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Ottawa leads international effort to create a new firefighting curriculum

September 29, 2017
Announcements and Events

Firefighters from around the world will soon be learning their skills with a training manual developed through the leadership of Ottawa Fire Services (OFS). The new international curriculum was unveiled today by Mayor Jim Watson, along with Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee, Acting Fire Chief Kim Ayotte, Dr. Mark Williamson, Director General of the Department of National Defence’s Centre for Security Science, and Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

This multi-year project was funded through Department of National Defence’s Canadian Safety and Security Program and led by OFS, which worked in conjunction with the National Research Council, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, fire services from Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, New York City, and with experts from a total of 13 countries.

The result of this work is an evidence-based approach to fighting modern structural fires. Techniques developed for the new curriculum will keep firefighters safer by protecting them from injury at the scene of a fire and protecting them from long term exposure to contamination after leaving the scene.

The project, entitled From Knowledge to Practice: Embedding scientific knowledge of fire dynamics into firefighting operations, was made possible in part due to:

  • funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program, led by the Department of National Defence’s Science and Technology organization, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.
  • labour from the City of Ottawa
  • in-kind contributions from private companies and other fire services.

Any fire services interested in using the curriculum will soon be able to do so, free of charge, by simply downloading it online. Elements of the curriculum are being incorporated into National Fire Protection Association standards which are the guiding standards followed worldwide. OFS will demonstrate elements of the curriculum next week at its fire dynamics training site.


“This project is a testament to the hard work, professionalism and world-class skills that define the men and women who make up Ottawa Fire Services. Ottawa residents can sleep better at night feeling safe and secure that its fire service is on the job, and also feel proud of its reputation and accomplishments on the world stage.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

“It’s a source of pride for us all that firefighters around the world will be safer and better trained thanks in part to the work of Ottawa Fire Services. Firefighting is a profession that is honourable and valuable and now safer, thanks in part to this extraordinary international project."

Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee

“Firefighters in the 21st century needed an updated, evidence-based approach to help them do their job safely and effectively. This project has achieved its goal of presenting a modern curriculum for the challenges that come with fighting structure fires today.”

Kim Ayotte, Acting Chief, Ottawa Fire Services

“The evidence-based approach of the new fire curriculum will enhance firefighter training across Canada and lead to safer, more effective and collaborative firefighting operations for all fire officials, including members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Department of National Defence is proud to support projects like this one with real-world impact on the health and safety of first responders and civilians alike.”

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“This modern, comprehensive and innovative new program puts the best available science and research into practice.  It’s the product of remarkable collaboration and persistence, that will keep firefighters here and around the world safer in protecting the public.  Public Safety Canada is proud to partner with the Department of National Defence to support projects like this under the Canadian Safety and Security Program. “

Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

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