Apr 21, 2014
By Jane Brown
Budget cuts to Toronto’s Fire Service go into effect today on Easter Monday. There are now four fewer fire trucks in service across the city, including pumper 215, which was used to fight a fire on Saturday morning at a townhouse in the east end. Ed Kennedy is the President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters Association. He says, “when the city amalgamated, Toronto Fire had 128 trucks and 80 stations. As of today, there are 124 fire trucks at 81 stations.” Kennedy says when it comes to fires, “every second counts.” But budget committee chair Frank Di Giorgio says “the response time should just go up minimally, if at all.” He also reassures that Toronto Fire plans to incorporate other “innovative techniques” to ensure service is maintained, such as adding fire prevention staff.
Three other pumpers in Scarborough, Bloor West Village and Etobicoke are also out of service. In fact, the Bloor West Village fire hall is slated to close entirely. The 84 firefighters affected by the closure will be relocated, most into positions vacated by the 70 firefighters who retired in the first three months of this year.