MP Ron Cannan
The Kelowna Professional Fire Fighters would like to express our gratification toward Conservative MP Ron Cannan – Kelowna – Lake Country for his continued support for real issues that are effecting Fire Fighters across the nation. Ron has recently submitted three letters on behalf of the Kelowna Fire Fighters Local 953 who are a part of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) which has just over 21,700 members in Canada alone.
The topics covered in the letters are as follows:
- Minister of Public Safety – For the future of their families – The need to establish a national Public Safety Officer Compensation benefit in Canada. On average, 18 Canadian Fire Fighters die in the line of Duty each year while protecting the health and safety of Canadian citizens and sadly only a limited number of those deaths have received some form of Line Of Duty Death benefit.
- Minister of Health – Pandemic protection for fire fighters – Ensuring public safety by giving fire fighters priority access to available vaccines and antivirals in the event of an influenza pandemic. Despite the fact that fire fighters are frontline medical responders in almost all Canadian cities, including to calls of respiratory distress due to influenza, they are not identified in the priority group for vaccinations under PHAC’s Guidance. According to experts, a pandemic without vaccinations to fire fighters would eliminate approximately 30% of their workforce which will not allow them to perform critical public safety functions due to such a depleted workforce. This is a matter of public safety, not fire fighter safety.
- Minister of Industry – Amending the building code of Canada – The need to include fire fighter safety as a core requirement in the National Building Code. Fire fighters are required to enter and remain inside a burning structure for an extended period of time in the performance of their duty, which is to save the lives and property of Canadians. Unfortunately due to cost savings with light weight construction, which has been the majority of construction for years, it has now been identified there is extremely poor fire performance of lightweight floor assemblies which may be about to fail just as fire fighters are entering the burning home to rescue anyone who may be trapped. Our code change request in April 2010 was rejected without any explanation or consultation with fire fighters.