The Canadian government has approved funding for a pilot project that will, for the first
time, collect national fire statistics.
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and
Fire Commissioners are the project leads and will work with Statistics Canada to build a
national, standardized reporting system for fire data.
Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) – an agency of the Department of
National Defense – is funding the $850,000 project, along with Public Safety Canada. Other
partners, including the CAFC and the fire marshals, are contributing $150,000.
Statistics Canada will build the database in the first year of the three-year project. Over the
following two years, researchers will test drive the data to understand its applications and
cross-reference it with existing demographic statistics.
“The information that we’re going to be obtaining is the first time that we are going to have fire-specific data – a national fire database
that’s never existed before,” said Paul Boissonneault, CAFC president. The project was announced this past summer as part of $12 million
in projects through DRDC.
Details on what data will be collected will be determined through a working group led by the CAFC and the fire marshals, along with
national and provincial stakeholders, according to Boissonneault.
Surrey, British Columbia, Fire Chief Len Garis, who was a lead with the CAFC on the project proposal, said for chiefs and chief officers, a
national database means having concrete evidence to make decisions and support requests from municipalities.
“Certainly it will paint a different picture of what our issues and challenges are in terms of protecting Canadians,” Garis said.
Ideally, departments will use the database to adapt quickly and methodically to changes in population and risks and predict future
trends, Garis said.
The pilot project will be up and running pending final negotiations and contract signing.
Read the full VFIS News.
Laura King is the editor of Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter magazines (www.firefightingincanada.com), Canada’s premier fire-service journals. Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @fireincanada