The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) works to provide a strong, unified voice for the province’s fire service leaders. As municipal chief fire officers undertake enhanced roles in the delivery of fire and emergency services, the OAFC ensures that our members’ interests are protected and their voices are heard with respect to municipal, provincial, and federal issues. Our goal is to influence the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the Ontario fire service and safety of Ontarians.

Recent Activities and Statements

February 15, 2018 – Residential Sprinklers

Fires burn quicker, hotter, faster and more toxic than ever before, requiring fire departments and the municipalities that employ them to rely on new technologies and protocols to successfully prevent and suppress blazes. And unfortunately, the average homeowner is unaware of how fast modern fires grow. 

Working smoke alarms, combined with a residential sprinkler system, offer families the highest level of protection and the best opportunity for survival during a home fire. By responding to a fire while it is still small, sprinklers control the spread of deadly heat, flames and toxic smoke.

When residential sprinklers and working smoke alarms are present, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates there is an 82 per cent reduction in fire deaths and fire-related injuries  (for citizens and firefighters), and a 71 per cent reduction in property damage. 

Ontario’s fire service leaders are urging the provincial government to recognize the immense public and fire safety benefits of residential sprinklers by enacting legislation that would allow municipalities to mandate residential sprinklers in new homes.

Read OAFC’s position on residential sprinklers.

September 27, 2017 – Blue Lights on Fire Apparatus

One of our members raised and championed the issue of blue lights on fire trucks in an effort to improve the safety of firefighters responding to emergencies, especially when conditions (i.e. snow, fog) limit motorists’ visibility. 

In a formal position paper, the OAFC recommended that intermittent blue lights be permitted for installation on the front and rear of fire apparatus to improve the safety of firefighters responding to roadside emergencies, with further recommendation to allow the same permissions for all emergency vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act.

The continued safety and wellbeing of members of the fire service, as well as those who make up the broader emergency services system, is of paramount importance to the OAFC. The installation of blue flashing lights on the front and rear of fire apparatus presents a simple, evidence-based solution that will help to prevent future tragedies within our ranks, while making Ontario’s roadways safer.

We were pleased that through the passing of Bill 174 in December 2017, the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) was amended, now permitting blue flashing lights on all emergency vehicles. We are confident OAFC’s continued advocacy on this issue ensured adoption of these provisions in Bill 174.

Read OAFC’s briefing note and position paper on intermittent blue lights.

September 27, 2017 – Bill 148

On Monday, November 27, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, received Royal Assent and became law. Since its introduction in June 2017, the OAFC, alongside our colleagues at the Association of Municipalities (AMO), lobbied the provincial government for amendments to the Bill to ensure municipal employees were not negatively affected by the legislation, when passed.
We are pleased that many of our proposed amendments were adopted. However, not all of our initial concerns have been addressed now that the Bill is law, and we are awaiting further information as to whether additional regulations will be developed to address those issues. We will continue to advocate for these issues until they are resolved.

Review the OAFC’s Bill 148 position paper, released after the first reading of the Bill.

Review the OAFC’s Bill 148 briefing note, released after the second reading of the Bill.

Review OAFC’s key messages regarding the value of the volunteer fire service, in response to Bill 148.

DATE TBD – Two-Hatters

Innisfil arbitration on two-hatters