The Drumheller Fire Department at work

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					 August 2001                                                                                                                        Vol. 22 Number 2

Guardians of the badlands

The Drumheller Fire Department at work
As most Albertans know, nestled in                 approximately 5000 square kilometres. It
the “Badlands” in central Alberta is               includes three fire halls: one in Drumheller,        A paleontological
the world-famous Royal Tyrrell                     one in Rosedale and one in East Coulee. In
Museum of Paleontology, one of the                 addition to the fire chief, there are two            perspective
                                                   district chiefs and two deputy chiefs. The
largest paleontological museums in

                                                                                                                                                                                Photo courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum / Alberta Community Development
                                                   department has nine pieces of apparatus
the world. But what they might not
                                                   that are used for firefighting, motor vehicle
know is that this location is also
                                                   collision extrications and water rescue.
home to the very active volunteer
Drumheller Fire Department.                        While Bachynski says that the majority of
                                                   the 70 or so firefighting calls per year are
Fire Chief Bill Bachynski and his 48 volun-        smaller-type garbage and grass fires, they
teer firefighters are responsible for cover-       have had their share of major fires. He              Preserving the heritage of an international site
ing the wide expanse of prairie in this                                                                 is one of the additional responsibilities of the
                                                   recalls one at the high school four years ago
distinctly unique community. The fire                                                                   Drumheller fire department. As a world-class
                                                   that caused “quite a bit of damage” as well
department provides firefighting services                                                               exhibition and research facility, the Royal
                                                   as others involving grain elevators and
to an area of 510 square kilometres and                                                                 Tyrrell Museum displays more than 200
                                                   lumber yards. “One of the unique aspects of
                                                                                                        dinosaur specimens, the largest number under
vehicle extrication services to an area of         our community is that we’re in the valley,           one roof anywhere. It also includes a
                                                                      and with grass fires espe-        paleonconservatory (an indoor garden), that
                                                                      cially, there’s lots of climb-
                                                                      ing to do,” said Bachynski.                                                continued on page 2

                                                                         “We’ve also had a few of
                                                                         our hotels on fire, which is   In this issue
                                                                         a lot of work,” added          State-of-the-art fire services from a rural location ... 3
                                                                         Bachynski. “That really        Changing history at Alberta Hospital Edmonton .... 4
                                                                         plays people out so we         Profiling the Pincher Creek Fire Department .......... 5
                                                                                                        Candle fires on the rise in Alberta ........................ 6
                                                                         work them in shifts with
                                                                                                        A fond farewell from many ................................. 9
                                                                         lots of coordination of
                                                                                                        Holding down the fort at FCO ............................. 9
                                                                         people and apparatus.”
                                                                                                        Fire Prevention Week 2001 .............................. 10
                                                                         Bachynski says there has
                                                                                                        Risk Watch activities around the province ........... 11
                                                                         been the potential for a       New and improved handbook created ............... 12
                                                                         few major fires in the last    You were asking ............................................. 12
                                                                         few years, “but luckily we     Focus on Fire Prevention Canada ...................... 13
                                                                         caught them quickly and        Alberta Fire Training School course update .......... 14
                                                                         put them out.”                 Gathering and learning ................................... 14
                                Grass fires are a constant concern for
                                                                                                        Digest ........................................................... 15
                                    the Drumheller Fire Department.      In striving to keep its
                                                                                                        Receiving recognition for a job well done! ........... 16
                                                                         community safe, much of
                                                                         the fire department’s
efforts are focused on fire
prevention. One deputy chief
coordinates fire prevention                                                                           A paleontological
activities and works closely
with the community in pro-
moting Fire Prevention Week                                                                           continued from cover

each year. Last year the depart-
                                                                                                      houses more than 110 different species of
ment held an open house at                                                                            primitive plants, some of which have remained
the fire hall. This was such a                                                                        virtually unchanged for 350-million years. The
success that it will be contin-                                                                       museum also houses 150,000 fossils in its
ued each year.                                                                                        collection, many still wrapped in plaster and
Because all the members of the                                                                        encased in rock, awaiting study.
Drumheller Fire Department          Three fire halls (East Coulee, Rosedale and Drumheller)
                                    were involved in controlling the fire that destroyed the
                                                                                                      The museum building covers 11,200 square
are volunteers, including the       East Coulee Community Hall.                                       metres on a 20-acre site three miles from the
fire chief, firefighting is a                                                                         nearest fire hall. It includes 4,400 square
second job for everyone says Bachynski.            “The more you do in fire prevention the            metres of display area, a 200-seat auditorium,
In addition to running his own business,           less you do in fighting fires,” says               a research library, laboratories, collections
Bachynski also serves as one of two                Bachynski. That’s why they put an all-out          facilities and staff offices.
deputy directors of disaster services in the       effort into a smoke alarm blitz two years
                                                                                                      Fire chief Bill Bachynski says, “I try to do a
community. “Fortunately, I have a really           ago. “We focused on the older area of town.
                                                                                                      physical inspection of the museum at least
good business partner,” says Bachynski.            We checked each house to determine if it           three times a year, making sure that my truck
                                                   had smoke alarms and if they were being            is parked right out front so everyone is aware
To gauge the level of response beyond
                                                   used. If it didn’t we provided new ones for        of our presence. I also talk on the phone with
emergency calls, Bachynski kept track of
                                                   installation in the homes. It was a good           staff at the museum on a regular basis too.”
calls from Monday to Friday for 21 days.
                                                   initiative that not only enhanced fire
During that time, he averaged eight and a                                                             The museum is designed with an emphasis on
                                                   prevention in the town but also increased
half calls per day from citizens seeking                                                              fire safety. The building includes a comprehen-
                                                   our positive exposure in the community.”
information on anything from fire bans to                                                             sive sprinkler system as well as an alarm
how trucks are serviced.                           Bachynski has been the fire chief for the          system for the sprinklers. There is also a
                                                   past seven years, and was a deputy fire            separate water storage system that charges
With the amalgamation with the MD of
                                                   chief for 17 years before that. He’s also          the sprinkler system. The sprinkler system is
Badlands that took place two years ago,
                                                   taken training at both the Alberta Fire            tested once a year by a qualified company,
Drumheller reverted from a city to a town.                                                            with reports provided to the fire chief. Outside,
                                                   Training School and at the federal govern-
In addition to protecting the 8500 resi-                                                              there is a cleared fire area, with a fire lane
                                                   ment’s disaster services training facility in
dents, the fire department also provides                                                              around the building. The main hydrant plus
                                                   Arnprior, Ontario.
fire prevention and protection for the                                                                two additional hydrants are accessible from
federal penitentiary that includes about           According to Bachynski, his biggest chal-          the exterior of the building.
600 inmates and 300 staff. As well, the            lenges are keeping on top of training both
                                                                                                      According to Bachynski, there have been two
department provides fire prevention and            in terms of paperwork and recruiting. His
                                                                                                      small fires, caused by carelessness, since the
protection to the Royal Tyrrell Museum,            recruitment efforts are a community
                                                                                                      museum opened in 1985. Very little damage
which averages 390,000 visitors each year.         approach. He’s always open to applica-
                                                                                                      was caused.
                                                   tions for volunteers – “especially from
                                                   young recruits who are stable in the               Staff at the museum have been trained to
                                                   community.” Bachynksi enjoys training              evacuate, not fight fires. While the building is
                                                   new recruits and advises them to “get a            staffed 24 hours a day, the actual staff count
                                                   little diary and jot down each call. Then in       at the museum fluctuates. There are full-time
                                                   20-years’ time they can look back and              and part-time staff throughout the year with a
                                                   remember all their contributions.”                 large increase in staff during the summer
                                                                                                      months. “With more than 390,000 visitors a
                                                        In a community that boasts a huge tourist     year, we put a great deal of emphasis on fire
                                                        facility, the uniqueness of 13 wooden         safety and practise building evacuation drills
                                                        bridges and a reputation as a great loca-     throughout the year,” says Marty Hickie,
                                                        tion for film makers, Bachynski is proud of   marketing and media coordinator for the
                                                        the service his fire department provides.     museum. “These efforts plus the regular
                                                        Equally importantly, he is pleased that       inspections from the fire chief enable us to
Luigi Vescarelli, Deputy Chief, explaining to some                                                    operate the museum in a very safe manner.”
                 school children how a firefighter is   there continues to be a high standard of
                     protected by special clothing.     morale among volunteer members.

                                                                                                 Alberta Fire News August 2001
Heartland Hall: A complete safety package for the community

State-of-the-art fire services from a rural location
Travelling along Highway 15 north of Fort
Saskatchewan, you can’t help but notice a
brand new building dotting the prairie
landscape. While there are a considerable
number of large structures on the west side
of the highway, the east side was almost
vacant of any facilities, with the exception
of a Hutterite colony and a few farm build-
ings. The existence of Heartland Hall now
changes that landscape.

Heartland Hall, Strathcona County’s new
fire station, is the home of new and im-
proved fire, emergency medical and
county services for North Strathcona.
Located on five acres south of Highway 15
near the intersection of Secondary High-
way 830, the hall is in close proximity to
major heavy industry in Alberta’s indus-
trial heartland. Heartland Hall is home to a
totally integrated fire department where
all firefighters are also qualified as
paramedics or emergency medical techni-
                                                 Heartland Hall, Fort Saskatchewan
cians. The department is authorized for
five full-time staff on every shift as well as
                                                 Heartland Hall is located in viewing          worked hard to have the hall completed
up to 25 part-time firefighters who are
                                                 distance of one of the largest concentra-     and in use prior to the addition of 1500
called in as needed. The volunteer staff
                                                 tions of petrochemical industries in          workers who joined Shell’s existing
that were at the nearby Josephburg station
                                                 Canada. The emergency management full-        workforce of 3500 for the upgrader project
have also been included in the mix of
                                                 time service that the hall provides paral-    in June.”
firefighters working from Heartland Hall.
                                                 lels the 365-day, 24-hour operations of the
The new fire station includes:                                                                 The hall has been well planned both in
                                                 heavy industries in the area. The hall also
• improved service 24 hours a day by full-                                                     terms of design and capacity. While the
                                                 provides advanced industrial-level fire
    time emergency professionals,                                                              department’s current commitment is for
                                                 and dangerous goods support, features
• satellite office for the RCMP, staffed 40                                                    five full-time members at all times, both
                                                 that are likely to encourage the pooling of
    hours a week, with 24-hour patrols in                                                      the eating and sleeping facilities can
                                                 resources, personnel and training among
    the area, and                                                                              accommodate more members.
                                                 municipalities and industry.
• contact offices for Strathcona County
                                                                                               As well, the facility has been designed to
    Ward 5 and North Strathcona.                 Heartland Hall’s response capability was
                                                                                               provide resources for community and
                                                 developed with extensive consultation
As Strathcona County Fire Chief                                                                municipal users. The front half of the hall
                                                 and dialogue with industry, the commu-
Laird Burton says, “this new hall is unique                                                    is the public area, and includes a compu-
                                                 nity and neighbouring municipalities. One
in that it has been planned to handle                                                          terized kiosk for the public to obtain
                                                 of its most unique features is that it was
industrial risk as well as provide a com-                                                      information from all three levels of gov-
                                                 built prior to completion of one of its
plete safety package for the community                                                         ernment. There are also rooms and a
                                                 major clients. “Much of the focus was on
from a rural area.”                                                                            coffee area for community groups to use
                                                 building the station to coincide with the
                                                                                               for meetings and workshops.
The idea for the new hall began six years        work being done on the Shell upgrader
ago as a way to bring a high level of service    project,” said Burton. “Usually a fire        The back half of the hall is intended for
to a region that was fairly isolated and         station is built when such a project is       firefighters. In addition to eating, sleeping
distant from any other large municipal           finished. However, in this case, it became    and fitness areas, there are also several
partner. “We had to find a way to handle         apparent that the greatest risk is during     study rooms for fire service personnel,
industrial risk as well as service rural         the construction phase. Therefore, we         including one that is designed
clients,” stated Burton.                                                                       to enable exam invigilation

   Alberta Fire News August 2001
(used for studying and taking exams) for                Volunteer fire service comes to an end
the Alberta Fire Training School (AFTS)
and the Alberta College of Paramedics.

The garage is designed to hold six separate
                                                        Changing history at Alberta
pieces of equipment including a pumper,
a brush truck, an advanced life support
                                                        Hospital Edmonton
ambulance, a rescue truck and an engine.
The standard tanker is made of
polyethylene, with a 15,000-litre capacity
to enable the tanker to be filled with foam
as necessary. Because some foams aren’t
compatible with some metals, it was
important to have a tanker made of
polyethylene, said Burton.

One of the most important pieces of
equipment at the hall is a 30-metre elevat-
ing platform. As Burton says, “this is a
huge asset for the region. There’s nothing
else like it in the area. The platform is built
for industry with a waterway to deliver
elevated water or foam, which may be
required for industrial fires.”

The apparatus bays also include a breath-
ing air compressor room to enable the
filling of breathing apparatus and a hold-
ing space for foam purchased or leased by
the major industries. Burton expects that
in the next six months the area will be full            Members of the volunteer fire department at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton
of foam.
                                                        The end of May 2001 marked a significant           pumper, followed by a new truck in 1968
The 20-metre hose tower serves a dual                   change in the firefighting service at              and another one from the Emergency
purpose: besides hanging hoses to dry, it               Alberta Hospital Edmonton. Starting                Measures Office in 1972. In 1981, the
serves as a place to practise high-angle                June 1, 2001, all firefighting services at the     hospital received the first metric truck built
rescue training. If all this wasn’t enough to           hospital are provided by the Edmonton              in Alberta, in Red Deer.
make the hall unique, there will be a full              Fire Department.
weather station on top of the hall, wired                                                                  According to Rudyk, “there have been a lot
directly to the captain’s office.                       According to Pete Rudyk, the last person           of changes over the years, and the shift to
                                                        to serve as fire chief of the volunteer            the Edmonton Fire Department is no
As Burton proudly states, “everything                   department, the hospital has had a long            exception.” At one point the department
about this new hall was carefully planned               history of providing fire protection               had a full-time chief, Lorne Vandenberg,
to provide an excellent level of service to             through a volunteer department. “The fire          plus 24 volunteers. It has also been the
the residents of the area as well as the                department began in 1923 right after the           starting point for many who went onto
industrial component. In fact, one of the               hospital was opened and used for return-           careers in the fire service in Alberta. Two
most critical features in creating this hall            ing war veterans,” said Rudyk. “All of the         of note include recently retired Alberta
was the ability to serve large industry and             volunteers either lived on site, in resi-          Fire Commissioner Tom Makey and
be able to access them much like the                    dence or in houses around the hospital.            Strathcona Emergency Services Fire Chief
service provided to Refinery Row (near                  Each firefighter also had a full-time job at       Laird Burton.
Edmonton). What we’ve created is a com-                 the hospital, a tradition that has contin-
plete safety package—one that provides                                                                     At the end of its era, the fire department at
                                                        ued up to now.”
the best level of service in a rural area.”                                                                Alberta Hospital Edmonton consisted of
                                                        Rudyk recalls some of the significant              11 people. While their services are no
For more information about Heartland Hall, check out    accomplishments of the fire department.            longer required at the fire department,
Strathcona County’s web site at:   “The department’s first mechanized                 they will all continue with their full-time
and click on “Resident Information,” then “Emergency
                                                        equipment was a 1951 Bickel Seagrave               careers at the hospital.

                                                                                                     Alberta Fire News August 2001
Working with community members to reduce fires

Profiling the Pincher Creek Fire Department
One of the unique features of Pincher         In close proximity to the Rocky Moun-              department’s three ambulances are based
Creek Emergency Services is the way it        tains, the landscape includes mountain             out of Pincher Creek. Last year, the depart-
runs its organization. The agreement it       slopes, rolling foothills and wide-open            ment’s response included 24 rescues from
has with the municipality for providing       prairie. The area is well known for its            collisions and a number of ice rescues.
services enables Emergency Services to set    expansive ranching lands, but it is also
                                                                                                 One of the biggest challenges that
its own budget and put forth a requisition    home to the Shell Waterton Gas Plant, as
                                                                                                 Weinberger says he faces is keeping his
to the municipality for funding. However,     well as Canada’s largest wind farm.
                                                                                                 volunteers motivated and trained prop-
what is truly unique is the
                                                                                                 erly, but he quickly adds: “I’m very fortu-
ability to also use revenue
                                                                                                 nate to have good equipment and a good
from its ambulances for
                                                                                                 relationship with the municipality and the
capital purposes. These
                                                                                                 town. But most importantly, I have good
funds are split 50/50 with
                                                                        Fire Chief               captains that not only do lots of training
the municipality and                                                    Kevin Weinberger         but enjoy doing it too. Their efforts plus
town. As Fire Chief
                                                                        Email:                   the courses at the Alberta Fire Training
Kevin Weinberger says,                                           School, where I’m glad to send any volun-
“that way we don’t have to
                                                                        Phone:                   teers who want to go, help me keep our
go back to the taxpayers                                                (403) 627-5333           members well trained.”
for capital projects. It
enables us to plan well.”                                                                        The Pincher Creek Fire Department is also
As part of the agreement,                                                                        involved in many fire prevention activi-
all of the equipment is also                                                                     ties. Each year, the Beaver Mines,
owned by Emergency                                                                               Lundbreck and Pincher Creek fire halls
Services.                                                                                        host an open house. “The open houses
                                                                                                 enable us to distribute a lot of material to
Pincher Creek’s Emergency Services was        The strong winds that regularly blow have
                                                                                                 kids as well as adults,” says Weinberger.
formed in July 1906 by a group of con-        created a major wind industry in the area,
                                                                                                 “We also interact with school students on
cerned citizens. It has grown into an         with many windmills erected throughout
                                                                                                 a regular basis through visits to four
efficient organization that includes four     the land. But as Weinberger points out,
                                                                                                 schools. I visit with the Kindergarten,
fire halls—located in Pincher Creek,          “with hot and dry weather, wind creates a
                                                                                                 Grade 1, Grade 3, and Grade 6 students
Lundbreck, Beaver Mines and Cowley.           pretty high fire hazard, something that all
                                                                                                 each year, plus I attend the Grade 9 Sci-
Cowley is within the municipal district but   our members are aware of.” Weinberger
                                                                                                 ence and Grade 11 Physics classes. This
is a stand-alone department. Fire Chief       recalls a major wildfire that occurred in
                                                                                                 gives me the opportunity to meet with a
Weinberger serves as the full-time paid       the area in 1997. “It started north of
                                                                                                 wide range of students on various fire
regional fire chief, a position he has held   Pincher Creek and with the dry conditions
                                                                                                 safety and fire prevention issues.”
for the past two years. He manages all of     and the wind, the fire spread to Granum.
Emergency Services and its 65 volunteer       It took seven days to put out and required         Weinberger says the fire department also
members.                                      all of our firefighters as well as volunteers      participates in a community fire drill
                                              from Claresholm, Nanton, Fort McLeod               during Fire Prevention Week every year.
The department has a fully integrated
                                              and the Peigan Reserve.”                           Last year also saw the fire department
service providing fire, ambulance rescue,
                                                                                                 involved with the Risk Watch and Learn
search and rescue, disaster and ice rescue    Most of the 65 volunteers are trained both
                                                                                                 Not to Burn materials on a trial basis at
services to a community of approximately      as firefighters and as Emergency Medical
                                                                                                 one school. The success of this project
10,000 people within a 3,366 square           Responders or Emergency Medical Trans-
                                                                                                 resulted in the materials being included in
kilometre area. The jurisdiction borders      porters, which enables them to serve in
                                                                                                 all schools starting September 2001.
the Peigan Reserve to the east, the           dual roles. The department averages
Crowsnest Pass to the west, Maycroft at       about 150 fire calls and 800 ambulance             “Fire safety and prevention is an
Highway 22 to the north and Waterton          calls a year.                                      important part of the work we do,” says
National Park to the south. The depart-                                                          Weinberger. “The more ways that we
                                              The equipment spread across the four fire
ment is responsible for servicing Waterton                                                       can interact with our community
                                              halls includes a full rescue van with heavy
park, except during the summer season,                                                           members increases our chances of
                                              hydraulics, five pump trucks, a water
which runs from May to September.                                                                reducing fires.”
                                              tanker and two forestry bush buggies. The

   Alberta Fire News August 2001
Many people do not use candles safely

Candle fires on the rise in Alberta
Candle-related fires caused 723 fire inci-
                                               Candle fires in Alberta
dents, 10 fire deaths, 168 fire injuries and
$12.4 million in direct property damage in           Fires
Alberta from 1990-1999. The data in the        100                                                                                              92                          6
adjacent chart show a disturbing trend—                                                                    82
compared to 1990, the annual number of          80                                                                                                        91
candle fires has increased 100% in the                                                 59
                                                60                 51        51                                                       71
10-year period to 1999.
                                                40                                               51
A breakdown of candle fires by property
class showed most (90%) candle-related
fires happen in homes, comprising one-
or two-family dwellings, apartments and          0
mobile homes. Ten (100%) out of 10                              90        91        92        93        94          95             96        97        98            99
                                                              19        19        19        19        19          19             19        19        19         19
deaths, 161 (96%) out of 168 injuries, and
$11.8 million (95%) out of $12.4 million in
property damage in these fires, occurred
in homes.
                                               Table 1: Distribution of candle-related fire deaths
The 10 fire deaths attributed to candle                 by age and condition
fires were distributed, by age groups and
condition at the time of fire, as shown        Age of casualty                           Condition of casualty                                    No. of deaths
in Table 1.                                             0-5                              Asleep at time of fire                                           2
The 161 injuries in homes were distrib-                                                  Too young to react to fire                                       1
uted as follows: children under 16 (26);                6-15                             Asleep at time of fire                                           1
men (55); women (64) and firefighters
                                                        16-25                            Asleep at time of fire                                           2
(16). The condition of 145 injured civilian
casualties (other than firefighters) in                 26-35                            Asleep at time of fire                                           1
candle fires, in Alberta homes, is shown
                                                        Over 65                          Condition unknown                                                2
in Table 2.
                                                                                         Asleep at time of fire                                           1

Where do candle fires start
in Alberta homes?
•   36% in bedrooms                            Table 2: Distribution of injured civilian casualties in candle-related
•   35% in living rooms/family rooms/dens               fires in Alberta homes, by condition
•   7% in kitchens
                                               Condition of casualty                                            No. of injuries                                 %
•   6% in dining rooms
•   5% in bathrooms                            Asleep at time of fire                                                       61                                  42

                                               Awake and normal                                                             58                                  40
Where else do candle
fires occur?                                   Condition of casualty unknown/unclassified                                   18                                  12

About 10% of candle fires occurred in          Impaired: drugs/alcohol/medication                                            5                                   3
other property classes. The most fre-          Too young to react to fire                                                    2                                   1
quently affected property classes besides
homes are hostels/inns/lodges, outdoor         Senility                                                                     1                                    1
properties, individual auto parking ga-        Total                                                                     145                                   100
rages and general business offices.

                                                                                                      Alberta Fire News August 2001
The share of fires started by candles in
                                                  Per cent of fires started by candles in Alberta homes
Alberta homes has tripled from 2% to 6%
between 1990 and 1999, as the adjacent              % of Fires
chart illustrates. This increase is partly         6%                                                                                                                                                      5.9
because total home fires have declined in                                                                                                                                    5  .1%
number and partly because the number of            5%
                                                                                                                                                  .1%                                         %
candle fires in homes has increased.                                                                                             4%           4                                          5.4
                                                                                                             %                                                %
Since candle fires are high in both fre-                                                              2.8                                                 4.2
quency and severity in homes, compared             3%
to all other property classes, further                                  2%
analyses was focussed on candle fires in                                              %                                %
                                                                                  2.1                            2.3
Alberta homes.                                     1%

How do the fires start?                                              90              91           92               93        94              95              96           97              98          99
• 59% because of accidents*                                        19            19             19               19        19          19               19              19             19           19
• 9% because of children playing with
  candles or something combustible
  near candles                                   When do candle fires occur?
• 8% because some form of combustible
                                                 Candle fires were more frequent in the months of November, December and January,
  material was left too close to a candle
                                                 with a peak in December, at 2.5 times the average monthly number of incidents.
• 7% because of ignorance of hazard
• 4% because candles were misused as a           The chart below shows the distribution of candle fires by month.
  source of ignition
• 4% because occupant fell asleep with            Distribution of candle fires by month in Alberta homes (1990-1999)
  the candle burning
• 2% because occupant was distracted                  Fires                                                                                                                                                  1
  or preoccupied                                   160
*The word accident is being phased out of
injury prevention literature as it conveys the     120
meaning of an unpredictable event that             100
cannot be prevented. The Fire Commissioner’s
Statistics Reporting Manual (1988 edition)          80
contains this word, hence the usage above.
                                                    60         74                                                                                                                              70
                                                                                43                        43                                                                 45
                                                                                                                             38                     32
                                                    40                                     53
What do candles ignite first?                       20                                                                34              29                          29
• Furniture (not upholstered) – 12%
• Bedding/mattress/pillow – 10%
                                                                ry           ry           rch          ril             y        e
                                                                                                                                         y           st           be
                                                                                                                                                                                  r           r
                                                                                                                                                                                            be mbe
                                                              ua          rua         Ma             Ap           Ma       Jun                     gu         m            to            em
• Furniture (upholstered) and furniture                  Jan         Feb                                                                      Au          pte           Oc            ov         ce
                                                                                                                                                        Se                        N           De
  (unclassified) – 8%
• Plastics – 7%
• Paper stock – 6%
• Carpets/rugs – 6%                              How can candles be used safely?
• Curtains/blinds – 5%                           There are two basic strategies to prevent candle-related fires. First, avoid using candles
• Paper decorations – 4%                         whenever possible, and second, if candles are used, keep potential fuels as far from the
                                                 flame as possible. Although there is much scope for human error when candles are used,
                                                 the fact remains that every unwanted fire starts when a heat source and a fuel are
                                                 brought together. The potential scenarios that can unfold with an unattended candle are
                                                 numerous. Fire safety education programs should train consumers to imagine potential
                                                 ignition scenarios so they can decide how to avoid potential fires.

                                                                                                                                                                                 continued on next page

   Alberta Fire News August 2001
                                                     6. Never leave children or pets alone in
Safety tips
1. Keep lit candles away from
                                                        a room with lit candles. Children can         How hot is a
                                                        play with the flame and start a fire or
   combustible items such as clothing,
                                                        be burned. Do not allow older                 candle flame?
   books, curtains, Christmas trees and
                                                        children to light candles in their
   paper decorations.                                                                                                              Final combustion
                                                        bedrooms. A forgotten candle is all it                                     products
2. Make sure to mount candles on non-
                                                        takes to start a fire.                                                     Luminous zone of
   combustible holders that won’t tip                                                                                              incandescent soot
                                                     7. During power outages exercise caution                                      (yellow)
   over and are big enough to collect
                                                        when using candles as a source of light.
   dripping wax.                                                                                         1200˚C                    Main reaction zone
                                                        Many destructive fires start during such
3. Don’t place lit candles in windows                                                                    1000˚C                    Soot formed (dark)
                                                        times since potential fire hazards can           1400˚C                    CH and C2 zone (blue)
   where blinds or curtains may close
                                                        go unnoticed in the relative darkness.                                     O2 diffuses into flame
   over them, and don’t use them in
                                                     8. Never use a candle for light when                 800˚C                    Fuel vapourized and
   places where children or pets could                                                                    600˚C
                                                        fueling equipment such as a camp-fuel                                      Fuel rises up wick
   knock them over.
                                                        heater or lantern.                                                         Fuel liquefied
4. Snuff candles out when leaving the
                                                     9. When buying or using novelty candles,
   room or going to sleep. Remember
                                                        try to determine if they might pose a
   that 70% of fire deaths related to                                                                 The above illustration from Fire by Hazel
                                                        potential fire hazard. If they do, or you     Rossotti (1993) shows several reaction
   candle fires happened while the
                                                        suspect they might, inform your local         zones and their corresponding temperatures
   victims were asleep.                                                                               within a candle flame. Consumers who use
                                                        fire department or the Product Safety
5. Never let a candle burn down to                                                                    candles for light, decoration, birthday cakes
                                                        Bureau of Health Canada in Edmonton           and vapourizing scents need to recognize
   the bottom.
                                                        or Calgary.                                   that a burning candle is an open flame or a
                                                                                                      “hot spot” that is at a high enough
Further information on candle safety is available in the Health Canada public education               temperature to ignite nearby combustible or
bulletin at:                                   flammable materials.

Although data on candle sales in Canada              play with candles because they are curi-       result, relight candles have been prohib-
or Alberta were not available from Statis-           ous and the flames are fascinating to          ited from being imported, advertised or
tics Canada, it is apparent that candle              them. Sometimes people fall asleep with        sold in Canada since May 1, 1977. This
usage has grown significantly in North               candles burning. Both the fatality and         prohibition is enforced by the Consumer
America during the last decade. A Na-                injury data (Tables 1 and 2) certainly         Product Safety Program of Health Canada.
tional Fire Prevention Association report,           indicate that falling asleep is a major
                                                                                                    Other than the above prohibition of relight
Candle Fires in U.S. Homes and Other                 factor. Furthermore, the frequency of
                                                                                                    candles, there are no standards established
Occupancies, indicates that the candle               candle fires shoots up during the festive
                                                                                                    to regulate the manufacture or import of
industry has grown 10 to 15% annually,               month of December. Public education
                                                                                                    candles in Canada. Consumers also as-
and the growth rate shows no signs of                about safety measures when using candles
                                                                                                    sume that their candle holders are safe,
slowing. Candle consumer retail sales in             is therefore important.
                                                                                                    and don’t expect them to break or catch
the United States were projected at $2.3
                                                     Not all candles are designed to burn safely.   fire. Again, there are no standards for
billion for 2000. The National Candle
                                                     In the past, Health Canada and provincial      candle containers. Although some glass
Association (NCA) estimates there are
                                                     fire commissioners and fire marshals have      containers are made of tempered glass that
more than 300 commercial, religious, or
                                                     issued warnings of hazardous candles sold      can withstand high temperatures, others
industrial candle manufacturers in the
                                                     in Canada. Similar actions have been           are not. Until suitable standards are avail-
United States, and each major manufac-
                                                     taken by the Consumer Product Safety           able, voluntary safety labels should be
turer offers 1,000 to 2,000 kinds of candles.
                                                     Commission in the United States, which         considered for all candles sold in Canada.
The NCA also reports that candles are
                                                     has issued recalls for some candles, candle    The American Society for Testing and
used in seven out of 10 households.
                                                     holders and candle shades in the past          Materials, through its Consumer Products
Fire statistics show that too many candle            five years.                                    Subcommittee of Candles and Candle
users do not know how to use them safely.                                                           Products, recently published a standard for
                                                     The Association of Canadian Fire Mar-
Most candle fires involve human error—                                                              such precautionary labeling of candles and
                                                     shals and Fire Commissioners passed a
someone leaving a candle unattended or                                                              candle products. A copy of this standard
                                                     resolution at its 52nd Annual Conference
leaving the candle too near a combustible                                                           can be ordered from:
                                                     in 1973 that the so-called relight candles
material (e.g. curtains, furniture, decora-
                                                     should be considered a hazardous product        Prepared by Mahendra Wijayasinghe, with the
tions). Unsupervised children frequently
                                                     and requested banning these products            assistance of the following at Health Canada:
                                                     under the Hazardous Products Act. As a          Cecylia Bilous, Tom Ben and Kelly Lehman.

                                                                                               Alberta Fire News August 2001
Best wishes to Tom Makey

A fond farewell from many
A fine tribute was paid to Tom Makey          Lethbridge Fire Department Fire Chief;
upon his retirement from the position of      Terry Murray, AFTS Board Chairman;
Fire Commissioner of Alberta. After           Rick McCullough, Saskatchewan’s
spending more than 40 years with the          Fire Commissioner, and his wife
provincial government, and meeting an         Wendy who also gave a
enormous number of firefighters from          tribute to Tom’s wife
across Canada and beyond, it was no           Cathy; Pat Graham,
wonder that his farewell dinner was so
well attended. More than 200 came to say
goodbye and provide best wishes, and
many more wishes came from those who
were unable to attend.

In addition to his wife, three sons, one
daughter and their growing families,
many other special people joined                                            President,
Tom at the celebration including a                                     Alberta Fire
few from many miles away. Those                                   Chiefs Association;
making presentations included Dennis                         Laird Burton, Strathcona
Gartner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Mu-                  Country Emergency Services
nicipal Affairs; Wayne Morris, Calgary Fire         Fire Chief; and Betty Hall-Petry,
Department Fire Chief; Doug Popowich,           AFTS board member.
Manitoba’s Fire Commissioner;                                                               service; Michael Wood, Lac La Biche
                                              Some of the other many distinguished          Fire Chief; Bill MacKay, retired Fire
Don Gnatiuk, CEO, Alberta Fire Training
                                              guests included Gerald Pickett, Nunavut       Commissioner; and Lorne Vandenberg,
School (AFTS); Frank Albert, Cote St. Luc,
                                              Fire Marshal; Bill Eckel from High Prairie    retired Alberta Hospital Edmonton
Quebec Fire Chief and Past President, Fire
                                              who recently retired after 45 years of fire   Fire Chief.
Prevention Canada; Tom Wickersham,

Changes at the Fire Commissioner’s Office

Holding down the fort at FCO
A lot of changes are taking place at the      Damage Control. Graham also spent five
Fire Commissioner’s Office (FCO). First it    years in the construction industry before
moved to a new location, then the long-       acquiring experience and training with
serving Tom Makey retired. The latest         various fire departments on the west coast.   Neelu Jairath , Sarah Barter, Pat Graham,
change is the inclusion of Pat Graham as      Graham spent many years with the Victo-       Wayne Girven, Gloria Mercer, Mahendra Wijayasinghe
the Acting Fire Commissioner.                 ria, B.C. fire department, first as a fire-   Directors. He also has experience in the
                                              fighter before progressing through a          command of major city fire combat units
Joining the team on a short-term basis
                                              number of positions including: Lieutenant     having trained with the Seattle Fire De-
while the department conducts a country-
                                              Investigator, Deputy Fire Chief, Adminis-     partment, the Victoria Fire Department,
wide search for a new Fire Commissioner,
                                              tration and Deputy Fire Chief, Operations.    the Washington State Fire Training School
Graham’s enthusiasm, experience and
                                              Graham then provided fire safety and          and the B.C. Fire Academy.
education are much appreciated during
                                              emergency response services for Alberta’s
this transition period.                                                                     Graham says he’s enjoying the position
                                              Solicitor General before moving to his
                                                                                            of Acting Fire Commissioner. “It’s a great
Originally from Ireland, Graham attended      most recent position of Fire Chief of the
                                                                                            opportunity for me. I’m working with a
the Merchant Naval Cadet College in           Municipal District of Rocky View No. 44.
                                                                                            great team, and it’s a privilege to provide
Belfast, North Ireland, then spent five
                                              Graham is President of the Alberta Fire       input on how the FCO will continue
years with the Royal Canadian Navy in the
                                              Chiefs Association and the Vice Chair of      to meet the challenges of
Communications Division and Firefighting
                                              the Alberta Fire Training School Board of     the future.”
   Alberta Fire News August 2001
Teaching people how to prevent home fires

Fire Prevention Week 2001
The National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA), the official sponsor of Fire Pre-
vention Week for 79 years, has announced        Major causes of Alberta home fires (1991-2000)
that this year’s campaign—October 7-13,
                                                                                           Unknown 12%
2001—has a baseball theme, “Cover the
Bases and Strike Out Fire.” It is also the                                                                      Electrical 6%
theme for Fire Prevention Week (FPW)                      Cooking   24%
across North America.                                                                                                           All other causes 11%

What do baseball and fire safety
have in common?
                         Lots!                                                                                                  Heating 10%

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign        Arson or set fire 10%
                                                                                                                           Child fireplay 6%
highlights some “striking” similarities
                                                                                                             Candles 5%
between the two and teaches people some                                    Smoking 12%
simple steps to prevent home fires.                                                          Clothes Dryer 4%

According to the NFPA, human error and          years, “Fire Drills: The Great Escape!” was              The following table summarizes what the
problems associated with cooking, heat-         FPW’s campaign theme focusing on home                    Fire Commissioner’s Office (FCO) in
ing, and the equipment that provides            fire escape planning and practice. So far,               Alberta has planned to promote this year’s
electrical service are among the leading        documented reports confirm that 74 lives                 Fire Prevention Week campaign:
causes of home fires in the United States.      have been saved in North America—mostly
Alberta home fire statistics also support       children—as a result of that campaign.
this conclusion, as the accompanying pie
chart demonstrates—40 per cent of all
home fires result from cooking, home              Promotional plans for Fire Prevention Week 2001
heating and electrical hazards.
FPW 2001 combines a favourite pastime            Promotional Items                                                                     Distribution Date
with important fire safety tips to teach         Fire Commissioner’s Office 2001 Fire Prevention Week Campaign Kit                     August 15, 2001
children and their families how they can         Contents include in-depth coverage of cooking, heating and electrical fire safety
“cover the bases” to “strike out” prevent-       as well as Alberta fire statistics and the municipal fire loss picture. Kit to be
                                                 distributed to all fire departments; regional health authorities; safe communities
able home fires. Since it is known that
                                                 network; Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association. The kit will be posted on the
children are very effective at driving fire      Internet web site of Alberta municipal Affairs at under Fire
safety messages home, where the risk of          Commissioner’s Office. In addition, radio and TV stations will be contacted to
fire is greatest, special effort will be made    explore further avenues for promoting FPW.
to include children in this Fire Prevention      Fire Prevention Canada Fire Prevention Week Kit 2001                                  August 15, 2001
Week campaign, with the help from fire-          Distributed nationally, and within Alberta by the FCO. Provides a national
fighters and teachers.                           perspective in both English and French. Includes Governor General of Canada’s
                                                 FPW proclamation, ready-made public service announcements and a media
This year, a baseball diamond will be used       release, Canadian fire loss statistics and fire safety articles.
as a visual cue. The first three bases on the
                                                 NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week Kit                                                       August 15, 2001
FPW diamond represent important fire             Contains the theme and what it means in relation to this year’s FPW, and US
hazards in homes—cooking, heating and            fire statistics, safety articles, and a Home Fire Safety Checklist
electrical hazards. The fourth or home plate
                                                 McDonald’s Fire Prevention Week Program                                               September 4, 2001
serves as a reminder to children to conduct      McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, working in partnership with the FCO and
smoke alarm testing and home fire escape         participating fire departments, will provide worksheets for children in Grades K
planning with parents and caregivers.            to 3 in communities served by McDonald’s outlets. In June, the FCO surveyed
                                                 selected fire departments to assess interest, and those who responded
FPW campaigns are often cited by fire            favourably will be sent shipments of worksheets in early September.
safety experts as being extremely useful in      McDonald’s program also offers opportunities for a Fire Chief for a Day contest,
           delivering fire safety messages       and a chance to win a trip for four to Disney World, Florida.
             to families. For the last three
                                                                                                  Alberta Fire News August 2001
Program a success in Grande Prairie

Risk Watch activities around the province...
Last issue we brought news of how the         For the two years of funding for this
Bonnyville area was implementing the          program, Dixon also has a number of
Risk Watch program in its area. This issue,   tasks, including:
our focus is on Grande Prairie.
                                              • Providing schools with a collection of
                                                                                           recognition for
After successfully piloting Risk Watch in       appropriate pamphlets and informa-         Grande Prairie
two schools, Grande Prairie and Area Safe       tion on where to order them
Communities received funding from the         • Establishing resource tubs with useful     fire chief
Wild Rose Foundation to provide resources       items for teachers and presenters
and a part-time coordinator to support        • Maintaining a Risk Watch bulletin
teachers in implementing this injury            board in schools
prevention program in the community.          • Maintaining a list of relevant videos
                                                           that are available
                                                         • Presenting to other com-
                                                           munity organizations so
                                                           that they are aware of the
                                                         • Conducting an Injury            Stewart Wilson, president of Grande Prairie
                                                           Behaviour Survey every          and Area Safe Communities, presents
                                                                                           awards to fire chief Bill Walker.
                                                           year to track long-term
                                                           behaviour change success        On an annual basis, Grande Prairie and Area
                                                         • Providing prizes and certifi-   Safe Communities honours individuals, groups
                                                           cates for “graduation”          and organizations with a safety award. The
                                                           ceremonies every spring         award recognizes a commitment and dedica-
                                                         • Charting how Risk Watch         tion to injury prevention to reduce the impact
                                                           activities link into other      of illness and injury in the community.
                                                           curricular areas
                                                                                           This year’s winner was Bill Walker, fire chief of
                                                         With funding from the Alberta     the Grande Prairie Fire Department. Walker’s
                                                         Centre for Injury Control         commitment to the community started back in
                                                         (ACICR) Community Injury          the late 1980s when he initiated the first Safe
                                                         Control Fund, Dixon also          Community group. Over the years, both he
                                                         conducted a poster contest        and his staff have provided hundreds of hours
According to Angie Dixon, Risk Watch          this spring. “It was advertised in Grande    of support to the Safe Communities organiza-
Coordinator, teachers in three additional     Prairie and area through schools, “ said     tion. Walker’s other contributions included
                                              Dixon. “We had many great posters and        sponsoring and maintaining the Risk Watch
schools have been trained and provided
                                              will be scanning them for duplication and    program, involvement in creating the Grande
with manuals. “But in Grande Prairie the
                                              sharing with other communities.”             Prairie and District Burn Society, serving as a
support doesn’t stop there,” said Dixon.
                                                                                           member of the Alberta Centre for Injury
“We have 11 different organizations           While Dixon continues to focus on bring-     Control and Research (ACICR) and assisting
actively doing presentations to students      ing more schools into the Risk Watch         Safe Communities in the development of a
and our teachers have an up-to-date           family next year, she’s pleased with the     Safety City for Grande Prairie.
contact list for these people, so the pro-    results to date. “The Risk Watch program
gram is really reaching out to everyone.”                                                  According to Kim Fenton, Executive Director
                                              has had a huge success in Grande Prairie
                                                                                           of Grande Prairie and Area Safe Communities,
                                              largely because of the incredible support
                                                                                           Walker is very deserving of this award. “Bill’s
                                              from the Grande Prairie Fire Department,”
                                                                                           overall commitment to injury prevention in the
                                              said Dixon. “Office space, laminating,
                                                                                           community has had a tremendous impact,”
                                              staffing display booths—no matter what
                                                                                           said Fenton. “Through his continued support
                                              we needed, members of the fire depart-
                                                                                           of injury prevention programs and awareness
                                              ment lent a hand in helping.”
                                                                                           in the community, he is helping make Grande
                                                                                           Prairie a truly safe community.”

   Alberta Fire News August 2001
Understanding the profiles of juvenile firesetters                                                  Expert advice from our two Rays

New and improved juvenile firesetter You were
intervention handbook created        asking...
A new juvenile firesetter intervention         levels of firesetting risk—little, definite,         Q. When refueling my
handbook has been created. The hand-           and extreme—leads to specific types of                  vehicle I have noticed
book was prepared for the United States        intervention, including evaluation,                     that a number of com-
Fire Administration, Federal Emergency         education, referral and follow-up. These                panies have removed
Management Agency (FEMA) by Jessica            are the critical components of a juvenile               the latch-open device
Gaynor, Ph.D.                                  firesetter program.                                     on the dispensing
                                                                                                       nozzle. Can I wedge
The new handbook expands on the con-           To provide a complete complement of
                                                                                                       open the nozzle while
tent provided in the Alberta Juvenile          services to juvenile firesetters and their
                                                                                                       I attend to my windows,
Firesetter Handbook & Resource Directory       families, the juvenile firesetter program
                                                                                                       check the oil, etcetera?
(Second Edition, 1998) that                               must be part of a community
was distributed to all fire                               network. This network consists            A. The practice of wedging
departments, and to partici-                              of a continuum of care designed              open the nozzle is not permitted and
pating psychologists, psy-                                to provide a range of interven-              can lead to a serious situation if the
chiatrists, and social workers                            tion services, including preven-             nozzle falls during dispensing. At
in Alberta in early 1999. The                             tion, immediate treatment and                facilities where latch-open devices
Alberta publication refer-                                graduated sanctions to juvenile              have been removed, the person filling
enced three FEMA hand-                                    firesetters and their families.              the fuel tank must continuously oper-
books designed for                                        Finally, there is a specific set of          ate the nozzle. Some gas companies
assessment and intervention                               tasks that will ensure the deliv-            have removed the latch-open device
of juvenile firesetters in three                          ery of swift and effective inter-            due to a small number of incidents
corresponding age groups:                                 vention to at-risk youth and                 involving a static electric discharge
• Preadolescent Firesetter Handbook:           their families.                                         when individuals return to the
    Ages 0-7                                                                                           dispensing nozzle.
                                               Target audiences for this handbook are
• Preadolescent Firesetter Handbook:
                                               diverse. Because the fire service operates           Q. I recently ran out of gas. Having an
    Ages 7-13
                                               the majority of juvenile firesetter pro-                empty windshield washer fluid con-
• Adolescent Firesetter Handbook:
                                               grams, these chapters are designed spe-                 tainer in my vehicle I proceeded to a
    Ages 14-18
                                               cifically to meet its needs. Fire educators,            gas station for fuel, but the attendant
Dr. Jessica Gaynor, a well-known clinical
                                               fire prevention specialists, arson investi-             refused to fill the container. Are there
psychologist, researcher, management
                                               gators, juvenile firesetter program manag-              restrictions on the type of containers
consultant and author on juvenile
                                               ers, interviewers, educators, and team                  for storing gasoline?
firesetting has served as the main author
                                               members all will find this information
in combining the above three FEMA                                                                   A. Containers for gasoline are required to
                                               useful. Because juvenile firesetter pro-
handbooks and related publications into a                                                              meet construction standards outlined
                                               grams are part of a community network,
revised and improved single publication                                                                in the Alberta Fire Code and gas station
                                               many other professionals will also benefit
titled Juvenile Firesetter Intervention                                                                attendants are not permitted to allow
                                               from the handbook. People working in law
Handbook.                                                                                              the dispensing of fuel into containers
                                               enforcement, mental health, schools,
                                                                                                       that do not meet those requirements.
The six chapters of this handbook can be       child protective services, social services,
                                                                                                       Containers found at most hardware
viewed as the six building blocks essential    and juvenile justice will find it useful.
                                                                                                       outlets that bear the symbol of either
to constructing a successful program. The
                                               Copies of the new Juvenile Firesetter                   ULC or the Canadian Standards Asso-
cornerstone of the blueprint is
                                               Intervention Handbook were distributed                  ciation (CSA) are considered appropri-
understanding the personality profiles of
                                               to all Alberta fire departments and some                ate for gasoline storage. Glass and light
juvenile firesetters and their families. The
                                               other professionals in July 2001.                       plastic containers are unacceptable.
next step is identifying at-risk youth and
assessing the likelihood that they will
                                                For further information, contact
become involved in future firesetting
                                                Mahendra Wijayasinghe, Research Officer at the
incidents. The identification of the three      Fire Commissioner’s Office, at (780) 415-0546.

                                                                                                 Alberta Fire News August 2001
                                                           Educating Canadian communities

                                                           Focus on Fire Prevention Canada—
                                                           a national perspective
                                                           As anyone in the fire service knows, firefighting takes a lot of resources, energy and
                                                           commitment. While fighting fires is foremost in the public’s mind, much of the work
                                                           behind the scenes is focused on fire prevention—stopping fires before they happen. That
                                                           too takes a tremendous amount of energy and resources, but there are organizations that
                                                           provide a helping hand. At the national level, Fire Prevention Canada (FPC) is a tremen-
                                                           dous source of assistance and support.

                                                           Since 1976, FPC has focused on working with the private and public sectors to achieve
                                                           fire safety through education across Canada. Its mission includes communication,
                                                           education, fundraising and development, and partners and supporters.

                                                           Communication                                   Partners and Supporters
   Ray Cox, Edmonton and Ray Ligenza, Calgary              FPC provides a clearing-house of informa-       FPC is very proactive in developing fire
                                                           tion on fire prevention and safety issues       prevention and safety initiatives that are
Q. I want to install a wood-burning                        for fire services, governments at all levels,   available at reasonable or no cost to the
   space heater in my home. How do I                       industry and the private sector across          public and fire service. Much of this work
   ensure that the installation will con-                  Canada and serves as a resource for the         is supported by the Council of Canadian
   form to the building code?                              public and media. Through its Board of          Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners,
                                                           Directors it also interacts with other fire     the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs,
A. The Alberta Building Code requires all
                                                           prevention and safety organizations.            the federal government, corporations, the
   installations to conform with CSA
                                                                                                           private sector, the public and the fire
   standard CAN3-B365-M, which covers                      Additionally, FPC organizes and coordi-
                                                                                                           service through sales of fire prevention
   clearance requirements, floor/wall                      nates the national launch of Fire Preven-
                                                                                                           materials and products.
   protection, combustion air provisions,                  tion Week on Parliament Hill and works
   etcetera. Section 9.21 of the code deals                closely with the fire service to promote        Through these activities and the tremen-
   with chimneys and flues. Individuals                    provincial and territorial Fire Prevention      dous support and efforts of fire depart-
   should consult with the building au-                    Week activities across the nation.              ments across Canada, there has been a
   thority having jurisdiction regarding                                                                   significant decrease in the number of lives
   building permit requirements on such                    Education                                       lost due to fire. In fact, over the past 20 to
   installations before work is started. The               Perhaps best known for its involvement          25 years, there has been a 50 per cent
   safety codes officer involved may                       with the Canadian version of the National       reduction—from 800 to 400. Additionally,
   perform a site inspection on comple-                    Fire Protection Association’s Learn Not to      88 lives have been saved by 35 children
   tion of the project.                                    Burn (LNTB) program across the country,         who learned about fire safety skills
                                                           FPC also initiates and develops a range of      through the LNTB program that’s been
                                                           educational material for use by the public      delivered nationally since 1994 to children
 These questions and answers were prepared by
 Ray Cox (780) 415-0508, Edmonton, and Ray Ligenza         and the fire service.                           from Kindergarten to Grade 3.
 (403) 297-5797, Calgary. Both Cox and Ligenza are
                                                                                                           Canada still has a long way to go to
 Technical Advisors for Technical Services, Building and
 Fire Safety, in the Public Safety Division of Alberta
                                                           Fundraising and                                 become a leader in fire safety. As a
 Municipal Affairs.                                        Development                                     result, FPC continues its efforts to work
                                                           One of FPC’s most important activities is       with the fire service to make Canadian
                                                           interacting with federal government             communities the most fire safe in
                                                           departments to lobby for funds and rein-        North America.
                                                           force the importance of fire prevention in
                                                           Canada. FPC also organizes and coordi-           For more information about Fire Prevention Canada or
                                                           nates the Partners in Fire Prevention            its resources, contact Christine Sones, Director of
                                                           Special Events, solicits corporate and           Development and Communications, at (613) 749-3844,
                                                                                                            e-mail or visit the
                                                           government funding for materials and             FPC web site at
                                                           invites corporate partnerships for events
                                                           and projects.

   Alberta Fire News August 2001
A wealth of training opportunities

Alberta Fire Training School course update
Starting this fall, the Alberta Fire Training   According to Chris Senaratne, AFTS                believe that there is an interest in a
School (AFTS) is offering a full-               Manager of Accreditation and Course               similarly structured program for those
time program for those                          Development, “these courses continue the          wanting to earn Inspector and
interested in acquiring Fire                    excellent training opportunities available        Investigator qualifications.”
Inspector and/or Fire                           for those in the fire service. At the request
Investigator profes-                            of the AFTS Board of Directors, we are             For more information about the courses or to register,
                                                                                                   contact the Alberta Fire Training School at
sional qualifications.                          offering this training in a block schedule         1-888-863-2387 or (780) 853-5800, send a fax to
                                                to best accommodate the needs of                   (780) 853-3008 or you can e-mail the school at
The program will enable candidates to
                                                candidates. We had excellent response to  Information and application
complete the National Fire Protection                                                              forms are also available at the school’s web site at
                                                our full-time offering of the NFPA 1001
Association (NFPA) 1031 Fire Inspector                                                   
                                                Firefighter program the past few years and
Level 1 qualifications in just six weeks. As
well, a substantial portion of the NFPA
1033 Fire Investigator professional pro-        Convenient, cost-effective training
gram can be completed in seven weeks.
Candidates can also attend the full nine
weeks to earn Investigator qualifications
                                                SCOTI program update
and credit toward Investigator certifica-
tion. The program also provides qualifica-      Now in its fifth year, the Safety Codes Officer   cost-effective way possible. “We offer the
tion for Safety Codes Officer certification     Training Initiative (SCOTI) is providing fire-    program in various locations and with
at Level 1 Inspector and Investigator.          related training opportunities for volunteer      varying course material based on the
                                                fire departments across Alberta. The pro-         feedback we receive. This enables partici-
The five courses common to both Inspec-         gram is coordinated by the Fire Commis-           pants to the take the courses they need
tor and Investigator designations run in a      sioner’s Office through a partnership with        without major disruption to their work
consecutive series from October 15 to           the Alberta Fire Training School and the          and home life,” said Girven.
November 9, 2001. Each course is four days      Safety Codes Council.
in length. The additional two Inspector                                                           Since the program began, more than
courses are scheduled from November 13          In 2001-2002, the program is being delivered      1500 individuals have taken advantage
to 22, 2001, followed by a two-day practical    in eight locations across the province.           of the training offered under the SCOTI
evaluation. The additional Investigator         According to Wayne Girven, Assistant Fire         program in different communities
courses are offered November 27 to De-          Commissioner, the intent is to offer the          around the province.
cember 7, 2001, with a four-day practical       program in the most convenient and
evaluation from December 10 to 13, 2001.

The 53rd annual conference of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association

Gathering and learning...
A good representation of fire chiefs            Executive Director of Alberta’s Industrial        In addition to the industry reps, other
from across Alberta gathered in                    Heartland, who talked to the 175               panel members included representatives
Strathcona County between                            delegates about how municipalities           from EAPUOC (Edmonton and Area
June 23 and 27 for the 53rd                           and fire departments have to                Pipeline Utilities Operators Committee)
annual Alberta Fire Chiefs                            work together.                              and SIA (Strathcona Industrial Associa-
Association (AFCA) Confer-                                                                        tion), the president of NR CAER (North-
                                                        Alberta’s fire chiefs combined
ence. Based on the theme                                                                          east Region Community and Emergency
                                                        business sessions with industry
Working with Industry, the                                                                        Response) plus representatives from Fire
                                                       site tours, attendance at the trade
conference focused on a topic                                                                     Master and Safety Boss.
                                                     show and an industry-focused panel
of particular interest to many
                                                  discussion. Industry reps accompanied
fire chiefs across Alberta.                                                                        For more information about the Alberta Fire Chiefs
                                                the delegates to their choice of tours to
                                                                                                   Association, visit its web site at
            The conference’s keynote            Dow Chemical, Petro Canada, Shell and
             speaker was Larry Wall,            Enbridge/TransMountain Pipeline.
                                                                                           Alberta Fire News August 2001
               Digest                                                                   New videos available
                                                                                        Emergency Preparedness/Incident
                                                                                        Prevention/Crisis Management – this
                                                                                        14-minute video ensures employee
                                                                                        safety in an emergency by following
                                                                                        this program’s guidelines for develop-
                                                                                                                                   Heat Stress – this 14-minute video
                                                                                                                                   shows how heat stress can lead to
                                                                                                                                   exhaustion and stroke. It provides
                                                                                                                                   common sense steps to avoid heat
                                                                                                                                   stress, including correct clothing,
Municipal Affairs has new                  Look waaaay up...                            ing an emergency plan. The video           gear and cooling equipment, as well
deputy minister                            Nothing in James                             shows what departments and facili-         as first aid information.
C.D. (Doug) Radke                          Kostuk’s three                               ties to contact for assistance; how to
                                                                                        announce an emergency and conduct          No Ordinary Fire – 13 minutes
joined Municipal                           years with the                                                                          of dramatic footage of actual fires
Affairs in March as the                    Grande Prairie Fire                          an evacuation; how to handle the
                                                                                        media; and much more. It also              to help reinforce critical rules for
department’s new                           Department                                                                              reporting, containing, and extin-
deputy minister. Doug                      prepared him for                             explains the purpose and function of
                                                                                        a crisis management team and               guishing fires in health care
has many years of                          the ordeal of                                                                           settings as well as techniques for
provincial government experience in        sitting atop a 30-metre arial ladder         demonstrates a practice drill.
                                                                                                                                   evacuating patients using one- and
Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Trans-        for 100 hours. But it was all for a          Red the Fire Dog and the 3 P’s of Fire     two-person carriers.
portation, and Alberta Environment.        good cause—to raise money for the            Safety – an entertaining and memora-
He served as deputy minister of both       local Burn Society. His time sitting in a    ble 15-minute video for young              Holiday Fire Safety – a 13-minute
Agriculture and Environment before         car seat strapped to the top of the          children to teach them everything          video showing the increased poten-
coming to Municipal Affairs.               ladder raised $17,000 and may even                                                      tial for fires and burns on special
                                                                                        they need to know about fire safety.
                                           get him into the Guinness Book of            The video introduces the 3 P’s of fire     occasions and holidays—including
Doug was born in Lacombe and               World Records. “Some of the fire-                                                       Thanksgiving, Halloween, Hanukkah,
educated at the University of                                                           safety: PLANNING, PRACTICE,
                                           fighters have submitted the paper-                                                      Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. The
Alberta, where he earned a Bachelor                                                     PREVENTION and features Red the
                                           work and we’re just waiting to hear if       fire dog, who explains making a            video addresses specific holiday
of Arts degree in political science        we’ve been accepted,” said Kostuk.                                                      activities and their associated risks,
and economics. He also obtained his                                                     family fire escape plan, preventing fire
                                                                                                                                   such as fireworks, candles, open
masters in public administration           Kostuk, 27, was chosen for the May           at home and protecting yourself.
                                                                                                                                   flames, festive lights, electrical
from Carleton University in Ottawa.        ladder-sit from a number of depart-          Smokey’s Fire Safety Tips is a 12-         wiring, decorations, cooking, outdoor
                                           ment volunteers. “I was up there from        minute video about Smokey the Bear.        grilling, smoking, Christmas trees,
“Alberta’s fire service plays a critical   a Wednesday to a Sunday and I didn’t
role in keeping our communities                                                         Kids everywhere love Smokey. In this       and general fire safety.
                                           sleep more than about two hours a            delightful live-action story, Smokey
safe, and that was never more              day because you couldn’t get comfort-                                                   Adventures of Safety Frog: Fire
apparent than this spring when fire                                                     teaches young children a valuable
                                           able enough,” he said. According to                                                     Safety – a 10-minute video demon-
threatened many municipalities,”                                                        lesson about playing with matches.
                                           Kostuk, the most difficult part of his sit                                              strating vital fire safety rules to
said Radke. “The department                was lack of mobility and boredom,            Fire Extinguishers: On the Spot            children in an entertaining and easy-
appreciates all that firefighters do to    though Grande Prairie residents did          Know-how – a 12-minute video               to-remember way. See Georgette the
maintain the safety of Albertans.”         come to see what he was up to and            that shows professional firefighters       puppet frog transform into Safety
                                           even got crane rides to pay him a visit.     in live-action demonstrations. Also        Frog to prevent her friends from
Mark your calendar                                                                      shows graphic illustrations of             following the match puppet’s advice
                                           Allowed five minutes of ground time          portable fire extinguisher use.            to “light up my light.” Safety Frog
• August 11-12                             for every hour on top of the ladder,         Includes practical, detailed informa-      also instructs the other puppets
  Provincial Hose Coupling                 Kostuk generally saved up his breaks         tion on choosing the right model as        about smoke alarms, safety with
  Strathcona County                        and took them at eight-hour intervals.       well as installation and upkeep. Also      fireplaces, and a home fire drill. This
• October 7-13                             Three colleagues kept watch at all           covers when to use an extinguisher         performance by the Schiffelly
  Fire Prevention Week                     times from the ground to look after          and safe and effective use.                Puppets, complete with a Superman
                                           food, donations, site control and                                                       spoof, will appeal to elementary
                                           crane operation. Asked whether he            How to Select and Safely Use               school children. The video includes a
Free-wheeling safe house                   would do it again Kostuk was                 Portable Fire Extinguishers – this
The Grande Prairie and District Burn                                                                                               demonstration of a properly executed
                                           skeptical. “I don’t think so right now,      video is useful for showing employees
Society recently opened the doors to                                                                                               classroom fire drill.
                                           but you never know.”                         how to operate portable fire extin-
its Kids Community Safe House,                                                          guishers safely and effectively. Viewers   Fire and the Elderly – this 12-minute
which looks like a luxurious camper-                                                    will learn how to use fire extinguish-     video presents the special challenges
trailer. The $60,000 unit constructed      Check it out ...
                                                                                        ers, when to use them and why people       faced by senior citizens with respect
in Pennsylvania is the first of its kind   If you haven’t surfed the Fire
                                                                                        should practise beforehand.                to fire prevention in the home. It
in the province, though similar units      Commissioner’s Office web site
                                                                                                                                   shows seniors what they need to
exist in Ontario, Winnipeg and             lately, you might be in for a surprise.      Fire Extinguisher Training: Using The
                                                                                                                                   know to prevent fires, and what they
Whistler. It will be wheeled out to        There’s a wealth of useful material          P.A.S.S. Technique – a 15-minute           should do if a fire occurs. Details all
schools and events to teach children       and resources contained on the site,         video on when and how to use a fire        aspects of EDITH—exit drills in the
about the dangers of fire and what         including current and back issues of         extinguisher before you need it. Key
                                                                                                                                   home—and includes special sections
to do if fire happens. The Commu-          Fire News.                                   topics include conditions where            on smoking, heating sources, kitchen
nity Lottery Board and the Alberta                                                      portable extinguishers can be used,        safety, and electrical appliances.
                                           The web site also provides updated
Lottery Fund donated $40,000 for                                                        the different classes of fire and which
                                           statistics, relevant key dates and
the project and the GP and District                                                     extinguisher to use, how to approach
                                           information plus links to many other
Burn Society raised the rest.                                                           a fire using the P.A.S.S. Technique—
                                           fire-related web sites. Check it out
                                                                                        PULL, AIM, SQUEEZE, SWEEP, proper
                                                                                        fire extinguisher installation and
                                                                                        maintenance and basic fire safety.

 Alberta Fire News August 2001
                                         The Fire Commissioner’s Office gets Bronze
Alberta Fire News is published
three times a year, by the Fire
Commissioner’s Office of Alberta
                                         Receiving recognition
Municipal Affairs, for the information
of the fire service and others with an
                                         for a job well done!
interest in fire protection.             More than 10 years of
Opinions expressed in this publication   focused efforts towards
are those of the contributors and do     children’s fire safety
not necessarily reflect the views or     education have paid off for
policies of Alberta Municipal Affairs    the Fire Commissioner’s
or the Government of Alberta. Your       Office with a Bronze at the
comments and suggestions are             2001 Premier’s Award of
encouraged. The contents of
Alberta Fire News may be reproduced      The Premier’s Award of
with the appropriate credit to the       Excellence Program is
source. The editorial office of          designed to promote and
Alberta Fire News is located at:         recognize superior client
                                         service and business prac-
   11th Floor, Commerce Place
                                         tices in the Alberta public
   10155-102 Street
                                         service. A ceremony was
   Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4
                                         held on June 18, 2001 to
   Phone: (780) 427-8392                 recognize winners of the
   Fax: (780) 427-5898                   Premier’s Award. Each team From left: Gloria Mercer, Assistant Deputy Minister Dennis Gartner,
   Web site:            honoured with the award,        Wendy Butterworth, Premier Ralph Klein, Tom Makey and
                                         which is displayed at the       Mahendra Wijayasinghe.
Jayne Jeneroux                           Legislature Building, re-
Writer                                   ceived a carving to recognize its achieve-      “The team wishes to recognize its partners,
Jack Born, Design Quarry                 ments. Each member also received a              specifically the municipal fire depart-
Design and Pre-Press Production          certificate signed by the Premier, a lapel      ments, the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association’s
                                         pin and the opportunity to use the award        Public Fire Safety Education Committee,
Editorial Board
                                         logo on business cards, letterhead and          Fire Prevention Canada, Health Canada,
Lyle Birnie                              documents.                                      McDonald’s Restaurants, and the Alberta
Fire Chief                                                                               Centre for Injury Control and Research, to
Westlock Fire Department                 The award winning team at the Fire Com-
                                                                                         name a few, who have worked with us to
                                         missioner’s Office consisted of Mahendra
Bob Galloway                                                                             implement these programs,” said
                                         Wijayasinghe (team leader), Tom Makey
Fire Chief                                                                               Wijayasinghe. “Thanks also go to all our
County of Leduc                          (team sponsor), Wayne Girven, Gloria
                                                                                         partners who wrote letters supporting our
                                         Mercer and Wendy Butterworth.
Alberta Municipal Affairs:                                                               submission,” he added.
Pat Graham
Acting Fire Commissioner                   Summary of reductions achieved in Alberta between
Wayne Girven
                                           two 10-year periods: 1980-1989 and 1990-1999
Assistant Fire Commissioner                Measure                                    1980-1989   1990-1999         Change from
Mahendra Wijayasinghe                                                                                                1980-1999
Research Officer                           Number of fireplay fire incidents            5356         2302                -57%
Jay O’Neill
                                           Number of all deaths from fireplay fires       51           19                -63%
Communications                             Number of child deaths from fireplay fires     42           15                -64%
Karen Sigurdson                            Number of child deaths from all fires         110           72                -35%
Public Affairs Officer
                                           Age specific fire death rate *                 37.5         16                -57%

                                         *Fire death rate per 100,000 population for children aged 0 to 4 years.

             ISSN 0848-6794                                                              Alberta Fire News August 2001