Update on the Implementation of the Training Strategy to Enhance Fire Safety in Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

Update on the Implementation of the Training Strategy to Enhance Fire Safety in Occupancies Housing Vulnerable Ontarians

Communiqué 2014-06

March 18, 2014

This communiqué is a follow-up to Fire Marshal’s Communiqué 2013-14, issued on November 19, 2013. As was mentioned previously, Ontario Regulation 150/13 amended the Fire Code (Ontario Regulation 213/07) to require that two groups of people successfully complete, before January 1, 2017, a course approved by the Fire Marshal in regard to their fire safety responsibilities. These two groups are the following:

  • owners and operators of care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies and retirement homes regulated under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, or their delegates. They are the persons having primary responsibility for implementing the emergency planning provisions of Section 2.8 (Division B) of the Fire Code in such facilities, including a fire safety plan. These persons may also be known by other titles, such as manager, general manager, executive manager, executive director, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer.
  • chief fire officials responsible for approving fire safety plans for buildings containing care occupancies, care and treatment occupancies, or retirement homes.

Although persons who work in facilities housing vulnerable Ontarians and who are designated as supervisory staff (as defined in the Fire Code) are not required to successfully complete a course approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), they must nonetheless be trained with respect to their fire safety responsibilities as set out in the building’s fire safety plan. It is expected that these persons have a working knowledge of fire safety planning, and the competence to carry out their assigned duties, as specified in the fire safety plan, in the building where they are employed.

To facilitate compliance with Fire Code requirements, the OFMEM developed courses for the three target groups mentioned above and contracted with the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) to deliver the training.

The PSHSA will roll out courses for owners and operators, as well as for chief fire officials, on April 14, 2014. The online course for supervisory staff will be available on April 30, 2014. To register and access the courses, visit their Web site at www.pshsa.ca. The online courses will be available in both English and French and will be accessible to persons with disabilities. The online courses do not need to be completed in one sitting; one can stop at any point and return to that same point at a later time, thus allowing one to set the pace. A passing grade of 70% on the test found at the end of the course is required to receive a certificate of completion. Please note that it is possible to retake the test an unlimited number of times.

In addition to the online courses, the PSHSA will also deliver traditional classroom courses regionally for owners/operators and for chief fire officials, beginning in the fall of 2014. Registration for these courses will begin in late spring or early summer of 2014. Please check the PSHSA Web site periodically for further information.

In order to alleviate the financial burden that the mandatory training may present, between April 2014 and December 31, 2016, the OFMEM will cover the course fee for one chief fire official per fire department and one owner/operator per facility housing vulnerable Ontarians. For any other person, the cost will be $125.00 per person for online learning, and $150.00 per person for traditional classroom learning.

Anyone taking one of the e-learning courses who needs online user support should contact the PSHSA by e-mail at lms@pshsa.ca. Enquiries about the course content should be directed to Denise Wallace, Program Specialist, OFMEM, who can be reached by e-mail at Denise.Wallace@ontario.ca. Enquiries regarding Ontario Regulation 150/13 should be directed to Technical Services, OFMEM; staff members can be reached by e-mail at FireSafetyStandards@ontario.ca, or by telephone at (416) 325-3100 or 1-800-565-1842.