Ontario Fire College needs to remain open
February 9, 2021— Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and Matt Richter, Green Party candidate for Parry Sound Muskoka, released the following statement regarding the planned permanent closure of the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst:
“Eliminating the Ontario Fire College is a blow to Gravenhurst and small municipalities across the province who will be on the hook for training costs.
The Ontario Fire College plays a crucial role in training the province’s firefighters and keeping our homes and neighbourhoods safe.
The pandemic has left municipalities in financial turmoil. The last thing they need right now is more downloading.
Greens are calling on the government to step up, do their job, and reverse the decision to close the Ontario Fire College.”
What Does This Mean?
The Ontario Fire College will be replaced by smaller Regional centres. These regional centres are not operated by the province and charge the fire departments from $300 to $1200 per course. Departments must also cover hotel and meal costs for their trainees if the location is not close enough to home for them to commute.
The Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst is a state of the art facility where thousands of fire fighters have been trained each year. It has been closed since March, 2020 due to the pandemic. Fire departments pay $65 per course including room and board to send their members there.
> Contact your local municipal council.
A motion has been circulated to municipal councils all over Ontario calling on the Ford government to reconsider its decision to close the Ontario Fire College. It has already been passed by several municipal councils in Ontario including Parry Sound, Seguin and Magnetawan in our riding. Others will be taking it up at their next meeting. Ask your councilors to add the voice of your community to this call.