CanSIA & OAFC Partner to Provide Improved Safety, Training & Notification to Ontario's Firefighters

Canadian Solar Industries Association & Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Partner to Provide Improved Safety, Training & Notification to Ontario's Firefighters

 
Ottawa – April 3, 2014 – In an effort to continue to improve the safety of firefighters and the people they protect, the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC)today announced a partnership that will provide improved safety, training and notification to Ontario’s firefighters. 
 
The partnership is a result of both organizations wanting to ensure that firefighters are properly trained to deal with incidents in areas where solar panels may be present. The key to this partnership is making sure that firefighters have the additional training they need when they arrive at a fire site that includes a solar power system.
 
“Our members have always put safety first so we are thrilled to call the OAFC a partner,” saidCanSIA President and CEO John Gorman. “We know solar energy, they know firefighting - it makes sense we work together for everyone’s benefit.”
 
In December 2013, CanSIAset up a Solar PV Fire Safety working committee comprised of risk managers, engineers, and solar installers and manufacturers to liaise with thought leaders in the firefighting community. The goal of the committee was to identify how to make the job of firefighters easier with respect to solar PV.
 
In three short months the solar industry and the firefighting community agreed to move forward together to address safety issues of mutual concern. Shared objectives of the partnership include:
 
  • Providing a safe working environment for firefighters;
  • Ensuring the development of appropriate standardized training,in a solar PV environment,to be provided by firefighters, for firefighters;
  • Ensuring appropriate, easily visible notification where solar power systems are present.
“The health and safety of firefighters is one of the main priorities of Fire Chiefs across the province.  We are pleased that our partnership with CanSIA, will provide additional training and safety measures,” said OAFC President Matt Pegg. “The fast paced growth of solar energy in Ontario over the last few years strengthens the need for more specific training for our firefighters. Working together with front line solar industry experts will assist us in better serving our communities.”
 
CanSIA and the OAFC will collaborate on training initiatives such as the creation of a training program specific to solar power, the development of a solar safety handbook, and will provide reciprocal speaking opportunities to better educate each other’s industries.
 
This Ontario initiative emphasizesCanSIA’s commitment to safety and is an important beginning of what will become a nationwide education program.
 
About CanSIA
The Canadian Solar Industries Association is a national trade association that represents more than 650 solar energy companies throughout Canada. Since 1992, CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future.
 
About the OAFC
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) represents the chief fire officers from the 457 fire departments across the province in leading innovation and excellence in public and life safety.  The OAFC is the trusted advisor to the provincial government and key stakeholders in regards to community and fire fighter safety. To learn more, visit our website at www.oafc.on.ca
 
Contact CanSIA:
Rita Mezzanotte
CanSIA Communications
416.271.0667
 
Richard Boyes
Executive Director
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
905-426-9865