FES-NL is primarily responsible for both the provision of emergency preparedness and emergency response, planning, and training, and for a leadership role in the coordination and/or delivery of fire protection and fire prevention services throughout the province. In addition the agency is responsible for the development and maintenance of both a business continuity plan for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and an emergency management plan for the Province.
The Emergency Services Act was proclaimed on May 1, 2009. Section 3. (1) established Fire and Emergency Services – Newfoundland and Labrador (FES-NL). The mandate of FES-NL is to develop and maintain a fire and emergency management system in Newfoundland and Labrador to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from fires and other emergencies. The Act further mandates FES-NL to develop and maintain a business continuity plan for the government of the province and an emergency management plan for the province (Section 4.(1) of the Emergency Services Act refers).
In fulfilling its mandate, FES-NL delivers the following distinct lines of business which encompass a wide variety of programs and services: awareness, education training and certification; fire services, emergency management and support services; and regulation, enforcement and reporting. Please note, some programs and services may be subject to an application process, eligibility requirements, a request, or subject to the availability of resources. For further information, please contact FES-NL at 709-729-3703 or 709-729-1608.
FES-NL is the agency within the provincial public service that promotes awareness and provides education, training and certification services to the general public, emergency responders and the fire service. The agency assists individuals, communities and governments with the means and knowledge required to prepare themselves for and respond to a future disaster or emergency (emergency preparedness), and delivers various fire safety and public education programs.
With regards to the fire service in the province, FES-NL conducts fire services training, certification and testing. Some of its training standards are developed and set by the agency itself while others are adopted from national standards. FES-NL also provides training and education programs such as Basic Emergency Management (BEM), Emergency Operations Center Management (EOCM), and Public Information Officer (PIO) training for emergency response personnel. FES-NL also works with a variety of external partners to provide advanced accredited fire and emergency management training.
FES-NL fulfills a number of planning, response, recovery and support functions under its fire/emergency management and support services line of business. As with the previous line of business, it assists individuals, communities, private sector and governments with the means and knowledge required to prepare themselves for and respond to a disaster or emergency. It may also assist in the management of an emergency or disaster in partnership with the affected area. FES-NL also manages and/or supports any large scale emergency or disaster and coordinates the activities and operations of all first responders/service providers; this includes the coordination of multi-disciplinary and multijurisdictional response.
FES-NL is responsible for the planning/implementation of the federal provincial Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) which may provide certain financial assistance for emergency preparedness and other resources to respond to emergencies. It is administered on behalf of Canada and has an eligibility requirement.
FES-NL may also provide financial assistance for the restoration of property, land and buildings to pre-disaster state in the event of a disaster. Expenditures may be recovered by the Province under the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program (DFAA). Under DFAA, Canada provides financial assistance to provinces and territories when the cost of dealing with a disaster places an undue burden on the provincial economy; funds are received through an application and the claim process is administered by the Province and subject to federal eligibility requirements and federal audit. FES-NL delivers an Emergency Air Services Program which assists police forces when requested, in search and rescue activities for lost and missing persons. It also utilizes air services to conduct training and ground search and rescue and to conduct flood assessment.
The agency is a source of advice for fire departments on organizational, technical or tactical issues. The agency also provides funding for municipal firefighting equipment and firefighting vehicles under the Fire Protection Financial Assistance (firefighting equipment) and the Fire Protection Infrastructure (firefighting vehicles) programs. These programs are application driven and follow an assessment process to assist municipalities in acquiring necessary firefighting resources. FES-NL distributes long service awards to firefighters and administers the Firefighter Licence Plate Program. All volunteer and career firefighters across the province, which meet eligibility requirements, are eligible to apply for a firefighter licence plate from the Department of Government Services. This specialty licence plate acknowledges that a vehicle is registered to a firefighter.
FES-NL provides facilitative and support services to provincial government departments and agencies for the maintenance of business continuity plans (BCP) and is developing an implementation strategy to move Government from plan development to the establishment of a BCP program for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
FES-NL performs a number of assessment, inspection, investigation, report and permit functions in the delivery of the regulation, enforcement and reporting line of business to ensure fire protection and life safety. Examples include compiling the provincial fire loss statistics and annual fire loss report, conducting fire investigations, conducting fire prevention and life safety inspections, fulfilling the legislated responsibility for fire protection services assessment and issuing a variety of permits and orders such as a permit to service fire protection equipment or building capacity orders. Furthermore, when a municipal council, local service district, or region has developed an emergency management plan and has approved it in principle, the plan must be submitted to the Director of Emergency Services for approval prior to adoption by that municipality, local service district, or region.
FES-NL is headquartered in St. John’s and operates regional offices in Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Deer Lake and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.
FES-NL has defined its primary clients as any person, group, or organization served by or using their programs and services who are the principle beneficiaries of its lines of business. These clients include the following: citizens and families; local governments; fire departments and firefighters; first responders; police agencies; individuals impacted by fires, emergencies and disasters; government departments and agencies; and the private sector.
Partners of FES-NL include all stakeholders in the fire and emergency service field including critical infrastructure providers, various federal and provincial government departments and agencies, police agencies, the private sector and many Non-Governmental Organizations found in Newfoundland and Labrador.