Recognizing that we will remain in an altered state for the foreseeable future the IAFF Executive Board aand our Board met and voted to extend the Emergency Resolution until July 31, 2022. This resolution allows for the President of a Local or Provincial, with the approval of their respective Executive Board, to hold meetings etc. virtually to allow for the constitutional business of the affiliate to be conducted.

Following is the resolution with the amended expiry date:

Emergency Resolution

Authorization of IAFF Affiliates to reschedule constitutionally required conventions, meeting, and elections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas, the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws Article XIII, Section 3 and Article XIV, require local unions, state and provincial associations, and joint councils, to adopt constitutions and by-laws, which are supplementary to the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, and which establish procedures for conducting their internal affairs and business’ and

Whereas, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the issuance of governmental orders, across the United States and Canada, prohibiting the holding of events and mass gatherings; and

Whereas, these governmental orders regarding COVID-19 are prohibiting IAFF affiliates from holding constitutionally required conventions, meetings, and elections; and

Whereas, many IAFF affiliates have not adopted procedures for rescheduling constitutionally required conventions, meetings, and elections during a public health emergency; and

Whereas, the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XX, Section 3, grants the IAFF Executive Board the authority, between IAFF Conventions. to amend the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws as necessary to remove conflict between its provisions and those of applicable law; and  

Whereas. the IAFF Executive Board has determined that it is necessary to amend the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws to remove the conflict between the supplementary provisions of IAFF affiliates’ constitutions and by-laws, which require them to hold conventions, meetings, and elections, and the governmental orders regarding COVID-19, which prohibit them from doing so; therefore be it

Resolved, that the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XIII, Section 3, be amended to add the following: “The president of the local union shall have the authority, with the approval of the executive board of the local union, to reschedule as soon as possible any constitutionally required meeting or election, the holding of which would conflict with a governmental order or CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. This authority includes the right to hold such constitutionally required meetings via virtual/electronic means, provided that the members in good standing have the ability to participate in its deliberations and voting. Secret ballot elections of delegates to the IAFF Convention must still be held in compliance with the federal labor laws. This authority shall expire on July 31, 2022.” And be it further

Resolved, that the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, Article XIV, Section 5, be amended to add the following: “The president of the state or provincial association or joint council shall have the authority, with the approval of the executive board of the state or provincial association or joint council, to reschedule as soon as possible any constitutionally required meeting or election, the holding of which would conflict with a governmental order or CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. This authority includes the right to hold such constitutionally required meetings via virtual/electronic means, provided that the members in good standing have the ability to participate in its deliberations and voting. Secret ballot elections of delegates to the IAFF Convention must still be held in compliance with the federal labor laws. This authority shall expire on July 31, 2022.” And be it further

Resolved, that this Emergency Resolution, and the constitutional amendments made under this Emergency Resolution, shall expire on July 31, 2022.

In solidarity,

Doug McLennan,

President

 

On behalf of our Peer Support Team, for the first time ever there is a great opportunity for an Interactive Mental Health Information Town Hall for Families of First Responders brought to us by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety, Research and Treatment (CISPRT) .

CIPSRT is proud to partner with the Families Matter Research group to host:

From Input to Action: An Interactive Virtual Town Hall for the Families of Public Safety Personnel (PSP).

This virtual event, held on January 27, 2022 at 11:00-13:00 EST is the first opportunity for families to engage with this ground-breaking research group. The goal of the session is to collect information about:

  • What do PSP families need to know about what it means to be on the job?

  • What needs to be done to support PSP families in the future?

These two questions will drive moderated breakout sessions and act as a first step to the ultimate goal of creating a nationwide network that supports and understands PSP families. If your organization has an organized family group please share this important event with them.

Families can register here:

https://www.cipsrt-icrtsp.ca/en/from-input-to-action%e2%80%afan-interactive-virtual-town-hall-for-the-families-of-public-safety-personnel-psp

 

Dear OPPFA Members,

Please take a look at the Ottawa Fire Services messages on self-isolation, testing, return to work measures, and Emergency Child Care.  If you are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 which include:

Most common symptoms: fever, cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell

Less common symptoms: sore throat, headache, aches and pains, diarrhoea, a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes, red or irritated eyes

Serious symptoms: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion, chest pain

Notify your Supervisor and following the steps provided. Also, look at the chart provided to all OPPFA Fire Services Personnel regarding steps for various situations we are currently dealing with. It is your duty to do what is right to ensure the safety of yourself, family, the public, and your coworkers!

 

 Emergency Child Care Opportunity

Effective Wednesday, January 12, all eligible families under Schedule 4 of the Reopening Ontario

(A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act 2020 (ROA) are being prioritized for immediate

placement. Eligible families looking for emergency child care are encouraged to review the

approved list of child care service providers on the Apply for Child Care web page on ottawa.ca.

To streamline access to service, eligible families should directly contact these approved service

providers for immediate placement. Service providers will work collaboratively with families to

assess eligibility and help assist in the placement process. Residents can contact 3-1-1

or [email protected] for more information.

 

The Province directed municipalities to provide a time-limited targeted Emergency Child Care

program for school-aged children to support frontline workers by providing their children with a

subsidized, licensed child care space so they can continue to deliver critical services. The

Province asked municipalities to prioritize access to emergency child care for frontline health care

workers providing in-person care.

Be safe and stay warm this weekend,

 

Doug McLennan

President

Dear OPFFA members,

I wanted to take this time and thank all of our OPPFA members who responded to the tragic call yesterday at Eastway Tank on Merivale Road. Our hearts go out to those killed, injured, missing and to their families and coworkers. For the OPPFA members that responded yesterday, through tragedy we can come together and heal. I urge our members to take a stand down and discuss this as a crew in a post-incident debrief. If you are not comfortable in a situation like that, you can always reach out any one of our Peer Support Team 24-7 with the Peer Support Team contact posters being located in each station.

We also have the IAFF to lean on. As our IAFF District 13 Vice President Fred Leblanc reached out today to offer any counselling/resources that our members might need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will be there to help. You can contact me directly by cell phone or email, and as President I will get the IAFF resources to assist our Local and its members.

Stay safe and be well,

Doug McLennan

President

Dear Local 162 members ,

Our friends and colleagues in Cantley, Quebec along with members of our own Local 162, have created a GoFundMe page. This is  to assist in raising funds after the recent passing of one of their members, Ben Kaye. Pompier Kaye passed away after an arduous fight against Cholangiocarcinoma (bile ducts cancer). Proceeds from this fundraising will go towards helping Ben’s wife and two children.

Their Firefighters have set up a GoFundMe page, please take some time to check out the link provided and help out if you can.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/rip-firefighter-pompier-ben-kaye?utm_campaign=contacts-v2-invite-to-donate&utm_medium=sms&utm_source=twilio

 

Doug McLennan

President

 

Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

 Bargaining Committee Circular

Interest Arbitration Update

 

January 10, 2022

Dear Members;

The Parties had Arbitrator Burkett, arbitrator for our ongoing Interest Arbitration, scheduled for November 16, 2021. While the intention was to commence arbitration that date Arbitrator Burkett instructed the Parties to continue mediation with his involvement.  He then instructed the Parties to meet for further negotiations without his involvement. We subsequently met with the City for those negotiations December 9, 2022 but were unsuccessful at reaching any agreement.

Arbitrator Burkett has responded positively to our request and outlined his timeline to complete this ongoing Arbitration.  He has instructed the Parties to present Submissions on their own proposals to him, at the end of January. This will be followed up by reply or rebuttal submissions (responses to each other’s submission) the third week of February and the final exchanges to be mid-March.

The focus of the Bargaining Committee continues to be moving the arbitration process along expeditiously and fairly.  We feel we have been successful with those efforts based on the schedule put forward by Arbitrator Burkett. This is especially true based on the interim pay we were successful in arguing for.  The short delay by having mediation on November 16, 2021 was not time wasted as progress was made and it certainly allowed Arbitrator Burkett to explore and assess the bargaining issues of both the Union and the City.

Arbitrator Burkett has agreed to set aside April 7, 2022 if it is needed by the Parties. He is keeping the date in an abundance of caution in case either party wishes to make oral arguments to him. If there is no ability to make oral arguments in the arbitration process, any arbitration award could be overturned by a court by judicial review of the decision.

In solidarity,

Doug McLennan

President

Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

 Meeting Date changed from February 7, 2022 @10:00

To February 10, 2022 @10:00

January 10, 2022

Dear Members;

Due to the IAFF Canadian Policy Conference scheduled to be held February 6 – 8, 2022, the Executive Board approved a motion to change the Regular Association Meeting to February 10, 2022 starting at 10:00 hours.

 

Respectfully,

Gary Housch

Executive Director

 

 

A man wearing a formal black uniform stands slightly turned, smiling at the camera, the Ottawa and Canada flags to his left.
Ottawa firefighter Ryan Hill, 37, passed away last month after a year-long battle with brain cancer. Photo by Ottawa Fire Service.
MEARA BELANGER – CHUO – OTTAWA • ON | 06-01-2022

January 2022 is the second annual firefighter cancer awareness month, and members of Ottawa Fire Services are mourning the recent loss of one of their own to the disease.

First Class Ottawa Firefighter Ryan Hill, a member of Ottawa Fire Services for 10 years, passed away on Dec. 20. Hill had celebrated his 37th birthday the day before at the Civic Hospital, where he died surrounded by loved ones.

Hill worked at Station 31 for eight years before being transferred to Station 13, Platoon A, where he is remembered by colleagues for his service, dedication and friendship, according to his obituary.

Hill was diagnosed with brain cancer on Dec. 28, 2020, nearly a year before his death.

Fellow firefighter, Martin Herdé, worked alongside Hill for many years. He remembers Hill as both a friend and as his personal hero.

“He was proud of his job,” says Herdé. “He was proud to be a dad. He was proud to be a husband. He would give anything for his family. And also on the job, too.”

Hill was a father to two four-year-old twin boys, and husband to his wife Patricia, who Herdé says was “the love of his life.”

Herdé says Hill was the kind of person who was always making people laugh.

“He always had a little smirk,” says Herdé. “His grin was always greeting and he always joked around and laughed, and then when it’s time to serious, he got serious.”

Hill had a big sweet tooth, according to Herdé, who recalls his friend’s fondness of ice cream.

“He loved ice cream,” says Herdé. “And it’s a big tradition for the fire department to have a coffee mug of ice cream—not a bowl or anything, but a coffee mug. And he would never have a coffee mug, he’d just take a spoonful. And then he’d take a walk around the station, slowly eating his ice cream. He’d always say, ‘‘I’m just regulating how much ice cream I’m eating.’ And then by the end of the day, I’d see like 10 spoons in the sink.”

Even in the hospital, as he endured five surgeries and numerous rounds of radiation therapy, Hill was able to find joy in the small things. Herdé says Hill always had a chocolate stash, and he favoured Mr. Big bars.

Hill was a fan of 90s grunge music, which he and Herdé would often listen to while working out. He was also an avid fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a sports player himself.

“He used to put his grunge music on in the gym, and he’d be running like a fiend,” says Herdé. “And we’d be working out and I would always make fun of his music. He was a horrific hockey player, but he was always the first guy to bring beer in the dressing room… A hundred per cent, giving [his] all on the ice and off the ice.”

Herdé says Hill will be honoured along with his fellow fallen firefighters in an annual memorial service in September.

Cancer deaths among firefighters are not rare occurrences. In fact, according to a 2018 study published by the Injury Research and Prevention Unit at the University of British Columbia, cancer deaths in Canadian firefighters represent 86 per cent of all occupational deaths in the industry, making it the leading cause of death for firefighters.

In 2017, a study from the University of Ottawa found that firefighters absorb harmful chemicals through their skin. Researchers collected skin and urine samples from career firefighters, and found they contained three to five times more than the average amount of nuclear pollutants, called “PAH metabolites.”

Herdé, who has been a firefighter for 23 years and has worked for Ottawa Fire Services for 19, says he has lost many colleagues to cancers and other occupational dangers in the past.

“We see more deaths than most people around,” says Herdé. “And even though it’s been a long time, I’m a strong believer that they’re never forgotten.”

Hill’s family has set up an online tribute page in his memory, and they are asking anyone who would like to lend their support to make a donation to the Ottawa Firefighters Support Fund (Ottawa Retired Firefighters Association), or to Team Morgan, a charity supporting children’s cancer research.

Listen to the CHUO interview with Martin Herdé below: 

 

On January 4th it was announced that emergency childcare for school-aged children of front-line workers would only be available effective January 10, 2022.  This is a change from the January 3 announcement, in which it was stated that this emergency childcare would be available for the period of remote learning, which began today – January 5.

To amplify our voice, the OntPFFA worked collaboratively with the Police Association of Ontario and sent the attached letter to the Minister of Education this morning.

We will continue our work advocating for our members during these challenging times.

Friday December 31, 2021

The Honourable Sylvia Jones
Solicitor General
George Drew Building 18th Floor
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, ON
M7A 1Y6

Re: Updated Ontario Public Health Measures

Dear Solicitor General Jones,

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) have reviewed the updated Public Health measures announced by the province on December 30, 2021, and while we applaud the increased actions intended to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, we wish to provide fire sector specific concerns relating to this announcement.

Continued 2021-12-31 – OAFC and OPFFA – Updated Public Health Measures