Niagara Falls man to receive Fire Safety Award

    TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - Leo Mercier of Niagara Falls will receive a Fire
Safety Advocate Award from the Fire Marshal of Ontario at a ceremony on
June 25, 2008 in Toronto. The annual Fire Safety Awards recognize outstanding
contributions to fire protection and prevention in Ontario.
    Leo is an inspector with the Electrical Safety Authority. He has been
deemed an expert witness on the electrical hazards associated with marihuana
grow operations. Since 2005, Leo has attended Provincial Offences Court to
provide testimony and evidence to support charges related to temporary
electrical wiring, a safety hazard often found in marihuana grow operations.
    In addition to the long hours he has committed to attending court, Leo
also provides training to the Niagara Falls Fire Department and the Niagara
Regional Police in identifying and mitigating the shock and fire hazards
commonly found in marihuana grow operations.
    Leo has provided his expertise to the Niagara Falls Fire Service and City
of Niagara Falls throughout the years in training and mitigating fire and life
safety hazards in buildings that present a significant risk to the public and
emergency responders.
    "Leo's expert testimony in court has certainly made a difference in the
outcome of trials involving marihuana grow operations," said Fire Marshal
Patrick Burke. "His contributions will continue to have a significant impact
on fire safety in the Niagara region."
    Fire departments throughout the province nominated individuals and
organizations for this year's awards; 17 recipients were selected. The
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci and
Fire Marshal Burke will present the awards at a luncheon ceremony at the
Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto.

For further information:

For further information: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal,
(416) 325-3138; Janice Johnstone, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3151

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