Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Fire Fighting in Canada’s 2024 virtual summit focusing on recruitment

By CFF Staff   

Headlines News fire service recruitment retention

Feb. 7, 2024, Canada – Fire Fighting in Canada is hosting its fourth annual virtual summit on Feb. 21, beginning at 11:00 a.m. EST. This year’s theme is recruitment, retention and succession.

Data collected for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs’ 2023 Great Canadian Fire Census estimates that nearly 9,500 volunteer firefighters, averaging 10 to 12 years of experience, left the fire sector. Thirty per cent of firefighters are over the age of 50, broaching retirement soon. Just under 10,000 personnel retired during the census period.

Fire departments are also experiencing increasing call volumes, with 12 per cent of them exceeding capacity. In terms of equipment, 54 per cent deferred equipment purchases, up from 41 per cent in 2022. The study noted that of the $5.9 billion in fire department expenditures, only 15 per cent is attributed to the more than 2,000 volunteer fire departments across the country.

In the opening session, Volunteer Canada’s knowledge, practice and learning lead Shaminda Perera will talk about the volunteer engagement cycle, its stages and how to approach it through a strategic lens, alongside determining effective methods for recruitment, retention and recognition of volunteers. This session will be followed by a presentation from Vector Solutions on managing fire department training and operational readiness.


Then, North Frontenac Fire Chief Eric Korhonen, who is the 2018 recipient of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs’ VFIS of Canada Volunteer Recruitment and Retention award. He will share how he is working to address the volunteer challenges he faces using community-based strategies.

Next up, a presentation from Nederman on effective diesel exhaust removal systems.

To conclude the event, which wraps at 2:45 p.m., tune in for a special Volunteer Vision edition of Fire Fighting in Canada: The Podcast with Volunteer Vision co-authors Ret. Fire Chief Tom DeSorcy and Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie.

The summit is sponsored by Nederman, Vector Solutions and Air Technology Solutions.

To register, click here.

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