Toronto Fire Service operates within the boundaries of the City of Toronto. The service is a volunteer service and operates on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year. The Toronto Fire Service serves an area of 522 km2 with a population of 2.8 million people. The Toronto Fire Department was officially established in 1866. Since that time, the city has undergone many changes and growths.
Today, there are approximately 9,000 active members in the service who operate out of 140 fire stations across 98 neighborhood divisions. There are also over 1,500 volunteers who help run various programs throughout the city, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS). What Is Toronto Fire Service? How It Works
History of Toronto Fire Service
In 1866, the first organized fire department was established in Toronto. In the early days, there were fire wagons that horses pulled. In Toronto, there were many fires in the old city, and the firefighters had to wear old-fashioned clothing, including long pants and boots, to protect them from getting burned.
The first engines were steam, but gasoline engines replaced them in the 1920s. It put today’s water-based firefighting system in place in the 1950s, and newer models in the 1980s replaced the original pumper trucks. In the early days of Toronto’s fire department, the firefighters were also responsible for using a chemical called “fire hose.”
This hose was filled with water and had a nozzle at one end that it used to spray water on a fire to put it out. However, as the city grew, more fire stations were established, and the demand for fire protection increased. So it organized fire services into “budgets,” which assigned a certain number of firefighters to fire prevention activities and a certain number of firefighters to respond to fires.
Major Divisions in Toronto Fire Service
Toronto has several fire services operating in the city. The major divisions of the Toronto Fire Services are the Toronto Fire Department, the Toronto Paramedic Services, the Toronto Hydro Fire Services, and the Toronto Police Service.
– Toronto Fire Department – The Toronto Fire Department is responsible for providing fire and emergency exit sign services throughout Toronto.
– Toronto Paramedic Services – The Toronto Paramedic Services provide advanced life support and paramedic care throughout the city.
– Toronto Hydro Fire Services – The Toronto Hydro Fire Services is responsible for providing fire protection for the city’s electrical distribution and transmission lines.
– Toronto Police Service – The Toronto Police Service is responsible for providing law enforcement services to Toronto.
Hazardous Materials Awareness Training for Toronto Fire Service
The Toronto Fire Service began working with the Dangerous Goods Team in 2015 to improve hazardous materials training for all firefighters in the city. For a long time, service members who worked with chemicals or electrical equipment that could spark a fire were exempt from hazardous materials awareness training.
However, in 2015, the Toronto Fire Services began to require all firefighters to complete a 12-hour course on the safe handling of dangerous materials. This training must be completed every two years and covers properly handling chemicals, gases, and other hazardous materials found on fire trucks.
Volunteer Programs and Events in Toronto Fire Service
Firefighters in Toronto receive many volunteer opportunities, including serving as classroom assistants for children at local schools. Some benefits that volunteers receive as part of the training with the Toronto Fire Services include free meals, free transportation, and free admission to interactive events at local museums. There are also special programs for paramedics and volunteers who respond to high-risk situations, such as working with pets who have been poisoned.
The Toronto Fire Service operates on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year. With so many volunteers in the service, it is easy to see that the Toronto Fire Service is highly equipped and ready to help with any emergency.