‘This funding will enhance opportunities for training and support fire safety inspections needed to keep our communities safe’
Ontario is providing $5 million in funding to help municipal fire services address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our government has listened to fire services across the province and recognizes the impact that COVID-19 has had on their operations,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This funding will enhance opportunities for training and support fire safety inspections needed to keep our communities safe. We are grateful to these brave, dedicated individuals for their commitment to protecting Ontarians as the fight against COVID-19 continues.”
The one-time funding will help fire departments enhance in-person and online educational instruction needs by increasing access to additional training. It will also support updates to specialized critical equipment, such as high-speed internet, to enhance virtual training and enable remote options to support fire safety and compliance with Ontario's Fire Code while minimizing exposure to the virus.
Earlier this month, Ontario said it has hired more than 100 new occupational health and safety inspectors to support the province’s business inspection campaigns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Municipality fire departments can submit proposals for an initial $4,500 base grant plus additional funding dependent on the population served.
Fire safety stakeholders welcome the investment.
“I want to commend the fire services for their dedication to protecting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jon Pegg, Ontario fire marshal. “This grant represents the difference in allowing fire departments to adapt and respond to COVID-19 related impacts that ensures both community and fire personnel safety, especially within small and rural communities.”
“The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) remains steadfast in supporting initiatives aimed at keeping our fire service personnel safe, while protecting the lives of all Ontarians. This funding opportunity will help fire departments target specific local training or inspection needs, and address them based on the requirements of the community,” said Chief Mark MacDonald, OAFC president. “Our fire service personnel must be properly and safely trained to provide the levels of emergency response services their communities rely on.”