Fire and Emergency Services

About Fire and Emergency Services

The Fire, Emergency and Corporate Services Branch of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment 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 branch 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.

Mandate

The Emergency Services Act was proclaimed on May 1, 2009. Fire and Emergency Services was formed 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 directs the branch 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).

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Lines of Business

The following distinct lines of business 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 709-729-3703 or 709-729-1608.

Awareness, Education, Training and Certification

The Fire, Emergency and Corporate Services Branch promotes awareness and provides education, training and certification services to the general public, emergency responders and the fire service. Among other initiatives, the branch 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, the Fire Services Division conducts fire services training, certification and testing. Some of its training standards are developed and set provincially, while others are adopted from national standards. With regards to the Emergency Services Division, training and education programs are also provided, such as Basic Emergency Management (BEM), Emergency Operations Center Management (EOCM), and Public Information Officer (PIO) training for emergency response personnel. The branch also works with a variety of external partners to provide advanced accredited fire and emergency management training.

Fire Services, Emergency Management and Support Services

A number of planning, response, recovery and support functions are provided under fire/emergency management and support services. These functions assist 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. The department 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.

The Emergency Services Division 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 the Government of Canada and has an eligibility requirement. The division provides facilitative and support services to provincial government departments and agencies for the maintenance of business continuity plans (BCP) and continues working toward the establishment of a BCP program for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The division also 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.

In the event of a disaster, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment may also provide financial assistance for the restoration of property, land and buildings to pre-disaster state. Expenditures may be recovered by the Provincial Government under the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program (DFAA). Under DFAA, the Government of 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 Provincial Government and subject to federal eligibility requirements and federal audit.

The Fire Services Division is a source of advice for fire departments on organizational, technical or tactical issues. The division 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. The division 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 Service NL. This specialty licence plate acknowledges that a vehicle is registered to a firefighter.

Regulation, Enforcement and Reporting

The Fire, Emergency and Corporate Services Branch 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 Emergency Services Division for approval prior to adoption by that municipality, local service district, or region.

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Staff

The Fire, Emergency and Corporate Services Branch is headquartered in St. John’s and operates regional offices in Clarenville, Grand Falls-Windsor, Deer Lake and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

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The People We Serve

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment 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 include all stakeholders in the fire and emergency services field including: critical infrastructure providers, various federal and provincial government departments and agencies, police agencies, the private sector and many non-government organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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