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3888 PADRE’S FAREWELL: It’s Been A Gas!

Interviews with Participants

Part II: Self Rescue and Survival Publications Agreement No: 41203011

FIREHALL SHOWCASE: Station 435 – The Lone Wolf



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Letters to the Editor


President’s Message


Secretary Treasurer’s Message

11. Vice President’s Message 14. TFS Acting Captain Responds to Urgent Need in W. Africa 17. It’s Been a Gas! 19. Strong Stewards, Strong Association 23. Airport Regulatory Shortfalls Flagged by Crash



(ISSN 1715-5134) is published quarterly by the

27. Fire Fighters’ Exchange Program 32. Station 435, On Shore Patrol 35. Fire Fighter Survival and Rescue

39 Commissioners Street, Toronto, ON Canada M5A 1A6 Tel.: 416.466.1167 E-mail:

39. Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Christmas Party

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

41. Collective Agreement Review

40. Upcoming Events

44. In Memorium

Scott Marks

45. Remember the Fallen

Frank Ramagnano & James Coones Tel.: 416.466.1167 Fax: 416.466.6632 E-mail:

47. Fire Prevention Week 2005

Xentel DM Incorporated

51. Wellness & Fitness

Agreement No: 41203011 General Printers, 1001 Ritson Road South, Oshawa ON L1H 4G5 Members of the CEP Copyright © 2005 Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association Nancy Philippou Tel.: 416.646.3128 Fax: 416.646.3134 Email:

49. Cholesterol 101

54. 3888 Recent Happenings 57. WSIB and the Realities of a Denied Claim 60. Sports

Merchant Card Acceptance

61. Combat Team 62. Advertisers’ Index

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

Cover photo courtesy of John Riddell




rs e tt e L The Association is to be commended for taking a positive step in creating the magazine. I have reviewed the Premier Issue and wish to congratulate the members involved in producing the magazine. Communication is essential within the Toronto Fire Services to ensure that the membership is kept informed of relevant and current events. Further, the magazine has recognized the accomplishments of individual members for their achievements. I have the privilege of serving the Toronto Fire Services as the Fire Chief of this city. Upon reflection, we have all come a long way since January 1, 1998, through hard work and determination of both the Association and Management working to improve our Service. Collectively we can and do make a difference on a daily basis serving the citizens of our city. Your continued support and contribution to both the Service and the citizens of Toronto is greatly appreciated. In closing, I look forward to reviewing future editions of the magazine to be kept abreast of Local 3888 news and events. Respectfully, William A. Stewart Fire Chief Toronto Fire Services

I’m sure you’re getting a load of these but I thought that I’d add my two cents to the chorus. Great job with the new magazine. Mike Snetsinger R134 4

I had an opportunity of reading your “premiere issue” of Fire Watch from cover to cover—and I must say I was very impressed. The fact that the publication has colour pages throughout makes it stand-out. As you know the Intrepid has full colour only on the front and back of the magazine. The articles were interesting to read and no doubt will be enjoyed by your membership. Your membership should be very proud of this “high profile” method of disseminating information that is of vital interest to them and their families. Good Luck with the publication in the future. Take care, Pat Defazio President Emeritus OPFFA

I would like to congratulate you on the launch of your Local’s new magazine ‘FIRE WATCH’. I appreciate the difficulty associated with developing a communications strategy to ensure the membership remains updated with factual information and that it is presented in a format that will engage the member’s interest. This new publication arrangement more than accomplishes these goals. I was very impressed with the content and the magazine’s effective presentation. The work that was described in the inaugural edition regarding the magazine’s development clearly illustrates yet another example of the professionalism of both you and your local. You, your editorial board and every member of Local 3888 should be very proud of the determination and efforts behind the successful launch of ‘FIRE WATCH’. I would like to wish you the best of luck with future editions. Fraternally, Fred LeBlanc, President, Ontario PFFA




General Presid

October 17 , 2005



Scott Mark s, Presiden t Toronto Pro fessional Fir e Fighters’ IAFF Local Association 3888 39 Commis sioners Stre et Toronto, O ntario M5W 1A6 Dear Scott, Congratula tions to you and your E Local 3888 xecutive Bo on the prem ard, and to iere issue o all the mem f your new I can see fr bers of IAF magazine, om the plan F T oronto Fire ning and fo this magaz Watch. rethought p ine is an exc u t into the inau ellent way to provide our gural editio highlight th members w n that e work of you it h the informat labour-man r association ion they ne agement is , and to ed about ou sues, health many other r union’s ac and safety m important to ti vities, at te rs, political pics. action updat I know that e s and Toronto Fir e Watch w membership il l fast becom and will rep e a must-re resent Local and intellig ad among yo 3888 with ent voice. ur a profession al look and a strong Congratula tions again on your pre forward to mier issue reading futu of Toronto re editions. Fire Watch . I am lookin Sincerely an g d Fraternal ly, Harold A. S chaitberger General Pre sident 1750 NE W YO


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I have just received your new Fire Watch magazine and I cant put it down. Amazing! It is full of great articles and well laid out. I want to commend your committee and President Scott Marks on this initiative. Its a great way to inform your members and stir the interest of those who have not been as involved as they should be. Every local has the same problems with lack of interest but you have taken a progressive step to minimize that apathy. You have

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again demonstrated a lead role in trade unionism that will be copied and envied across the province. Kudos to your Executive. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your next issue! Carmen Santoro President Oakville PFFA Local 1582

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: FIRE WATCH welcomes letters to the editor to give you – Local 3888 members – an opportunity to express your views, concerns, ideas, or gripes. We can’t print every letter and in some instances letters will have to be edited due to space limitations.


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


ARTICLES Before sending a full article submission, we suggest that you forward an outline or suggestion for an article to the Editor. FIRE WATCH is your magazine, and as such, we will accept articles on any subject related to Local 3888 and the fire community. Subjects could include but are not limited to: health issues, history, sporting events, equipment, training issues, personal essays, etc. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS/QUERIES MAY BE FORWARDED TO: Articles FIRE WATCH 39 Commissioners Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M5A 1A6



You may email your submission/query to 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. WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH


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he recent events along the Gulf Coast have once again illustrated the benefits of having fair labour legislation and reinforces that this is something we should never take for granted.

In Ontario we are afforded a great In the vast majority of “right to work” Scott Marks number of protections both as states it is illegal for the union to the community; a community that had employees and as employee bargaining demand the opportunity to bargain hostile threats and looting taking units. Sometimes we assume that these collectively for its membership. They place. protections are an assigned right must wait until the employer decides The I.A.F.F. was one of the first available under a common law or they want to bargain. This type of agencies on scene to assist our members. constitutional provision. These basic legislation specifically sets out to take This continues today and the I.A.F.F. is rights have been with us so long we away employees rights -- not enhance still asking for donations to assist our commonly take them for granted. them. brother and sister fire fighters on the In Ontario the recognized bargaining While attending some recent I.A.F.F. Gulf Coast. unit (your association or union) has the events we heard from union leaders These fire fighters have little or no right to determine their independent from the Gulf Coast regarding their recourse under their labour laws. Fire constitutions and negotiate “closed recent experiences during the fighters along the Gulf Coast make less shop” agreements with an employer. hurricanes. Texas and Mississippi are then $45,000 per year. When we visited For this reason we are legally allowed both “right to work” states. When the Houston last year they had not to have a contractual clause been allowed to negotiate a that requires you to be a IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF “RIGHT TO WORK” contract in over four years and member of the association as STATES IT IS ILLEGAL FOR THE UNION TO DEMAND were waiting for the city to a condition of your THE OPPORTUNITY TO BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY FOR agree to negotiate. If the city employment. ITS MEMBERSHIP. says no – then there are no In the United States many negotiations. In many of these states operate as “right to cities the fire fighters have to get work” states. “Right to work” sounds hurricanes were forecast fire fighters propositions added to the election like it would be a good thing in giving in those jurisdictions were told to plan ballot to force the city to the bargaining people certain rights; nothing could be to be at the fire station for at least three table to negotiate. further from the truth. This legislation days; failure to report would result in We have far greater protections and is set up to deny employees the right to termination. Fire service administration far more progressive labour laws. collectively bargain and or discuss the vacated the city leaving these fire However, the notion that it could not terms of their working conditions. fighters without a command structure happen here is not true. During the In a “right to work” state it is illegal – they were on their own with the Mike Harris, Ernie Eves government, a to make union membership a condition express knowledge that if they did not private members bill (from a of employment. Ironically, these same respond correctly they would be conservative back bencher) called for states require the union to represent terminated. Phone connections were “right to work” legislation in Ontario. all employees in the workplace non-existent and these fire fighters had The bill was defeated. Obviously labour regardless of their union membership no idea if their families were safe. One unions opposed this legislation, but or affiliation. As such, a member can fire fighter gave an account of conditions more importantly many progressive refuse to be part of the union – pay no at his fire station: as the hurricane corporations opposed this legislation. dues – but then expect all the came ashore and water levels rose, fire These corporations realize that a good advantages and protections of the fighters had to perch on the top of the union provides protection and a better union. This creates enormous pumper hose bed to stay dry. trained work force. dissension, which in turn, makes it Once the storms subsided many were The work of fire fighters and unions extremely hard for the union to provide sent out in boats or whatever means on the political front is essential adequate coverage to its members. were available to deliver assistance to





to maintain these essential rights within our labour legislation. We must continue to move the agenda forward. We are making progress towards OMERS autonomy as well as other provincial legislation. But at the same time we cannot afford to take our basic essential rights for granted. When someone brings forward legislation affecting workers it is always worthwhile to look at who is supporting the bill. Chances are if the public and private corporations are pushing it, it is

not because it is good for workers. No matter how they try to pretty it up with names like “right to work� the truth is in the content and who is supporting it. With the Christmas season upon us it seems like a good time to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have these protections. Equally important is to remember the difficulties others have to deal with. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas. Enjoy time off with your families and give

generously to those in need of assistance. Merry Christmas

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





SECRETARY TREASURER’S MESSAGE s we approach the beginning of a new year it brings with it promise, hope, excitement, and a sense for change. For some of us it may be an opportunity to turn a new page, perhaps make a New Years’ resolution. Hopefully the article on Fitness may aid some of us with a resolution or two.


The New Year also brings with it an added financial expense. We reassume full CPP and EI contributions and an increase to our OMERS contribution. While a salary increase offsets that somewhat it is still money out of our pocket. NRA 60 rates for 2006 are as follows; 7.9% up to the YMPE and 10.7% over the YMPE. The Year’s Maximum Pensionable Earnings is the limit up to which members also contribute to the CPP. The YMPE for 2006 has been set at $42,100. The new rates would come into effect the first full pay in January 2006. This works out to an increase of about 9% in the actual dollar amount a member pays. In other words, a member contributing $100 per pay in 2005 would contribute about $109 per pay in 2006. This increase, roughly averaged will amount to an increase of just over $500 for the 2006 contribution year to you. Your pension is without a doubt the most valuable benefit that was negotiated on your behalf. I strongly recommend that you take the time to learn more about OMERS and your pension plan. Listed are some facts that will assistant you in gaining that knowledge. • OMERS was established in 1962 as the pension plan for employees of local governments in Ontario; • serves about 355,000 current and former employees of municipal governments, school boards, libraries, police and fire departments, children’s aid societies and other local agencies throughout Ontario; • has about 900 participating employers;

• provides guaranteed retirement income for life, including inflation protection and excellent survivor and disability benefits; • has a defined benefit pension formula – the benefit is based on a member’s service and salary, not investment returns; • is funded 30% by equal contributions from participating employers and employees, and 70% by the investment earnings of the OMERS Fund; • is jointly managed by a 13-member Board appointed by the Ontario government. Six members of the OMERS Board represent employers, six (including one retiree) represent plan members, and one represents the Ontario government; • OMERS manages about $36 billion in net investment assets; • members can retire early when they are within 10 years of their normal retirement age: Age 50 for 3888 members; • members who meet the minimum age requirement can retire with an unreduced pension if they have 30 years of service or: an 85 Factor (age plus service) for 3888 members; • early retirement, the pension will be reduced by 5% for each year you’re short of the least of: Normal retirement age; Early retirement factor; or 30 years of service. This three-point test maximizes the member’s pension and is a valuable feature of the plan; • for members who retire before age 65 – the plan pays a bridge benefit until age 65; • for members who become disabled –

Frank Ramagnano

the plan provides a waiver that enables members to continue to earn credited service, free of charge, for as long as they are disabled, and a pension if they are not able to return to work; • for survivors – a member’s eligible spouse is entitled to a survivor’s pension equal to 66-2/3% of the member’s earned lifetime pension, plus an additional 10% for each eligible dependent child – up to 100% of the member’s pension; • for members who leave their employer –members can leave their pension benefits in OMERS or transfer them out of the plan. Bill 206 is the legislation to make OMERS autonomous from the Ontario government, something that we have lobbied for. If passed you will see changes to how the plan is administered. All members should be keeping a close eye on what happens with this legislation. We want you to have a long and financially secure retirement and we will continue to ensure that the OMERS fund can provide that. I would like to wish all of you and your families a safe and joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 2006.

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




VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE t has often been said that even in a democracy the people only get to have their say approximately once every four years. The rest of the time the government of the day usually runs things as they want. Unions in general, and Local 3888 in particular, are designed to be much more democratic; a concept with which I very much agree.


I believe that one of the key elements to ensure a well run, democratic and open union is Membership participation. To that end, I recently attended (Nov. 2005) a very interesting and instructive International Association of Fire Fighters Educational Seminar in which one of the topics was “Increasing Membership Participation.” I am convinced that a more informed and involved Membership is one of the cornerstones of a strong and effective Local 3888. The Executive Board of L3888 strives to keep you up to date on various issues and encourages your participation at all levels, however, getting involved is up to you. I know from experience that unions are under attack more now than I can ever remember during my tenure as a Fire Fighter’s Association representative and without strong democratic unions, workers rights will inevitably be reduced. At the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association’s spring and fall seminars we are constantly warned about numerous issues such as privatization, contracting out of services, part timers, legislative changes, and a myriad of other issues detrimental to fire fighters and organized labour as a whole. Scott Marks, Frank Ramagnano, and I meet with the new recruits while they


are still at the Academy. We have developed a power point presentation and give them a brief history of our union and the many services that we provide. These include such topics as: a collective agreement overview, benefits, our union steward program, how to participate in union activities, and what our expectations are of these new fire fighters. Two extremely important topics are Worker’s Compensation and Political Action and to that end we invite Paul Atkinson to speak on WSIB, and at least one member of our Government Relations/Firepac committee to discuss political issues. We review the Local’s effective and successful lobbying efforts at Queen’s Park, Ottawa, and especially Toronto City Hall. I am very supportive of Government Relations/Firepac because I have seen first hand how effective it can be when we have a strong presence at city council. In fact, I would argue that political action is essential all the time and not just during election campaigns. There are many opportunities for you, the Membership, to get involved in union activities. The most obvious is to attend general membership meetings and ask questions when you don’t understand an issue. It is extremely disappointing when a minimal number

Ed Kennedy

of Members attend a general membership meeting – at times we are not able to hold a quorum. The Association ensures your right to be informed and as such the Membership needs to exercise that right by attending Association meetings. But there are countless other opportunities to be involved. I offer the following examples: public relations events including fund raisers and charity drives, the union stewardship program, Firepac and government relations functions, volunteering to sit on a committee when requested by the President of the Executive, and even running for an elected position at some time in the future. A simple commitment to attend the Christmas party or the annual picnic will not only be an enjoyable outing but also allow you to rub shoulders with other brothers and sisters who share a common career and have similar concerns. As the Vice President of Local 3888 I have had the privilege to represent you in one capacity or another for many years and I am serious when I say that one of my goals is to try and get more participation from the Members when it comes to union activities. I am




asking you to consider being part of the solution by actively contributing your time and talents to your Association. You are Members of an organization where all of your Executive Committee is accessible to you simply by picking up the phone or sending an email. We have an impressive Web Site up and running where station notices are posted and information is continually

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updated. As an Association, we work best when we work together and I will do my part to ensure you are informed. I also request you forward any constructive ideas that would make Local 3888 more relevant to you and your co-workers. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Local 3888 members and their families a joyous holiday season

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

Floral designs & gifts for all occasions Local, GTA and worldwide deliveries


and a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Contact Liz Buck

12994 Keele St., King City Telephone: 1.800.535.8715



TFS Acting Captain Respo Urgent Need in West Africa Fire Watch committee member MARLA FRIEBE


t’s very clear that Ron Kyle, Acting Fire Captain at the Lampton Street Fire Station # 421, really believes in the work that he does. With nearly 40 extra hours spent weekly in a volunteer capacity, it’s a wonder that he has the energy to continue at this pace month after month, year after year. But his efforts show such incredible results and continue to give him the opportunity, as he states, “to finally give back to others.” Ron is one of three Ontario Representatives for Mercy Ships, a Christian global charity that has, since 1978, brought hope and healing to the poor via a fleet of hospital ships. Mercy Ships boast a multi-national crew and staff and land based teams. These teams supplement the work of the ships, provide world-class medical assistance and work towards long-term sustainable change in developing nations. They offer health care services through mobile medical and dental teams, and community development services such as agricultural projects and hospital, school, and clinic building. Their aim is to serve one million people a year and operate through corporate sponsorship and gifts-in-kind donations. Volunteer crewmembers defray their own costs by paying a mandatory crew fee each month. Volunteering since February 2003 on Mercy Ships, Ron’s first trip abroad was as a mechanic in the engine room of the Hospital Ship M/V Anastasis as it made its way to war torn Sierra Leone, West Africa. During the trip Mercy Ships staff learned what Ron actually did for a living, and asked him to help teach fire safety at the local Princess Christina Maternity Hospital. On seeing the deplorable state of the hospital facility after 10 years of civil war, Ron became aware of their almost insurmountable challenges and knew that he had to help somehow. Hospital staff had never received fire safety and evacuation training, the hospital had no fire alarm system to warn them of fire, and they lacked the simplest pieces of fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers. When he asked the staff what they did in the event of a fire, they responded, “We 14

run.” Patients unfortunately were left to their own devices. Ron immediately introduced some basic life safety education and was able to secure 13 fire extinguishers from the ship for the hospital. Fire extinguisher training took place out in the yard where the staff had an opportunity for the first time ever to learn fire prevention and life safety techniques. From the hospital Ron’s next stop was the local fire station, the only fire station in Sierra Leone at that time; it housed their only fire engine. Civil war had left the National Fire Force of Sierra Leone without supplies and equipment, with few fire fighters and without one single training manual. Even worse, fire fighters lacked the basic necessities to do their job and were fighting fires in flip-flops and overalls. “I wanted to help the fire fighters to be better equipped and safer in their duty of saving lives and property,” Ron stated. “The rebels had destroyed everything, so I promised to go back to Toronto and to return with something.” Once back in Toronto, Ron’s first step was to approach Toronto Fire Service Fire Chief William Stewart who listened carefully to his story then decided to support him in every way possible. Bunker suits, 400 extinguishers, 500 pounds of dry chemical powder, 39 fire boots, helmets, gloves, fatigues, and old IFSTA manuals were all donated, much from Toronto and area fire departments such as Bradford and Newmarket, as well as the Calgary Fire Department. Help also came from private sources such as Seneca College, Toronto Hydro and the TTC. Over 20 GTA companies and individuals stepped up “To make a difference”. The Toronto Professional Firefighter’s Association Local 3888 backed Ron by paying transportation costs for

ponds to

discharge cylinders for the dry chemical extinguishers, as well as $800 US for Ron’s volunteer fees. Supplies were transported to Texas first, and then sent to Germany where the Mercy Ship was berthed. When the ship finally arrived in Sierra Leone in the fall of 2003, the local fire force was simply dumbfounded by the 14 pallets of firefighting equipment Ron had brought. In a special ceremony attended by all the local Sierra Leone dignitaries, Ron presented the fire force with all of the donated equipment. Individuals stood in awe at the gifts they were receiving and commented that “no one has ever done anything like this for us before.” Not only did Ron’s visit bring vital firefighting equipment to the people who needed it most, but he also helped to establish necessary links and contacts between the fire force and other agencies, such as the local hospitals. Ron, upon invitation from the Director of Medical Services for the country visited Connaught Hospital, the country’s main hospital. He arranged to have two Fire Prevention Officers from the National Fire Force of Sierra Leone accompany him and involved them in providing the basics of fire prevention and life safety training to

the staff of the hospital. In its 125 years of existence, Connaught Hospital had never had fire prevention training. Ron also introduced the concept of smoke alarms to both the fire force and hospitals; something they had no previous knowledge of. Ron also accompanied fire force officials to the local government run television station, spoke with them about fire safety and left them with a few fire extinguishers. This effort was the fire force’s first attempt at building stronger public relation ties between themselves and the media. Since Sierra Leone, Ron has additionally been involved with Canada Food for the Hungry as an Onsite Coordinator in Indonesia after the country suffered its March 28th earthquake on the Island of Nias. In addition to providing medical attention to the injured and dying, the team dispersed many tons of rice, water, and family food ration packets. In September 2005 Ron found himself once again back on a Mercy Ship; this time responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in Mobile, Alabama. Ron’s Indonesian disaster relief experience assisted greatly in Mobile where he helped to match logistics with resources. He is currently working to provide teams of volunteers to Mobile and the Gulfport, Mississippi area. Mercy Ships are looking at providing a one-year relief program to Hurricane Katrina ravaged Gulfport. “Everything that I have done up to this point in my life has been for a reason,” Ron stated about his volunteer work with Mercy Ships and Canada Food for the Hungry. Ron eagerly awaits his return to Sierra Leone to disperse the $2 million dollars worth of relief equipment that he has amassed and stored since his last visit to West Africa. In an effort to encourage developing countries to begin to help themselves, Ron has requested that Sierra Leone budget for the cost of transporting the equipment to the country, and is patiently biding his time until this occurs. “I realize that there has been a purpose for the talents and expertise that I have acquired throughout my years,” he stated. “Once you have been in a Third World Country, have seen people sleeping and living in open sewers, it just changes how you think.” For more information on Mercy Ships please visit www. and Canada Food for the Hungry at www.cfh. ca. Ron Kyle can be contacted at or at Station 421 “D” Shift for more information on his efforts in Sierra Leone and around the world.





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Co-ordinating Chaplain DR. RON NICKLE




Dr. Ron Nickle

ife is what happens when you’re busy making plans!” That has certainly proven to be true in my life; little did I realize when I became a newly-minted minister in 1960 what wonderful and different experiences lay ahead. One of the truly great things that did happen is that I became involved with the fire service—and it has been a great experience indeed!

I am often asked how I became involved with the fire service. After serving two parishes over nine years in the province of Quebec (Sept-Iles and Magog) I arrived at Parkdale Church on King Street here in Toronto in 1969. My work there resulted in my becoming chaplain to the Showmen’s League of America, Canadian Chapter; the organization of North American carnies, show operators, and owners. One of my tasks was to conduct an annual Memorial Service each February at the Royal York Hotel to kick off the Canadian Chapter’s annual convention. I came to Lansing Church in Willowdale in 1977, little realizing what an effect my relationship with the Showmen’s League would have in the years ahead. In 1984 I was asked by the North York Professional Fire Fighters Association to conduct a Memorial Service for the OPFFA convention they would be hosting the next year. As a second thought, they asked if I would consider becoming the chaplain of the North York Fire Department. The rest is history—21 years of history! There have, of course, been many memorable events: a week at Ground Zero in September, 2001; the Etobicoke gas explosion; the Uptown Theatre collapse, and many, many multiple alarms. I have enjoyed working with the EAP/CISM Team and Ron Seymour. They are a great, caring, and effective group of people and Ron does a tremendous amount of good

work. I could ramble on, but there are too many highlights to list them all. But really, the most precious memories have come from sharing in the lives of fire fighters and their families at those important moments of life—weddings, funerals, baptisms, and counseling sessions. Those have been sacred moments, and I thank you for trusting me enough to invite me into your lives to share those moments with you. Over the years there have been countless retirement parties, Christmas parties, social events of all kinds, Association meetings, station visits (and of course, wonderful meals!!!)—and the list goes on. I have enjoyed every minute of it. But the time has come to move on. My heart surgery last year was a wakeup call to the fact that life is precious and tenuous. (Yes, even clergy need these reminders!) Celebrating my 70th birthday last May underscored that reality. Sharon, who has enjoyed the fire service as much I have while giving me her wholehearted support, is retiring at the same time—I owe her mightily. So, for those reasons, I shall retire on December 31st. We do not plan to leave the city. We love Toronto and our townhouse on Flaming Roseway – despite the teasing we’ve taken over living on a street with that name. I must say that I am pleased and

honoured that I have been asked to assume the role of Chaplain Emeritus. This means that I will still be connected in an advisory capacity to the Chaplaincy Service and will still be available (when needed) for such things as weddings and, God forbid, funerals, and to fill in when the other chaplains are unavailable. Two things please me greatly. One: I can leave knowing that the Chaplaincy Service is firmly established in TFS—it will not disappear. And second: I can leave the Chaplaincy service in the capable hands of Hugh Donnelly and Barry Parker. They are excellent, and I am so very proud of them. Hopefully, in the near future, they will be joined by two more persons, so that each command will have a chaplain. God bless you and thank you all for 21 fabulous years.

“On behalf of the entire Executive Board and Local 3888 members we would like to thank Ron for his truly dedicated service to the membership over the past twenty-one years. We wish you good health and much happiness with Sharon and your family during your many years of well deserved retirement! Please stay tuned to for information regarding a retirement party for Ron in the near future.”



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Steward’s Committee Chair JAMES COONES


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hat choice is made by active participation at meetings and events, knowledge of the collective agreement and policies, political awareness and activism, and a desire by all members to improve working conditions, wages, benefits, and pensions. But how can we encourage our members to make that choice? The answer is: Through constant, clear, two-way communication between them and their elected and appointed officials. By providing them with the information they require to allow them the opportunity to participate and be aware. And by communicating not only the issues we currently face but also the successes we have had with issues we have faced in the past.In July of 2001, Local 3888 took a huge step towards strengthening our Association and enhancing that communication by implementing a Steward’s program. It was a huge undertaking for the Executive Board that required much effort and planning, as well as a financial commitment from the membership in order to get it off the ground. Thirty-six members, who would now provide a constant Association presence within the workplace, were appointed as Stewards. They were assigned to various districts and support divisions throughout the department and were charged with the task of being leaders, mentors, and a communications conduit to and from the membership.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY DO THESE STEWARDS DO? On a daily basis they are available to be contacted as a first point of reference to deal with issues regarding the Collective Agreement and other TFS and TPFFA policies. Should the issue be beyond their scope of responsibility they will instruct you on who to escalate the matter to and how to contact them. Your Steward attends each of the nine monthly General Members’ meetings held each year in order to gather information from committee reports, unfinished business, new business, debate, and questions and answers from the floor. On a bi-monthly basis each Steward attends a six hour Steward’s meeting at 39 Commissioners Street. At these meetings they participate in various training sessions to enhance their knowledge of the Collective Agreement, Local 3888 Constitution and Policies, Health and Safety, WSIB, and more. They are presented with information on the latest issues and developments within the Association by the Principal Officers and Chairs of the various committees. Time is also set aside at each of these meetings for Stewards to have a question and answer period in order to bring forward concerns or questions from the members they represent and have them answered by the Principal Officers. Now armed with all of the necessary tools and information, your Steward then


conducts one of their most important functions – station visits. These visits are completed every two months and are a high priority. They are an essential step in accomplishing the goal of good two-way communications between the members and the officials who represent them. They are also a vital component of developing a good relationship between a Steward and the members they represent. During these visits a Steward will deliver all of the recent and pertinent information that they have gathered and also offer an opportunity to field or escalate questions and concerns that members may have. Every Steward is a member of the Charity committee and assists the Chair of that committee at the various events that are held throughout the year. But their leadership and involvement doesn’t stop there. They also help out at various public relations events, government relations and FIREPAC events, and sit on several ad-hoc committees that are formed to deal with various “hot button” issues. One of the real strengths of the Steward’s program is in mobilizing the membership when a crucial event or issue arises; when information needs to get out to the membership or help needs to be coordinated in a very short amount of time. This strength and leadership was very evident on several occasions of note in recent years. The first was when the membership rallied at City Hall for


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the selection of our second Fire Chief. The next was getting the word out, explaining the negotiated changes to our most recent collective agreement, and encouraging all of our members to get out and vote during the ratification of this agreement. And most recently, most of our Stewards participated and solicited other members in their districts to participate in the Toronto Police Association rally to Nathan

Phillips Square on November 2, 2005. These appointed members put in a significant amount of time in order to be available for the members, attend the various meetings and events, and carry out their station visits. They receive little compensation for their efforts and are to be commended for showing an interest and making an effort to improve the working conditions, public profile, and

lives of their fellow 3888 members. They are there to serve, inform, and engage the membership, which ultimately can only make us stronger and deliver many more successes in the future. Please get to know your Steward, utilize them in their various capacities, and perhaps even thank them for all they do on your behalf.








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Airport Regulatory Shortfalls

FLAGGED BY CRASH Fire Watch News Archives


n Air France jetliner carrying more than 300 passengers burst into flames off a runway at Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pearson International Airport in August 2005. Because this event has called into question airport safety regulations, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger is calling on the Canadian government to address serious shortfalls in the regulations that govern airport fire fighting in Canada. In a strongly-worded letter to Canadian Transport Minister Jean Lapierre, and also in a Canada-wide IAFF media release, President Schaitberger urged the federal government to bring the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) up to international standards in terms of rescue and response times, in the name of public and fire fighter safety. Both the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) specify that airport fire fighters â&#x20AC;&#x153;shall have the ability to perform rescue,â&#x20AC;? and that initial response â&#x20AC;&#x153;shall reach all points on all operational runways in less than three minutes.â&#x20AC;? But ARR 303, which governs airport fire fighting at Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 28 largest airports, falls well short of these standards. The letter was sent just days after the Air France jet overshot a runway and burst into flames at Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busiest airport. Miraculously, all 309 people aboard were able to evacuate in

the moments before the jet was consumed by fire. The survival rate in this incident was the result of a bestcase scenario, Schaitberger said. The nature of emergency response dictates that fire fighters must have the ability and the resources to respond safely and effectively in the worstcase scenario. In the case of the August 2 crash, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fortunate that Pearson International Airport is the only major airport in Canada that voluntarily exceeds the CARs in response times and staffing for rescue. Fortunately, crew members were not incapacitated in the crash and were able to facilitate the evacuation. If any of these circumstances were different, a terrible tragedy could have unfolded says Schaitberger. In addition, the IAFF has raised the issue of CAR 308, a separate regulation that would have restored an onsite emergency response presence at about 25 medium-sized airports in Canada. CAR 308 was originally scheduled to take effect in mid-2004, but Transport Canada delayed its implementation before suddenly announcing in June 2005 that it was scrapping the regulation altogether. The IAFF has been fighting to improve CARs for years through political lobbying and through participation in the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council.

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eet Greg Law; First Class Firefighter, father, student, and Firefighter Exchange Coordinator for Local 3888. Taking over from program founder Rob McRiner, Greg describes the experience of participating in the exchange as one of the highlights thus far in his career with the Toronto Fire Services. Even though his 1997-1998 exchange to Perth, Australia was a wonderful learning experience, as a participant, he saw how the program could be improved and he set out to do that for those that came after him. As coordinator, there is a sense of satisfaction that fuels his hard work:


“It’s the chance to make someone else’s dream opportunity come to fruition. What people see, the guys going off and someone coming in, is really just a tiny part of the program. This is effectively a full time job for me with the first week of their arrival as the highlight. I respond to somewhere around 3000 emails a year: these are from our guys with questions, people overseas wanting to exchange, people wanting to work here. I correspond with departments worldwide trying to get them interested and involved in the program. All of this work is worth it to see the reaction in people’s eyes when they get selected to go away and when I get to show off Toronto and Canada to our visiting guests.” But, can you drop a fire fighter anywhere? We spoke with John Mahon and Garry Hayden, who arrived in Toronto from the Dublin Fire Department in September, as well as Greg about their experiences. FIRE WATCH: Why did you sign-up for the program? GARRY HAYDEN: It’s an opportunity to live in a different country yet not have to worry about getting a home or job. Initially I thought about New Zealand or Australia but I got an enthusiastic response from the TFS and that encouraged me to come here. Very glad I did now. The guys I work with here are top-class people and it makes a huge difference. JOHN MAHON: Dublin Fire Brigade carries out exchanges with Australia, New Zealand, and Toronto/Canada. Myself and my wife had discussed exchanges in the future when the children had grown up and would remember the experience as much as ourselves. We had planned to go to the southern hemisphere locations. It was only in February of this year that I discovered that Toronto Fire Service was available as an exchange location. A 7 hour flight appealed to us more than a 24hr flight and the decision was made to apply to the

T.F.S exchange program. To experience another culture in both work and life appealed to me and my family. GREG LAW: The incredible opportunity to marry two things that I love, fire fighting and travel. It came at that 7 year mark of my career when I was starting to look for a bit of a change. We were pre-amalgamation and I went under the old North York. We utilized the opportunity to work in a completely different land, and learn a completely different style of fire fighting. While heading over there, while there and when we left we took the time to see the world. We traveled to Hawaii, New Zealand, all over Australia, Thailand, Japan, China, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, France, then all over the UK including a trip around Ireland. It was awesome! What more can you ask for and in what other job is this opportunity available? FW: What’s the same? GARRY: The level of professionalism is very high when it has to be. The jokes and sense of humor are exactly the same however. I get slagged over my accent but I just hit back with an Aw Jeez! or an Eh! and call everyone a bunch of colonials; sitting around and solving the worlds problems in between runs; playing pranks on each other at any opportunity: all exactly the same. JOHN: Basically life in the fire hall is the same as home: during the working day we carry out training, watch training videos, discuss fire-related topics, workout in the gym (keeping fit), and respond to calls in the same professional manner. After doing all that we may fit in some time for lunch and watch a bit of news on the telly. I’m sure that’s the same day all over the world in the fire service. GREG: Believe it or not the jokes way around the other side of the planet are the exact same ones we have here. Most things around the fire hall were the same as they are here but it’s the differences that made it interesting. WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 27

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FW: What is different?

out the fire, roll up the hose and go home.

GREG: We had a more regulated and stricter work code over there. We would have to muster at morning and night shift change to receive our assignments for the day. Things like the fluorescent lights coming on at night when we got a call followed by alert tones that sound like the TTC “doors closing” sound got your attention. For months after I got home I used to jump every time the doors closed on the train to the confusion of those sitting around me. Fighting fires in the bush in 45 Celsius weather was certainly something I had to get used to. They, of course, had to get used to me mustering in a short-sleeve shirt during their winter when they had on everything they owned. Digging out hydrants was a daily job in the winter as they are built in the ground in boxes and as we are driven to distraction by drivers parking in front of ours, they got upset when people would pave driveways over theirs or put up a Volkswagen sized clay pot garden to cover that “ugly white thing in the yard”.

JOHN: This question should be answered after the winter months for I fear this could be our biggest challenge to date. At home it might fall below freezing a few days in winter and snow a few inches for a couple of days but that’s it. I believe it might get a bit colder here. I, or my family haven’t come across anything difficult in the exchange so far, that’s if you don’t count moving your wife and 4 and 1 year old boys across the Atlantic, driving on the wrong side of the road, moving into somebody else’s house for a year, and knowing nobody in Canada (wipe those tears from your eyes).

JOHN: Our fire trucks are multifunctional: we carry ladders, auto extraction, haz-mat, and river-rescue equipment on every truck. We have about 20% of the trucks that TFS has, 30% of the manpower, and 17% of the fire halls, and our city is about half the size of Toronto. We also run the emergency ambulance service (every fire fighter does the ambulance on a rotary basis -- we are all cross-trained). Another difference I found was that we are subsidized by our city with regards to providing food in the station and each shift in each station has an appointed cook (voted for by the men). They buy in all the food and cook it for their colleagues; therefore, everyday and night we work we are provided for meal-wise. It always comes down to food and money!!!! GARRY: My hall at home is a lot busier and we have a bigger crew so we spend longer waiting between calls here. The public perception of the work we do is also better here than at home. You also have a lot more trucks that specialize like pumpers, rescue, and ladders whereas in Dublin our trucks tend to be more multifunctional. We run with five on the truck rather than four and by comparison have a lot less trucks turning out to each call; equipment and technical differences of course, but it’s still the wet stuff on the hot stuff at the end of the day. FW: What has been the most difficult aspect to get used to? GARRY: You all drive on the wrong side of the road except some of the fire truck drivers who drive safely on the left at all times (makes me feel at home even if everyone else is screaming!). Seriously though I feel very much at home here; TFS have been great in getting me settled in here and since winter has not materialized yet the weather has been better than at home. I have been warned though. A lack of first-aid hoses (booster hose). For smaller fires you have to do so much more work here. At home we can just pull hose off a reel, put

FW: And the biggest adjustment for those that came with you? GARRY: My Girlfriend has fit in well here also. She had to give up a teaching position to come here but so far it’s really been worth it. Culturally, Canadians and Irish seem to have a similar sense of humor and outlook on life which really helps. Since we did not live together in Ireland having to put up with me is probably a big adjustment for her! JOHN: The biggest adjustment for anybody is the not the job, but the whole family having to up sticks and move house, school, and move away from family and friends. It’s just about getting adjusted to a new way of living for a year. FW: In your experience, does the Brotherhood exist world wide? GREG: Fire fighters are the same everywhere. They all have nick names, they all abuse each other, and they all have a lot of fun at work. GARRY: I think there is definitely a brotherhood worldwide. Recently we had a former fire chief from Kyoto, Japan visit the hall and even though he spoke very little English and we spoke even less Japanese we communicated for about three hours. This job seems to attract a similar person world wide. You need a thick skin to put up with the things we may see, and a sense of humor to deal with some of the people. I think this exchange program helps us realize that despite technical differences we all have so much in common no matter where we are. JOHN: Simple answer – Yes. Exchanges run from September to September of any given year, with a maximum of four firefighters taking part. New Zealand, England, Ireland, and Australia have participated, and contacts, with the possibility of inclusion have been made with departments in Jamaica, Spain, and Croatia. Six departments in the United States have expressed interest but negotiations have failed at the chief level. Although applications are taken throughout the year, cut-off for each session takes place at the end of November of the year preceding exchange. For more information visit the Local 3888 Web Site or contact Greg Law at ffexchange@toronto . WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 29

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any members of Local 3888 are involved in off duty deeds that might be taken for granted by their fellow peers or the general public. These efforts reflect most favourably on all Toronto Fire Fighters. With that in mind, on behalf of all the members, the Association presents annual awards to recognize those efforts, and to thank those members for doing their part to enhance the image of Toronto Fire Fighters. Nominations are accepted in three different categories;



Awarded to the Local 3888 member(s) who contributed, time and ability toward the improvement of his/her/their Community and Fellow Man, while “off duty”.



Awarded to the Local 3888 member(s), who during the past year, while “off duty”, has distinguished himself/herself/ themselves - by making a rescue, or being involved in saving the life of a fellow citizen in a hazardous or threatening situation.



Awarded to the Local 3888 member(s), who during the past year, while “off duty”, has distinguished himself/herself/ themselves - by performing first aid or CPR for a fellow citizen.

We ask your assistance in helping us to identify those members who have performed in a manner that would qualify them for an award in one of the categories stated above. Submissions can be given to any Executive Officer or can be sent to the Union Office at: 39 Commissioners Street, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1A6 Or Faxed at 416-466-6632 to the attention of Off Duty Awards. Please contact Kevin Ashfield, Awards Coordinator if you require further information.

SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE - FEBRUARY 17, 2006 (For deeds occurring on or before December 31, 2005)


FIRE STATION 435 Toronto Fire Fighter JON LASIUK

Very few Toronto fire halls have had the honour of serving three separate fire departments during their history. Station 435, located at 130 8th Street in the community of New Toronto, is just such a hall. Built in 1929, the building originally housed both the New Toronto municipal offices and the volunteer fire department quarters when they were relocated there from an old barn on 7th Street, south of Lakeshore Road. The NTFD was responsible for all calls between Dwight Avenue and 23rd Street, south of the railway tracks.


s the town grew in the 1920’s, the need for paid professional fire fighters increased. The first two paid members of the New Toronto Fire Department reported for work in 1930. With the help of the volunteers, they staffed a 1917 Buick McLaughlin pumper and a city-service ladder truck. These were the first two paid fire fighters hired in the Etobicoke area. Along with two additional men hired in 1937, they were kept busy handling almost 200 calls per year, many involving hazardous chemicals used at the numerous heavy industries that kept New Toronto bustling. The Second World War kept local industries busy and, in 1945, New Toronto purchased the very first aerial in Etobicoke. A 1945 American LaFrance, it featured one of the very first steel aerials in Metropolitan Toronto – a fact that the New Toronto Fire Fighters were justifiably proud of. Around this time, the New Toronto station was expanded with two additional bays. It remains today as one of the few four-bay fire halls in West Command, and encompasses a design not found anywhere else in Canada. 32

By the 1950’s the department had expanded to 26 paid men, with a crew of 6 on duty at any one time. The NTFD kept a very good mutual aid relationship with the other two Lakeshore communities, Long Branch and Mimico, along with the Township of Etobicoke to the north. The department switchboard was staffed in what is now the floorwatch, with fire calls received on the old CL-1-2121 phone number. Perhaps one of the busiest nights on record was in 1954 when Hurricane Hazel blew into town. Numerous persons were rescued along the Lakeshore that night, including several that had been swept into the Etobicoke Creek. The 1960’s brought great change to the 8th Street fire hall. In 1965, the NTFD disbanded their volunteer fire fighters. They were some of the last volunteers in Metropolitan Toronto, and had served since at least 1915. By then, as well, the push for the annexation of the smaller Metro communities was gathering strength. On January 1st, 1967, the New Toronto fire hall was folded into the Etobicoke Fire Department., becoming Hall #9. The Long Branch and Mimico fire halls closed on the same day, with

Photos: Local 3888 Archives

those crews transferring to 8th Street to staff a third truck for the next few years. The May 1989 restructuring of the EFD saw the relocation of Aerial 9 to Station 12 on the East Mall. At the same time, Rescue 1 was moved to 8th Street. from the Royal York hall. This move allowed for the commissioning of a third rescue truck in the City of Etobicoke. The EFD thus became the first Metro department to operate three heavy rescues. Another first seen at 8th Street in the 80’s was the introduction of one of the first rear-engined pumpers in Canada.

The new Pumper 9 also incorporated one of the first ever 4-door cabs which was designed to increase crew safety. The TFS amalgamation of 1998 brought even more change to the old 8th Street. Renumbered Station 435, the heavy squad was disbanded to reorganize an aerial at Station 433. Rescue tools were moved to a new rescue-pumper. Throughout all this, as their new patch says, the “Lone Wolf” remains “On Shore Patrol”, protecting the South-West corner of Toronto. WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 33
















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In a joint effort between the Toronto Fire Services and Local 3888, a 24-hour Fire fighter Survival, Rescue and RIT program has been developed to train TFS fire fighters to handle possible fire ground emergencies. In the inaugural issue of Fire Watch we discussed fire ground survival through training. This issue we will discuss some of the key points in fire fighter self-rescue and survival. This is the second key element in helping to reduce fire ground injuries and line of duty deaths.

Fire fighter Self-Rescue and Survival SCBA Survival Skills


The fire ground is where training is applied; not where skills are learned. If you do not know how to deal with an SCBA emergency before it happens you will not be effective in dealing with it on the fire ground. Learning that skill in an emergency situation is learning too late. SCBA emergencies should be practiced over and over again so that reacting to them becomes automatic. In a true fire ground emergency you will not have time to think; these skills must be practiced to the point that they are as routine as putting on your bunker gear. That quick reaction may save your life given the fact that your life expectancy in an IDLH environment depends on the amount of air on your back.

Although it is possible for any part of your personal protective equipment to become entangled on the fire ground, one of the most difficult entanglements to deal with is the entanglement of your SCBA. A fire fighter cannot remove their SCBA and leave it for retrieval later, they require it to live. The modern wired household or business is full of thousands of computer wires, electrical conduit, telephone cables, etc. In addition, the growing trend towards illegal grow operations in residential areas (which killed two fire fighters in Philadelphia in August of 2004) is making entanglement an even greater hazard on many fire grounds. Because of the variety of structures that we face, fire fighters must be prepared to deal with SCBA entanglements in both open as well as confined areas.

Remember that there are three priority steps in any emergency that involves a malfunction in the SCBA:



1. Open By-pass valve 2. Notify your partner of the situation 3. Get to safety or call MAYDAY and/or activate PASS to get HELP

If a room or structure that you find yourself in becomes untenable and your primary exit has been cut off you may find yourself faced with the task of making an emergency exit through a restricted area. This will require you to manipulate your body and your SCBA in a specific way in order to get through. An example of a reduced or

low profile escape would be breaching a common wall covered in wallboard and exiting through the studs. This opening will be restricted in width by studs on 16-inch centers, which gives you an opening of only 14.5 inches. Depending on water pipes or conduit in these studs the height of the opening may be restricted as well. You must understand how you can configure your body and SCBA to get through that opening. Your life might depend on it. 4. OTHER SCBA SURVIVAL SKILLS Controlling your breathing will reduce your air usage. If you are in trouble and have to fight to free yourself you will consume more air, this is a fact. If you find yourself in trouble notify your partner and command; then try to conserve your air. There are two common methods of air conservation. The first method is what is known as controlled breathing. To do this you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This may also allow you to relax more which in turn lowers your air consumption. The second technique is called skip breathing. This technique is a little more contentious. You inhale and then pause, then inhale again, pause and then slowly exhale.


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Fire Ground Survival Skills 1. PRIMARY EXIT AND SECONDARY EXIT PLANS As you enter a fire the hose or search line you entered with is your primary exit. You know that either of these should lead you out to safety. A secondary exit plan is the alternate route you may need to make an emergency exit. To help you in your fire ground survival, you should be conscious of not only what floor you are on but any other means of egress: how big are the windows; can you breach the structure’s walls? 2. EMERGENCY EGRESS FROM UPPER FLOORS It is important to know exactly where you are in a building at all times. If trouble should arise, your MAYDAY should detail your location. That might be as simple as saying what floor you entered on and how many flights of stairs you have climbed. In New York City on December 16, 2004, (Black Sunday) six fire fighters had to make a life or death decision. Their choice was to stay in an untenable room and burn to death or jump four floors to the ground. A choice we all hope we never have to make. There are some options to help with this choice. One would be to utilize a hose line. Advance the line through the window, pull it tight and proceed to slide down. Another would be a rapid ladder escape. This is a head first bail out onto a ladder then lowering yourself hand over hand on the rungs to the ground. If either of these is not available, then a method of last resort

is called the hang and drop. One foot and one arm are locked in the bottom corners of the window. In that position you will be able to hang until helps arrives or lower your feet into a drop position and let go landing with your feet first. Remember, these are last resort maneuvers. Again, these are decisions that we hope you will never have to make. 3. MANAGING YOUR MAYDAY A key to surviving any fire ground emergency is having a full understanding of your department’s MAYDAY procedures and protocols. This means not only understanding how to call a MAYDAY but also includes when to call, what to call and what the department’s response to that MAYDAY is. It is vital that you understand that a MAYDAY call must be made before it is too late for you to survive the emergency. If your last breath of air from your SCBA is used to call a MAYDAY, it is too late. You have to give others on the fire ground

a chance to save you. One crucial question that needs to be answered is why won’t fire fighters call a MAYDAY? It could be ego. We do not want to show weakness, we do not want to be made fun of at the hall. Clearly these are not good reasons to die. It is like

saying “I would rather be carried by six instead of being made fun of by eight.” Tell that to your family. If you think you are in trouble, you are. Stop and get oriented. Communicate your concern to your crew: Alert command by calling a MAYDAY. If you can manage to solve your problem, great, that’s the end of the MAYDAY. If not, at least you know that help is on the way. One important thing to remember is that no matter what your fire ground emergency is make sure you conserve your air. Air is the limiting factor for your survival and rescue. If you have no air then your chances of survival are not very good. 4. COMMON SENSE Your survival on the fire ground can be dependent on many things. Our job is dangerous, that is accepted. We do what we do because that is what we like to do. Part of that is danger. There will be fire ground emergencies that happen and there is nothing we or anyone can do to avoid them. What we want to do is control the emergencies that we can. That means the use of common sense. It is how you judge a situation based on experience. Nobody can teach common sense and you cannot study common sense. You have it and you need to apply it. In a fire ground emergency common sense might be the prevailing factor. If you cannot save yourself, you cannot save your partner. If you cannot save your partner, you cannot save another fire fighter. Do not make the situation worse. Your fire ground survival depends on it. Next issue we will discuss fire fighter rescue and not becoming part of the problem.


... and a good time was had by all! I just wanted to send a little thank you to all the volunteers at the Christmas Party. My family and I had a wonderful time. A special thank you to Santa (Dan Driscoll) my kids loved him. Brian St. Thomas Station 314 C Platoon Just wanted to say thanks to your executive for the lovely party for the Kids on Saturday. As usual, you did a great job with everything. It was organized very well! My kids really enjoyed it, the food was good, and the gifts were really great. They are still playing with their gifts!! Great Job! Sincerely, Mary Polsoni Administrative Assistant to Fire Chief William A. Stewart Toronto Fire Services


To the Executive and all the volunteers who made todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christmas party a huge success. Thank you for all of your hard work on behalf of all the members and their families!! It looked like the numbers were definitely up this year. It is events like this that show we should all be grateful for the strong Association that we have. Well done! Thanks, Damien Walsh and family

Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’

Christmas Party a Great Success! Fire Watch Reporter BOB MCWHINNIE


ne of the most anticipated events in the Local 3888 Gunderson, son of Allan Gunderson from North Command. calendar is the annual Christmas Party; once again As expected, excitement built as the anticipated arrival of the event was held at Variety Village, and once again Santa Claus drew closer. He entered with a hearty Ho! Ho! it was a huge success. Everyone that attended the facility was Ho! – Carrying presents and gifts for all the children. Each treated to a day full of joy, generosity, and Christmas spirit. child also had the opportunity to have a personal visit with Frank Ramagnano, who is the chairman of the Local’s Santa, have their picture taken, with him…and no doubt Children’s Christmas party, proudly stated: “The children of whisper a Christmas wish or two in Old Saint Nick’s ear. fire fighters came from far and wide to attend, and from what Many comments were heard from parents about the I witnessed everyone had a great time; both the parents and exceptional job that Santa did once again this year and on their children. It is at functions like these that a real bond is behalf of all Local 3888 members, the Executive Board would created, where they can unwind and just enjoy each other’s like to thank Dan Driscoll for all of his help in this area. company.” The annual Christmas party has been an important social With a price tag of only $15.00 per child, the cost was event in the life of Toronto Fire Fighters for many years now certainly no obstacle as the kids enjoyed a number of events and it has grown significantly every year since amalgamation. that included games, arts and crafts, a climbing wall, obstacle Over three thousand fire fighters now make up the roster of course, face painting, a children’s play centre, and indoor Local 3888, and like the summer picnic, it has become a inflatable rides. As well there was, as everyone expected, significant organizational challenge. Despite this, Frank says: good food, prizes, and drinks for all. Attendees began to arrive “For me it all becomes worthwhile when I see how much fun at noon on December 3, 2005, and the party continued, nonthe kids have and how excited the parents become when they stop, until well after 5 pm. With well over two thousand see their children interact with the children of other fire children and parents attending – Variety Village was abuzz! fighters on such a joyous occasion. I hope this tradition Like so many functions that Local 3888 continues for many years to come.” sponsors, they did not forget to include something to reflect the spirit of the The 2005 Christmas Party committee poses with Santa after a very long, but successful day. season. Accordingly, all children who brought an unwrapped gift had their name entered in a lucky draw with a chance to win a Sony PSP. Through the generosity of a great number of Toronto Fire Fighters and their families, the Local was able to donate a sizable amount of gifts to other children within the City of Toronto – helping all of us make Christmas a little brighter for those less fortunate than ourselves. The lucky winner of the Sony PSP was Cameron


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Monday, January 9, 2006

Stewards Meeting

3888 Union Office

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Night Meeting Only 1900 Hrs

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Day Meeting Only 1000 Hrs.

January 26-29, 2006

IAFF Human Relations Conference

San Antonio Texas

January 30-February 2, 2006

OPFFA H&S Conference

Toronto, Marriott Courtyard

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Night Meeting Only 1900 Hrs.

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Day Meeting Only 1000 Hrs.

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Night Meeting Only 1900 Hrs.

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

April 3-6, 2006

OPFFA Spring Seminar

Niagara Falls, Renaissance Fallsview

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

3888 General Union Meeting Night Meeting Only 1900 Hrs.

RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.

April 23-26, 2006

IAFF Leg Conference


Friday, April 28, 2006

FF Ball





RCL Br. 527 948 Sheppard Ave. W.




COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT REVIEW This will be a regular section in which we try to explain different articles of our Collective Agreement. We will try different methods to help explain the article: Charts, Q&A, examples and re-wording.

24-Hour Operation Shift Schedule For this issue we will attempt to give an explanation of some of the changes in articles involved in the 24-Hour Shift Schedule Memorandum of Agreement.

HOURS OF WORK OPERATIONS DIVISION Article 9.09 sets out a new start time of 07:00 hours. The reason for this was to try to standardize the relief time across the city as much as possible. The morning relief time has fallen into a relatively tight frame, with fire fighters relieving (in practice) anywhere between 06:00 and 07:30 hours. This new start time allows for a standardized beginning to the day. This section also defines a tour of duty as being all working days that fall within a Monday to Sunday period. 9:10 (a) to (k) This section gives an explanation on how consecutive day training can be done, requiring members to move off their 24 hour shift to either 8 or 12 hour training days. • normally scheduled on weekdays. • will not take place on designated holidays with exemption of Remembrance Day. • no case convert three twenty four days in a calendar year. • maximum convert four 24 hours days over any three year period. • selection will be made after vacation lieu day selection. • minimum 3 training selections choices will be available for each training session. • training schedule sent out by December 1st, must make selection by December 15th. • No more than 5 employees will be taken off of any platoon for mandatory training. • Maximum of 2 employees will be taken off of any platoon for Voluntary training. • Number of apparatus involved in in-

service training will be adjusted by the number of employees off for mandatory and voluntary training. • An employee sick will have the option of having the training rescheduled or coming in off duty to complete the training.

ARTICLE 12 – VACATION SELECTION In the current shift schedule the 4 weeks of the shift have unequal weighting of hours – the weeks consist of a 40, a 56, a 30 and a 42 hour work week. Under the 24 hour shift 3 of the 4 weeks will be a 48 hour week and 1 week will be a 24 hour week. It was agreed that each crew would be required to select 2 single day weeks (24 hours) within their vacation week selection. Within Article 12:10(a) this is adjusted for 6 person apparatus that do not have blackout periods. Therefore, their threshold is 24 weeks before they are required to select into the single day weeks. Where a vacancy exists and the platoon chief is selecting time s/he will select a single day week for each vacancy.

ARTICLE 13 – DESIGNATED HOLIDAYS A lieu day is considered a 12 hour period off but must be taken in 24 hour increments, constituting 2 lieu days. The only exception is where an employee has an odd number of lieu days available they will be allowed to take a single twelve hour period off, commencing at 07:00 or 19:00 hours.

period. There are modifications to the definition of unbroken service to reflect the 24 hour shift, but the effect has not changed. If you return to work within the 24 hour period or leave work sick, sick time will be considered in 6 hour increments, with a 6 hour period being considered _ sick day. This replicates current language.

ARTICLE 18 – OPERATIONS PROMOTIONAL PROCESS NOTIFICATION This clause reflects the arrangements that would be made to deal with a promotional exam, regarding time off to attend and department paid duty substitutions. There is no change in the application of this article; the changes reflect the new shift schedule.

ARTICLE 37 - DUTY EXCHANGES • Employees are prohibited from working in excess of 36 consecutive hours. • Employees must be off duty for a minimum of 24-hours prior to reporting to duty while working a duty exchange. • Shall be limited to a maximum of thirty (30) duty exchanges in any calendar year. Included within the thirty (30) duty exchange maximum, there is a further restriction to a maximum of fifteen (15) duty exchanges to be used between 07:00 and 19:00 hours Monday through Thursday. • A twelve (12) hour period or less constitutes one (1) duty exchange. A duty exchange in excess of 12-hours counts as (2) duty exchanges.

ARTICLE 14 – SICK PAY A sick day is defined as a 12 hour



SHIFT HOLDOVERS FOR ELECTIONS â&#x20AC;˘ When a municipal, provincial or federal election is called the TFS will send written notification to all the work locations of the schedule for the upcoming election day. â&#x20AC;˘ The shift working the day prior to election day will be required to stay on duty the following day to allow the election day shift three hours to vote.

The election day shift will pay back the holdover shift within the next 28 days on the same day of the week (if possible) or other mid-week day. â&#x20AC;˘ The use of the holdover shift and the resulting payback will not be on a person to person basis. It will be on a shift to shift basis. â&#x20AC;˘ It is understood that due to a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vacation, lieu or sick time use they may be required to work the extra time and be off the day the shift pays the time

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back. No one is entitled to overtime in this specific situation. â&#x20AC;˘ Notwithstanding the above, employees are encouraged to use advance polls to resolve the need for this provision. Employees utilizing advance polls can then utilize their duty exchange provision on a person to person basis. Duty exchanges for election holdovers, will not count towards the employeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual maximum duty exchange provision.

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Date of Death


South North Recruit West

January 9, 2005 February 20, 2005 August 21, 2005 October 23, 2005

49 48 43 54

Active Members Richard Grant Curry Tony Clifford Gerry Tychansky Bill Onukywycz

Deaths Recognized as Line-of-Duty by the WSIB in 2005 Walter Drake John MacFarlane Ian Mathieson Carlyle Gatehouse Ross Forfar

411 626 113 626

October 7, 2001 August 29, 1996 April 11, 2004 September 1, 2005

72 61 60 68

752 113 113 113 113 113 113 626 411 411 113 752 113 113 752 411 752 752 1137 113 752 1137 113 626 113 113 752 626 626 1137 1137 113 418 113 113 113 113 113 411 1137

January 5, 2005 January 5, 2005 January 20, 2005 January 23, 2005 January 26, 2005 February 5, 2005 February 5, 2005 February 5, 2005 February 10, 2005 February 15, 2005 February 17, 2005 February 19, 2005 February 21, 2005 February 27, 2005 March 17, 2005 March 18, 2005 March 19, 2005 April 2, 2005 April 5, 2005 April 6, 2005 May 4, 2005 May 13, 2005 May 24, 2005 May 25, 2005 June 6, 2005 June 7, 2005 June 7, 2005 June 15, 2005 June 16, 2005 June 25, 2005 July 2, 2005 July 16, 2005 July 18, 2005 August 7, 2005 August 30, 2005 September 1, 2005 September 27, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 18, 2005 November 27, 2005


Retired Albert “Hooper” Hampson Henry Woods James Hadden Bruce Edward Sellors Robert Andrew Park Ed Maxwell Ben Bonser William Buchanan Smith James Lush Garnet Earl “Bunny” Brown Thomas Fred Sambrook Douglas David Tiffin David Warburton Bernard “Bun” Irwin Frank Robert Waud James Gillman William Leikauf Bill Flemming Ron “Chubby” Brown Leslie Alfred Jones William Musgrave John Kevin McLaughlan James Stewart Goode Denis G. Smith Kevin Conlon Arthur John Nicholls David Sharples Brian Patrick Whitehead William “Mickey” MacFarlane Melvin “Mel” Jones Henry Rasmusson Gerald Reginald Welch James Ashby Leslie Herbert Sommerville David Maxwell Edmund Miller Ernest Fredrick Seaborn Joseph Franklin “Frank” Moss Norman Thomas Gourley Robert Ernest Gwilliams


69 67 84 89 82 58 62

66 67 72 86 76 69 64 79 71 64 76 81 75 76 65 75 85 89 83 82 70

Remember the



Fire Watch Committee Member STEVE BUCKINGHAM


n October 2nd, at the Toronto Fire Academy three of our fallen brothers were honoured. Robert Campbell, John MacFarlane, and Walter Drake will have their names inscribed on the Toronto Fire Fighters Memorial, located at Station 334 on Queens Quay West in Toronto. Back in September, from the 14th to the 18th Local 3888 representatives accompanied the widows and families of brothers Campbell, MacFarlane, and Drake to the International Fire Fighters Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Also on September 11th, Local 3888 provided a bus for its members to travel on to Ottawa to attend the Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation Ceremony on Parliament Hill. As well as the TFS Pipe Band, over fifty members of Local 3888 were in attendance to pay their respects to the fallen, to honour Brothers Campbell, MacFarlane, and Drake, and to remember those fallen fire fighters killed on September 11th, 2001.

The Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation is working toward providing a permanent memorial to Canada’s Fallen Fire Fighters. The exact design of the memorial is still under development. The goal of the foundation is to create a structure of such excellence that it will easily convey full respect for those it represents. A structure that when viewed by Canadians and visitors to Canada, compels them to respond to it not only as a work of art but as a true representation of those who willingly gave themselves to help others. The funding for this creation will -must -- come from many sources. The Canadian Fire Service is expected to play a major role in fund-raising. Corporate support as well as assistance from all other Canadians is anticipated and additional funds may come from relevant governmental sources at both the Provincial and Federal level. On June the 5th the Ontario Fire Fighters Memorial was dedicated in a moving ceremony at Queen’s Park. The memorial is located at the northeast corner of College and University. This memorial was a long time in development and it was heartening to see it so beautifully constructed, dedicated to Ontario’s Fallen Fire Fighters. The Remembrance Ceremonies held across the city on November 11th were well attended by Toronto Fire Fighters as we remembered those who served and those who died in the First and Second World Wars, Korea, and various Peacekeeping Missions abroad.


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Pre tion Fire Fire Watch Committee Member JASON SCOVELL

Arising out of the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire of October 9, 1871, the concept of “fire prevention” became an increasingly important concern for firefighters across North America. A means was needed to draw public attention to fire safety issues over a concentrated period of time for the purpose of teaching civilians about the risks of common fire hazards and the ways to overcome them.


ver time the idea of dedicating an entire week to the discussion of fire safety grew until finally, starting in 1922, and continuing to the present day, Fire Prevention Week has become the single most important educational event that firefighters can use to capture the community’s attention and broadcast a message that could save lives. Sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, each successive Fire Prevention Week has had a central theme. The theme of 2005 was “Use Candles with Care” and was designed to provide an opportunity for fire departments to raise awareness of fire safety in general, with a particular emphasis on the safe use of candles in the home. It is a well-documented fact that every year in Canada, human error is responsible for starting a number of candle fires. Although Canada-wide statistics for candle fires are not available, it has been noted by Health Canada that in Alberta between 1990 and 1999 the quantity of candle fires increased by 100% and caused 10 fire deaths. The key then was to actively communicate the message of candle fire safety as frequently and widely as possible. This task was handed to the Toronto Fire Services Fire Prevention Week Organizing Committee led by Public Education Captain Steve Welowszky. His vision included reaching out to all corners of the cultural mosaic that is Toronto, and this was achieved with the use of paid advertising in the Chinese media. As Captain Welowszky points out, “Not only was this the first time we tried paid advertising, but it was also the first time we communicated on a city-wide basis in a language other than English.” Newspaper ads, radio messages and website postings were published in the Chinese language with the potential of reaching an audience of millions. Given the wide variety of tasks that needed to be done, the Committee was subdivided into 4 groups, one for each command, and each group was charged with the responsibility of planning and preparing their own “Open House” event, and

week-long public fire safety display. To start the week off, a Media Launch was staged at the Toronto Fire Academy on Friday, October 7, 2005. The MC was the ever-popular Erin Davis of CHFI Radio and the official guests of honor were the staff and students of Twentieth Street Junior Public School, who were rewarded for their active participation in the “Risk Watch” program. The rain didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest. On the contrary, the event was broadcast by the major media outlets making it a significant success and paving the way for an active week throughout the City of Toronto. Allowing Monday, October 10 for Thanksgiving Day, the Open House events began on the Tuesday with North Command playing host at Mel Lastman Square. South Command followed with their Open House on Wednesday at the Toronto Fire Academy; East Command on Thursday at the Scarborough Civic Centre, and West Command closed the week with an Open House at Woodbine Centre on the Friday. Although it is difficult to assign an exact number of visitors to each event, it is fair to say that for the Open House events alone, anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 people attended in total, representing a wide cross-section of the population of Toronto, from all age groups, income groups and cultural backgrounds. Typical events at each Open House included firefighting apparatus and aerial operation displays, auto extrication demonstrations, high angle rescue demonstrations, residential fire sprinkler demonstrations, fire extinguisher demonstrations, and fire safety information booths. For the kids, there was the Mini combat challenge, the inflatable fire truck jumping bag, face painting, and the Risk Watch Safety Wheel, where kids had a chance to win a firefighters helmet if they answered a skill testing question on one of several Risk Watch program topics. For general entertainment, there was either live WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 47

or recorded music being broadcast over the sound system and a hot dog barbeque. Toronto Fire Services was not alone in the presentation of the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational theme. Many invited guests attended the Open Houses in a show of support. Most notably were representatives from the Toronto Police Service, Emergency Task Force, Emergency Medical Services, the Canadian Red Cross, the Ross Tilley Burn Unit, Box 12 and Support 7. Many corporate partners also made significant donations to the overall success of the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, namely Enbridge, Vintnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Loblaws. Although each Open House was a major eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event, the overall Fire Prevention Week program did not stop there. Each command set up and staffed an information booth every day of the week at a number of different shopping malls throughout the City. Host locations this year included Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto Eaton Centre, Scarborough Town Centre and Sherway Gardens. Antique firefighting vehicles were on display, a wide variety of educational material was provided for the public to peruse and take with them, and kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s photos were taken against a fire station background while wearing kid-sized firefighter gear. Even Sparky the Fire Dog would make an appearance. Generally, the purpose of the

booth was to provide a ready access point for the public to meet Toronto Fire Services staff, to discuss fire safety topics such as candle safety, and to share stories of past experiences and lessons learned. Countless thousands of people stopped at each booth, and either received an answer to their question personally or helped themselves to one of the many informative brochures. As successful as this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fire Prevention Week was, it is evident that much can be done to expand on known successes and try new things. For these there is no shortage of ideas. Captain Welowszky states that â&#x20AC;&#x153;there would be many benefits to expanding the role that firefighters play in the organizational aspect of the weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s events. Their help is vital and widely appreciated so they should be at the table when the plans are put in place. Another possibility would be to modify the format of the week so that instead of four separate Open House Events, there could be one large central event that runs over a period of time at a well known city site, such as the Rogers Centre, or the CNE grounds.â&#x20AC;? Combine these suggestions with the establishment of an exclusive media partner and increased advertising and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the makings of a major opportunity to make fire prevention and life safety the leading topics in Toronto for years to come.

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Fire Watch News Archives


holesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body produces to make hormones and vitamin D, to build cell walls and to help digest food. Your body manufactures all the cholesterol you need. You also get cholesterol from some of the foods that you eat. Monitoring your cholesterol is important for your health because the higher your cholesterol, the greater your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Cardiovascular disease accounts for the death of more Canadians than any other disease. In 2002 (the latest year for which Statistics Canada has data), cardiovascular disease accounted for 74,626 Canadian deaths. When there is too much cholesterol in your body, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Eventually, this damaging accumulation of cholesterol causes your arteries to narrow, slowing or blocking the flow of blood to your heart. This condition is called atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries.” If your heart doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen, you may suffer chest pain. When the blood supply to a portion of your heart is completely blocked, it causes a heart attack. High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms. As a result, many people don’t realize that their cholesterol is elevated. Beginning at age 20, you should have a cholesterol test at least once every five years. Learn about your ideal cholesterol level.




Cholesterol travels throughout your body in two different lipoproteins (fat/protein packages). It is important to have healthy levels of both. You’ve probably heard of “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. Here’s what it means: LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol because it’s the main source of harmful cholesterol buildup and clogged arteries. The higher your LDL level, the greater your risk of heart disease. HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is called good cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to your liver where it is removed from your body. The higher your HDL level, the lower your risk of heart disease. Triglycerides are yet another fat that your body makes and that you also get in food. People with high triglycerides frequently have high cholesterol, a high LDL cholesterol level and a low HDL cholesterol level. Your triglyceride levels are usually checked as part of your cholesterol test. Diet and exercise can help keep your cholesterol at a healthy level.


Many people don’t realize that their cholesterol is elevated


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Wellness/Fitness Coordinator TERRY BUCKLEY


his fall, the Toronto Fire Services and the Toronto Professional Firefighters Association announced the implementation of a Wellness/Fitness Program for our department. This is a positive initiative for Wellness and Fitness promotion with absolute support from TFS and Local 3888. The introduction of the program will consist of two parts: an educational component and a costsharing program for the allocation of cardiovascular exercise equipment in the fire stations. Educational programs will be developed for such healthy living topics as nutrition, weight control, occupational disease awareness, and smoking cessation. Exercise guidelines will be developed for cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance, core strength, flexibility, and injury prevention. A webpage (which will be accessible through the Health and Safety website), will contain quarterly topics of interest and regular monthly updates with an opportunity for input from the membership. “Heart Health” and “Cardiovascular Fitness” will be the focus of the program for 2006. Coronary heart disease and heart attacks have been the leading cause of death among Firefighters for many years, but there are several lifestyle modifications that can greatly reduce the risk of adding to the statistics. The Wellness/Fitness webpage will provide information on health issues unique to the Fire Service, and provide tips to help firefighters become more pro-active in making positive lifestyle changes. Shift Training Instructors (STI) will be instrumental in sharing information at the station level and also providing input for the direction of the program. The initial role of the STI will be in providing orientation and instruction on the new fitness equipment as it is delivered to the stations. Candidates will be selected based on the current STI policy and successful applicants will be required to complete the following courses: Competent Supervisor ( a computer-based course available through the Health and Safety section), Instructional Strategies ( a regularly scheduled course through PDT) and a training course specific to the STI Wellness/Fitness position. The course tentatively selected is the Peer Fitness Trainer course which is affiliated with the IAFF, IAFC Fitness/ Wellness Initiative and the American Council on Exercise.

Although a degree or diploma in a related discipline is definitely an asset, it is not a requirement. Information about the course, and sample exam questions are available on the IAFF Health and Safety website. Thanks to the work of several enthusiastic individuals, the Wellness/ Fitness program will be off to a good start in the upcoming months. This is a program for the members and encourages everyone to get involved! Some commonly asked questions.... 1. Why were Support Divisions not included in the equipment allocation? Many compromises were made to reach a final consensus for the document. Because Firefighters can be required to perform strenuous physical work under stressful conditions, the first equipment purchased will replace old and unreliable fitness equipment in existing facilities. Not to discount the important work that Support Division Personnel perform, we anticipate expansion of the program to the Support Divisions pending 2006 budget approval. Many Support Staff are fortunate to have access to TFS fitness facilities now and may continue that arrangement. 2. Why is strength training equipment not offered in the purchase plan? The Wellness/Fitness program “kick-off” centers on Heart Health and Cardio-vascular Fitness. The importance of good strength is certainly recognized, but the initial priority is to upgrade the cardio equipment. 3. What if the canteen buys equipment that is not on the list? All purchases made with allotted points or canteen contributions must be within the program. This is a workplace Wellness/Fitness program and is covered under WSIB. WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 51






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Therefore equipment used in the program must be TFS issued (or approved). Equipment purchased previously by an individual or the canteen, may or may not receive approval to remain in the fire station, but no new purchases outside the program are allowed. 4. The prices quoted for the equipment seem high!! All fitness equipment purchased for the stations must be of “commercial” quality with a good warranty. “Residential” grade equipment is considerably less expensive but is designed for limited use in a home gym setting, and will not withstand the use in a fire station. The rating of equipment is based primarily on the estimated hours of usage per day, but also such criteria as user group, environment and regular maintenance. It would also void the warranty if residential grade equipment was purchased, since the equipment is not

placed in the setting for its intended use. The specific prices came from three of the largest suppliers of fitness equipment in the GTA and was based on an order of multiple units. (The prices that may be displayed in the manufacturers website are US dollars and do not include duty, exchange, brokerage, delivery or taxes. all of which are included in our quote.) The City tendering process by which the purchases will be completed will invite competing bids from several companies. The lowest price wins.

Any further questions or comments may be directed to: Terry Buckley Wellness/Fitness Coordinator Toronto Fire Academy

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Brad Garrow Used Car Manager

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Toronto Professional Fire Fightersw’ Association Building Fine Communities Across The GTA • (416) 410-0175 • WINTER 2005 | FIRE WATCH 53

3888 RECENT HAPPENINGS Hugh Doherty, John Poirier, and Frank Ramagnano pose for this shot with MPP Brad Duguid and his son at the 2nd annual FIREPAC recognition night held on September 13th. Photo by Captain Karen Reid, TFS PIO

Executive Board Officer Chris Bardecki entertains some little ones at the Toddle For Tots event held at the Toronto Zoo on September 24th.

Crews from Station 325 on “D” Platoon pose with members of the Toronto Rock lacrosse team and their NLL Champion’s Cup. Approximately 130 local 3888 members gather near box 12 for a briefing prior to taking part in the TPA rally march to Nathan Phillips Square.


lso, The Etob icoke Guardi an Photo by Ian Ke

Fire fighter Bill Evans mans T333 as Mayor Miller helps to kick-off this year’s TPFFA MD Boot Drives along with an MD representative.

Norm Train, Mark Reynolds, Paul Dzuba, and Chris Labuda present gifts to a “burnout” victim on Norris Crescent on Sunday October 23rd.

Local 3888 members pose with the TFS Pipes & Drums band at the East York Civic Centre during the Remembrance Day Parade.

James Coones and Scott Marks present CTV cameramen Jeff Long and Keith Hanley with IAFF Media Awards for their coverage of a window washer incident in 2004.

Crews in 13 district on “A” platoon pose at station 134 with the Stanley Cup after responding to a Carbon Monoxide call to the home of one of the keepers of the cup.

Executive Board Officers and Stewards gathered at the Eastern Avenue Training Academy on November 17th to congratulate the latest class of recruits on their graduation by hosting a luncheon.




3888 representatives reach out to the new recruits soon after they enter the training academy. The main reason is to swear these recruits into the Association and to educate them on the benefits of belonging to 3888, the OPFFA and the IAFF. Another item that we touch on with the recruits is that of Workers’ Compensation.


few days were gone from the bank. do so using the contents of the injury here are many reasons why, several In all respects, the city notifying the envelope package. If a member does years ago, the Chair approached member that days will be removed is an not report an injury, it creates the the executive and began these advantage to the employee as it allows problem of actually proving an injury “lectures.” One of the reasons is to for the small details to be corrected. occurred weeks later when the injury make new hires aware of the hidden These corrections keep compensable now needs medical attention. If this dangers in the smoke and fumes from injuries as they should be, under WSIB situation is presented to me, the advice fires. Another reason is to give a brief and not sick time. is to continue with the facts as they overview of the Worker’s Compensation During the recruit WSIB lecture, are presented and report the injury as process; this is because a fire fighter we stress the need to maintain educated on Workers’ Comp a good number of sick days in issues is my best customer. their personal bank. The first Avoiding the common pitfalls in AVOIDING THE COMMON PITFALLS IN THE EARLY STAGES OF A CLAIM SAVES A GREAT DEAL OF GRIEF reason is to cover off significant the early stages of a claim saves FOR EVERYONE CONCERNED. non-occupational injury or a great deal of grief for everyone illness. The second reason has concerned. to do with occupational injury. Should it occurred using the applicable dates. As a profession, fire fighting is second a WSIB claim be denied, the city is Should the case go to appeal, it is always only to mining for incidences of workgoing to recover the days involved and easier to remember the facts as they related injury, illness, and death. Every will take them from the member’s sick happened. year, approximately 50% of our members bank. In the unfortunate event that the A problem has developed since the city will suffer a work related injury. For injured person has insufficient days, began reclaiming advances on denied or 3888 purposes, that translates into recovery will be made from vacation no further action claims. There are two 1500 injury forms being completed by periods, lieu entitlement or, cash. things that jump out on this issue. First, fire fighters each year. That is a lot of As stated, if the member meets the majority of no further action claims injuries, and there are still a number of the three criteria for an injury initial are due to the non-submission of medical common errors that are committed. denial is unlikely. There is an issue of reports from treating doctors. The fi x is The Workplace Safety and Insurance cooperation around return to work in very simple; by contacting the doctor Board looks for three items in a new which the WSIB may determine that or hospital the records can then be claim: indication of immediate reporting, an injured person is ready for modified forwarded to the WSIB for consideration immediate medical treatment, and work. In these cases, the failure to and in all likelihood allowance of the immediate lost time. Fire fighters who cooperate may find a short period of claim. The second thing that jumps out are injured and provide the above three time denied in a claim. As long as the is that these claims are generally for points will rarely have their claim member has an appropriate number short periods of time, two to five days denied on an initial entitlement basis. of sick days this does not represent a in most cases. In the past, the former The most common and the most significant problem. cities would just reclaim these days avoidable problem is that of late The real problems generally develop without any notice. In those cases, the reporting. It is highly advisable to on more difficult claims such as a employee rarely identified that these report all injuries immediately and to





JOIN THE PAC! C ONTACT U S: 58 OR (416) 466-1167 ext 356

post traumatic stress. In these cases, the member may not file on a timely basis or has used significant sick time in the past due to problems related to the stress. In these claims, contacting the Association for assistance is imperative. These claims also present challenges for the WSIB adjudicator. It is not unheard of to have these types of claims in the adjudicatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands for many months. If these claims are denied, the retroactive recovery may exceed the memberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sick bank. In this circumstance, we may

have the member apply for either long term disability (LTD) or employment insurance (EI) to cover off and keep earnings flowing in the event of a denial. In conclusion, if you are a newer employee with little accrued sick time or an employee with a low sick bank, you need to be cognizant of the downside of a denied WSIB claim. Claims of a difficult nature such as stress; claims that have been reported late or where medical treatment has

been delayed are claims that are more likely to be denied by the WSIB. If a member finds themselves in one of these circumstances, it is advisable to seek assistance early in the process to head off potential problems. Contact: WSIB Chair Paul Atkinson Telephone: 416-466-1167 ext. 301 Email:

















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The 2005 season has been very exciting for the Toronto Fire Services Combat Challenge Team. Training camp began at the Academy back in April, and culminated in September with the National Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. Many team and individual accomplishments were achieved along the way. The team qualified to compete at the World Challenge Championships XIV, in Deerfield Beach, Florida in November, but unfortunately due to Hurricane Wilma, the week long competition was postponed.


cquisition of major sponsorship and active fund raising has allowed the TFS Team to remain selfsufficient. For the second year in a row, the teams’ primary sponsor has been Paul Davis Systems-Fire Restoration. Supporting sponsors included Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Professional Firefighters’ Association Local 3888, Just Imagine Designs, Total Fire Group-Morning Pride, Site-Canada, Launch! Brand Marketing and Adidas. Funds are also raised through the sale of combat team logo T-shirts and patches. In April the team participated in the Industrial Accident Prevention Association convention and were featured on Breakfast Television. In May, two team members donated their time and were featured in the Wasip Limited Protective Clothing catalogue. June found team members participating in the Paul Davis Systems 20th Anniversary Celebration Convention and Open House to commemorate the opening of their new office building. The Toronto Fire Services Combat Challenge Team members are: Charles McGregor, Doug Harper, Warren Moore, Bill Leontaritis, Scott Masters, Tim Deakin, Aziz Dousheh, Bruce Bottom and Chris Massie. The Toronto Fire Services

Women’s Combat Team members are: Kelly Hathway, Adina Kaufman, Danielle

Comolli, Lisa Heeney and Jana Chvatal. The team travelled to Thunder Bay, Kitchener, Belleville, Ottawa/Osgood, Windsor, Brampton, and Edmonton during the 2005 season and brought home the following honours: Thunder Bay – Men’s Relay – Third Place – Team Members: Doug Harper, Warren Moore, Scott Masters, Tim Deakin and Aziz Dousheh. Belleville – Combat Team recognized for donating funds towards Ray’s Ride for Cancer Foundation during opening ceremonies. Ottawa/Osgood – Women’s Relay – Second Place – Team Members: Kelly Hathway, Jana Chvatal, and Danielle Comolli.

Ottawa/Osgood – Women’s Individual Race – Second Place: Kelly Hathway Windsor – Women’s Individual Race – First Place: Jana Chvatal Brampton - Bill Leontaritis’ individual race time of 1:45 placed him in contention for the Scott Firefighter Rookie of the Year Award. Charles McGregor’s individual race time of 1:56 in the over 40 category earned him a bye in the National Championship Final Day. Edmonton, Alberta-National Championship – Women’s Relay – Second Place – Team Members: Kelly Hathway, Jana Chvatal, Adina Kaufman, Lisa Heeney and Danielle Comolli. The 2006 season promises to be another exciting year. The team and their sponsors are looking forward to hosting a Combat Challenge Competition to be held on August 25 and 26, prior to the International Association of Firefighters Convention. This will be a two day event with corporate sponsor challenge/relays on the Friday and the combat challenge on the Saturday. Congratulations to all team members who trained and competed throughout the year, it truly is the “toughest two minutes in sport.”


ADVERTISERS INDEX 2001 Audio Video ..........................40 A Bed Of Roses ..............................12 Agincourt Chrysler ........................30 Alarm Force ...................................42 Andria Barret .................................62 AMJ Campbell .................................8 Bayshore Home Health...................28 CAA ...................... Inside Back Cover CarlotCanada.Com .........................56 Cedarbrae Volkswagen...................50 Century 21 Heritage Group..............6 Century 21 Percy Fulton ................30 Clarion President Hotel ..................20 Ecclestone, Hamer, Poisson, Neuwald & Freeman .................................... 43 Elephant & Castle ..........................52 Entre Nous ....................................22 Europe Bound ................................22 Ever Young Beauty & Health Center .................62 Floor Master Inc. ...........................46 Formula Honda ..............................16 Funeral Sanitation Services ...........22 GP Bikes ........................................59 Hogan Chevrolet ............................10

Intelligarde International Inc. ........59 Jack M. Straitman ..........................36 Jiffy Lube............ Outside Back Cover Ken Weinberg Phd. .......................34 Keystone Financial Group Inc ........50 KMB Granite .................................42 Kwik Curb .....................................12 Langstaff Automotive Repairs ........22 Maple Toyota .................................28 Mazda ...........................................22 M.D. Charlton ...............................20 Mortgage Intelligence ....................28 New Roads National Leasing ......... 43 Newman Sharpley .........................22 Owasco Volkswagen Inc ................16 Parkway Honda ..............................53 Premier Fitness..............................18 Relax 911 .......................................52 Remax, Bev McLean ......................46 Remax, Spirit Inc ...........................26 Remax, Vic Quintieri .....................58 Rogers Wireless .............................50 Rosehaven Homes ..........................53 Russel Meats .................................22

Scarborough Lexus Toyota .............18 Scotia Bank Mortgages ..................46 Sherway Nissan .............................48 Soma Sleep ....................................26 Standard Parking of Canada ...........23 Sutton Group Incentive Realty .......36 Talk of the Town Travel .................46 The Fire Academy ..........................40 The Fire Department Employees Credit Union Limited .......................2 The Foot Clinic..............................25 The Pros Courier Service Inc ........ 24 Toronto Fire Hats ...........................16 Trillium Mortgage .........................53 Triple A Movers .............................26 Tyrone Crawford, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary ...........46 Westwind Partners Inc...................22 Wireless Personal Communications (Bell World) .....................................8 Yonge Lawrence Toyota .................52 Yorkdale Ford ................................36

 1*1 /1, ]Ă&#x160;-/-1Ă&#x160;EĂ&#x160; , +Ă&#x2022;>Â?Â&#x2C6;wĂ&#x160;i`]Ă&#x160; Ă?ÂŤiĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;iÂ&#x2DC;Vi`Ă&#x160;*Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;viĂ&#x192;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;>Â?Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;>}iĂ&#x160;/Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x20AC;>ÂŤĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x160;­,/ÂŽ "SUISJUJT #BDL1BJO 1BJO3FMJFG )FBEBDIF $ISPOJD'BUJHVF %JBCFUFT 4LJO$BSF -PX&OFSHZ1PPS #MPPE$JSVMBUJPO %JBCFUFT 4FY%FDMJOF 4MFFQJOH%JGGJDVMUZ FUD /7"Ă&#x160;* -Ă&#x160;/"Ă&#x160;- ,6 Ă&#x160;9"1\Ă&#x160;Ă&#x2021;äÂ&#x2122;Ă&#x160;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;*Â?i>Ă&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;,`°]Ă&#x160;/Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Ă&#x160;­-Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160;Â&#x153;vĂ&#x160; }Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x203A;i°Ă&#x160;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x152;°Ă&#x160;*Â?i>��&#x192;>Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;,Â&#x153;>`ÂŽĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;{ÂŁĂ&#x2C6;Â&#x2021;n{äÂ&#x2021;äĂ&#x2021;nn ÂŁÂŁĂ&#x160;Â?iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;7>Ă&#x152;vÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;`Ă&#x160; Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;i]Ă&#x160;-Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x160;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x201C;n]Ă&#x160;-V>Ă&#x20AC;LÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;}Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160;­Â&#x2C6;`Â?>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x160;EĂ&#x160;-Â&#x2026;iÂŤÂŤ>Ă&#x20AC;`ÂŽĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;{ÂŁĂ&#x2C6;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x17D;


W I N T E R 2 0 0 5 | FI RE WAT CH

Just to let you know, we do a lot more than oil changes. Ask about Jiffy Lube preventive maintenance services.

1349 Burnhamthorpe Rd E, Mississauga, ON, 905-624-9724 5706 Hwy #7, Markham, ON, 905-294-5000 8332 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON, 905-415-0756 2525 Thomas St, Mississauga, ON, 905-821-1569 16635 Yonge St, Newmarket, ON, 905-898-6307 1221 Guelph Line, Burlington, ON, 905-319-0058

645 Third Line, Oakville, ON, 905-847-5313 3020 Unity Dr, Mississauga, ON, 905-607-8143 4230 Dundas Street W, Etobicoke, ON, 416-233-7093 23 Taunton Road West, Oshawa, ON, 905-728-7108 516 Brock St N, Whitby, ON, 905-666-9448

Fire Watch (Winter 2005)