Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Nice guys finish last

Laura King   

Features Blogs Editor’s blog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Did you catch CBC’s Marketplace Friday night? If not you can see the episode on sprinklers – or, rather, the lack of sprinklers – in seniors homes here. Scroll down to the comments from viewers – makes for interesting reading.

Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs president Richard Boyes said all the right things, telling Marketplace host Erica Johnson that there’s no doubt there will be more fires in seniors homes and more people will die.

Johnson surprised Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci outside his Toronto office and asked him why the Liberal government has declined to require all nursing homes to have sprinklers.

Bartolucci, who has generally been a friend of the fire service, spouted some gobbledygook about listening to what the fire marshal says and enacting legislation accordingly but didn’t answer Johnson's question and was then sprinted off by his handlers.

As Boyes said last week, the OAFC played nice for a while, courting and educating the minister and hoping he would make sprinklers mandatory in all nursing homes. Now, the gloves are off.

The board of directors of Canadian Association of
Fire Chiefs is in
Ottawa for its
government relations week, wooing politicians and planning strategy. This is
the second round in the CAFC’s strategic planning initiative, following meetings
Toronto in
January. CAFC president Bruce Burrell and some of its 23 board members meet
with MPs today. We'll keep you posted. 


A month from now I’ll be at FDIC in Indianapolis with a
group of firefighters from The Fire Within and contingents from several
Canadian fire departments including Lethbrigde,
, Halifax, Kitchener, Calgary and Saint
. If you or members of your department are
heading to FDIC please let us know so we can follow up about the Indy
experience. Email

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