OTTAWA, March 23, 2010 – The Government’s Throne Speech commitment to “protecting the health and safety of Canadians” requires more than crime prevention initiatives, say Canada’s Fire Chiefs. It calls for a national level of safety preparedness – for anticipating and addressing problems that may endanger families, property and businesses.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) is in Ottawa this week to persuade government decision-makers to take action on a number of issues critical to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. “The Canadian Fire Service is a national first responder that needs federal government support to work in an integrated way for the benefit and security of all Canadians” said Calgary Fire Chief Bruce Burrell, President of CAFC.
CAFC is urging the government to take action on a number of priorities, including:
- Ensuring speedy passage into law of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act that died on the Order Paper of the previous Parliament.
- Amendments to the national building and fire codes to require installation of automatic sprinkler systems in new homes. Studies show that cheaper building materials
increasingly being used in new home construction have significantly less heat
resistance in fires before they collapse, injuring and killing home occupants and
- Designation of exclusive radio broadband access to first responders like firefighters, police and paramedics, to ensure reliable communications among them in emergencies.
- Adequate funding to the federal government’s Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) that supports integrated response to major emergencies in communities across
“The Canadian Fire Service is one of the principal guardians of the safety of Canadians in their homes and communities and Fire Chiefs are counting on the federal government to stand behind its commitment to Canadians by addressing these pressing issues,” said Chief Burrell.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) is an in-dependent, non-profit organization with a voluntary membership. Founded in 1909, CAFC was incorporated in 1965 under the Canadian Corporations Act with its head office in Ottawa, Canada. The CAFC is the national public service association dedicated to reducing the loss of life and property from fire, and advancing the science and technology of the Fire and Emergency Service in Canada. www.cafc.ca.