Saugeen Shores Fire Services exceeds newly proposed regulation standards

Saugeen Shores Acting Fire Chief, Brian Johnston, told Council on Monday (Mar. 28) that the Office of the Fire Marshall (OFM) has proposed that mandatory Firefighter Certification become a standard for all Fire Department personnel working in Ontario.

It requires that all firefighters are certified to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards before they are able to perform specific tasks at emergency responses. The Saugeen Shores Fire Department (SSFD) meets the certification requirements due to the commitment and training protocol of the Service over the years. 

“We have been training our Firefighters to NFPA Standard for many years and embrace the proposed regulation,” said Johnston. “We already meet or exceed the standards required by this regulation and we will continue to give the dedicated men and women of the SSFD the best training possible to ensure their safety and provide the Town of Saugeen Shores with the best fire protection possible.” 

The goal of the new certification is to develop a standardized approach to firefighter training, which protects firefighters and increases public safety, while providing flexibility for the local needs and service levels of municipalities across Ontario. The impact of this regulation on smaller municipalities who rely on volunteers to provide fire protection could be substantial. Those who are unable to complete the required training and Certifications may not be able to provide a full level of Fire Protection to their residents. 

“If this proposed regulation was implemented today,” added Johnston, “the Saugeen Shores Fire Department (SSFD) would continue to operate as a full service fire department.”  

“Here are some facts about our firefighters,” says Johnston. 

  • 92% are certified to the NFPA 1001 FF2 Level.  
  • 88% are certified to the NFPA 1002 Pumper Operator/Driver. 
  • All officers are certified or are awaiting AS&E testing to the NFPA1021 Officer 1 & 2 levels. 
  • Those with NFPA 1001 FF2 Certification have their HazMat Ops certification. 
  • All are trained in rope rescue, confined space, ice/water rescue, and auto extrication.  

“We have one of, if not the best, volunteer fire service in the province,” said Vice Deputy Mayor Mike Myatt, “and we are fortunate to have the fire department that we do.”

The Fire Service has recently been in the process of interviewing for new recruits.  “We are now finished with the interviews,” said Johnston, “and an announcement will be made this week.”

“I have always been extremely proud of the Town of Saugeen Shores Fire Department,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “We have a strong team of dedicated firefighters qualified to support our growing community – we are future ready.”