Firefighter Training Linked To Service Level

Under new Provincial policy, local governments that are responsible for a fire department, volunteer or full-time, will be expected to establish the service level for the fire department.  The level of service will determine the training requirements that the firefighters will need to have.

Local government, as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for the provision of fire services in the community, will need to carefully assess the needs of the community (i.e. exterior and/or interior firefighting) and establish in a bylaw or policy outlining the level of firefighting training that is required to deliver the level of service.  Local government as a result of the policy change may face additional firefighting training costs depending on the level of service chosen for the community.

Local government has been given some flexibility in implementing the changes, in recognition of the fact that achieving initial compliance will require differing amounts of time in each community.  No deadline has been established for compliance with the new rules, although the new standards are effective immediately.  Local governments will need to show that they are taking measures to meet the new requirements or they could face potential liability problems in the future.

The Office of the Commissioner established a new minimum fire training standard for the Province and it is outlined in the Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook.  The new policy replaces the training standard that was previously established on January 1, 2003.

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