- Councillor's Corner
When people think of our firefighters, they often think of fire suppression. While this is their most visible and dangerous division, Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) does much more than fight fires. Our fire service is equipped with industry leading special operations groups that provide hazardous material responses and a variety of technical rescues including water/ice rescue, ATV and snowmobile rescue, auto extrication, and confined space.
In rural wards, we rely on volunteer fire fighters for safety; they risk their lives to fight fires, respond to accidents and other emergency calls. This initiative first came to me through members of the fire services, mainly Paul Hutt who is now our Deputy Fire Chief. I had also been approached by Osgoode Village Community Association about educating the public about the importance of volunteer fire fighter’s flashing green light on their dash when they responding to an emergency and how important it is to pull over so they can arrive on site without delay. I worked together with my council colleagues through Community and Protective Services Committee to create a Green Light Awareness Campaign, and now these signs are located at the entrance of all our villages. We also worked with Ottawa Fire Service on an education campaign to educate the public on what the green light means.
Many of you are already aware I secured funding to replace sign blades on arterial road and main roads, which have deteriorated to the point that they have become difficult to read. Our volunteers have graciously agreed to help any resident install their new 911 sign blade (through this program or purchased on their own) should they require assistance.
These dedicated individuals also provide fire safety programs and outreach through public education and community events. Without fail, I always see OFS and their trucks at all local community events. These wonderful people take time from their families to speak with everyone about fire safety in their home, as well as how their trucks and equipment work. Our local firefighters also donate their time to help at my annual events to BBQ, serve tea to residents, participate in our breakfast with Santa and Haunted House events; no matter the request, they always rise to the occasion with a smile on their face.
If you believe, you have what it takes to be a volunteer, please check out their recruitment page for more information.