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Government loosens firefighter regs to help volunteer departments

Having a certificate, or not having a certificate, is not going to change how we accomplish our mission
20181010 callander fire hall turl
The Callander Fire Hall. Jeff Turl/BayToday

The Ontario government has taken action to revoke the firefighter certification regulation which had recently taken effect.

Fire departments and municipalities had expressed concern with the resources and supports required to be compliant with the certification requirements and the potential longer-term impacts on the ability of volunteer fire services to recruit certified firefighters says a release.

“We heard very clearly from municipalities and stakeholders that the certification regulation would present significant challenges for fire services and municipalities – in particular, small, rural and northern municipalities with volunteer fire departments,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said.

"The repeal of the requirement for firefighters to become certified is not going to change anything we are doing with respect to training, " said Callander Fire Chief Todd Daley.

"We train to the NFPA standard, which is the training standard for all firefighters in Ontario, and we will continue to train to that standard. Currently, over half our fire department is already certified to the NFPA Firefighter 1 standard," he explained.

"Our mission is to save lives and protect property. That mission includes protecting firefighters lives. The way we accomplish our mission is training. Having a certificate, or not having a certificate, is not going to change how we accomplish our mission.

From my perspective, the issue with mandatory firefighter certification was not certification, it was how fast it was to be implemented.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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