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Innisfil vies to become regional fire training centre

Posted May 6, 2019

Innisfil Fire and Rescue Service and the Ontario Fire College have a tentative agreement to operate as a regional training centre for firefighters.

A report to council by Innisfil Fire Chief, Tom Raeburn, noted work on drafting an agreement has been ongoing for several months as a means of addressing growing concerns with accessing training programs at the OFC located in Gravenhurst.

"Limited access to the facility has made it difficult to maintain the level of training of firefighters to meet industry standards," according to chief Rauburn's report. "Innisfil Fire management approached the OFC to request becoming a Regional Training Centre. Not only would this allow us to maintain the level of training of Innisfil firefighters, it would also allow other Ontario Fire Services better access to the training."

Other regional centres are located in Grimsby, Kingston, and Timmins.

The OFC controls which courses would be offered in Innisfil, including the instructor(s); who will be eligible to register for a Course; whether non-firefighters and non-Town employees will be eligible to register for a Course; locations in, or parts of the Facility a Course will be offered; what equipment and materials will be used by the OFC during the Course; and what time they're held.

Innisfil will be able to charge a fee for any firefighter who is not an employee of Innisfil, to attend each course hosted by Innisfil Fire. These fees will be paid directly to the Town," according to the fire chief. "Over the next few years, as Innisfil becomes more widely known as a Regional Training Centre, it is anticipated that enrollment will increase. Increased enrollment will result in greater revenue to the Town, thereby lessening the dependency on the taxpayer to support the Innisfil Fire & Rescue Service. As Innisfil would be the first and only Regional Training Centre in Simcoe County, Fire management is unable to estimate the amount of revenue that will be realized."

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri