Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management report determines that the City of Sault Ste. Marie is meeting expectations

Sault Ste. Marie - Fire Marshal

The City has received a copy of the Ontario Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) final report on its review of Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services that is expected to be released later today. The report has determined that the City of Sault Ste. Marie is meeting OFMEM expectations under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA). The review was initiated on December 7, 2016 by the OFMEM to confirm an understanding of the current and future level of fire protection services.

The review determined that Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services has adequate programs in place to address public fire safety and education. Fire inspection, enforcement measures, and training records are well documented. The firefighter training program provides staff with job-related knowledge with a thorough pre-incident planning program. Personal protective equipment for firefighters is well maintained. Additionally, all documentation and records were determined to be in good order.

“Overall the results are positive confirming that Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services is meeting OFMEM expectations by having key components in place,” says Peter Johnson, Fire Chief, City of Sault Ste. Marie. “The Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Fire Master Plan exercise currently being conducted addresses the main recommendations that will further showcase the quality service we provide to the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie.”

In assessing needs and circumstances, the OFMEM advises municipalities to consider those things that impact the provision of fire protection services, including, but not limited to type of service delivery system, economic situation, demographic considerations, geography and physical layout of the municipality, building profile, various risks to be protected, and community infrastructure of roads, water systems and hydrants. In total, the review identifies 18 recommendations for the municipality to consider for improvement with respect to some programs, and in the area of municipal fire risk assessment and planning concepts, principles and processes.

A report of the Fire Chief will be provided to City Council at its meeting of September 25, 2017 respecting the OFMEM review and the City’s response. A copy of the report in its entirety will be posted on the City’s website as soon as it is released formally by the OFMEM.


    • Burn-E. Did you even read the report? I spent some of my time educating myself and the report gives a glowing praise for the public fire safety and education that our Sault Fire Service performs. The report does also indicate that there are issues within the Fire Suppression side of the service. Planning that has been put forward without any fact based information to back it. There appear to be many holes in the responses for different types of fires, and the OFM highlighted the very weak bylaw that governs our Fire Service. If you read the report there is a lot of repetition of some things. Not lost inside the 75 page report, is the truth about how poorly staffed the Suppression Service is. Reading between the lines will show you that. Our City Council should be very concerned at the position of liability they have themselves in. They, in fact, are the ones who are holding the lives our our citizens in their hands. They are the ones who will be held accountable.
      Kudos to the Sault Fire Service for taking care of the Fire Safety and Education in our city, but that is only a couple of the things highlighted in this report. Under the FPPA( Fire Prevention and Protection Act) there are three lines of defence. 1. Public Fire Safety Education. This was praised in the report. 2. Fire Safety Standards and Enforcement. This also did well but needs improvement. 3. Emergency Response. This one was left with a lot of holes that need to be fixed. When the first two lines of defence fail us citizens, the third and last one is what we count. We count on these guys to show up at our doors and head on in when we are running out. We count on them to be there. From what I hear from some of the firefighters, the rapport at Sault Fire is improving with the addition of a new Chief and Deputy Chief. Let’s hope that everyone can come to a cross road where the Suppression side is at a safe working level again. Let’s hope that our City council and CAO can also get themselves educated, and fix the mess they have created.
      It would be great to see an employer backing these guys who put their lives on the line daily and put themselves in harms way for all of us. They deserve the same respect and courtesy that we afford our Police and EMS.

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