Toronto man thanks emergency workers for saving his life


Two years ago Jeff Brown suffered a near death experience. He collapsed in the lobby of his apartment building, completely unconscious, no vital signs. “I was without oxygen to my brain for 12.5 minutes which is unheard of in the medical industry. Four cardiac arrests,” Jeff recalls in a shaky and emotional voice. Jeff manages an apartment building. He had called 911 for a fire call, but little did Jeff realize it was him who would be the major emergency call that day. Four fire trucks, two EMS vehicles and the police were all on the scene. When fire crews first arrived at the apartment building they came prepared to deal with a small kitchen fire. Instead, first responder fire fighter Josh Chrisholm and his crew were on their knees performing CPR. “He actually suffered a heart attack in the lobby. So myself and a few other drivers took it upon ourselves to start CPR efforts in the hallway while the other firefighters dealt the kitchen fire,” Chrisholm tells Global News. Eventually EMS was able to get a pulse. They then quickly transferred Jeff to St. Mike’s hospital where doctors worked on him. Upon arrival Jeff suffered additional cardiac arrests. As for the emergency workers, the story often ends there for them. They move onto their next call, rarely finding out if a patient survived. It’s a traumatic experience they have to deal with each and every call. That trauma can lead to things like post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, an injury in the brain that can take years to present itself and years to overcome. “The reality is we are all humans and we all come from families, so we have mothers, fathers, we have kids,” District Fire Chief, Paul Halls tells Global News. “We see these people at their worst time and we start relating it to our own family; this could happen to our own family. We want to know the result. So PTSD is one of those things where you see people at their worst, going through the worst day of their life and you try to help them, but all of those little pieces stick in your head. So PTSD can affect you on the biggest calls, it can affect you on the smallest calls; just seeing a child smashed up in a car accident. PTSD is this weird thing where it can accumulate over the years and who knows what can bring it out.” Since March, 25 emergency workers have committed suicide, suffering from PTSD. The most recent death was a police officer with York Regional Police. He was an eight-year veteran from New Market. Renee Mair is the founder and president of Many-2-One. It is a charity group that focuses on putting a face to PTSD via a four-part video series that tells the story of a local paramedic who suffers from PTSD, recalling a traumatic call involving a woman who had given birth. The baby was found with no vital signs in the toilet. The trauma from the event was overwhelming. The purpose of the video is remind people emergency workers are human and that they often face the most traumatic situations aside from the victims themselves. “These are the unsung heroes in our communities,” Renee Mair tells Global News. “We expect them to be there in our darkest hours. We see the sirens and we think oh there is police officer going to a call, but we never think about the impact it has on them.” The group is looking to provide support to all emergency and military personnel on a national basis. Mair says recognizing and acknowledging the work first responders and emergency workers do on a daily basis will go a long way in helping them deal with what they have to face on a daily basis. “Quite often when they go on these calls … they don’t always get that closure that they need. So to be able to say thank you and to acknowledge the fact that they have seen some very dark things in their jobs … it’s not a traditional 9-5 job. They need to know they are not alone and we don’t take that for granted,” Mair says. Emergency workers say if they had the opportunity to find out about the outcome after a call, it may help them cope with the trauma and perhaps feel at ease that they did everything they could. It would give them reassurance and closure. In Jeff Brown’s case, his life was saved by the heroic efforts of Toronto Fire, EMS, and police. Jeff says he is alive today because of them, so the least he can do is give thanks. On a cloudy, cool October day – fittingly,  Thanksgiving – Jeff got his wish, one that has been two years in the making. Global News heard Jeff’s story and worked with Jeff, along with members of  Toronto Fire, EMS, and police, to track down the crews who came to the call on Nov. 3, 2012. Emergency crews as far as London, Ontario came to Toronto on their day off to meet the man they all thought was dead. The meeting was emotional and powerful, both for Jeff and the first responders. “This is the first time in my career and I know in many careers that we got to meet someone after the fact, this is amazing,” Jon Harper, the paramedic who was on the scene working to keep Jeff alive, tells Global News. “I am very proud of that call. I felt that we worked together as a team extremely well. We acted really quickly which was great. To be able to meet him is exciting, its pretty cool,” Josh Chrisholm says. “A thanks is worth more than anything… it makes me feel like I am doing a good job. A thank you goes a long way. We don’t get them a lot and when we do get them, they last a while. I will always remember this. I will remember the day he came to the station, I will remember today.” As for Jeff, through tears and emotion, he kept saying, “All I can do is say thank you, thank you for everything. You saved my life.”

Voters Overwhelmingly Disagree with Last Budget Cuts to Fire Services


Wednesday October 08, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VOTERS OVERWHELMINGLY DISAGREE WITH LAST BUDGET CUTS TO FIRE SERVICE TORONTO (October 8, 2014) — Torontonians are in strong disagreement with the Rob Ford administration's cuts to Toronto Fire Services in the 2014 City Budget, which removed four fire trucks and 84 firefighters from service. Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales presented a substantial amount of misinformation to council in order to help achieve cuts to fire services in Toronto, despite the fact that the fire chief's job is to protect the city. The cuts instituted resulted in a loss of services to the citizens of Toronto. A new poll1 conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conclusively shows that voters were NOT in support of cuts to fire service, and in fact the majority of them were never made aware of these cuts until after the fact. According to the poll, an overwhelming two-thirds (67%) of voters support restoring Toronto Fire Services back to the 2013 levels, by adding funding for four additional trucks and eight-four firefighters. "The Ford cuts to fire-fighting were a bad step in the wrong direction," said Ed Kennedy, President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association. "We are weeks away from a municipal election, and the new Mayor and council have the chance to make things right by restoring the cut funding and getting the fire-fighting budget back on track in 2015." Torontonians agree, and eighty-six per cent (86%) of residents have indicated that they feel Toronto Fire Services are an important use of tax dollars. In 2007, Toronto City Council made a commitment to meet the National Fire Protection Association's international standards for fire protection (NFPA 1710), but they have yet to do so, and instead have cut budgets back. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Torontonians agree these standards should be met by the next City Council. Furthermore, residents are more than twice as likely to support an automatic increase of resources for Toronto Fire Services to match population growth, regardless of budget impact. "It's hard to imagine a public service that enjoys stronger, more emotional support than fire- fighting," Don Guy, Managing Director of GQR Canada said. "Candidates for council in the October 27th election are well-advised to pledge themselves to restore the Ford firefighting cuts." 1 The poll was conducted online among 1,000 Toronto residents age 18 years of age and older from September 9-16, 2014. The margin of error on an equivalent telephone survey would be ± 3.1%. The survey reflects the composition of Toronto residents age 18 years older according to the Census. The poll also indicated that only one-third of Torontonians want to cut programs to save taxes: voters want to maintain investing in firefighting programs and services, even if it means a tax increase. "The newly elected Toronto City Council will have the power to listen to our residents, and we are asking candidates to show their support for Toronto Fire Services by pledging to reverse the Ford-era firefighting cuts," said Kennedy.


Fallen firefighters honoured in T.O


Fallen firefighters honoured in T.O. 18

By , Toronto Sun

First posted: | Updated:

firefighters
Caitlin James, 29, and her family, mourn the loss of husband and father Kevin James, who was a volunteer fire fighter with the Southwold Fire Department. (STAN BEHAL, Toronto Sun)
Hundreds of firefighters from across Ontario lined up outside Queen’s Park on Sunday to honour those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony is an annual tribute that takes place on a grassy corner of University Ave. and College St. A monument — a firefighter carrying a young child, surrounded by black granite walls bearing the names of those who have lost their lives on the job — was erected at the location in 2005. This year, 13 new names were added to the walls, raising the total number of names from 591 to 604. The ceremony featured a pipe and drum band and an honour guard, and was attended by families of firefighters, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and representatives from more than a dozen fire services in the province. For Caitlin James, the day holds “huge significance.” The 29-year-old lost her husband Kevin James, 48, in July, following a short battle with colon cancer. “It’s an honour and it’s showing us that everything that my husband Kevin James had done for the fire department is honoured and respected and loved,” she said. She attended the ceremony with four of her nine stepchildren. Her late husband was a volunteer firefighter for 21 years, most recently with the Southwold Fire Department. He was diagnosed with colon cancer last October, just two months after he proposed to Caitlin. They exchanged vows in December, before James began chemotherapy. “The day he died, we were married seven months and 18 days,” Caitlin said. Ed Kennedy, president of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association, notes that the 13 names added this year belong to those who passed away from various job-related cancers. Three were from Toronto. “Therefore, now they’re attributed to a line-of-duty death,” he said. Firefighters experience various cancers at a younger age and at a more frequent rate than the general population, he said. “After a number of years of service and exposure, it’s an unfortunate part of the job,” Kennedy said. This year, the province recognized six more cancers as work-related in firefighters.
 


Toronto firefighters shave heads to support colleague's wife


Toronto firefighters shave heads to support colleague's wife 9

By , Toronto Sun

First posted: | Updated:

Jennifer Baker inspects the freshly shaved head of a Toronto firefighter at  station 314. (CHRIS DOUCETTE/Toronto Sun)
Jennifer Baker inspects the freshly shaved head of a Toronto firefighter at station 314. (CHRIS DOUCETTE/Toronto Sun)
 
TORONTO - A Toronto Fire crew will shave their heads at a downtown fire hall Friday morning in a show of support for a fellow firefighter’s loved one who is fighting cancer. Wearing pink T-shirts, something firefighters across North America traditionally do in October to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness month, the crew of station 314 will shave their heads together starting at 10:30 a.m. Jennifer Baker, the wife of firefighter Jason Popovich who recently began treatment after finding a cancerous lump in her breast, will be on hand to watch.


Firefighters aim to extinguish Breast Cancer during October.


 Breast cancer survivor Rayanne Dubkov and some of her firefighting colleagues who have raised money for the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre. (Peter Power)
    Women who battle blazes have a higher-than-average risk of the disease − which is why their colleagues are raising money to help beat it When Rayanne Dubkov, 45, a Toronto firefighter and captain, was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago, she could point to no family history of the disease. “I’m the first in my family to have breast cancer – lucky me,” she jokes. Having spent her whole working life in the fire service, including 12 years in her hometown of Manchester, England, and the last 13 years in Toronto, she suspects the cancer was job-related. Breast cancer, along with several other types of cancer, is an occupational hazard for firefighters. The risk is higher among firefighters compared to the general population, something the Ontario government recently recognized by announcing new provincial legislation that will extend health-care benefits for firefighters with various cancers, a list that now includes breast cancer. And the number of cases may rise as more women are steadily joining what has historically been a male-dominated profession. The elevated risk was one reason why the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) donated $100,000 to the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook. The firefighters’ commitment to fight breast cancer began with a North American-wide resolution by fire departments, predominantly staffed by men, to do something to show their support for curing a disease mainly suffered by their female colleagues. It was decided at a convention that all fire departments would engage in selling pink T-shirts to raise funds. So since 2011, Toronto firefighters have been selling the pink T-shirts every September in support of breast cancer. And each October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Toronto firefighters are allowed to wear the pink T-shirt for one of their shifts. It’s been easy to rally support, says Frank Ramagnano, secretary-treasurer for the TPFFA, because so many firefighters have a friend, mother or sister who has gone through breast cancer.” The service has mainly sold the shirts to firefighters, who are buying them and giving them to friends and family members. “What we usually suggest to firefighters is that they buy it, wear it for a shift and then give it to a cancer survivor,” says Frank. He says that helping Sunnybrook was a natural choice. “It had partly to do with a long-standing relationship that our organization has had with Sunnybrook.” The TPFFA had already been supporting Sunnybrook’s Ross Tilley Burn Centre and regional skin bank. “We also wanted to keep the money local, since fire departments across North America are already raising money for breast cancer. So when we heard that Sunnybrook was going to open up a state-of-the-art [breast] cancer centre, we wanted to assist with that,” he says. “It’s only through the firefighters’ donations and the community’s support that we’ve been able to create this centre, which allows all the different professionals who treat women’s breast issues to come together and work together. And it’s given us the space and the facility to create a number of integrated programs,” says Dr. Eileen Rakovitch, medical director of the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Centre. The centre embraces an integrated breast cancer care model, which essentially offers patients one-stop shopping when it comes to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. The idea is to wrap care around patients’ needs to make the process as comfortable, quick and as stress-free as possible. “Our vision has been to ask ourselves: ‘What can we offer that women can’t get in the community, and how can we fill in the care gap?’” says Dr. Rakovitch. For example, the Marion C. Soloway Breast Rapid Diagnostic Unit allows women to undergo assessment, which may include an ultrasound and biopsy, then receive results and discuss them with a surgeon all within a 24-hour period. PYNK is a breast cancer program within the centre that’s entirely focused on young women and issues that are unique to them, such as early menopause, fertility and preservation of eggs. Meanwhile, the Immediate Breast Reconstruction Program offers eligible patients the convenience of seeing a surgeon and plastic surgeon in the same visit, so they can decide the best treatment and discuss how to optimize the aesthetic results. “The firefighters’ gift has tremendous impact,” says Dr. Rakovitch. “It buys certain pieces [of equipment] that we need, some supplies and dedicated nurses who can train other nurses. We have many different needs and uses for donations on all scales.” Frank hints that they may soon set a new fundraising goal to reach. “And the pink T-shirt tradition will likely continue. I think it will become a firefighter tradition – the fire service likes tradition.” Besides the commitment and generosity their breast cancer campaign shows, it also speaks to their tenacity. As Frank suggests, helping to battle breast cancer through this fundraising campaign isn’t unlike fighting a blaze: “Sometimes it takes a while to get a situation back to normal, but we never give up until we achieve what we set out to do.”


Carbon monoxide poisoning: 5 things to know about the 'silent killer'


Detectors and proper appliance maintenance essential to thwart danger posed by gas

CBC News

Fire and public safety officials recommend having carbon monoxide detectors in homes, ideally outside sleeping areas.

Fire and public safety officials recommend having carbon monoxide detectors in homes, ideally outside sleeping areas. (iStock)

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It has no smell, no taste and no colour, but its effects can be deadly when it seeps undetected through a home. Carbon monoxide is considered the most likely cause of death for three members of a Brampton, Ont., family found unconscious on the upper floor of their home Monday morning. Reports suggest the family's furnace failed during a cold snap and propane heaters had been brought into the home for warmth. The latest deaths come less than three months after carbon monoxide poisoning was blamed for a number of deaths and near deaths during the pre-Christmas ice storm in Ontario. "With carbon monoxide, it's often called the silent killer," says Doug DeRabbie, the Insurance Bureau of Canada's director of government relations for Ontario. "It's an invisible, odourless, colourless gas and so that's why it's so important to have a detector." Here's a look at carbon monoxide and some of the practical measures that should be followed to ensure safety in the home.

How it's produced

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, oil, propane, wood or coal are burned. The danger is magnified when that combustion is not properly ventilated, or when the CO can't dissipate because of a blocked or dirty chimney. CO could also build up to dangerous levels when fuel-burning generators, space heaters, barbecues, grills or other appliances intended for use outside or in well-ventilated spaces are brought indoors or into less-ventilated areas such as garages.

Why it's so deadly

According to Statistics Canada, there were 380 accidental deaths caused by carbon monoxide in Canada between 2000 and 2009. CO poses a particular danger because without a working carbon monoxide detector in the vicinity, there are no obvious signs it may be building up around you. It is invisible, and can sap the blood of its ability to absorb oxygen. "When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it builds up quickly and combines with the blood to produce 'carboxyhemoglobin' (COHb), which reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen," Health Canada says on its website. Without oxygen, body tissue and cells can't function. "The brain is extremely vulnerable to oxygen deprivation," the Canada Safety Council says.

What the symptoms are

It could be easy to confuse the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure with the flu or other medical problems. At low levels of CO exposure, Health Canada says, you might have a headache, feel tired or short of breath, or find your motor functions impaired. At higher levels of exposure, or at lower levels for a long time, symptoms might include chest pain, feeling tired or dizzy, and having trouble thinking. Convulsions, coma and death are possible with high levels of exposure, Health Canada says. If the levels are very high, death can occur within minutes.

What you can do to protect yourself

Fire and public safety officials make a number of recommendations aimed at reducing the risks posed by carbon monoxide. Topping that list is having carbon monoxide detectors in the home, ideally located outside every sleeping area. "We’re a strong advocate of that," says Chris Harrow, vice-president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. "These devices do and can save your life. It's a small investment to have that protection for your family in the house." Fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves should also have regular maintenance, and ventilation should be checked, ensuring it isn't blocked by snow or leaves. "Often what can happen is the monoxide's trying to get outside but it can't and it just comes back inside the house," says DeRabbie. As tempting as it might be to bring a barbecue, an outdoor heater or a generator inside when the furnace quits or the power is off, that's also a bad idea. "Most gas-fired appliances that are designed for outside have to stay outside just because they're not designed and properly ventilated inside. Manufacturers' specifications and directions will definitely tell you about how you properly use that," says Harrow. Safety officials also suggest not idling vehicles in the garage, especially with the door closed, and to wear proper respiratory equipment if working in confined spaces where CO could be dangerous.

What governments are doing about it

Only two governments in Canada have taken regulatory action on carbon monoxide. In 2013, Yukon passed a law requiring every home with a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage to have a carbon monoxide detector. Yukon also introduced a website earlier this year laying out the dangers as well as tips to detect and prevent furnace and ventilation problems. Late last year, provincial politicians in Ontario passed a similar law, known formally as the Hawkins Gignac Act and named after a family of four who died in 2008 from carbon monoxide poisoning in their Woodstock, Ont., home. Regulations are being drafted, and are expected to be published for public comment sometime this spring. The law could come into effect next year.


High-Rise Fire Study Results Support Need for Larger Crew Sizes


High-Rise Fire Study Results Support Need for Larger Crew Sizes

federal government study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that scientifically documents the effects of crew size in responding to fires in high-rise buildings.

The effectiveness of crews on scene of a highrise fire is directly dependent on the size of that crew. Reducing fire protection levels as has happened in Toronto in recent years and continuing the practice of running apparatus with only three personnel limits the effectiveness of crews once they arrive.

Additional information, including a video description of this landmark high-rise fire study is available here.



Landmark NIST Study Evaluates Effectiveness of Crew Sizes in High-Rise Fires


When responding to fires in high-rise buildings, firefighting crews of five or six members—instead of three or four—are significantly faster in putting out fires and completing search-and-rescue operations, according to a major new study* carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with five other organizations.

firefighters responding to fire
Firefighters respond to fire in 13-story high rise.
Credit: IAFF
"Unlike most house fires, high-rise fires are high-hazard situations that pose unique operational challenges to fire service response. How big a fire gets and how much danger it poses to occupants and firefighters is largely determined by crew size and how personnel are deployed at the scene," says Jason Averill, a NIST fire protection engineer. "It's not simply that larger crews have more people. Larger crews are deployed differently and, as a result, are able to perform required tasks more quickly." The NIST study, conducted with 13 Washington, D.C.-area fire departments, analyzed 14 "critical tasks"—those undertaken when potential risks to building occupants and firefighters are greatest—found that three-member crews took almost 12 minutes longer than crews of four, 21 minutes longer than crews of five, and 23 minutes longer than crews of six to complete all tasks. Four-person crews took nine minutes and 11 minutes longer than five- and six-member crews, respectively. The study also looked at the effect of using fire service access elevators to move firefighters and equipment up to the staging floor and concluded that most tasks were started two to four minutes faster when using the elevators compared with using the stairs. The research was conducted in a vacant, 13-story office building in Crystal City, Va., and involved 48 separate controlled experiments, plus 48 corresponding computer-modeling simulations, which evaluated three types of representative fires, from slow to fast growing. "This study will result in better-informed policy and operational decisions influencing levels of staffing and other resources available for responding to high-rise fires," says Dennis Compton, former chief of the Mesa, Ariz., fire department and chairman of the board of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. "These are decisions now confronting hundreds of communities across the country." On the basis of the results of computer modeling, which incorporate data from live experimental burns, the study team concluded that smaller crews end up facing larger fires because of the additional time required to complete tasks. Comparing the performances of different-sized crews, the researchers found that adding two members to three- and four-person teams would result in the largest improvements in starting and completing critical tasks, such as advancing the water hose to the fire location and beginning search and rescue. Improvements ranged from one minute to 25 minutes, depending on the task. The research team also evaluated whether dispatching more three or four-member crews to a high-rise fire—accomplished by sounding a higher initial alarm—would be as effective as sending a low first alarm contingent of engines and trucks staffed by more firefighters. They found that a "low-alarm response with crews of size four or five outperforms a high-alarm response with crew sizes smaller by one firefighter." While much less frequent than house fires, about 43 high-rise fires occur in the United States every day. Between 2005 and 2009, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), high-rise structure fires averaged 15,700 annually. Average annual losses totaled 53 civilian deaths, 546 civilian injuries and $235 million in property damage. The new study on responding to high-rise fires complements a 2010 study from the same research team that looked at staffing levels and arrival times in the context of fighting residential fires.** For more details on the research and conclusions, read the full April 10, 2013, story, "Landmark High-Rise Fire Study Evaluates Effectiveness of Crew Sizes, Elevator Use" at www.nist.gov/el/fire_protection/high-rise-fire-study-041013.cfm. The study was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program
* J.D. Averill, L. Moore-Merrell, R.T. Ranellone Jr., C. Weinschenk, N. Taylor, R. Goldstein, R. Santos, D.D. Wissoker and K.A. Notarianni, Report on High-Rise Fireground Field Experiment, NIST Technical Note 1797, April 2013. Available at: www.firereporting.org.
** See the May 11, 2010, NIST Tech Beat story "Landmark Study Shows How Size of Fire Crew Influences Saving Lives and Property" at www.nist.gov/public_affairs/tech-beat/tb20100511.cfm#fire.


Toronto's Firefighters are valued in our community. Because it does matter......to you.


Lately, there has been much discussion at Toronto City Council and in the media about the cost of emergency service providers, and in particular, fire fighters. Fingers are pointed and familiar lines are trotted out about sustainability and affordability. It's a shame that the real views of the public are missing from this debate. Fire fighters are tremendously valued in our community. Toronto's residents know that we can't afford to be without them. A May 2013 Reader's Digest Poll found that 89% of respondents trust fire fighters, making them Canada's most trusted professionals. Here in Toronto, it's no different. Fire fighters are first on scene to many natural disasters such as the frequent flooding that has hit our city, last year's ice storm,  and several recent structural collapses. Our community knows the critical role that fire fighters play in protecting peoples lives, health and property. Harrowing building fires, mangled car wrecks and heart stopping medical events happen when they are least expected. that's why every second counts. While the issue seems to be black and white, the reality is far more complex. Sure, fires may be down in recent years. That's because fire fighters have been at the forefront of ongoing safety education to the public, such as home safety and building inspections, which is preventing fires from happening in the first place. When not on the site of an emergency, fire fighters are sharpening their skills and maintaining equipment so they can continue to act when our lives and property are at risk. A few extra minutes doesn't sound like a long wait. But when your house is on fire, you've collapsed from a stroke, your drowning in a lake or a pool, or an accident leaves you trapped those precious minutes can be the difference between life and death. Fire fighters care deeply about our community. That's why they lend a hand to many important causes such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cancer care and research, family and homeless shelters and dozens of Toronto based community charities. Most importantly, fire fighters willingly risk their immediate safety and their long term health and well being to protect us. Their families stand behind them every step of the way, all the while knowing the risks and accepting the sacrifices. The bottom line is that fire fighters take on an immense responsibility. While there is no question that our public officials need to be responsible when spending our hard earned tax dollars, do we really think the best place to skimp is the safety of our families and neighbours? Every day, the citizens of Toronto thank fire fighters for putting everything on the line for our community. Now it's time for our councillors to hear it too: you need fire fighters, because it does matter....to you.

Fire Chief Misled Public on Impact of Cuts, Firefighters Warn


Fire Chief Misled Public on Impact of Cuts, Firefighters Warn
Wednesday April 23, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:April 23, 2014 Fire Chief Misled Public on Impact of Cuts, Firefighters Warn Public deserves the whole story about the number of trucks out of service TORONTO -- Fire Chief Jim Sales misled the citizens of Toronto with his claim that taking four more fire trucks out of service is no different than an existing service reduction practice called gapping, Toronto firefighters charge. What the Chief avoided saying in his press conference Tuesday is that the gapping is ongoing, and Monday's cuts are in addition to those previous staffing shortfalls, says Ed Kennedy, President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association. So in reality, instead of four trucks we now have eight or nine trucks out of service every day across Toronto, Kennedy said, and the city has now multiplied the negative impact on the department's ability to respond quickly and with enough personnel to fires, medical calls such as heart attacks and other emergencies. "I guess it's a Toronto tradition, waiting for the media to ask you the right question before you tell them the whole story," Kennedy said. "Anyone listening to the Chief's comments Tuesday would have concluded that Monday's cuts are instead of the gapping, not in addition. I would challenge Chief Sales to look the media in the eye and be clear about the number of trucks out of service in Toronto every day. The public deserves the whole story, not half the story." On Monday, the city decommissioned four fire trucks in various Toronto firehalls as a tax savings measure, a move that needlessly reduces emergency response capabilities while saving taxpayers just two cents per day, in a city that had a $248 million budget surplus in 2012. The cuts roll back the number of fire trucks in Toronto to pre-amalgamation levels, despite the fact that the population has grown by 300,000 and the number of homes, business and institutions that need protection has also skyrocketed. Last year, Chief Sales said taking these four trucks out of service wouldn't affect response times, but on Tuesday he said the city would be monitoring the situation to see if the response times are affected "more than our calculations." But he failed to tell residents exactly how response times are being affected. The TPFFA estimates that emergency road response times could increase 25 per cent in some areas of the city at a time when every second counts. The Chief also talks about working toward improving the city's insurance grading, and cites a number of technical measures from a recent Fire Underwriters Report that are designed to speed up fire department response, measures such as predictive modeling, interactive GPS and pre-emptive traffic signal control. But the most recent cuts were made before any of these measures were implemented or even studied in detail to know whether they will in fact improve response times. "In his press conference the fire chief complains that it's a challenge to keep fire trucks on the road every day due to budget restraints. What's he doing to meet that challenge? Nothing. He's taking yet more fire trucks out of service. It is not a leadership move and it's not what Toronto homeowners and taxpayers expect and deserve," Kennedy said. "Chief Sales says the safety of the citizens and his firefighters is paramount, but his deeds don't match his words. That's my two cents' worth." CONTACT Ed Kennedy,President – kennedy@torontofirefighters.org (416-805-3888) Frank Ramagnano, Media Relations- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org (647-224-3888) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.
 

Mayor's Fire Truck Campaign Tasteless: Fire Fighters


Mayor's Fire Truck Campaign Tasteless: Fire Fighters Rob Ford Exchanges Public Safety for a cheap political stunt FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 17, 2014 TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford's decision to use a fire truck to trumpet his false claims about taxpayer savings Thursday is a slap in the face to tens of thousands of Toronto residents whose fire protection levels will decrease Monday when four actual fire trucks are taken out of service, says the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association. Astonishingly, the cuts and resulting delays in emergency response will save the average Toronto taxpayer a measly two cents a day, says TPFFA President Ed Kennedy. "Mayor Rob Ford's actions today were utterly tasteless," said Kennedy, a Scarborough resident who stands to be affected by the cuts. "Public safety is not a game or a political trinket, it's a mayor's number one responsibility to his citizens. And when the consequences of these cuts to frontline services become evident, Rob Ford had better be prepared to face those families and explain why he jeopardized their safety in exchange for a cheap photo op." Starting Monday, it will take fire fighters longer to reach addresses in the event of fires, medical emergencies such as heart attacks and other emergencies such as vehicle accidents where victims may be trapped and require extrication, due to the decommissioning of four fire trucks. Affected residents will notice increased response times, but won't notice any savings on their tax bills, nor will their tax bills be lower than other Toronto residents whose fire trucks aren't being cut and who will receive faster emergency response. The mayor's claim that he's saved taxpayers a billion dollars has been proven false time and time again by media and by financial experts alike, as are his claims that any cuts to services are inconsequential. Last year, Mayor Ford cut several training officers, which caused the city to fall below accepted standards for fire department training, according to the City Auditor. It was fireground survival training that saved a fire fighter's life in a recent 'mayday' situation Kennedy noted. Training cuts put the public's and fire fighters' lives at risk. "As an affected resident, I'm furious that Rob Ford is jeopardizing the safety of my family and my property in exchange for what is a cheap photo-op in support of his baseless financial claims," Kennedy said. "If there's one thing taxpayers expect their tax dollars to do, it's to protect them. It's supposed to be the mayor's number one job. Taxes should be used to provide essential, lifesaving services – not as a political gimmick or as a stick to beat people with," he said. "If Mayor Ford is trotting out a fire truck as a prop in the election campaign, then I would urge the residents impacted and all Torontonians to ask him why he feels the residents of the greatest city in the world deserve decreasing fire protection and decreasing levels of public safety, and cheap political gimmicks instead of innovation and real leadership. True leaders take public safety seriously." Ed Kennedy President Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association Frank Ramagnano> Media Relations- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org (647-224-3888) Ed Kennedy, President – kennedy@torontofirefighters.org (416-805-3888 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 416-805-3888 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.  

Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association launches petition to stop planned removal of pumper trucks


Beach Mirror The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association (TPFFA) has launched a petition to protest the city’s planned removal of four pumper trucks from fire stations in Scarborough, Bloor West Village and Etobicoke. As of this month, the trucks will be removed from Stations 424 on Runnymede Road in Bloor West, Station 413 on Albion Road in Etobicoke, Station 213 on Lapsley Road in Scarborough and Station 214 on Lawrence Avenue in Scarborough. The TPFFA says the removal of these trucks will compromise safety in the communities surrounding the stations by impacting response times and will result in the permanent loss of 84 firefighter jobs. The association points out that the cost of keeping the trucks in service would be only $8 year a person. The petition asks residents to sign to protest the planned removals of the pumpers and demand that city council reverse the decision made earlier this year on the Toronto Fire Services 2014 Operating Budget. The campaign is called Seconds Count. The petition and more info can be accessed at www.secondscounttoronto.ca/take-action According to the TPFFA, all of the trucks designated for removal have been busy answering recent calls. Pumper 413, at 1549 Albion Rd., has been quite busy; attending two four alarm fires where it was one of the first arriving vehicles on scene and was directly involved in firefighting operations. On the evening of Feb. 19, a serious fire broke out in the basement of a fabric store in the Thistletown area. The heavy load from the stored fabric collapsed early on in the fire, causing the evacuation of residents in the apartments located above the store displacing 10-15 people. Pumper 413 played a key role being the first arriving apparatus and its crew entered and began to extinguish the fire and assist in the removal of occupants, said the association. The pumper was also among the first to arrive at a large four alarm industrial fire at 15 Fenmar Dr. on Feb. 15. President Ed Kennedy of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association said the cutting of the pumpers puts public safety at risk. “Council’s actions reckless and dangerous to the public,” he said in a release. “The people of north Etobicoke and Rexdale are being put at risk by the removal of Pumper 413 and 424 (Bloor/West). Response times will begin to increase by an unacceptable margin. In this business, seconds really count.” Even though there will be one apparatus remaining to man the station on Albion Road, Kennedy stated, “Toronto Fire has long recognized that the lack of resources and station locations lead to unacceptable response times in northwest Etobicoke and that is why the two apparatus were co-located at Station 413. There has been a call for a station to be built in the Woodbine Racetrack area in order to bring response times down to acceptable levels.” Kennedy pointed out in the release that public safety is also at risk in east Scarborough where two other trucks are slated to be pulled – Station 21 on Lapsley Road and Station 215 at 5318 Lawrence Ave E. near Port Union Road. According to the TPFFA, on Feb. 26 just after 7:30 p.m. firefighters responded to a fire on the 10th floor at 3947 Lawrence Ave. E., a high rise apartment building at Orton Park Rd. Multiple calls were received by dispatch for a serious working fire. Flames could be seen on the 10th floor balcony and upon arrival; residents met firefighters telling them people were trapped. First arriving crews made their way to the 10th floor to rescue the trapped residents. The smoke was thick and black and permeated the stairwell and several floors above the fire. The next crew to arrive on scene, Pumper 215 from Lawrence Avenue, (to be decommissioned this month) made their way up to the 10th floor to assist with fire suppression and search for residents. The fast growing fire and heavy black smoke put the large number of building occupants at great risk. Limited resources on scene hampered the firefighter’s abilities to perform both rescue and fire suppression simultaneously in the crucial first few minutes of the fire, said the TPFFA. Crews pulled two people from the building; one from the apartment on fire without vital signs and a second person was rescued from the hallway on the 10th floor. She was brought outside without vital signs. Two firefighters from Station 215, performed CPR on one of the victims until EMS arrived and transported the patients to the hospital where they remain in serious condition. These fire crews and their pumper trucks have played a vital role at many emergency scenes recently, said the TPFFA, and their dedicated response will be missed in the communities they serve and across the city. The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

Two Dead, Two Critical After Early Morning West End Fire


Two dead, two critical after early morning west end fire Friday March 07, 2014 Link below on checking batteries with clock change. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ5yQ94i67k&feature... A serious fire occurred early Friday morning on Dovercourt Rd., in the city's west end. Toronto Firefighter's quick response resulted in 3 victims being pulled from the fire in critical condition. One person was found deceased at the scene and one other succumbed to their injuries after being taken to hospital. Firefighters report that there were no working smoke detectors on the second floor where the victims were found. Firefighters were called to the blaze just after 3 a.m. and crews were on scene within 5 minutes. Firefighters quickly located 4 residents and removed them for transport to hospital. Proper working smoking alarms could have alerted them of the fire. Fifty-five fire-fighters were involved in battling the blaze at the height of the fire. One firefighter was injured but remained on the scene. The NFPA reports that working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Research has also demonstrated that photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective at warning people of smoke from smoldering fires than ionization smoke alarms. With earlier warning, people have more time to escape a burning structure and call to 9-1-1. Your local fire fighters recommend installing a dual purpose smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom and on each floor of your home. "You should also install carbon monoxide alarms in your home and check them once a month," says Frank Ramagnano, Executive officer of Local 3888. Carbon monoxide fumes are poisonous and will increase the intensity of a fire if ignited. Having a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm that work 24 hours a day greatly increases your chance of survival if your home catches on fire. Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working smoking alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' remind you to not only change your clock for Daylight Savings Time but the batteries in your smoke alarms, too. In the case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1 for your local fire fighters. Ed Kennedy and Frank Ramagnano are available to discuss the importance of checking smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Media Relations - Frank Ramagnano - ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) Ed Kennedy, President of Local 3888 - kennedy@torontofirefighters.org ( 416-805-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association. Download Two_dead_two_critical_after_early_morning_west_end_fire.pdf

Mothballed Trucks by Budget Cuts Still Saving Lives


Mothballed Trucks by Budget Cuts Still Saving Lives Thursday March 06, 2014 On January 30th 2014 Toronto City Council passed the 2014 Operating Budget choosing to accept the increased risk and by reducing frontline service levels. This will see 4 frontline apparatus (P213-Lapsley, P215-Port Union, P413-Albion, P424-Runnymede) and their corresponding crews permanently removed from service. March 3, 2014 Pumper 424 Within an hour and a half P424 responded to 3 major emergency calls. At 7:04 a.m. on the Eastbound Gardiner, P424 was dispatched to an emergency call involving a cube van on fire, where they played an instrumental role in containing the fire and cooling two propane tanks located at the back of the van. Immediately upon returning to their station, they were dispatched to a medical call involving a man who complained of dizziness and had trouble breathing. P424 was the first emergency vehicle on the scene and treated the patient. Once again, upon arriving back to the station, they were dispatched to a 4 car collision with one car on its roof with a trapped occupant who suffered multiple fractures and serious bleeding. The crew controlled the bleeding and assisted in the extrication of the patient. February 27, 2014 Pumper 413 P413 responded to a fire at Dr. Flea's on 8 Westmore in Rexdale. P413 extinguished the fire and contained the area, working in zero visibility. P413 and R413 also had difficulties locating the ventilation doors due to the lack of visibility and the amount of merchandise in the building. The crews experienced difficult conditions extinguishing the fire and ventilating the heavy smoke conditions. February 25, 2014 Pumper 215 and 213 P215 and P213 responded to a blaze at a residential high-rise apartment building located on Lawrence Avenue East. Two people were revived by fire crews and taken to the hospital in critical condition while two others were treated for minor smoke inhalation. The quick response of P215, as one of the first arriving crews played a major role in the rescue of these victims. The fire was contained in one unit but smoke conditions were heavy on several floors. http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/2-people-injured-in-apartment-blaze-in-scarborough-1.1704105 Media Relations- Frank Ramagnano- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) Ed Kennedy, President –kennedy@torontofirefighters.org ( 416-805-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

A Safety Message From The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association


A Safety Message From The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association Thursday March 06, 2014 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ5yQ94i67k&feature=youtu.be Change Your Clocks and Smoke Alarm Batteries for Daylight Savings Time Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working smoking alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association Local 3888 fire fighters remind you to not only change your clock for Daylight Savings Time but the batteries in your smoke alarms, too. "Saving your life can be as simple as changing your smoke alarm batteries once a year and replacing smoke alarms every seven to 10 years," says Ed Kennedy, President of Local 3888. Special smoke alarms are even available for those who are deaf or hearing-impaired. The NFPA reports that working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Research has also demonstrated that photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective at warning people of smoke from smoldering fires than ionization smoke alarms. With earlier warning, people have more time to escape a burning structure and call to 9-1-1. Your local fire fighters recommend installing a dual purpose smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom and on each floor of your home. "You should also install carbon monoxide alarms in your home and check them once a month," says Frank Ramagnano, Executive officer of Local 3888. Carbon monoxide fumes are poisonous and will increase the intensity of a fire if ignited. More than 2,300 people die each year in home fires. Having a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm that works 24 hours a day greatly increases your chance of survival if your home catches on fire. In the case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1 for the help of your local fire fighters. Ed Kennedy and Frank Ramagnano are available to discuss the importance of checking smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Media Relations- Frank Ramagnano- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) Ed Kennedy, President of Local 3888- kennedy@torontofirefighters.org ( 416-805-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

These Trucks Do Make a Difference


These Trucks Do Make a Difference Friday February 28, 2014 On February 26th just after 7:30 p.m. Toronto Firefighters responded to a fire on the 10thfloor at 3947 Lawrence Ave. E., a high rise apartment building at Orton Park Rd. Multiple calls were received by dispatch for a serious working fire. Flames could be seen on the tenth floor balcony and upon arrival; residents met firefighters telling them people were trapped. First arriving crews made their way to the 10th floor to rescue the trapped residents. The smoke was thick and black and permeated the stairwell and several floors above the fire. The next crew to arrive on scene, P215, (to be decommissioned in April) made their way up to the 10th floor to assist with fire suppression and search for residents. The fast growing fire and heavy black smoke put the large number of building occupants at great risk. Limited resources on scene hampered the firefighter's abilities to perform both rescue and fire suppression simultaneously in the crucial first few minutes of the fire. Toronto Fire currently does not meet National Fire Protection Agency 1710 standard for Fire Service deployment. Crews pulled two people from the building; one from the apartment on fire without vital signs and a second person was rescued from the hallway on the 10th floor. She was brought outside without vital signs. Two firefighters from Station 215, a station slated to lose 1 fire truck, performed CPR on one of the victims until EMS arrived and transported the patients to the hospital where they remain in serious condition. In April 2014 due to recent budget cuts Toronto Fire will be removing the following apparatus and crews from service- P213 (Lapsley), P215 (Port Union), P413 (Albion), P424 (Runnymede). These crews have played a vital role at many emergency scenes in recent days. Their dedicated response will be missed in the communities they serve and across the city. Media Relations- Frank Ramagnano- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

Albion Rd Pumper Slated For Removal From Service Very Busy With Recent Fires


Albion Rd Pumper Slated For Removal From Service Very Busy With Recent Fires Tuesday February 25, 2014 Toronto Pumper 413 located at Station # 413 at 1549 Albion Road is slated to be removed from service in the coming months by a recent decision of Toronto City Council on the Toronto Fire Services 2014 Operating Budget. It has been quite busy over the past week in attending two 4th Alarm Fires where it was one of the first arriving apparatus on scene and was directly involved in firefighting operations. On the evening of Wednesday, February 19th at approximately 6pm a serious fire broke out in the basement of a fabric store in the Thistletown area. The heavy load from the stored fabric collapsed early on in the fire, causing the evacuation of residents in the apartments located above the store displacing 10-15 people. Pumper 413 played a key role being the first arriving apparatus and its crew entered and began to extinguish the fire and assist in the removal of occupants. The Pumper was also among the first to arrive at a large 4th Alarm Industrial Fire at 15 Fenmar on Saturday, February 15th. President Ed Kennedy of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association calls "Council's actions reckless and dangerous to the Public. The people of North Etobicoke and Rexdale are being put at risk by the removal of Pumper 413 and 424 (Bloor/West). Response times will begin to increase by an unacceptable margin. In this business, seconds really count." Kennedy also points out this is also the case in East Scarborough where 2 other trucks are slated to be pulled. (Station 213- 37 Lapsley and station 215- 5318 Lawrence Ave E). Even though there will be one apparatus remaining to man the Station on Albion Rd, President Kennedy states "Toronto Fire has long recognized that the lack of resources and station locations lead to unacceptable response times in North West Etobicoke and that is why the two apparatus were co-located at Station 413. There has been a call for a station to be built in the Woodbine Racetrack area in order to bring response times down to acceptable levels." Media Relations- Frank Ramagnano- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

GlobalFire Deploys a Capacity Building Team to the Hard-Hit Philippines


GlobalFire Deploys a Capacity Building Team to the Hard-Hit Philippines Monday February 24, 2014 On Wednesday February 26th, GlobalFire is deploying a 14 member Capacity Building Team (CBT) to Tacloban City, Leyte Province, in The Philippines.Tacloban City was destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 8th.The storm was the most powerful ever recorded making landfall.It killed thousands and devastated infrastructure through the region.Emergency service capacity in affected areas has been severely degraded due to the loss of stations, vehicles and the deaths of emergency service workers. In an effort to assist local authorities rebuild their shattered fire and ambulance services, GlobalFire's CBT will spend 14 days equipping and training local fire fighters and paramedics from the Philippine "Bureau of Fire Protection" (BFP). GlobalFire's CBT is comprised of professional fire fighters who are donating their expertise, time and money conduct this operation. Eleven of the men and women on this team are Toronto Fire Fighters, with others coming from Calgary, Lethbridge and the Canadian Office of the International Association of Fire Fighters. About GlobalFire: GlobalFire is a fire service based international aid charity, based in Toronto, with members worldwide.It is an operational arm of the David McAntony Gibson Foundation (DMGF), a registered Canadian charity (CRN 882588619 RR0001) that runs disaster response and capacity building programs in developing countries around the world. GlobalFire has conducted 15 international aid operations since its creation in 2010.All of the equipment, training and repairs GlobalFire provides third world recipients are free of charge. Media Contacts: Matt Capobianco – Manager of Emergency Programs Cell: 416.271.0717 Email:mcapobianco@globalfire.ca Craig Lester – Project Co-ordinator Cell: 705.730.0611 Email:clester@globalfire.ca Frank Ramagnano – Toronto Fire Fighters Cell: 647.224.3888 Email:ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org GlobalFire – 20 Claireport Crescent – Unit #9 – Etobicoke, ON – M9W 6P6 – 416.916.0522 Website: www.globalfire.ca Twitter: @globalfiredmgf

Start a Heart Healthy Lifestyle During Heart Month


Friday February 14, 2014 Start a Heart Healthy Lifestyle During Heart Month Toronto, Ontario –As the second leading cause of death for both men and women in Canada, staying active and improving healthy eating habits during Heart Month this February – and going forward – can help increase public health nationwide and prevent heart attack and disease from happening to you and your loved ones. Valentine's Day is the perfect day to start a heart healthy lifestyle. Coronary heart disease is caused by plaque build-up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart and can result in heart attack, angina, heart failure and arrhythmias. Today heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% if Canadians have at least one risk factor. Heart Month is the Heart and Stroke Foundation's key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians in February and alert them to the risk of heart disease and stroke. Fire fighters respond to cardiac events and know firsthand the survivability rate due to cardiovascular events. "Thousands of people die every year from heart attacks," says Frank Ramagnano, a fire fighter with Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association IAFF Local 3888. The nature of the job also puts fire fighters at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. "Because of the physical demands of the job, fire fighters must stay healthy and physically fit," says Frank Ramagnano. "Annual medical and physical exams are critical ways to prevent and reduce heart attacks and heart disease. Regular exercise, eating a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol are all great ways to reduce your risk." Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association IAFF Local 3888 encourages you to keep the following Center for Disease Control tips in mind to help prevent heart disease: · Eat a healthy diet. A heart healthy diet includes beans, fibrous fruits and vegetables and whole grains. · Quit smoking. Cigarette smoke greatly increases risk for heart diseases · Exercise regularly. Physical activity – at least 30-60 minutes, three times a week – can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Heart Attack Symptoms There are five major symptoms of a heart attack. If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, please call 9-1-1 immediately. 1. Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back 2. Feeling weak, light-headed or faint 3. Chest pain or discomfort 4. Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder 5. Shortness of breath Remember to immediately call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. For more information about heart health, visit heartandstroke.com Media Relations- Frank Ramagnano- ramagnano@torontofirefighters.org ( 647-224-3888 ) President- Ed Kennedy- kennedy@torontofirefighters.org ( 416-805-3888 ) About the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association (TPFFA) represents the fire fighters of the Toronto Fire Services. Formed in 1998 with the amalgamation of the City of Toronto, the TPFFA brought together the former associations into a new association. The association is a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as Local 3888, and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association.

Firefighters ad looks to rescue trucks, staff from being cut in city budget


TORONTO – Every second counts when responding to a fire, according to an ad from the Toronto Firefighters Association that warns of a ghastly scenario should the city’s proposed budget be passed by city councillors.

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Toronto Professional Firefighters Association News Conference


Ed Kennedy, President of the Toronto Professional Firefighters Association, addresses the media and screens television ad.

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‘We can’t afford the risk’: Toronto fire fighters paint dire picture if trucks are removed


The City of Toronto will eliminate four fire trucks and cut 84 firefighters if a budget passed by the city’s executive committee wins approval from city council.

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Riverdale and East York fire halls could face loss of trucks, crew members in 2014 Toronto Budget


That’s the message Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth) underlined while discussing a proposal in the upcoming city budget to eliminate an aerial fire truck from the Riverdale Fire Station at 840 Gerrard St. E. at Carlaw Avenue.

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High-Rise Press Conference Summary


High-rise building fires are a matter of life and death. And as local governments and municipalities struggle with public safety budgets, a new study led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that communities considering cutting fire fighter crew sizes need to take a second look.

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Firefighters Respond to High Rise Fire


Watch video of firefighters responding to a fire in a high rise building.

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Ice Storm 2014: Toronto Firefighters Rise to the Occasion


"The ice storm just prior to Christmas 2013 was a challenging time for so many, especially emergency workers and hydro crews. Toronto Fire Fighters experienced an unprecedented call volume during the height of the natural disaster and as always, rose to the occasion to serve the citizens of Toronto who were in desperate need.”

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Firefighters battle flames, cold weather at three-alarm fire in Yorkville


Toronto firefighters have gone into a defensive attack as they try to contain and extinguish a three-alarm blaze that ripped through a commercial building in Yorkville on Wednesday.

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1 injured in Oakwood Avenue fire


One person suffered smoke inhalation and burns to the leg in a fire that broke out this afternoon on Oakwood Avenue, a few blocks south of St. Clair Avenue West.

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Cabbagetown house fire leaves two residents injured


Firefighters had to battle more than flames when they were called to a house fire just east of Toronto's downtown core early Friday morning.

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Firefighters battle industrial blaze in the Junction


Firefighters battled a two-alarm industrial blaze in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto early New Year’s Day.

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Firefighter hurt in fall at home on Kennedy Road


A firefighter was injured when responding to a call in the city’s east end on Monday night.

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Firefighters donate $40,000 to Sunnybrook burn unit


Now that the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is treating 100 additional patients a year, a donation from Toronto firefighters is even more meaningful.

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2013 Daily Bread Food Bank


At Toronto Fire Station 332 on November 27th, the Daily Bread Food Bank launched it's seasonal appeal for food and financial donations along with the assistance of the Toronto Professional Firefighters' Association.

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Remembrance Day 2013: East York Service


Toronto Fire Fighters participate in the annual East York Remembrance Day Services on November 11, 2013.

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R435 Acting Captain Talks about helping Honeymooners


R435 A/C, Paul Dodds discusses their kind and generous act of helping Italian Honeymooners catch a flight out of Pearson Airport after an unfortunate accident involving a collapsed overhead sign on the highway.

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Toronto firefighters launch campaign against budget cuts


The union representing Toronto firefighters launched a campaign Thursday to combat cuts planned in the city’s 2013 operating budget.

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Proposed city budget could close fire station, reduce resources


Some fire stations across Toronto could be closed as the city tries to cut millions of dollars from its budget.

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