FIRE SERVICE ASSOCIATION

OF NOVA SCOTIA

The Fire Service Association of Nova Scotia is dedicated to provide leadership and representation to the fire service, government, private sector and citizens of Nova Scotia by developing, evaluating and communicating policy and programs through consultation, research and education in the matters of fire and public safety.

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After 12 months, any information posted here such as new protocols, links to services will be transitioned into a permeant place on this website. For example, Uniform Protocol can now be found under : "Documents & Forms > Standards". OR a link to the First Responder Mental Health has now been moved to our "Links" section under "Resources"

Community Crisis Response Poster October 2022 (1).pdf

Great Canadian Firefighter Census

SUBMISSION DEADLINE JUNE 24TH 2022

This year, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), through its Answer the Call Committee, Data Committee, and in Collaboration with the National Advisory Council (NAC), is launching the 2022 Great Canadian Fire Census which started on May 9, 2022.

In collaboration with all the provincial, territorial, and affiliate organizations, we are asking all fire department types to help create an updated snapshot of the fire service in Canada.

Remember, everyone counts, literally and figuratively. Please share this email with your peers across the Provinces and Territories to help increase our reach. We would like one response per department.

You will find a special webpage with everything you need to know at:

https://cafc.ca/page/VFFDatabase

We are asking you to provide data for your organization as it is on April 30, 2022. If you are participating for the first time, you will have 35 questions to answer. If you submitted data in 2021, the first part of the survey will ask you to update your data, and the second part to answer an additional 24 questions related to call volume, consumer safety, and expenditures. New participants will be asked to answer all the questions.

You will have until June 24, 2022 to provide your answers. The entire survey takes on average 25 minutes to complete. Estimates are acceptable.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with CAFC’s Manager of Membership Services and Special Projects Ms. Anabel Therrien at atherrien@cafc.ca.

Thank you,

Greg Jones

FSANS President & National Advisory Council representative for Nova Scotia


Annual General Meeting

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Finally, after 2 long years of waiting to hold an AGM due to the pandemic, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on Sunday, May 01, 2022 at the Inn on Prince Hotel and Conference Centre, Truro, Nova Scotia. There was a good turnout of 49 members, taken from the sign-in sheet, and 7 suppliers and manufacturers turned out to support the event.

Heart Attacks, More Cancers Added to Firefighters’ Insurance Coverage

Labour, Skills and Immigration / Health and Wellness

March 22, 2022 - 1:14 PM

Workplace injury insurance for firefighters and their families will soon cover more types of cancer and heart attacks.

The Province is acting on its commitment to increase presumptive coverage to 19 cancers from six and to include heart attacks that occur within 24 hours of an emergency call.

“Firefighters put their health at risk and their lives on the line every day,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Those who protect us should, in turn, be protected by their government and have access to the workplace injury coverage they need when they need it.”

The additional coverage will be in amendments to the Firefighters Compensation Regulations under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The 13 types of cancer being added are: esophageal, lung, testicular, ureter, breast, multiple myeloma, prostate, skin, ovarian, cervical, penile, thyroid, and pancreatic. There is existing coverage for bladder, brain, colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“About 6,600 firefighters and their families will benefit from these changes, making Nova Scotia one of the leading provinces in Canada for presumptive coverage for firefighters,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “I’d like to thank our firefighters for helping to advance these changes, and for the sacrifices they and their families make every day to keep us safe.”

The amended regulations take effect July 1. Firefighters with a cancer diagnosis since July 1, 2021, will be able to access the expanded benefits.

The Province will cover the total liability cost of $80.6 million for four fiscal years. Municipalities will not incur additional liability costs until 2025-26.

Quotes:

These amendments are an important step to provide firefighters and their families with increased access to coverage as we committed to do as part of our ministerial mandate. I am proud that this government has been able to introduce these changes within our first year in government as a sign of our commitment to fix healthcare in Nova Scotia.

Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness

These protections are the most significant improvements in firefighter presumptive cancer coverage in Canadian history, bringing Nova Scotia’s firefighters from the least protected in Canada to the most protected. On behalf of firefighters and our families, I thank the government for keeping their word to Nova Scotia’s firefighters. This is a great day!

Capt. Brendan Meagher, President, Halifax Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 268

Quick Facts:

  • more than 6,000 volunteer firefighters and 600 paid firefighters work in Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotia joins Manitoba and the Yukon as leaders in the country for presumptive cancer coverage for firefighters

  • the Province will cover $67.4 million in initial liability costs for municipalities in 2021-22, and $4.4 million in annual liability costs for 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25

  • Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration staff reviewed multiple studies and consulted firefighters, organizations representing firefighters, and municipal representatives throughout the province on revising the regulations

Additional Resources:

News release – Amendments Support Volunteer Firefighters: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20191017002

Mandate letter of the Minister of Health and Wellness: https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-DHW.pdf

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Province Supports Volunteer Fire Departments

Premier's Office / Municipal Affairs and Housing

March 22, 2022 - 1:21 PM

The Government is investing $3.5 million to help volunteer fire departments, ground search and rescue organizations and First Nations fire departments recover from fundraising losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 340 organizations will each receive a one-time grant of $10,000.

“The pandemic has had a big impact on municipalities and volunteer fire departments,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Firefighters and ground search and rescue crews are great at raising money in their community, but their efforts were held back by COVID. We hope this will help make up for some fundraising losses.”

Each organization can determine how to use the grant to best meet the needs of the department, its volunteers or the needs of the wider community. This could include directing the funds toward new equipment or operations, smoke alarm campaigns or an honorarium for volunteer firefighters to assist with increased costs.

Quotes:

Our volunteer fire departments, ground search and rescue crews, and First Nations fire departments are the first to respond when their communities and residents need help. This is our opportunity to recognize their important contributions and provide some relief from the impacts of COVID-19.

John Lohr, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Over the last two years, lockdowns and social distancing mandates have had a severe impact on our department's ability to fundraise. Our garden party alone usually raises over $12,000 a year. Additionally, membership was affected, both in maintaining and recruiting, due to the pandemic. Despite these challenges, our department went above and beyond to maintain a high level of quality emergency service and this funding will allow us to continue to provide this level of service to our community.

Jared Swinemar, Chief, Western Shore and District Volunteer Fire Department

Quick Facts:

  • organizations will not have to apply for the grant

  • funds will go directly to the organizations



Public Safety Personnel Online Therapy Program Launches

Justice / Office of Addictions and Mental Health

February 8, 2022 - 11:52 AM

A new program aimed at improving the mental health of Nova Scotia’s first responders and other public safety personnel launched today, February 8.

PSPNET, a free, confidential program is designed for paramedics, police, firefighters, correctional workers, search and rescue, 911 operators, border services officers and others in the public safety field. Developed by a team of clinicians and researchers at the University of Regina, the online cognitive behaviour therapy modules address anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

“Police, paramedics, sheriffs, correctional officers and many other emergency workers see things every day that can be very traumatic,” said Justice Minister Brad Johns. “We owe it to them to make sure supports are there to help them cope with mental health challenges they face because of the nature of their jobs.”

The two-year pilot program is a partnership between Department of Justice’s Public Safety Division, the Office of Addictions and Mental Health, the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment, and Medavie.

The program includes a combination of secure email and phone calls, and runs eight to 16 weeks depending on need of the individual.

The program is now available in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

Quotes:

The nature of work done by first responders makes them especially vulnerable to experiencing mental health challenges. It is important that they have access to tailored supports and therapies that help promote positive mental health and address the specific mental health challenges they might face.

Brian Comer, Minister Responsible for the Office of Addictions and Mental Health

Quick Facts:

  • $775,000 is being invested in the program by Public Safety Canada, Medavie, through the Medavie Health Foundation, Nova Scotia Office of Addictions and Mental Health and the Department of Justice, Prince Edward Island Department of Justice and Public Safety, and New Brunswick Department of Health

  • PSPNET is designed to provide free and confidential access for first responders and other public safety personnel who self-report problems with anxiety, depression, or other posttraumatic stress injuries, are 18 years of age or older, are comfortable using and have access to the internet, are willing to provide a local medical contact in case of emergencies and live in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, or Saskatchewan

Additional Resources:

More information about PSPNET: www.pspnet.ca

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Mental Wellness

If you need help, seek help.

For assistance, the fire service has a number of options:

  • Our provincial CISM team is available to assist after any line of duty critical incident by calling 1-800-559-3473 - https://www.nsfirecism.ca/

  • The Nova Scotia Mental Health Crisis Line 1-888-429-8167 is available for any of your mental health concerns. - https://novascotia.ca/mental-health-and-wellbeing/

  • Check with your fire department insurance provider for any programs or support they can offer.

  • If your department has a Fire Chaplain or similar position this might be a great first step.

  • Reminder, most Doctor’s offices are still open!

  • Remember 211 is a great tool to find services and programs including mental health assistance https://ns.211.ca/

  • Wellness Canada Mental Health Portal: https://ca.portal.gs/?lang=en-ca


Recognize how you are feeling

Take care of yourself

Stay connected

Maintain perspective

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