Myth: Toronto City Council’s cuts will not result in fewer firefighters.

Fact: Toronto Fire Services (TFS) staffing complement in January 1998 was 3185.3 positions. Staffing complement for 2012 is 3176.3 positions, a decrease of nine positions since amalgamation. Toronto City Council’s proposal for staffing for 2013 is 3072.3, a decrease of 104 permanent positions from the previous year.

Myth: We can reduce TFS staff with minimal impact on response times.

Fact: Toronto has fewer vehicles deployed per capita than other cities in Ontario. The 90th percentile response travel time is 4:51 minutes compared to the target of 4:00 minutes. Total response time is 6:40 minutes. We currently do not meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) deployment standards for municipal full-time fire departments.

Myth: Is it not true that 2013 Toronto budget actually increases the number of Fire Stations in Toronto?

Fact: In 1999 an approved KPMG report recommended the building of 6 new stations to be completed by now. Only 2 stations were completed, outside of the recommended time and crews to staff those stations were taken from other stations (no actual increase in amount of Fire Trucks or Firefighters) this year 2013 Toronto Fire is projected to have two more stations open, (CNE Staffed year round, 221 Eglinton/Midland) with no plans for any additional hiring for the two stations. Fire Trucks will be moved from other locations to staff these new halls. (No actual increase in the amount of Fire Trucks or Firefighters)

The 2013 Capital budget follows past budgets and contains "plans" to build four more stations. They are not projected to be completed before 2022. All reports identify the current need for the new stations yet for budget reasons they have all been delayed.

Myth: Fire calls have decreased over he past several years.

Fact: Fire calls have remained consistent over the past seven years with average of 10,737. Sunnybrook Burn Centre reports an increase to burn admissions with seniors suffering the largest increase. Since 1998, there has been a 29.44 per cent increase in total number of incidents. In the same period, there has been a 31.18 per cent increase to total unit responses.

Myth: No one is being killed by fires anymore.

Fact: On average, fire kills eight people each week in Canada, with residential fires accounting for 73 per cent of these fatalities. Toronto's fire fatalities have not significantly dropped over the last 10 years.

Myth: Eighty per cent of TFS emergency runs are medical calls.

Fact: For 2010, TFS had 276,729 unit responses, 83,196 were medical, which amounts to 30 per cent.

For more facts about Toronto City Council’s reckless cuts to fire services please contact us.