Waking Up Ottawa with Training, Safety and Survival
The City of Ottawa has picked up on the importance of fire emergency response, as the number of Ottawa residents increases with each passing year. New provisions and incentives, including changes in the administration and execution of emergency fire services, aid in strengthening existing serviceability for Ottawa residents.
The goal of Ottawa Fire Services is to save lives and prevent damage to property. Municipal initiatives reveal enhanced training, distribution of fire standards, community engagement campaigns and recruitment are notable areas worthy of investment. The Ontario provincial government has placed an increased emphasis on implementing preventative measures for fire emergency service operations and new objectives have introduced a shift towards health oriented planning.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Recent months mark the remodelling of priorities for firefighters in Ottawa. Current projects include mental health first-aid training, performance measurement plans, officer development strategies, revisions of recruitment standards and training and sharing in the expansion of a contemporary fire dynamics curriculum under a $1.2 million dollar grant.
The Ottawa fire department participates in several campaigns such as ‘Wake up’ and ‘Fire Recruitment of Ottawa.’ Fire escape plans, mandatory carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarm inspections and a new focus on public education are part and parcel to the changes these campaigns have embraced. These efforts also assist in optimizing community awareness and involvement.
On Feb. 25, 2015, Ottawa Fire Services appointed new chief Gerry Pingitore. Pingitore claims he is devoted to recognizing and alleviating both the undue physical and mental health stressors associated with exposure on the job. The Ontario government supports Pingitore in his ambitions and has agreed to extend healthcare coverage for firefighters.
“Ottawa Fire Services protect us when there are fires, but they are also responsible for rescues, medical and hazardous-material emergencies”
Firefighter training was once rooted only in prevention and suppression. Recent initiatives aim to include multiple other community services, such as emergency medical services, hazardous materials response and special rescue.
Immediate goals for fire recruitment in Ottawa suggest ethnic diversity is increasingly a focal point for new hires, the number of female recruits is rising and eminent attention to the psychological and physical health of firefighters in Ottawa is priority for chief Pingitore.
Firefighting recruitment ?for the City of Ottawa is established through a credential process involving specific mandatory pre-qualifications. The total out of pocket cost is approximately $450 for the applicant. The routine includes written examinations, two screening and follow-up interviews, orientation training, practice sessions and a candidate physical ability test (CPAT).
If this sparks your interest, check out ottawa.ca/careers.