OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - In an effort to continue to improve the safety of firefighters and the people they protect, the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) today announced the completion of a new training program for firefighters.
The program addresses safety considerations and fire fighting protocols for successfully fighting fires where photovoltaic systems are in place.
The CanSIA – OAFC partnership began in April of this year when both organizations recognized the need to ensure that firefighters are properly trained to deal with incidents in areas where solar panels may be present.
"Members of the solar industry have always put safety first so we are extremely pleased that this new training manual for Ontario firefighters is complete," said CanSIA President and CEO John Gorman. "In 6 short months our collaborative efforts through the Solar PV Fire Safety Working Committee have ensured that firefighters will have a better understanding of photovoltaic systems".
The program includes a training manual specific to solar power, a solar safety handbook, and protocols to be followed such as visible notification that solar power systems are present. Reciprocal speaking opportunities to better educate each other's industries will also help educate first responders.
"Resident and firefighter safety is a priority of fire chiefs across the province. We are pleased that our partnership with CanSIA, will provide additional training and safety measures," said OAFC President Matt Pegg. "The fast paced growth of solar energy in Ontario over the last few years strengthens the need for more specific training for our firefighters. Working together with front line solar industry experts will assist us in better serving our communities."
This Ontario initiative emphasizes CanSIA's commitment to safety and is an important beginning of what will become a nationwide education program.
CanSIA is a national trade association that represents the solar energy industry throughout Canada. Since 1992, CanSIA has worked to develop a strong, efficient, ethical and professional Canadian solar energy industry with capacity to provide innovative solar energy solutions and to play a major role in the global transition to a sustainable, clean-energy future.
About the OAFC
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) represents the chief fire officers from the 457 fire departments across the province in leading innovation and excellence in public and life safety. The OAFC is the trusted advisor to the provincial government and key stakeholders in regards to community and firefighter safety. To learn more, visit our website at www.oafc.on.ca
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
For further information: Contact CanSIA: Rita Mezzanotte, CanSIA Communications, 416.271.0667, [email protected]; Richard Boyes, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, 905-426-9865, [email protected]