugh Donnelly stated in St. Margaret in the Pines Church, “Gary’s tasks are now completed, his duty done, his last alarm, he is going home.” SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 35


TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS

FIREPAC

BY RICK BERENZ – CHAIR, LOCAL 3888 GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

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oon after the amalgamation of the 6 former Locals that now make up Local 3888, it became evident that a strong political presence, at all three levels of Government, was necessary. It was decided to form a Political Action Committee that would enhance and work with the existing Government Relations efforts of the Local. The Political Action Committee, known as Toronto FIREPAC, was to develop and maintain an effective political action fund raising program for our Local. The primary objective of Toronto FIREPAC is to affect the outcome of elections by electing candidates that show a strong commitment to improving the lives and safety of fire fighters and the citizens that we protect. In order for this to happen, we had to communicate with and educate the members of the TPFFA about the benefits of greater political involvement and create an effective, structured organization to coordinate the Association’s involvement in election campaigns. This required a system by which candidates were researched and then recommended based on how strong their respective positions are on public safety and fire fighter issues. This selection process was assisted by a candidate survey that is specific to the level of Government (Municipal, Provincial or Federal) office they are seeking. The surveys deal with fire fighter public safety issues which fall within their jurisdiction. Beyond the survey, Toronto FIREPAC relied on available past candidate history and a face-to-face interview to determine fire fighter friendly candidates. Once candidates are selected, an effective strategy is developed on how to best direct our support and public endorsements of the candidate(s). Toronto FIREPAC is non-partisan and is dedicated to electing candidates who support our issues, and then hold them accountable for their votes once in office, regardless of any party affiliation that they may have.

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TORONTO FIREPAC IS NON-PARTISAN AND IS DEDICATED TO ELECTING CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT OUR ISSUES AND THEN HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR VOTES ONCE IN OFFICE, REGARDLESS OF ANY PARTY AFFILIATION THAT THEY MAY HAVE.

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2006 DONOR LISTING PLATINUM Algar, Tim Ashfield, Kevin Bardecki, Chris Barrett, Don Beames, Paul Beer, Don Bennett, Ron Berenz, Rick Bizzell, Eric Black, Keith Boisseau, Geoff Brandstetter, Joe Brodie, John Brown, Mitch Buckingham, Steve Bull, Chris Burtenshaw, Adrian Cartwright, Brian Chow, Peter Christensen, Gary Coones, James Cooney, Bill Cooper, Jack Csepreghi, Janos Cyr, Lisa Dancy, John Dion, John Doherty, Hugh Domenegato, Mike Downes, Matthew Downey, Leo Draper, Mike Dubkov, Rayanne Dunbar, Bruce Edgerton, Mike Emerson, Darryl Enslen, James Evans, Mike A Falkner, Alan Fletcher, Jim Gallo, Rick Gayman, Tim George, Brian OPFFA Giffin, Colin Graba, Dennis Graziano, John

Green, Jim Grimwood, Rob Gunderson, Allen Guy, Charles Haigh, Kirk Halls, Paul Hals, Dan Hamilton, Ian Hamilton, Keith Harvey, Peter Hastings, Gary Hayes, Peter Hickson, Duane Hoefel, Karl Holder, Len Imray, Tom Jesty, Bill Jones, Jon Judge, Kevin Kennedy, Ed Kreposter, Alex Lamb, Tracey Lambert, Will Langford, Mike Latour, Mike Lauzis, Alfred Le Blanc, Fred OPFFA Lee Jim IAFF Leslie, Ian Loibl, Ron Macina, Paul Maidment, Keith Mair, Kevin Malonowich, Marlon Manning, Paul E Manson, Murray Marijama, Milda Marks, Scott Marsden, Don Mathews, Travis McCarthy, Kevin McCormack, Don McDougall, Dan McEachern, Doug McFarlane, Peter McFater, John McIllmoyle, Tom

McKee, Bill McKinnon, Mark McLaren, Scott Mclean, Andrew McManus, Pat McWhirter, Paul Miles, Jeff Miranda, George Montgomery, Dave Morache, James Mount, David Nearing, Michael Neely, Michael Nester, Jeff Oates, Bradley Ogle, Michael Olley, Adrian Osadca, Tom Payne, David Peck, Don Penfound, Jeff Peritore, Gerlando Pett, Andrew Piperidis, Dennis Poirier, John Ramagnano, Frank Ratushniak, Bryan Reid, Karen Reid, Robert Reynolds, Neil Robinson, Jonathon Robson, Robert Ruller, Nick Seifried, Paul Shapiera, Kevin Sherwood, Brian Smith, Randy St. Thomas, Brian Storey, Glen Strauss, David Suddes, Lisa Thorne, Ernie Tuffner, John Turner, Jack Vavra, Anne Walker, Alexander Walker, Alf


Walker, Michael Walsh, Damien Welch, Bruce Werginz, Mathias West, Chuck Whiskin,Jeff White, Dean Wilson, mark Woodbury, John Young, Tim GOLD Ahola, Pekka Ancio, Michael Anderson, Greg Archer, Tim Babcock, Dave Barrington, Mike Barton, Brent Baxter, Dan Bills, Mark Black, Brian Blake, John Boucher, Yves Bradshaw, Tony Brown, Brad C Carnwell, Tom Clark, Norman Cooper, Rick Cotterill, Derrick Cullen, Liam Davidson, Rob Denton, Andre Dyer, John Eldon, Richard Ellement, Darrell Falconer, Dave Fitzsimmons, Mark Garcia, Joby Gawlak, Orest Geekie, Tim Gilcrest, Greg Haley, Greg Hayes, Donald Hickey, Tony Hill, Bill Horn, Jeff Hough, Frank Hughes, Kevin Jackson, Keneth Jansen, Craig Keogh, Gary Knaggs, Chris Krigos, Jim Kuhn, Peter Leufkens, Bernard Linka, Vic Linn, Bruce MacLachlan, John McCannell, Ross McCrae, Ian McGurk, Ross

McKinnon, Neil Mechano, Jim Montgomery, Shayne Moody, Murdo Morgan, Rick Morrison, Colin Motton, Eric Nicoll, Lawrence Noble, John Norlock, Bill O”Connell, Dennis Pace, Herc Patterson, Wayne Powell, Stephan Ptasiuk, Igor Rainforth, Mike Rivard, Robert Roach, John Robinson, Dave Romard, Ron Roynon, Dave Salb, Mike Sanders, Robin Sheen, David M Sheppard, Joseph Sherwood, Glen Sinclair, Michael Sinclair, Norm Snellings, Gord Snowden, Peter Street, Kevin Stroud, Robert Trudeau, Ryan Turnbull, Mike Turner, Rick Tyrrell, Jerry Vanderlinden, John Wagner, John Walker, Ivor Wardle, Tim Welsh, John Wittemeier, Martin Woodroy, Brad Wright, John Zammit, John SILVER Alston, Dan Arabia, John Aspden, Colin Assaf, Paul Babcock, Doug Bakewell, Donna Bavaro, Tony Bellamy, Charles Bigham, Jeff Buckley, Bertram Buckmeyer, Stu Burnside, Dave Cameron, David Carr, Aidan Carter, Graham

Carter, William J Cassidy, Michael Chalk, Rick Chang, Michael Chong, Chris Christensen, Chris Churchmack, Rick Clark, Steve Cloer, Stefan Close, Ken Coleman, Don Coleman, James Coles, Steve Compton, Mark Condran, Cliff Cossitt, David Cunningham, Paul Danks, Jim Davis, Greg Davis, Tom Dellapina, Franco Dennis, Rick Dennison, Craig Dey, Ron Dixon, Traci Dooreleyers, John Dorman, Dave Dowdell, Andrew Dzuba, Paul Ellery, Drew Erwin, Doug Evaschuck, Brad Fielding, Randy Flammia, Bruno Forsythe, Rob Frias, Aderito Gaboury, Richard Gambier, Steve Gaudet, Paul Gilmore, Mike Gransaull, John Graves, Todd Gutenburg, Peter Hamilton, David Harrison, Colin Hewson, Rob Hickey, Kiron Hocking, Mike Humphrys, Bob Hunter, John Hurd, Neil Irvine, Brian Ivins, Darren Jakopcevic, Goran Jardine, Russell Johnson, Karrie Kalic, Michael Kennedy, Paul Knott, Jim Kuijpers, Roland Kular, Ted Kwiatkowski, Paul

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WITHOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT AND CONTRIBUTIONS THE FIREPAC COMMITTEE AND LOCAL 3888 WOULD NOT BE NEARLY AS EFFECTIVE IN ENSURING FIRE FIGHTER ISSUES AND CONCERNS WERE PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE DECISION MAKERS.

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In order for Local 3888 to assist these selected candidates, “get elected” money is required. Money donated to Toronto FIREPAC (union dues money is NOT used) by our members may be used in one of two principle ways: The greater portion of the funds raised are used for political action during election campaigns, through direct campaign contributions or by purchasing tickets to various political fund raising events. Our attendance at these functions allows fire fighter representatives to continue building relationships with the various influential decision makers who are in attendance. Secondly, funds are required for the day-to-day operations of the FIREPAC Committee. This covers items such as the incentive packages given to FIREPAC members, operation of the web site, and purchase of materials used at community events in support of fire fighter friendly candidates, along with numerous other miscellaneous expenses. The monetary contribution from the membership is the life blood of the FIREPAC Committee. Without your involvement and contributions, the FIREPAC Committee and Local 3888 would not be nearly as effective in ensuring fire fighter issues and concerns were properly understood by the political decision makers—at all levels of government. By working together, we can, and have made a positive influence, by having access to those in power, making political decisions that affect your career as a professional fire fighter. A prime example of this statement can be referenced to the Fire Ops program. After the success of the Association’s SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 37


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I HAD THE PERSONAL PLEASURE OF ACCOMPANYING THE PRIME MINISTER INTO OUR BURN HOUSE TO EXPERIENCE A SIMULATED FLASH OVER IN FULL PPE. NEVER BEFORE HAS AN IAFF FIRE OPS WELCOMED A POLITICIAN OF THIS LEVEL.

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June 2004 Fire Ops 101 day, to allow city politicians and the media a chance to spend a day experiencing the realities of fire fighting, we ran another Fire Ops 101 in August of 2006 to coincide with Local 3888 hosting the IAFF 48th Convention. With IAFF President Harold Schaitberger in attendance, your Local welcomed Prime Minister Stephen Harper to our Fire Ops. I had the personal pleasure of accompanying the Prime Minister into our burn house to experience a simulated flash over in full PPE. Never before has an IAFF Fire Ops welcomed a politician of this level. This level of interaction allows both politicians and media personalities to experience our job first hand at the TFS Training Academy. THE FOLLOWING HIGHLIGHTS THE SUCCESSES OF THE TORONTO FIREPAC OVER THE YEARS: • Over 500 Toronto Fire Fighters became 2004 Toronto FIREPAC members. This number increased to over 600 in 2005 and now stands at 595 members for the 2006 year. 38

Laamanen, Scott Layman, Chris Lepik, Ilmar Leuchter, Peter Lewandowski, Mike lines, Ken Linter, Steve MacAloney, Ray MacDonald, Rick Macken, Murray Mark, Hugh Markham, Dale Mathieson, Paul Mazur, Rob McCann, Mike McCready, John McEachern, Cam McLean, Ryan McMurray, Rick McQuay, Scott Merrifield, David Merrifield, Jody Moffatt, Wesley Mogford, Steve Mommo, Henry Morris, Stephen Morris, Terrence Morrison, Ryan Morrow, Mike Mullin, David Nagle, Dave

Nastamagos, Sam Neary, Peter O’Hearn, Sean Papakonstantinou, Bill Pedulla, Daniel Peters, Ian Plugowsky, Jason Poirier, Craig Pos, Jeff Post, David Pratchett, Vincent Price, Craig Quan, Irving Quibell, Mike Quinn, Kevin Randall, John Redwood, Ryan Reid, Dave Rizzuto, Luigi Roat, Steve Robinson, Jeff Robinson, John Rome, Wendy Sabino, Al Sell, Dan Sharpless, Blair Silverthorn, James Simmonds, Jay Smalley, Kevin Smith, Robert D Sousa, Gary

Speiran, Ian Stacheruk, Danny Stark, Graham Stather, Cary Steffler, Greg Steffler, Jonathan Stewart, Terry Taylor, Doug Taylor, Ken Tewnion, Gordon Trempe, Les Trenholm, Jim Trotter, Trevor Tullett, Neil Turner, Scott Vasconcellos, Chris Versace, Paul Vit, Walter Voegtle, William Walsh, Steve Warren, Jim Watterson, Al Weare, Dean Welsh, Steve White, Greg Whittaker, Brian Whitworth, Craig Wilson, Glen Wilvert, Chris Wright, Sonny


In 2004, FIREPAC raised over $60,000. In 2005 the amount raised was in excess of $75,000. In 2006 the amount raised was $58,000. • Toronto FIREPAC has held several FIREPAC recognition nights, with many prominent politicians in attendance to congratulate our collective efforts. • Federal lobbying has moved the Public Safety Officer Compensation Fund closer to becoming a reality. In addition, Federal lobbying also resulted in the passage of Bill C-14, a criminal code amendment that increases the penalties for those setting up traps in illegal grow operations that endanger fire fighters. • In 2006, our collective Provincial lobby efforts finally resulted in the OMERS Bill 206 receiving Royal Assent.

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SUCCESSFUL POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT TAKES COMMITMENT, TIME, ENERGY AND MONEY BUT IT CONTINUES TO PRODUCE POSITIVE RESULTS FOR FIRE FIGHTERS.

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The Association was very active in both the 2004 and 2006 Federal elections, backing candidates from all three major federal parties and successfully supporting the campaigns of several Members of Parliament. In addition, this Association participated in 5 Provincial Bi-elections in 2006. The physical work of FIREPAC volunteers pounding in signs, delivering flyers, etc. is invaluable to the campaigns of those that we support. Association representatives attended numerous fundraising events for supportive politicians in all three levels of government. These events not only allow us to continue to support our political friends, they are also great opportunities to discuss our issues and to continue to build and strengthen our contacts throughout the political arena. If you would like to contribute to Toronto FIREPAC, contact the union office and ask for information on the various ways in which you can contribute. You can donate all or part of a union substitution, contribute through payroll check-off if you are a Fire Department Employees Credit Union Member, or contribute a lump sum amount by way of a personal cheque to TPFFA. Call (416) 466-1167 for all the details. In summary, the continuing success and growth of Toronto FIREPAC is only possible through your support. Successful political involvement takes commitment, time, energy and money but it continues to produce positive results for fire fighters. None of this is possible without the volunteer hours and money that you have given. Thank you and let’s see how we can grow for 2007!!

CUT OUT FLYER ON PAGES 41/42

BRONZE Allen, Gordon Anderson, Alan Bailey, Scott Baldwin, Andrew Ball, Frank Bandel, Dave Barnes, Gord Bishop, Scott Blake, Bob Boyd, Bill Bredin, James Bridger, David Brown, Greg Bryant, Patrick Burchell, Ward Byschke, Mark Cane, Michael Cardinale, Tony Carey, Rob Casarin, Tony Cay, Rick Chambers, Bill Chaumont, Gerry Clazie, Michael Clements, Steve Collett, Dave Collins, Dave Connell, Stephen Cooke, Jason Cote, Steve Cox, Michael Crummy, Trevor Cunningham, Craig Czulinski, Peter D’Alisio, Dan Dart, Craig Dawes, Paula DeAmicis, Gino DeBruyn, Mike Donnelly, Matt Dousheh, Aziz Dove, John Evans, Peter Felstead, Michael Fife, Blake Fisher, Taylor Fitzgerald, Mike Fogarty, Brian Foote, Drew Forrest, Sean Fortier, John Fowler, Kenneth Funk, Murray Gagliardi, Frank Gagnon, Lee Gambrelis, Angelo Ganguly, Andrew Glivar, Joe

Golazzo, Claudio Goldsworthy, William Gravelle, John Gray, Rob Gunns, Richard Hacking, Barbara Halsall, Barry Hannah, Glen Hanson, Don Harrison, Bruce Harrison, Galen Hasson, Mike Hauton, Cam Hayden, Cathy Hill, John Hoey, James Horn, Darren Hoy, Brad Hurd, Bryan Jacklin, William Janusas, Al Jensen, Jorge Jessop, John Jones, Paul Jorgensen, Christian Kalliokoski, John Kassen, Tom Kelly, Brian Kelly, Dennis Kosir, Jakob Kozachenko, Moris Kramer, Josh Krolow, Ed Kurmey, Dave Lakeman, Morris Lancia, Tony L’Archeveque, Jean Franc Leeson, Larry Leonard, John Leontaritis, Bill Leschak, David Leufkens, Mike Li, Hoi Lokstein, Chris Loukides, William Low, Bill Luke, Diane MacSween, Andrew Makin, Peter Malcolm, Ron Masters, Scott McArdle, Robert McCarron, Joe McCloskey, Michael McIntosh, Jim McIntyre, Davis McKinnon, Kevin McNamara, Rob McReelis, Chris

McTavish, Iain Moore, Scott Morfitt, Bill Morgan, Chris Munro, Ashley Myles, Scott Niiranen, Peter Oakley, Brennen O’Dacre, Tim Orrett, John Palmer, Doug Papastratigakis, Stratis Parker, Don Peckford, Don Pezzetta, Lino Popovich, Jason Proctor, Gary Ptolemy, Rob Rabjohn, Bruce Richardson, Jeff Russell, Bruce Ruth, Richard Rutherford, Robin Safian, George Scallion, Don Scattolin, Enio Sefc, Cole Sherwood, Neil Simmonds, Brad Smith, Bruce Soares, Mario Souliere, Shannon Speight, Dan Statkiewicz, Mariusz Stefan,Steven Stewart, Paul Strapko, Mike Straub, Rick Sullivan, Joe Swiderski, Ed Sykes, Stephen Thompson, Dennis Thompson, Keith Thomson, Darrick Thornhill, Mark Tratnik, Mark Tweddle, Andy Vanstone, Bruce Voegtle, William Walsh, Dave Wardle, Darryl Weafer, Paula Wells, Mike Wharton, Gary Winders, Noel Wojnarski, Roman Zak, Jeff Zaorski, Mark

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 39


Congratulations ��������������������������������������

�� ������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������� AUTO V GROOVING 863 FENMAR DRIVE TORONTO (416) 749-5281 CAPPESTEINMEN CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS 1183 FINCE AVE WEST SUITE 201 TORONTO (416) 665-0133 CARTRIDGE CITY INC. 10-900 ALBION ROAD UNIT 4 ETOBICOKE (416) 364 5371

CHARLOO’S WEST INDIAN FOODS 1646 VICTORIA PARK AVENUE TORONTO (416) 759-7680

PHIL BOUCHARD & SONS 2220 MIDLAND AVENUE UNITS 10 & 12 SCARBOROUGH (416) 291-3158

ESTONIAN HOUSE CAFÉ 958 BROADVIEW AVENUE EAST YORK (416) 466-8906

THUNDER BAY WINDOW CLEANING 4936 YONGE STREET SUITE 204 TORONTO (416) 512-1615

FATHOM STRATEGIES INC. 20 BAY STREET 11TH FLOOR TORONTO (416) 967-5700

VIKING TREE SERVICE 280A BROCK AVE UNIT 104 TORONTO (416) 588-9645

H.C.C. ENGINEERING 201-111 EGLINTON AVE. EAST TORONTO (416) 932- 2423


($200.00) ($100.00) ( $50.00) ( $25.00)

Please make cheques payable to Toronto FIREPAC 39 Commissioners Street

Direct payment by cheque.

Union Duty Exchange: Contribute all or a portion of a Union Duty exchange Towards FIREPAC. For more information email firepac@torontofirefighters.org

Payroll Deduction: $ 1.00 pay Bronze, $2.00 pay Silver, $4.00 pay Gold, $8.00 pay Platinum Must be member of The Fire Department Employees Credit Union

How do I Contribute / Join?

Platinum Level Gold Level Silver Level Bronze Level

FIREPAC 2007

“Join Pac” The PAC” “JoinThe

Funding from the Federal Government for IAFF Hazmat / CBRN Training

Funding for one radio per Firefighter on all first responding apparatus

Funding for Fleet improvements, newer safer Apparatus

Negotiated Collective Agreement 2007-2009 �� Pending City Council ratification

Negotiated Collective Agreement 2003-2006 �� First fire Association to achieve recognition pay for all members

Presumptive Legislation Bill 221, Compensation and Recognition for Certain Occupational Diseases related to Fire Fighting

OMERS Autonomy Bill 206, Pension enhancements for Fire Fighters

Political Action Achievements

Toronto FIREPAC 2007


.

Become an active Member of Toronto FIREPAC

Do you want continued respect from City Hall ?

Do you want more progressive policies from our Council that enhances the health and welfare of not only Fire Fighters but our familes and the citizens we protect ?

How do you help your Professional Fire Fighters Association achieve these goals ?

“Join PAC” “Join The the PAC” firepac@torontofirefighters.org

Why is supporting Toronto FIREPAC Important?

Maintaining an environment of mutual respect and trust with City Council

On the Provincial front, positive changes to the Arbitration system as outlined in the Fire Prevention Protection Act

Seeking a Public Safety Officer Compensation Benefit from the Federal Government

What is Toronto FIREPAC ?

FIREPAC is your associations political action committee. It is an integral part of the TPFFA’S efforts to promote the legislative and the political interests of Toronto fire fighters.

FIREPAC is also a political action fund that is sustained by contributions from TPFFA members.

How does your contribution to FIREPAC help us achieve our goals?

Your FIREPAC contribution ensures that Toronto Fire Fighters have a strong and collective voice in Municipal, Provincial and Federal Arenas !

Become a member of FIREPAC today!


BY JON LASIUK – TORONTO FIRE FIGHTER

James Phillips

d. Monday September 15th, 1879 Being the Captain of Station #4 on Berkeley Street, James Phillips had seen his share of commercial and industrial fires. In the 19th century the area around what is now St. Lawrence Market was a bustling port area, with Lake Ontario coming right up to the docks on The Esplanade. In 1902, a major fire in the area would kill five firemen. But, on the day of April 10th, 1879, events

William Ashfield d. Tuesday October 5th, 1880

Unfortunately, with the death of James Philips the previous September, the TFD hadn’t seen the last terrible outcome from the Market Grain Elevator fire of April 10th, 1879. William Ashfield was also a member of Station #4 on Berkeley Street in 1879 when his Company was dispatched to the fire call

John Davis

d. Friday July 11th, 1884 John Davis lived for the Fire Department. In 36 years on the job, first as a volunteer and later on full-time continuous duty, he was uniquely known on the job for never, ever having missed a fire that his Company had been called to. It was reported at the time that he was fortunate enough never to take a sick day or be injured seriously enough to be relieved of duty. As well, the love of the Fire Department ran in the family. His son, Joseph Davis, had risen up through the ranks to attain the rank of Assistant Chief, the equivalent of today’s District Chief. His father served under him in the Western District. Just after 2 P.M. on June 1st, Box 95, corner of King and Stafford Streets, was

would be set in motion that would see James Phillips and his brother fire fighter William Ashfield make the ultimate sacrifice. On that day, a General Alarm was sounded for a fire in the Market grain elevator at the foot of Lorne Avenue. As any fire fighter in the Western Provinces can attest, a grain silo fire can be quite a dangerous thing. This one was no exception. As Captain Phillips led his men into the fire, they were met by heavy smoke combined with the dust of the

elevator’s contents. Several men were overcome as they did not have the aid of any type of breathing apparatus. Phillips took the brunt of the smoke and was removed from the scene with his lungs terribly damaged. Over the next five months he would suffer from a lack of breath as his body fought to recover. Unfortunately, in September a lung infection caused him to take a turn for the worst. He died of his injuries at 1 A.M., on September 15th. He was a 21 year veteran.

at the foot of Lorne Avenue. Being one of the first men on the scene, Ashfield set to work with other members in trying to save the adjoining structures from the burning elevator building. Ashfield sustained serious internal injuries during the height of the blaze. While putting up a brave face, he was removed to his residence at 69 Trinity Street East to be tended by a doctor. Not being a young man, the 20-year veteran did not heal

well from his injuries. Over the next year and a half he remained basically bedridden at home. The death of his Captain the previous September from injuries received in the same fire was said to have hung heavy in his heart. He finally died of his injuries on Tuesday, October 5th 1880. He was interred in St. James Cemetery after a full department funeral attended by men from every Fire Company in the city.

struck for a hay fire in the City Stables. Being the senior man on the Company, John Davis took the reins of #2 Hose and led the horses south on Portland Street and right on King. At the corner of King and Bathurst Streets, a civilian wagon got in his way as well as in the way of his son’s buggy, #2 Car. In an effort to avoid the other vehicles the hose wagon ended up on its side in the intersection. John Davis was pinned underneath with serious injuries. His son also received minor injuries. He was extricated from the wreckage by the men of #2 Truck and taken under the care of a Dr. McConnell. The fire that they were responding to was minor in nature and quickly extinguished by the men of #9 Hose. This was the second time in less than two weeks that a TFD apparatus had overturned at an intersection

going to a fire. #7 Hose had suffered the same fate on May 23rd, injuring fireman Thomas Reed. Over the next 5 weeks, John Davis held on to life in his residence at 150 Portland St. He had bought a house just up from the Portland Hall so that he could hear the companies responding on his day off. Even though a continuous line of visitors wished him a speedy recovery, he finally died from his injuries on July 11th, 1884. His death brought to an end a career that started in 1848, when he joined #1 Engine at Court Street. He then transferred to #2 Steamer in 1861, later being promoted to chauffer of that Company in July, 1871. When the city tried to save money by disbanding #2 Steamer, he transferred to #2 Hose, on which he would meet his death. SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 43


Thinking of BE SURE TO ATTEND A RETIREMENT INFORMATION SESSION!

BY RODNEY JOHNSTON, FIRE WATCH COMMITTEE MEMBER

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t’s inevitable…whether you’re a seasoned veteran of the fire service or you are new to the job or you have just started riding the rigs, retirement will one day be a reality that you will have to deal with. Along with this reality come many questions, options, numbers, calculations, and decisions that must be made. The Local 3888 Executive Board recognized some time ago that the retirement ‘process’ can be a very stressful and emotional time for our members. With that in mind, they organized and began hosting ‘Retirement Information Sessions’ for their members who were contemplating this life changing event and needed to get some solid answers from the various ‘experts’ in the field, to help them with their decision making. Normally there are two such sessions

44

held each year. Since the inception of the first ever session in 2000, Local 3888 has hosted a total of 5 sessions. The latest Retirement Information Session was held on Thursday March 29th, 2007, at the Toronto Fire Academy on Eastern Avenue. Due to overwhelming interest in the information session the location had to be changed to this new location from the original location, the Local 3888 Union Office on Commissioners Street. Approximately 130 members were in attendance and were provided a


Retiring? forum to listen to presentations, receive advice and ask questions of the various guest speakers. Some of these speakers included a Certified Financial Planner, a representative from OMERS, Sandra Soon from the City of Toronto Benefits Section, and Bob McWhinnie, a former fire fighter with several years of happy retirement behind him. Sandra Soon was the first speaker to address the audience. She went into great detail regarding the entire retirement process. Apparently, the very first step to take is to contact OMERS directly for a personal pension estimate. Once that is obtained, you should book a meeting with Sandra approximately 2 months ahead of your anticipated retirement date. This meeting usually requires about an hour of your time and requires that you bring with you, a void cheque, and proof of date of birth—a drivers licence or birth certificate—and RRSP financial institution information if you have sick credits that you wish to shelter from taxes. She also stated that if you have personal RRSP room, you can shelter additional funds, although some conditions

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apply. Sandra then helps you prepare a ”letter of intent to retire” to present to the Fire Chief. Sandra’s presentation was very informative and she answered many questions and encouraged members to call her with any further questions at 416-392-3903. The next speaker was Graham Hill, a representative from OMERS. Graham explained the various aspects and benefits of the OMERS pension fund. He noted that unlike some other pension plans, OMERS was a guaranteed pension benefit, based on your earnings and years of service, with full inflation protection. There is also a “bridge” benefit if you retire before age 65, and a survivor benefit to protect your family when you pass away. Members were also encouraged to call OMERS with any other questions or concerns at 416-369-2444 Monday to Friday, 8am till 3pm, or visit their extensive website at www.omers.com. Patrick Gibson, a Certified Financial Planner from Investors Group was next to speak. He answered numerous questions, mostly about IPP’s—Individual Pension Plans. Basically, an IPP is a type of self directed pension plan that uses money commuted from your OMERS pension plan. A corporation must be set up, with an IPP

and you as the sole plan member. Although there are many benefits with this type of plan, he cautioned that it does not come without risks and should be considered only after consultation with a Certified Financial Planner. Many members were very eager to obtain more information about this particular pension plan. Finally, Bob McWhinnie, a retired Scarborough Fire Fighter, talked to the audience in an affable, down to earth fashion. He offered first hand advice on how to make the most of your retirement. Bob made continual reference to the importance of healthy living, an active lifestyle, and a good mental attitude for a successful retirement. Hobbies and shared interests with your spouse were other key factors. Bob also shared experiences in order to give the audience some sort of idea of what to expect during their retirement years, and stressed not to wait too long to retire. All-in-all, it was a very valuable session that was well worth the time and mileage to attend. It will certainly offer anyone a much clearer understanding of the retirement process and everything that is involved. I highly recommend attending it if you are at all contemplating this new lifestyle.

BASICALLY, AN IPP IS A TYPE OF SELF DIRECTED PENSION PLAN THAT USES MONEY COMMUTED FROM YOUR OMERS PENSION PLAN. A CORPORATION MUST BE SET UP, WITH AN IPP AND YOU AS THE SOLE PLAN MEMBER.

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SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 45


WORKPLACE

PRIVACY

BY SUZANNE CRAIG – DIRECTOR, CITY OF TORONTO CORPORATE ACCESS & PRIVACY

Workplace privacy is an important part of the basic autonomy rights of individuals in our society. Members spend a big part of their lives in the workplace. Privacy protection for our members is something that we take very seriously at Local 3888. With the advancement of technology, it is something that Local 3888 is monitoring closer than ever before. With that in mind, we have asked Suzanne Craig, Director, City of Toronto Corporate Access Privacy, some specific questions in regards to privacy. We are pleased to bring the final part of a two-part series on the subject. The first part dealt with the City of Toronto privacy office, while this part deals with technology advancement and what it means for employees.

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rivacy in the workplace has increasingly become a central issue to many individuals and the City of Toronto’s Corporate Access and Privacy Office is committed to ensuring that City employees benefit from the protections afforded under the letter and spirit of privacy laws. New technology has raised questions and concerns as they relate to privacy laws. Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems have many positive uses. It can help with driving directions, or help find a stolen car. It can improve safety by allowing emergency rescue services to trace the originating location of cell phone “911” calls. GPS consists of a group of satellites, which continuously transmit signals regarding their locations at a given time. Through analysis of the data coming in from various satellites, a GPS receiver can determine its own location (for instance, if it is in a car, it can determine the car’s location). If a GPS device has a transmitter, as well as a receiver, it can also broadcast its location to third parties. A cellular GPS phone will be able to know the physical location of any caller from an incoming call to the cell and has been found to be very useful in the case of road accidents, where a cellular GPS phone 46

used in a 9-1-1 call can enable the emergency services to locate an injured party. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is a federal law that applies to every business, organization, and individual that engages in the collection, use or disclosure of personal information in the course of a commercial activity. The Act, based on ten privacy principles developed by the Canadian Standards Association, is overseen by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Federal Court. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart has dealt with several complaints regarding the acceptable use of new technologies such as, GPS systems and the effects of these on employee privacy. In the resolution of one of the complaints brought before the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Assistant Commissioner upheld the company’s purposes for collecting and using personal information gathered by GPS and found that implied consent was present for the purposes stated by the company. According to the company, the purpose for using GPS was to manage workforce productivity, in particular field employees in dispatch work, safety for employees for which GPS may identify

those who are at risk and finally asset protection and management, in the event of stolen, abandoned or scheduled maintenance for fleet assets. In the concluding comments of PIPEDA Case Summary #351, the Assistant Commissioner said that: “…generally speaking, ‘function creep’ is not acceptable. In other words, the purposes and uses of a particular technology should be precisely specified, and that technology should be restricted to its intended purposes.” The Assistant Commissioner went on to say that: “…organizations in their quest to be proactive, often resort to technology in anticipation of problems or as a means to maintaining competitiveness…the effects on the dignity of employees of all of the measures in place—taken as a whole, not just as one measure alone—must be considered in balancing the rights of the individual to privacy and the needs of organizations to collect, use or disclose personal information for appropriate purposes”. (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada; Commissioner’s Findings, PIPEDA Case Summary #351. PIPEDA does not apply to municipal institutions, like the City of Toronto. How-


ever, the PIPEDA findings of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, arbitral jurisprudence and practice guidelines of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC), serve to guide the City of Toronto’s Access and Privacy Office in the application of fundamental principles of reasonableness and dignity when developing the Workplace Access and Privacy Guidelines for the City of Toronto. The IPC strongly advises institutions to exercise caution whenever linking new technology data to individuals. Further, the Ontario Privacy Commissioner in her address to the RFID Meeting with EPCglobal Inc. in 2006 stressed the importance of following the fair information practices set out in the Canadian CSA Privacy Code, when approaching privacy concerns of new technologies. (Overview of RFID Privacy-Related Issues; Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario, RFID Meeting with EPCglobal Inc., July 20, 2006). When the City of Toronto contemplates the use of new technologies such as GPS devices, software that can track keystrokes made on an employee’s computer, high-tech ID cards and video surveillance cameras, there must be a concerted effort to avoid indiscriminately using these new technologies as employee surveillance tools. Collection of biometric information, such as an employee’s voice print, in order to access a phone system for logging work related information, provides cost-effective efficiencies for institutions, but also raises privacy concerns for employees. Privacy Commissioners of Canada and the Province of Ontario encourage institutions to follow fundamental privacy principles: ¸ Give notice to employees that personal information will be collected; ¸ Give the purpose for the collection, indicate how the information will be used and to whom it will be disclosed; ¸ Respect the use limitation and ensure that the personal information collected will not be used for an inconsistent purpose;

¸ Respect employee’s right to know how their personal information will be stored, retained and protected; ¸ Commit to train all managers to ensure that they use GPS and other new technologies appropriately and not for continual monitoring of individuals’ locations. In regards to E-mail, the City of Toronto has an Acceptable Use Policy that was issued, approved and effective May 16, 2005. The policy states that Information & Technology (I&T) resources are to be used solely for City business purposes with the exception of the limited occasional personal use. In the section of the policy entitled “Personal Use (limited and occasional)” it clearly identifies what usages cannot be involved. Employee use of electronic mail during business hours is a common characteristic of today’s workplace. Employers provide e-mail services to their employees as an efficient means of facilitating both intra-institutional communications and communications with the public. The City has many legitimate reasons for the enforcement of the Acceptable Use Policy for I & T resources, which include: • Preventing and discouraging illegal workplace harassment; • Avoiding copyright and other intellectual property infringement • Preventing possible liability; • Maintaining productivity • Maintaining the integrity of City business applications. Business justifications are compelling, but so is the protection of an individual’s privacy. The point at which a monitoring program achieves necessary business objectives while also adequately protecting employee privacy, depends primarily on the types of computer programs employers use to manage e-mail and the implementation of clear purpose, use and security rules. Openness and transparency about policies, computer programs and where to find out more about e-mail management is important to respecting employee’s privacy within the “limited and occasional” personal use.

Privacy specialists who work within the private sector and the public sector agree on the fact that the more intrusive a new technology will be on employee privacy, the greater the need for a business justification and demonstration of reasonableness. In her concluding remarks at the Workplace Privacy conference, Mary O’Donoghue, Senior Legal Counsel for the IPC commented that: “…not only is the standard of reasonableness a legal requirement for management practices in many circumstances, but it is also in the interest of employers. Studies have shown that in workplaces where there is an excessive degree of monitoring, there is a correspondingly high degree of employee stress. Employee stress can prove to be an expensive proposition for employers when it results in stress leaves and the departure of valuable employees.” (Mary O’Donoghue, “Reasonableness in the Context of Workplace Privacy”, Infonex Conference, June 25, 2001) As public institutions continue to move forward in the adoption of new electronic and biometric technology, it is imperative that the least privacy intrusive alternatives be considered. New technology initiatives must be communicated to employees and their representatives in advance of the proposed implementation and strict security safeguards should be in place to limit access to and use of the personal information for any purpose other than the application for which the data was collected. The City’s CAP Office is working with program areas to develop a written employee privacy policy that will explain rules around how employee personal information is collected, used and accessed, specifying security controls, training for City staff and notification protocols for employee representatives.

You may contact Suzanne at; scraig@toronto. ca as well as the web address for the Corporate Access and Privacy Office http://www. toronto.ca/cap/index.htm

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 47


&

FIRE FIGHTER

SURVIVAL & RESCUE &

TORONTO FIRE SERVICES AIR MANAGEMENT STUDY BY TORONTO FIRE FIGHTERS GEOFF BOISSEAU and JOHN MCGILL

FIRST RESPONDERS SUCH AS FIRE FIGHTERS, SPECIALIZED POLICE AND MILITARY UNITS HAVE A REQUIREMENT TO BREATHE FROM A SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS TO COMPLETE THEIR TASKS. THEY MUST RELY UPON THEIR SCBA TO SUPPLY BREATHABLE AIR SINCE THE PRESENCE OF CONTAMINANTS PREVENTS THE BREATHING OF ATMOSPHERIC AIR.

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resently, SCBA cylinders are provided in different sizes, defined in terms of the expected duration of air supply such as 30-minute, 45-minute or 60-minute cylinders rather than actual duration. The TFS Air Management Study is currently being conducted by the Toronto Fire Services and the University of Waterloo. The desired outcome of this study is to determine the metabolic cost and air supply required to conduct fire fighting tasks using a self-contained breathing apparatus so that this information can be used to predict the air supply required to perform different tasks. Purpose of the study: Why do we need to know this information? Currently there are no guidelines established that allow for the accurate prediction of the required air supply necessary to safely conduct operations in a hazardous environment. The reliance on a given size of cylinder for all responders has no physiological basis since variations in body size and aerobic fitness will greatly influence the volume of air required to support the metabolic energy requirements of a particular task. Add to this the fact that once one worker has to exit due to low air, all members of that team may have to exit a building for safety reasons. Thus, to enhance work productivity and safety of all first responders, it makes 48

more sense to manage air supply requirements based on those factors known to influence individual breathing needs (physiology, work load etc.) rather than just a cylinder size. This study will measure the metabolic rates and breathing requirements of representative fire fighting tasks. The results from the baseline fitness testing of candidates will be used in conjunction with their data from the practical fire fighting scenarios to develop a method to predict an accurate estimation of air requirements for fire fighters of varying size and fitness levels.

Methodology: The best way to gather the necessary data was to create simulations that were as realistic as possible. The scenarios described below had the objective of supporting the measurement of energy expenditure during simulations that imitate as closely as possible the stressful situations encountered by fire fighters while performing emergency tasks.

Scenarios for High-Rise and Subway Testing High Rise Simulations This simulation consisted of two scenarios: 1. Climbing 5 floors of stairs, advancing a 38mm hose line down a hallway, searching three rooms, forcible entry simulation, and victim rescue and descent of the stairs, all done while ‘on air’ (breathing with an SCBA). 2. Climbing up as many stairs (flights) as possible with a Pal Pak until air was depleted to 55 per cent .At this mark the fire fighters stopped and descended the stairs until they returned to their starting point. All testing took place at Toronto City Hall. The ascent of five floors was selected as this is the maximum that is normally recommended during fire fighting without use of the elevator. Subjects carried a “Pal Pack” with two lengths of hose as if they were expected to connect this at the scene of the fire. Upon reaching the fire floor,


the subject dropped the Pal Pack, and began crawling down a hallway advancing an uncharged 38mm hose line. Three rooms had to be searched as the hose line was advanced a distance of 60 feet. The fire fighter then found a “room” that was locked requiring forcible entry. The forcible entry simulator owned by the University of Waterloo was used for this part of the testing. This device has been set to require at least 4 very solid blows with a sledge hammer to depress the target and trigger a buzzer sound indicating that the door has been breached. Once the buzzer

Subway Rescue Scenario The subway rescue scenario is currently being conducted and should be concluded by mid June 2007. All testing will take place at the Toronto Transit Commission Keele Yard Training Facility located under the Dundas West subway station. For this scenario, the test subjects will go on air and descend from the street level carrying a Pal Pak and make entry into the tunnels at track level. They will walk the length of one train tunnel (approximately 500 ft) and cross over to another where the cars are located. The

was activated, the fire fighter put down the sledge hammer and walked into a fourth room that contained a “victim”. The victim was dragged 75 feet back to the stairwell, after which the fire fighter could make the descent of the 5 flights of stairs and safe egress from the simulated fire scene.

subjects will then retrieve a TTC access ladder from its location on the tunnel wall and carry it along with the Pal Pak the length of the second tunnel (500ft) until they encounter the subway cars. Here they will drop the Pal Pak and set up the access ladder. They then make en-

try into the cars, and search before finding the victim at the end of the second car. The subject will have to walk the entire length of both cars before finding the victim. The victim must be dragged back to the entrance of the first train car for rescue, after which the subject can exit the train. They will then walk the entire distance back along the tunnels and climb up the stairs to street level where they will turn off their SCBA. Summary of the Overall Objectives of the Study With the current development and building trends in Toronto, fire fighters are confronted by the second greatest number of high rise buildings, subway systems and large box stores in North America. Police are faced with responding to and clearing an increasing number of clandestine drug labs. The lives of the fire fighters and police depend on the air carried in the selfcontained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Since there is a finite amount of air in each SCBA cylinder, it is critical that fire fighters and police successfully perform their duties and exit the structure before they run out of air. There is concern that the current low air supply warning system does not come early enough and that there is no scientific basis upon which to develop safe work cycles for fire fighters. If these are not addressed, fire fighters are going to continue to die because their air cylinders empty before they can get out. This research collaboration between the University of Waterloo, the Toronto Fire Services and Police agencies will determine the physical demands of critical fire fighting tasks currently employed during high rise, subway and box store fires, as well as the duties of clearing clandestine laboratories and their impact on air supply. We will then work together to develop an improved strategy with modified work intensities and team work designed to maximize work performance and simultaneously minimize the risk of running out of air while still inside a burning structure. The outcome will greatly improve safety for fire fighters, police and the public. SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 49


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        

 

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District Chief’s Vehicle of the Future?

H

2O is not just a futurist fire vehicle produced by Peugeot. H2O produces electricity and water using fuel cell battery technology. The Peugeot H2O concept previewed at the Paris Auto Show in 2002 and it demonstrates the effectiveness of fuel cell technology, in a vehicle for fire fighting, which can be used for reconnaissance in areas within cities which are difficult for large vehicles to access, fire command and prevention. The H2O is an electric vehicle with batteries, fitted with an auxiliary fuel cell. Hidden underneath the playful and dynamic appearance of a fire engine lies a very innovative propulsion method. H2O, built on a Partner Electric base, uses the fuel cell battery as a source of on-board energy and features a major innovation for this technology: the hydrogen is produced in real time, based on the systems needs, which means it can overcome the problems associated with storing pressurized hydrogen. The rear is reserved for the tank and a telescopic ladder. At the bottom of the rear end panel, instead of the exhaust (no longer needed) there are two connections for the water feed. The stylish appearance of the Peugeot H2O belies the fact that it is a fully operational fire-fighting vehicle, equipped with suitable technological equipment. The vehicle was developed in consultation with

fire-fighters. The cabin is designed for 2 firefighters and to hold modern command and operating equipment; GPS, telephone and a touch screen on the dashboard. A second screen is linked to a PC and shows the maps of large buildings. This concept is equipped with an auxiliary power unit which provides a continuous source of electrical energy to supply various emergency items of equipment such as the pumps, smoke ejectors, communication systems, and electric tools. On the door panels, metal frames are fitted with compartments to demonstrate how different firefighting equipment can be carried. For the fuel cell to work, it requires both hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is drawn from the air, or when in smoky conditions from a back-up tank which can also be used for the fire fighters to breath, whereas the hydrogen is manufactured on board the vehicle as and when it is required. This is done from an aqueous solution of sodium borohydride and a catalyser. Mixing hydrogen and oxygen causes an electrochemical reaction producing displacement of the electrons which simultaneously produces water, heat, and above all, electricity. The system is very environmentally friendly as the only waste product is water, with no other emissions or pollutants. To allow the H2O to continue to operate in situations where visibility might be severely reduced due to smoke, the vehicle

is fitted with proximity sensors in the bumpers and a radar system incorporated in the front panel. Driving lamps are positioned either side of the air intake, built in to the lower section of the front bumper. These extra lights provide greater illumination in difficult and smoke filled conditions. The hood is short and steeply angled to merge into the windscreen. The chunky wheel arches exude power and strength and the doors curve round to where the tank is located at the back. The rear storage compartments are hidden by metal screens and on the left hand side there are two handles and steps for easy access to the top of the vehicle.

Key dimensions Peugeot H2O

Length

4.294m

Width

1.689m

Wheelbase

2.69m

Front/rear tracks

1.566m

Height

1.679m

Weight

1,700kg SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 51


Local 3888 Honours its

RETIREES O

n Friday June 1, 2007, Local 3888 said goodbye and a job well done to forty of their own who had retired during the past year. They had a combined service of over 1215 years on the job. On a sadder note, Local 3888 also recognized and remembered a number of members who answered their final alarm during 2006 and 2007. President Scott Marks and Fire Chief William Stewart began the evening with some general remarks and congratulated all on their well deserved retirement. The Reverend Hugh Donnelly said grace and din-

52

ner was served to begin this event which was held at Q’ssis Place in the old City of Scarborough. After dinner Frank Ramagnano, the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Neil McKinnon, the Entertainment Committee Chair, committee members, President Marks and Fire Chief Stewart made presentations to the retiring members. Neil McKinnon re-

[

members the occasion with mixed emotions as he states, “I felt that congratulations were in order on their retirement and achievements but I was also a bit sad that we were losing so many of our fire fighting family. I surely wish them all the best in their retirement years.” Many of the fire fighters honoured had over 30 years of service with one

“I FELT THAT CONGRATULATIONS WERE IN ORDER ON THEIR RETIREMENT AND ACHIEVEMENTS BUT I WAS ALSO A BIT SAD THAT WE WERE LOSING SO MANY OF OUR FIRE FIGHTING FAMILY.”

]


of the former six cities and the current City of Toronto combined. This is an occupation pitted with stress and danger, as well as a great sense of serving the community. Many of those being recognized were accompanied by family members who were welcomed by Frank Ramagnano to this special occasion as he noted, “I want to wish the family members a special thank you; a thank you for understanding when birthdays, Christmas holidays and other special occasions were missed. And a special thank you for enduring the stress that we routinely bring home with us. In a very real way you have retired from the fire department as well. We consider you a part of our extended fire fighting family.” Fire fighters in general and the Local 3888 Executive Board in particular, are well aware of the irreplaceable value that experience brings to the fire fighting fraternity in Toronto. Much knowledge is gained during the many years of service that these retirees worked on the job. However, it is also encouraging knowing that, like all fire fighters, these seasoned members would have taken great pains to pass along their knowledge and caring for the community and each other, to their younger brothers and sisters who succeed them. In this day and age, when fewer and fewer employees have the advantage of negotiated pensions and retiree benefits, Local 3888 is proud of the fact that their members still enjoy an enhanced pension which should allow them to enjoy their retirement years with relative financial security and an acceptable standard of living. As Frank Ramagnano said at the end of his speech at the dinner, “Again, I want to wish you all good luck in your deserved retirement and all your future endeavours. You will be missed.”

First Name

Surname

Rank

Start Date

Left date

Service YRS

Kenneth

Hagen

CAPT

16-Jun-75

30-Apr-06

31

Michael

Quibell

CAPT

4-Jun-79

30-Apr-06

27

Charles

Muir

ADC

1-Dec-75

31-May-06

31

Terry

Findlay

FF

19-Oct-87

10-Jun-06

19

John

Lee

CAPT

17-Apr-78

15-Jun-06

28

Klaus

Prinzen

CAPT

9-Jun-75

30-Jun-06

31

Albert

Cheeseman

CAPT FP

1-Dec-75

31-Jul-06

31

Donald

Muir

CAPT

1-Dec-75

31-Jul-06

31

Steven

Ball

CAPT

29-Sep-74

31-Aug-06

32

Michael

Lockett

FF

5-Jul-76

31-Aug-06

30

Paul

Rosati

FF

27-Sep-76

30-Sep-06

30

Donald

Smith

FF

16-Jun-75

30-Nov-06

31

Lance

Birch

FF

15-Oct-73

31-Jan-07

33

Jacques

Bourdon

CAPT

27-Sep-71

31-Jan-07

35

Glen

Carter

CAPT

24-Jun-74

31-Jan-07

33

John

Davey

CAPT

15-Jul-74

31-Jan-07

33

Thomas

Everist

CAPT

30-Sep-74

31-Jan-07

32

Antonio

Gaito

FF

2-Jun-75

31-Jan-07

32

Ronald

Gow

CAPT

9-Jul-73

31-Jan-07

34

Robert

Huyton

DC

14-Dec-70

31-Jan-07

36

Lloyd

Morrison

FF

17-Apr-72

31-Jan-07

35

Richard

Parker

FF

30-Apr-90

31-Jan-07

17

Dianne

Graham

FF

6-Jan-86

28-Feb-07

21

Donald

Manweiler

FF

16-Jun-75

28-Feb-07

32

Peter

Meadows

CAPT

29-Sep-75

28-Feb-07

31

David

Taylor

CAPT

12-May-75

28-Feb-07

32

Michael

Urminsky

CAPT

30-Oct-72

28-Feb-07

34

John

Webster

CAPT

30-Sep-74

31-Mar-07

33

Paul

Seifried

CAPT

21-Mar-77

31-Mar-07

30

John

Brown

DC

11-Mar-74

30-Apr-07

33

Douglas

Haynes

FF

11-Jul-77

30-Apr-07

30

Michael

Dotey

DC

24-Nov-69

30-Apr-07

37

Gene

Dionne

CAPT

19-Aug-74

30-Apr-07

33

Kenneth

Conley

FF

17-Apr-72

30-Apr-07

35

Leith

Clay

FF

1-Apr-75

30-Apr-07

32

Stanley

Chalas

CAPT

24-Mar-75

31-May-07

32

Warren

Hearl

FF

30-Sep-74

31-May-07

33

Joseph

Bonanno

FF

30-Aug-71

31-May-07

36

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 53


3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS

Congratulations to District 32 B shift for winning the 10th annual Bruce Ritchie B shift District Challenge. $3,600 was raised for charity, bringing the total raised to $21, 900 by the B Shift. Congratulations also to the other shifts that also held their shift District Challenges.

Members of Local 3888 attend a MOA ratiďŹ cation meeting held at the Spirale Banquet Hall on May 23rd.

(l to r) Scott Eyers, Bill Radcliffe, Jim Morache, and Ed Kennedy make up one of the many foursomes which participated in the Ross Forfar Golf Tournament on May 29th at Sleepy Hollow in Stouffville.

Members of Local 3888 march down Yonge Street as part of the annual Toronto St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 18th.

54


Members of the Local 3888 Executive Board work the prize table at the annual Toronto Fire Fighters Ball, held on March 30th.

Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, in front of a packed dome at the Bermondsey Training Centre, announces his government’s plan to introduce Bill 221 - Presumptive Legislation for Fire Fighters, in the house on that day, May 3rd, 2007.

Local 3888 President, Scott Marks, presents a framed print of Jack Boland’s coverage of Joe Adamkowski’s funeral in May of 2006 to the President of the Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association, Guido Nadin Paul Mogavero, Julie French, the co-chair of the 4th Annual High Park Fire Fighters’ Charity Bonspeil,and two-time world curling champion, Ed Werenich present a cheque in the amount of $3250.00 to the OPFFA Skin Bank at the Ross Tilley Burn Unit.

Local 3888 held several plaque dedications at various work locations during the months of May and June. Pictured here are dedications for Ken Burfield, Roger Holmes, Ian Gatehouse, and Robert Campbell.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 55


THE NEED FOR

SEAT BELT SAFETY ON FIRE APPARATUS

BY DAVE HOLWELL – LOCAL 3888 EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICER

“I can’t believe this job.” “I can’t wear these gloves.” “I can’t work with these boots.” “That truck isn’t safe to drive.” “This pairs policy is nonsense. We can’t work with that.” “I’m not putting that wet gear in my personal vehicle.” Who hasn’t heard these comments at one time or another in a fire hall over the last few years? The list of concerns members bring to the H&S Committee is endless. The concern and diligence of our members is commendable but unfortunately, the focus or significance of some of these concerns can be somewhat misguided. There is a lot to cover and it is often forgotten who is responsible for your Health and Safety. The topic of the Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is not the favorite of all fire fighters. It complicates things, some feel. It restricts their ability to react properly or deal with the dynamic of events as they present themselves on a fire ground, or any emergency incident for that matter. You have to spend more time setting up the playing field than you do playing the game or fighting the fire. The Incident Management System (IMS) 56

was a huge obstacle; we were hearing it all the time. It was too cumbersome, too confusing and delayed our fire fight. The truth of the matter is, it was new. It was a change in our regular routine. We had to stop and think, whereas in most cases we were just jumping in and doing what we do. The “NEW” IMS made us slow down a step and evaluate how the system fit our particular event, or role that we played in the event. It was established to

support the fire fight and support the fire fighters’ safety while doing it. Today, it is widely accepted and used throughout fire services in North America. That is only one example of a practical application of new fire service safety that has impacted our day-to-day lives. Another one that is more obvious today than ever before is the simple application of a tool that has been provided for our safety at home and at work for many, many years. That tool is the seat belt. The idea of habits, tradition or just plain routine being the engine that drives your day has never been more obvious

than when you look at how this tool is utilized. I cannot believe the number of times I have sat at the coffee table or in the truck bays in our fire halls and listened to conversations of loving fathers talk about their children and the trouble they have had in encouraging them to get used to using their seat belts or sitting properly in their car seats. The safety of their children is paramount for them. They will go to any lengths to ensure they have the right safety features in place to help them. At home, this is something we all find a way to instill as routine or habit for our children, our spouse and yes, even ourselves. I don’t understand how that gets lost from the time we pull into the parking lot at work to the time we jump on a rig. The number of our fire fighters who may not reach for their seatbelt as soon as they get on a truck is surprising. There was a time not so long ago for some of us, when you didn’t have the option of four crew members being able to jump into a cab and slide into a seat with bottle brackets and seat belts and such. This was a luxury that would arrive much later, and I might add, with a lot of lobbying and pressuring of Fire Service Management for the right to protect ourselves and ride safely on


fire apparatus. Standing on a tailboard of a truck, ripping through traffic or down a four hundred series highway was not as much fun as one may think. There were times when fire fighters would fall off. These unfortunate events prompted a change in the arrangements and reinforced rules on how we respond to emergencies. Even this move to bring everyone inside brought concerns for our ability to respond in a timely manner. The mindset we have with regards to protecting our family has to be applied to ourselves when we arrive at work. The operational mindset of, “get there quick and do what you have to quickly” is gone. The emphasis is now on the ability to get there in a timely manner, safely, and with the ability to perform your duties.

EMERGENCY VEHICLE SAFETY KEY MESSAGES: • Cultural attitudes regarding response and roadway safety must change. • Fire fighters are responsible for operating safely and following SOG’s/SOP’s. • Ensure fire apparatus are properly designed and maintained. • SEATBELTS MUST BE WORN. • Operate apparatus at a safe and responsible speed. • Use caution on curves. • Adopt alternative response policies for low risk calls. • Respect roadway scene hazards. • Use proper roadway scene protection and management procedures. The following is a crash analysis summary from an IAFF publication: Since 1990, at least 21 career fire fighters have been killed in vehicle crashes while responding to emergencies or returning from them. Vehicle crashes are the third most common cause of death among fire fighters. The response to a medical emergency, whether in an ambulance or a heavier piece of fire apparatus, is one of the highest risks of a fire fighter’s job—and it’s performed over and over on a daily basis. Traffic congestion, civilian driver inattention, cell phones and soundproofing

of automobiles all contribute to the difficulty of the task. The IAFF, in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration, has developed an educational program related to vehicle operations that is specifically targeted to career fire fighters. This program will discuss the dangers of emergency vehicle operation, as well as common sense strategies to reduce risks. There is an article in the January/ February Edition of International Fire Fighter Magazine on page 19 entitled “Emergency Vehicle Safety”. The article speaks to the above educational program and some of the incidents that had prompted the need for the program. One example highlighted was that of a Las Vegas, Nevada crew responding to a reported apartment fire and took a highway ramp at a speed of about 45 mph although it was a posted speed of 25mph. The rig flipped on its side and slid into impact absorption barriers. The driver was the only one wearing a seatbelt. He and the crew member seated behind him were held to minor injuries. The Captain came across the center hump in the cab and suffered a spinal cord injury and was left paralyzed from the neck down. Another incident listed was that of a Brooklyn Fire Fighter who, while riding in a spare vehicle unbelted, fell from the

vehicle as they turned out of the hall. He sustained a head injury and remained in a coma for twenty years before his death. A quote from the article from General President Harold Schaitberger: “Every fire fighter must take personal responsibility for their safety and also watch out for and stop any unsafe actions. While injuries and death as a result of apparatus collisions are among the easiest to prevent, it’s a cultural shift in mindset that is most needed and most difficult for some fire fighters to accept. We must eliminate the tendency to operate fire apparatus in a reckless manner under the guise of the urgency of response” The article continues to say that sometimes practicing safer driving tactics and wearing seatbelts are enough to prevent injury or death. If we don’t get there, we are not able to help anyone. The pressure mounts on our colleagues, now tasked with backing us up by covering the call and responding to assist us. A little closer to home, in November of 2005, Car 24 collided with a Honda Civic at 2851 Eglington Avenue East while responding to an emergency call. Occupants in the Honda were seriously hurt while the District Chief and FIT suffered non-life threatening injuries.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 57


THE NEED FOR SEAT BELT SAFETY ON FIRE APPARATUS ... Continued from page 57

Recently we attended a funeral in Detroit for a brother fire fighter killed while driving a truck on an emergency response and got t-boned in an intersection by a speeding SUV. On the other side of the border, in Windsor, Ontario, a member of the Windsor Fire Fighters is still fighting to walk again after the apparatus he was driving

lost control on a curve and twisted into a fence leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Brother George Copeland stepped out of his regular routine that day. While participating in a driver training exercise for another crew member, the crew was dispatched on the air. The change from the trainee driving, back to George in the seat left a lapse in the seat belt being secured. This momentary lapse from a normal habit of always securing his belt changed his life and the lives of his family forever. The statistical data on seat belt use and the life safety benefit is overwhelming. It should not be surprising to the members of any Fire Service occupation. The results are tragic when not wearing a belt and most of us have responded to and witnessed the awful consequences and physical injuries sustained from vehicle accidents involving rollovers or head-on impacts.

In our day-to-day routine we should always be vigilant. Keep the cab area of your apparatus clear of loose or unsecured items. Clean your work space of potential projectiles and fasten that SCBA with the anchor straps as provided. Ensure you have a system to access your seatbelt and know what you have to do when the vehicle comes to a stop. The days of having a mask on your back when the truck comes to a stop are gone. Be prepared, know what it takes to get your mask on your back, and leave the vehicle ready to go to work with any tools you may require. Safety is not just a habit. It is a lifestyle. You want to make sure you are there for your co-workers but most of all, you want to be there for your family when the work is done. You are responsible for your safety and those around you. Be safe, buckle up!

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58


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/.

The Ten Commandments of Grilling

1. Be organized. Have everything you need—the food, marinade, basting sauce, seasonings, and equipment—on hand and at grill side before you start grilling. 2. Gauge your fuel. There’s nothing worse than running out of charcoal or gas in the middle of grilling. When using charcoal, light enough to form a bed of glowing coals 3 inches larger on all sides than the surface area of the food you’re planning to cook. When using a gas grill, start with at least 1/3 of a tank of gas. 3. Direct grilling is a high heat cooking method. Use the “3 second” test to gauge the temperature: Place your hand about six inches above the grate. You should be able to hold it over a properly hot fire for 3 seconds. 4. Keep it clean. There’s nothing less appetizing than grilling on dirty, old bits of burnt food stuck to

the grate. Get a long-handled, stiff wire brush and use it to clean the grate. Brush after you’ve preheated the grill, but before the food goes on. Brush again, when you’ve finished grilling. 5. Keep it lubricated. Always oil the grate before placing the food on it. Dip a folded paper towel in oil, grab it with tongs, and rub it over the bars of the grate. Or grease the grate with a piece of bacon. (The flavour is great; the amount of fat negligible.) A wellgreased grate keeps food from sticking and gives you handsome grill marks. 6. Turn, don’t stab. The proper way to turn meats on a grill is with tongs or a spatula. Never stab the meat with a carving fork—unless you want to drain the flavour-rich juices onto the coals. 7. Know when to baste. Oil- and vinegar-, citrus-, soy-, or yogurt-based bastes and marinades can be brushed on the meat throughout the cooking. (But not the last 5 minutes.) Brush on sweet barbecue sauces at the very end, so the sugar won’t burn. 8. Keep it covered. When cooking larger cuts of meat, such as a whole chicken, leg of lamb, or prime rib, use the indirect grilling method. Keep the grill covered and resist the temptation to peek. 9. Give it a rest. Beef, steak, chicken—almost anything you grill—will taste better and be juicier

Talking to Your Kids Words Can Work ®: Knowing the issues, talking with kids BY JEANNE BLAKE

A

s the founder of Words Can Work , I write about topics families have a tough time talking about. You know, young people’s struggles with drugs, sex, eating disorders, depression, underage drinking and more.

The concept behind Words Can Work is simple: kids need to talk openly about their worries. Keeping emotions bottled up can lead to trouble. As one teen recently told me, “I felt alone, like I had nobody to turn to. My mind was messed up. I started drinking and using other drugs just to forget about everything.” When kids can talk openly, they tend to make smarter choices. But many parents admit to needing help to get these conversations started.

if you let it stand on the cutting board for a few minutes before serving. 10. Never desert your post. Grilling is an easy cooking method, but it demands constant attention. Once you put something on the grill (especially when using the direct method), stay with it until it’s cooked. Most of all, have fun. Remember that grilling isn’t brain surgery. And that’s the gospel.

CLASSIC BURGERS WITH RED ONION AND HORSERADISH This recipe serves: 4 INGREDIENTS

1 1⁄ 2 1⁄ 2

1 1 4

tablespoon horseradish teaspoon Worcestershire sauce cup fat free mayonnaise salt to taste freshly ground black pepper pound lean ground beef sirloin red onion, sliced onion rolls

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a small bowl, combine the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.) 2. Preheat the grill to medium-high 3. Shape the ground sirloin into 4 patties about 1/2-inch thick. Season the patties with salt and pepper. 4. Grill the patties on both sides until the burgers are just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. 5. Toast the onion rolls on the grill. 6. Serve the burgers with sliced red onion and horeseradish sauce on the toasted onion rolls. Serving Size: 1 burger Number of Servings: 4 Calories 363 Carbohydrate 34 g Fat 10 g Fibre 2 g Protein 32 g Saturated Fat 4 g Sodium 691 mg

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 59


FIT TO SURVIVE ... Continued from page 59

TIPS FROM WORDS CAN WORK What parents can do Sometimes it’s the little things that help to build potentially lifesaving connections. Be available. When you spend unstructured time with your children, with no goal other than to hang out, children feel valued and loved. Be sure to listen more than you talk. Really listen. Put down your newspaper, TV clicker, and cell phone. Show that you’re paying attention with a nod or an encouraging comment. Say: “Tell me more about that.”

Talk with your children. Not at them. Ask simple questions. For example: “What would you do in that situation?” You can help your child think through how he or she is making decisions. Try to not criticize. Nothing shuts communication down faster than criticism. If you are quick to judge, young people will hesitate to bring you their concerns. Remind your child often: “You are special. You are valued.” Kids need positive feedback. You can tell them you appreciate their sense of humour, their skill on the soccer field, or their ability to be a

good friend. Parents often assume kids know their strengths. Maybe so. But hearing praise feels good. Set and enforce limits. Limits help to keep children safe. When children break the rules, they need to lose privileges such as use of their cell phone, the Internet, or the car. That may make your children angry. But you need to be able to tolerate their anger and explain that you set rules out of love, with their safety at heart. Jeanne Blake president of Blake Works, Inc. She is an affiliated faculty member at the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. For more information visit www.wordscanwork.com or call 978.282.1663

2007 UPCOMING EVENTS Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10 am - 3 pm

Local 3888 Picnic 10am - 3 pm

Toronto Centre Island

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stewards Meeting

3888 Union Office

August 26-29, 2007

IAFF Canadian Conference

Sydney, Nova Scotia

September 9, 2007, 1100 HRS

Candian Fallen FF Memorial

Ottawa, Ontario

September 12 - 15, 2007

Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

Colorado Springs, CA

September 18, Tuesday, Day meeting 1000 HRS

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br.527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

September 19, Wednesday, Night meeting 1900 HRS

3888 General Union Meeting

RCL Br.527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stewards Meeting

3888 Union Office

September 30 - Oct. 4 2007

OPFFA Fall Seminar

Niagara Falls, Renaissance Fallsview

736 St. Clair West Toronto, ON M6C 1G6 tel. 416.656.PAIN fax. 416.656.0186

60

LOCATION

• everything is hand made on the premises • no chemicals • all natural & fresh ingredients everyday

SUBJECT TO CHANGE

EVENT

*DATES AND TIMES

September

Aug

July

DATE*


LOCAL 3888 STAFF PROFILE

BEATRIZ BEDRICH BOOKKEEPER BY MARCEL RAMAGNANO

Local 3888 employs three full-time staff members to help run the day-to-day business at 39 Commissioners Street. This is our last of a three-part series to profile these members in Fire Watch.

B

eatriz was born in Mexico City and moved to Canada over 33 years ago. She is the proud mother of two sons, Ryan and David. Ryan is twenty-five years old and graduated with honours from Queen’s University School of Business. He loves to travel and his last trip took him on an adventure through the Peruvian Jungle. Ryan hiked for three-and-a-half days from Cusco to the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu. David is twenty-three years old and will be graduating from Queen’s Film and Media Studies in June of 2008. David loves movies and hopes to work in the movie industry in Toronto when he graduates. Angelo, Beatriz’ partner, has a boat and they both love to go fishing at various lakes in Ontario, dancing and travelling to sunny destinations. WHAT IS YOUR WORK BACKGROUND AND HOW DID YOU START WORKING FOR LOCAL 3888? I worked for twenty years at 2 major banks in Toronto and just before coming here I worked another seven years for a nature conservation organization in the accounting department. While working there I became more aware about the importance of preserving nature and recycling for future generations. I studied accounting at George Brown College.

There’s really nothing too exciting to say about accounting but I do like it. I saw an ad in the paper for the position with Local 3888 and I have been here for more than six years now! WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ENTAIL ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS? I take care of the bookkeeping functions of the Association, such as accounts payable/receivable, reconciliations, monthly reports, year end closing and all that “fun” accounting stuff! WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE, WORKING FOR LOCAL 3888? My greatest challenge is the daily commute to and from the union office, due to the location on Commissioners Street. I take the bus every day to and from Front Street. In the summer and the winter, the temperatures and weather conditions can be extreme at times. Also, it is a very old building and presents challenges that way. When I got here for the first job interview and saw the building, I almost didn’t get off the bus but I said, “Oh, what the heck. I’ll give it a shot” and I’m glad that I did! HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO LOCAL 3888? My contribution is toward the accounting needs of the organization and making sure all of the numbers are always accurate. I strive for accuracy and I am a very detail oriented person, so I am always making sure that the “financial picture” of the organization is as accurate as possible every month. Every year we have an audit which involves many weeks

of extra work to get all of the expenses properly accrued to close the year. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WORKING FOR LOCAL 3888? I have four huge memorable moments actually! All four of them had to do with me riding on a fire truck as Mrs. Claus. The Toronto Fire Fighters’ Association has been involved with a lot of charity work over the years and I’ve had the privilege to be invited to accompany them on Christmas morning to visit the children with cancer and their families at the Ronald McDonald House. I like sewing, so I made my own Mrs. Claus costume, bonnet and all. I ride with Santa Claus, Sparky the dog, and a few cute elves to deliver presents and lots of smiles, and to try and make the children and their parents forget their hardships for a little while. It is very rewarding for me. My son David was Sparky the dog last Christmas. This Christmas coming up is going to be my fifth time and I’m very excited! WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING FOR LOCAL 3888? The best thing has to be the people. I admire the fire fighters very much, because to me, they are incredible heroes. I experienced that first hand when they came to rescue my son David when he was about 4 years old and his little arm got stuck in an elevator door while leaning against it. I admire them for what they do to help others. It is an honour and a privilege to work for them.

SUMMER 2007 | FIRE WATCH 61


ADVERTISERS INDEX ALARMFORCE ................................... 12

GTA TRUCK & TRAILER REPAIR .......... 8

ONYX FIRE PROTECTION ................. 50

ROYAL BANK ..................................... 50

APACHE BURGERS............................. 62

INVESTORS GROUP .......................... 58

ORTHOTICARE.................................... 8

SCARBOROUGH LEXUS TOYOTA ..... 10

CHALLAL PASTRIES .......................... 13

JACK M. STRAITMAN ....................... 26

OWASCO VOLKSWAGON.................. 12

FF CREDIT UNION ........ INSIDE FRONT

CHARLOO’S WEST INDIAN FOODS ... 8

JIFFY LUBE ................... OUTSIDE BACK

PAIN PERDU ...................................... 60

TRAVEL SOURCE NETWORK .............. 6

CROWN INDUSTRIAL ROOFING ...... 50

LAURENTIEN UNIVERSITY .............. 26

PARKVIEW DENTAL ............................ 8

TRI-CELL COMMUNICATIONS .........11

DANIEL GAVRILOVIC........................ 62

MATI’S MATCHES .............................. 6

PHYSIO F-X ........................................ 26

WATERFALL RESTAURANT ............... 50

DUTTON BROCK LLP ........................ 50

MR PITA............................................. 13

PIZZAVILLE .......................................... 6

WEGZ STADIUM BAR ........................ 10

FIRE HALL ONLINE ............................. 8

M-TRICKS AUTOSPORTS .................. 50

REMAX SPIRIT .................................. 50

WIRELESS/BELL MOBILITY

FUNERAL SANITATION .................... 62

NORTH CITY ..................................... 26

ROSEHAVEN HOMES ........................ 50

..........................................INSIDE BACK

Classified Advertising in the Toronto Fire Watch Magazine Name:

Division:

Work Phone:

Home Phone:

Ad (20 words max – please print clearly):

# of issues: Signature:

Payment: Cheque:

Credit Card #

Price: $25/issue + GST=

Ads run one issue free of charge. Home phone or pager numbers will be used. Ads MUST be submitted in writing. Phoned ads are not accepted. Submit before the second Tuesday of the month. Send to Toronto Fire Watch, Box 157, 253 College St., Toronto ON M5T1R5 or email: publications@xentel.com

FSS • • • • • • •

62

When There Is No One Else to Turn To ... Rely On

FUNERAL SANITATION SERVICES

Oshawa Kitchener Metropolitan Toronto and Area Cleaning, Odour Removal and Disinfecting Homes, Rooms, Niagara Region Apartments and Vehicles due to unnoticed remains, suicide, Hamilton homicide, and contagious diseases Gravenhurst Brampton For Consultation and Services, call Etc., Etc., (416) 248-2276 or 370-1466 Philip G. Belanger

Thank You for supporting our advertisers!


Toronto Fire Service

$0 Phones Samsung 580

FREE 3 PIECE ACCESSORY KIT!

Plan #1 - $20.00 Month 200 Free Local Minutes Free Weekends (Fri. 8pm - Mon. 7am) $0.20 Min over Free time Per Second Billing Free Voice Mail Call Display Long Distance rate: $0.10 per min

LG Fusic

Sanyo Katana

$0 $24.95

Blackberry 7250 Blackberry Special with Voice & Rim Activation!

Motorola Razr

Airtime PLANS

Plan #3 *Limited Time Preferred Mobile 23 $23 Month 250 Free Daytime Minutes Free Evenings 6pm - 8am Free Weekends Friday 6pm - Monday 8am Free Voice Mail Call Display 3 Mths Free Text Messaging $0.30 Min Overage Airtime & Long Distance rate

Plan #2 - $27.50 Month 200 Free Daytime Minutes $0.20 Min overage Per Second Billing Free Evenings 6pm - 8am Free Weekends Friday 6pm - Monday 8am Free Voice Mail Call Display Long Distance rate: $0.10 per min

CHECK OUT OUR ONLINE WEBSTORE @ www.bellmobilityweston.com User Name: toronto fire department Password: fire *Phone pricing based on 3 year contract/New Activation only Call us directly for Hardware Upgrade info. (Existing customers) Other phone models available through Web Store directly! Pricing current at time of Publication.

Samsung 920

(Car Charger/Case/Earpiece)

$0

$0

Samsung 900

Sanyo 2400 10-4

Samsung 640

To Order Contact

$74.95 Blackberry 7130 Plan #4 *Limited Time Preferred All In 30 $30 Month 200 Free Daytime Minutes Free Evenings 6pm - 8am Free Weekends Friday 6pm - Monday 8am Free Voice Mail Call Display 3 Mths Free Text Messaging Home Free Calling (20 Calls to 1 Number) per mth $0.30 Min Overage Airtime & Long Distance rate ** $8.95 Mthly System access fee & $0.75 911 Fee INCLUDED in this Price Plan ONLY!

: SHERRI WILSON

Or her Assistant Theresa

@ Bell Mobility Weston #416-242-8046 OR Toll Free 800-470-2355 OR swilson@wpci.com

2625 Weston Rd. (Weston & 401) CrossRoads Plaza New Activations Only - $8.95 System Access fee & $0.75- 911 Access fee app. / Subject to change without notice


Fire Watch (Summer 2007)  

Photo by John Hanley - Winner of Best Photo Newsprint Circulation over 100,000Full article on page 30.

Fire Watch (Summer 2007)  

Photo by John Hanley - Winner of Best Photo Newsprint Circulation over 100,000Full article on page 30.

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