Ontario invests in firefighters, local chief awaits news

A cloudy day at the detachment of Centre Wellington Fire Rescue Services department in Fergus. A flag sits on a grass lawn.
Centre Wellington Fire Rescue Services department in Fergus and its staff awaits word on provincial funding aiming to train and educate firefighters. Photo by Austin Cardinell.
Riley Gillespie-Wilson - CICW - FergusON | 24-05-2023
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The Ontario government is investing $700,000 into several training projects for firefighters across Ontario. The funding will help professional and volunteer firefighters stay safe and expand their skillsets, according to the government.

The Grand at 101 contacted Centre Wellington Fire Chief Tom Mulvey who says the local fire departments are still waiting on word from the province after hearing the announcement.

Monte McNaughton Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development says the investment would aid departments in smaller communities such as Centre Wellington.

“I represent a rural riding of Lambton Kent Middlesex, and the overwhelming majority of our departments are run by volunteers. They’re heroes and they deserve our government’s support as well,” he said.

“We’re giving them the resources and the training they need to stay safe on the job and save lives,” McNaughton concluded.

Mulvey says his group is in contact with the province sorting out details.

Local stations rely heavily on volunteer, on-call firefighters. McNaughton says a new program will aim to spread knowledge among volunteers like those in Fergus and Elora

“Essentially they’re doing a train the trainer program, so they can train hundreds of professional volunteer firefighters, who can then train those in their department,” he stated.

“It really is about teaching firefighters how to communicate effectively in emergencies and in situations that they encounter in our communities,” McNaughton said.

Mulvey suspects it won’t be long until Centre Wellington hears back about their portion of the funds and can begin to utilize them locally.

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