Edmonton Fire Fighters Go Pink

The Edmonton Fire Department and IAFF Local 209 show off their new “Pink” rescue truck. Their new rescue truck just put in-service will be showing off its colors for the next year in support of breast cancer research.

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Alberta Delegates Say Good-bye to Whitehorse

Alberta Fire Fighters outside of the Klondike Rib and Salmon Restaurant enjoying a final lunch before heading back to Alberta after a very successful Western Fire Fighters Conference held June 26-29.

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Alberta President Address Delegates in Whitehorse

Alberta President Craig McDonald addressed the I.A.F.F. delegates at the Western Fire Fighters Conference held June 26-29 in Whitehorse. McDonald provided an update on the state of all 17 Alberta locals and commented on some of the ongoing objectives his Executive Board is working on like Presumptive Cancer Legislation and the upcoming meeting with the Provincial Fire Chiefs this fall.

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AFFA on hand for passing of New Presumptive Cancer Coverage for Manitoba Fire Fighters

Alberta Fire Fighters Association President Craig McDonald and Secretary Brad Hoekstra join Winnipeg Professional Fire Fighters President Alex Forrest on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature for 3rd reading of four new presumptive cancer coverage(s) for Manitoba fire fighters.

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Fire Fighter Cancer Legislation

Local 3021 Spruce Grove Firefighters with Premier Ed Stelmach and Minister for  Employment and Immigration Thomas Lukasuk supporting the new additions to presumptive fire fighter cancer legislation.

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Alberta Fire Fighters Receive Enhanced WCB Cancer Coverage

List of cancers eligible for coverage among the best in Canada

Alberta’s firefighters have more work-related coverage than ever before now that four more cancers are being added to the list of cancers with presumptive WCB coverage.

The four cancers added to the presumptive coverage list are prostate, breast, skin and multiple myeloma, bringing the total to 14. If a firefighter is diagnosed with these, or any of the other 10 cancers on the list, and the firefighter meets the exposure criteria, the cancer is presumed to be work related.

“Our firefighters dedicate their careers to protecting us,” said Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, speaking to the Alberta Fire Fighters Association annual convention in Calgary. “We have an obligation to do what we can to protect them - and that’s what we’re doing. Alberta firefighters, along with those in Manitoba, now have access to the most comprehensive list of presumptive cancers in all of Canada.”

Although there are many factors that can contribute to the risk of contracting cancer, firefighters are at greater risk than the general public of being exposed to a variety of toxic or cancer-causing agents when they approach burning buildings. In May 2010, esophageal and testicular cancer were added to the list of cancers considered to be “presumptive” or presumed to be work related without requiring proof.

WCB-Alberta provides compensation to all covered workers if they are injured or contract an illness as a result of work.  More information on WCB presumptive coverage of cancers for firefighters can be found online at: wcb.ab.ca/pdfs/workers/WFS_Firefighters_with_cancer.pdf

The Alberta government is working to build a better Alberta by fostering economic growth, strengthening our health and education systems, investing in infrastructure, supporting safe and strong communities and ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

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Alberta Fire Fighters Meet in Calgary

The 17 Alberta Professional Fire Fighter Locals from across the province will meet in Calgary May 2-5, 2011. At their annual general meeting they will discuss current issues that affect all fire fighters in the province from health and safety to manning and staffing of fire fighters.

This year will see the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold A. Schaitberger, the Alberta Governments Minister of Employment and Immigration Thomas Lukasuk and the Mayor of the City of Calgary Nenshi address the delegates at the opening ceremonies.

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Does your Department meet the Standard?

NFPA 1710
National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1710 is the Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments. This standard was developed by an NFPA Technical Committee that included individuals from a variety of backgrounds, representing collectively more than 1000 years of fire fighting experience both in Canada and the United States. Its development grew out of more than 10 years of exhaustive research and analyses of some 40 years worth of empirical studies, related documents, articles, and industry publications from across North America. The International Association of Firefighters representing 260,000 professional firefighters in Canada and the USA, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, together acknowledge the importance of this ground breaking standard. That is because it applies the documented and proven science of fire behavior to the basic resource requirements for a safe, efficient, and effective fire service. It further provides a measuring stick for determining whether your existing municipal resources are sufficient to protect lives and property, and categorically disproves the fallacy of the “something is better than nothing” model. Few events are more dreadful and potentially tragic than a fire in the home. In most Alberta Cities, the Fire Department’s response capabilities are inadequate. This is because most Fire Department growth has lagged behind extraordinary growth in population and urban sprawl over recent years. According to NFPA 1710, many communities are now deficient in its ability to assemble adequate firefighting resources at structural fires within time frames necessary to effectively suppress fire and mitigate potential loss of life and property. This is unacceptable. Political agendas, budgetary constraints and competition between City departments will continue to plague us if we continue to ignore industry standards. Most cities usual hit or miss approach to proper fire protection is not the answer. What Alberta needs is a commitment at all levels to work towards compliance with NFPA 1710 – from your City Councilors to your Fire Chief and your Community leaders. At a structural fire, Fire Departments must assemble the correct number of properly trained and equipped firefighters on scene within the established correct time parameters to perform the tasks necessary to keep small fires from becoming large fires. That is what NFPA 1710 advocates. What does that mean specifically? It means we need to assemble, in teams of four, and a “full initial assignment” of 15 to 17 firefighters within ten minutes of a 911 call, 90% of the time. By meeting these benchmarks, your Fire Department will be able to mitigate loss of lives and property due to fire while minimizing the ever-present possibility of injury or death to firefighters. That is the minimum protection Albertans and firefighters should receive. Alberta’s firefighters are committed to the safety of Albertans. We will always advocate for resources that deliver safe, effective and efficient fire services. We will continue to question the motivation of those who minimize or dismiss the validity or legal application of industry standards such as NFPA 1710. Your City Council has an obligation to ensure you and your community members are fire protected to a level based on reasonable and acceptable standards. The Alberta Firefighters’ Association and it’s members will continue to support you and your community members in your efforts to achieve such protections.

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WCB Regulations

ALBERTA REGULATION 102/2003 Workers’ Compensation Act FIREFIGHTERS’ PRIMARY SITE CANCER REGULATION Definitions 1 In this Regulation, (a) “Act” means the Workers’ Compensation Act; (b) “non-smoker” means an individual who has not smoked a tobacco product in the 10 years prior to the date of diagnosis of a primary site cancer. AR 102/2003 s1;249/2005 Designated cancers and periods of employment 2 For the purpose of section 24.1(4) of the Act, the primary site cancers and the minimum period of exposure for each disease are the following: PRIMARY SITE CANCERS MINIMUM PERIOD OF REGULAR EXPOSURE TO THE HAZARDS OF A FIRE SCENE -Primary leukemia 5 years, -Primary site brain cancer 10 years, -Primary site bladder cancer 15 years, -Primary site lung cancer in non-smokers 15 years, -Primary site ureter cancer 15 years, -Primary site kidney cancer 20 years, -Primary site colorectal cancer 20 years, -A primary non-Hodgkins lymphoma 20 years,

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