To the editor:
When you dial 911 to get help in an emergency, you fully expect a quick response.
For several years, Canada’s firefighters have been asking three simple things from the Government of Canada. Year after year we have gone unheard by the Conservative government. That’s why MP Ralph Goodale has introduced Private Member’s Motion M-388 in the House of Commons. It comes up for debate and a vote this November.
On average, 18 firefighters die in the line of duty every year. But there is nothing in place to help provide for their families if they are killed or become permanently disabled while on the job keeping Canadians safe. So Motion M-388 proposes a one-time $300,000 benefit for firefighters (and for other “public safety officers”) who perish or become disabled.
This identical benefit has been afforded firefighters and other emergency workers in the United States of America since 1972.
Interestingly enough, a bill of such was voted on in 2005 with full support of the Conservative Party when they were not government. Now that they are, it seems to be a different story although the same principle applies today as it did then.
During operations as first responders, during public health emergencies like influenza pandemics, firefighters will often come into contact with infected individuals. Like doctors, nurses and other front-line health professionals, they need priority access to vaccines and other medications. Federal guidelines don’t currently provide for this. Motion M-388 corrects that defect.
The last issue we have taken to the Conservative government is for a call on the National Building Code. Certain building materials and techniques can result in fires burning faster and hotter, thus endangering firefighters’ lives, especially during search-and-rescue operations and also the home occupants themselves. Motion M-388 calls for firefighter safety to become an objective of the national building code.
We encourage you to contact your Member of Parliament to support Motion M-388. Help us help you.
Association of Fire Fighters 953