Laurier firefighters achieve auto extrication and exterior attacks certification
By Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative ReporterHeadlines News
Ontario Seal makes it easier for surrounding fire departments to work together
The Laurier Fire Department has become the first fire fighting service in Ontario to achieve the Ontario Seal for exterior attacks and auto extrication under the Legacy certification program.
Fire Chief Tim Hollands says he and 10 volunteer firefighters have received their compliance letters from Ontario Fire Marshal Jon Pegg.Twelve members make up the local fire department.
Hollands said the certification would have been a clean sweep but wasn’t because the twelfth firefighter is a recent addition to the department.
But Hollands fully expects this firefighter to receive his certification before September.
The Laurier Fire Department is not a full service fire department meaning there are some procedures the members are not certified to carry out like entering a burning building.
Hollands says its core services are auto extrication and exterior attacks.
Hollands says the significance of the letters from Pegg is that his firefighters meet all the skill sets required of them during the testing phase. They already performed extrications and exterior attacks prior to the certification. The certification is further proof that they are capable of doing the work to a certain standard.
“The Ontario Seal gives recognition to the hard work each firefighter has put in during the last three years when it comes to training and hours,” Hollands said. “We had to do 85 skills and 27 tests over three years. I’m honoured and privileged to lead a team like this.”
Hollands says from the public’s perspective, it tells local residents “there is a certain level of competence.” He adds acquiring the Ontario Seal makes it easier for surrounding fire departments to work together because everyone is working to the same standardization.
“So everyone is trained to the same level and it gives you confidence,” Hollands said.
Hollands said this June his firefighters next have to complete Hazmat awareness compliance. He says this upcoming testing has nothing to do with the Laurier department ever having to deal with hazardous materials.
“We don’t tackle hazardous situations, for that we call the North Bay Fire Department,” Hollands said. “What Hazmat awareness is, is just that. We are aware of what the situation is and we protect ourselves from that situation.”
In the meantime Hollands says the firefighters have been picking out frames for their compliance letters from the Ontario Fire Marshal.
-North Bay Nugget
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