Message from OAFC President, Chief Foster - Update on Automatic Fire Sprinklers in Retirement Homes
OAFC 1st Vice President Matt Pegg, 2nd Vice- President Frank Lamie and I met with Premier McGuinty and Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Deb Matthews to discuss automatic fire sprinklers in Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians. We were very pleased with the meeting.
The Premier thanked the OAFC for our good counsel and assistance. He said that this is no longer an issue of "if" the government will do this but rather a matter of "how".
The Premier confirmed his comments in the legislature to expedite the Technical Advisory Committee for Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians. The TAC has been accelerated by 4 months and will be further expedited where possible. They will be looking at many options for improving fire safety including sprinklers, door closers, fire inspections and training requirements for staff. The Premier wants a full package solution that looks at all 3 lines of defense and so do we. The Technical Advisory Committee report should be ready by the end of the year.
While admitting that the government process is complex, Premier McGuinty stated that he feels that this work must be done as quickly as possible and that this issue is a priority for the government.
We offered our support and assistance to help get the solution in place as quickly as possible to improve the safety of vulnerable Ontarians.
In the meantime we encourage all fire departments to continue with their fire safety plan responsibilities.
Chief Kevin Foster
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs