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Press Release

Statement from Chief Kevin Foster, President, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

Canada NewsWire

AJAX, ON, May 26, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of Fire Chiefs across Ontario I want to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who perished and those who were injured, including two local firefighters, in the fire at Place Mont Roc Retirement Residence in Hawkesbury last evening.

This incident is made even more tragic in that it occurred less than 24 hours after a Coroner's Inquest into the death of four seniors in Orillia called for retroactive installation of sprinklers in vulnerable occupancies like retirement homes. The fourth such Inquest since 1980 to do so.

The two fatalities and injuries in a non-sprinklered retirement home further identifies the necessity to mandate this important improvement as soon as possible for the protection of the occupants and the fire fighters who respond to these incidents. Earlier this year the government announced a Technical Advisory consultation for vulnerable occupancies with a targeted completion of next summer. Much work has already been completed and the OAFC is hopeful that government recognizes the urgency to expedite the completion of the project and revises the target for implementation of the results prior to the end of this calendar year.

In the meantime, the OAFC will continue to work with Ontario fire services and their firefighters, the Office of the Fire Marshal and the government to help improve fire safety for Ontario's care occupancies.

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs represents the chief fire officers of the 462 municipal fire departments in the Province of Ontario. These Chiefs Officers are ultimately responsible, by statute, for the management and delivery of fire, rescue, and emergency response to the 13 million residents of Ontario.

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