THUNDER BAY — The Ontario government is making a substantial investment of nearly $35 million in a strategic move to enhance the safety of northern communities with the procurement of 17 new fire trucks, crucial firefighting gear, and the acquisition of two cutting-edge Mobile Live Fire Training Units.
“Our government is providing northern firefighters with the trucks, equipment, and training they need to save lives and keep property safe in northern Ontario,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “New trucks and modern equipment will ensure our brave women and men can safely tackle fires in this ever-changing climate.”
This significant investment underscores the Ontario government’s unwavering commitment to protecting the well-being of northern residents and safeguarding their properties.
Enhancing Northern Firefighting Capabilities
This investment is geared towards enhancing the capabilities of northern firefighters, ensuring they have the necessary equipment, resources, and training to effectively respond to fires in the dynamic northern Ontario environment. The aim is to improve safety for both residents and firefighters in the region.
“Many northern fire departments rely on volunteer firefighters who provide an invaluable service to their home communities. These training enhancements and new equipment will be welcomed by the men and women who answer the call,” statedKevin Holland
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Northern Development and MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.
Hands-On Training with Mobile Live Fire Training Units
The introduction of the Mobile Live Fire Training Units is a game-changer for firefighter preparedness. These state-of-the-art units will empower the Ontario Fire College to deliver top-tier, hands-on training directly to fire services. This training will better equip firefighters to face real-life scenarios with confidence.
These mobile units can be readily transported to local fire stations and simulate authentic firefighting situations. During training sessions with the mobile units, firefighters will experience the challenges of dealing with real flames, extreme heat, high humidity, severely restricted visibility, and thick smoke.
A Crucial Investment
Ontario Fire Marshal Jon Pegg emphasized the significance of this investment, stating, “Investing in firefighter training and safety in the North is critical to safeguarding our communities. By equipping firefighters with the skills and training they need, we will fortify the resilience of northern Ontario, ensuring the safety and well-being of the people who call this region home.”
Northern Fire Protection Program
Funding for the acquisition of the new fire trucks and firefighting equipment will be facilitated through the Northern Fire Protection Program. This program plays a vital role in providing support and assistance for fire protection services across 47 communities in northern Ontario, where more than 800 volunteer firefighters serve diligently.
- Northern Fire Protection Program fire departments protect more than 34,400 permanent residents in unincorporated Ontario and respond to approximately 1,000 emergency calls per year.
- New firefighting equipment will include self-contained breathing apparatuses, thermal imaging cameras, and other essential firefighting equipment.
- The mobile live fire training meets National Fire Protection Association training standards.
- Last year, Mobile Live Fire Training Units visited 46 locations across Ontario and trained over 3,000 firefighters.
The government’s strategic allocation of these resources will undoubtedly bolster the capacity of northern communities to effectively respond to fire-related challenges, ultimately enhancing safety and peace of mind for residents.