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Tags: hiring, IAFF

Oshawa Ontario approves the hire of 20 new firefighters

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Following a campaign by International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 465 to address fire fighter and public safety shortfalls in the fast-growing city, Oshawa, Ontario has officially taken steps to improve frontline emergency response capabilities as city council members voted on to hire 20 new fire fighters.

The move will see 15 more firefighters than initially planned to ensure a new rescue vehicle at the city’s downtown firehall will be equipped with four fire fighters, the minimum number required to conduct interior search and rescue upon arrival at a structure fire.

“It’s been a four-year journey, but we’re happy that [the] council has agreed that public and fire fighter safety necessitates four fire fighters per vehicle,” said Oshawa Local 465 President Peter Dyson. “We’re very grateful.” Dyson highlighted Oshawa’s recent growth and the need to assign four personnel to the new vehicle in a presentation before the council’s vote.

Dyson told councillors: “It would not only ensure that there are enough fire fighters to protect our city, but it would prevent that gut-wrenching situation where two or three fire fighters roll up to a structure fire where people are trapped, but they have to wait outside for more crews to arrive, letting precious minutes pass at a time when every second counts.

“This budget exercise is a golden opportunity for you to do what a growing number of Canadian fire departments have recently done and make the conscious decision to grow our fire department in step with community growth and ensure that when someone calls 9-1-1 in their moment of need, they get the help they expect and deserve.”

Dyson said that having former IAFF leader and senior staff member Jim Lee on the Oshawa council was a tremendous help in advocating the additional personnel: “We have someone who speaks the language of fire fighters and has a wealth of experience and expertise in fire department deployment and its direct impact on public and fire fighter safety.”

Dyson also thanked other members of council who advocated for improved fire department resources, including Tito-Dante Marimpietri and Brian Nicholson, as well as the Local 465 Executive Board and membership for their hard work.

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