Media Advisory - Off-duty firefighters honoured by the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association

    TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters'
Association will honour Toronto Fire Fighters for their off-duty rescues at
the Association's annual recognition luncheon.

    Date:       Friday, March 30
    Time:       12:30 p.m. (award presentations at 1:15 p.m.)
    Location:   Sheraton Centre, Grand Ballroom West, 123 Queen St. W.

    The Bernard "Ben" Bonser Award: Captain Doug Rogers

    Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, made a rescue or was
involved in saving the life of an individual in a hazardous or threatening
situation. This year's winner is Captain Doug Rogers, Fire Station 343,
B-Platoon, South Command, for his actions at a four alarm fire. While driving
to Fire Station 343 to report for duty, Captain Rogers discovered smoke in the
area of Dufferin St. and St. Clair Ave. W. He stopped to investigate and found
a serious fire. He called 9-1-1 and began alerting tenants on the fourth
floor. Captain Rogers could only withstand the heavy smoke, heat and flames
for about 15 seconds before being forced to retreat. He then organized the
evacuation of the third floor. Upon arrival of Pumper 343, Captain Rogers
assisted in size-up for incoming crews to expedite fire attack as well as
search and rescue operations. The fire quickly escalated to a four alarm,
involving 27 fire units and 100 firefighters. Five dramatic rescues were
performed. Damage was estimated to be $350,000. Fortunately, no deaths or
injuries occurred - likely due to the quick notification, evacuation and
size-up information provided by Captain Rogers.

    The Roy Silver Award: Fire Fighter Paul Assaf and District Chief Roy Law

    Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, performed first aid
or CPR. The winners of this award are Fire Fighter Paul Assaf, Fire Station
214, D-Platoon, East Command, and District Chief Roy Law, Fire Station 111,
A-Platoon, North Command. At a hockey tournament at Scarborough Ice Sports,
Fire Fighter Assaf and District Chief Law performed CPR on a 17-year-old who
collapsed from a cardiac arrest. Despite their valiant efforts the youth did
not survive.

    Al Pearsall Award: Fire Fighter Chris Burrell

    Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, contributed time and
effort toward the improvement of his or her community. This year's winner is
Fire Fighter Chris Burrell, Fire Station 234, D-Platoon, East Command. Fire
Fighter Burrell organized a band of firefighters called "FireSound" that
recorded fire-related hit songs, produced a CD called "Burning Love," and
performed live. Total proceeds of about $20,000 were donated to Muscular
Dystrophy Canada.

    Box 12 Award: Fire Fighter Ron Weltman

    Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, volunteered his or
her efforts to directly benefit Toronto Fire Fighters. This year's winner is
Fire Fighter Ron Weltman, Fire Station 426, D-Platoon, West Command. Inspired
by the events of September 11, 2001 and his trip to New York City for the fire
department memorial service, Fire Fighter Weltman began a project to have the
traditional style helmets reinstated by the Toronto Fire Services. His
interest, recognition of tradition, and perseverance helped reintroduce a
classic symbol of firefighting to the city, and paved the way for the creation
of a new visual accountability system for firefighting personnel. For the many
hours he spent of his own time to help bring this to fruition, the Box 12
Association is proud to choose Fire Fighter Weltman as this year's winner.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

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For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Kevin Ashfield, Toronto
Professional Fire Fighters' Association, IAFF Local 3888, (cell) (416)
605-3889; Captain Michael Strapko, Toronto Fire Services Media Line, (416)

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