Ontario Investing in Life-Saving Training for Firefighters

May 15, 2023

MISSISSAUGA — The Ontario government is investing $700,000 to support four innovative and free training projects designed for 203 professional and volunteer firefighters around the province. Training will focus on fighting fires in hazardous (Mayday) situations for small and rural services to ensure they are equipped and prepared for ground rescue and wildfire scenarios. There will also be courses for automobile extraction, boating and water safety, and elevator rescue.

“Our firefighters are true heroes who face danger head-on and without hesitation to protect our communities and our people,” said Premier Doug Ford. “These new investments will help to ensure they have the training and resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

Firefighting is among the most stressful careers in Ontario. In recognition of the mental toll, this investment will also contribute to peer support training for suicide awareness and crisis intervention. Two projects will be led by the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association, while the City of Mississauga and the Town of Georgina are receiving funding as well.

“Firefighters work tirelessly to protect others and the physical and mental stresses they face takes a tol

l,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in training programs that offer peer support and mental health services to ensure our firefighters have the training and experience they need to take care of their communities and themselves.”

In March 2023, Ontario announced plans to expand cancer coverage for firefighters. These changes will make it faster and easier for these heroes and their families to access the compensation and supports they deserve for thyroid and pancreatic cancers from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, a $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.


“Our firefighting heroes require appropriate training and resources so they can save lives and make it home to their loved ones. This new training investment by our government is critical to tackling the operational and mental health challenges our professional and volunteer firefighters encounter daily.”

– Michael Kerzner
Ontario’s Solicitor General

“The Fire Fighters Association of Ontario welcomes this important announcement. The fire service has been faced with unique financial challenges post-covid that a lot of municipalities across Ontario are struggling to overcome. These investments will help alleviate this financial burden and allow fire departments to not only provide a better service to their citizens but keep their members safe while doing so.”

– Randy Narine
Section 21 Committee Representative, The Fire Fighters Association of Ontario

“We are excited to see the Ministry’s commitment to supporting our firefighters through the Skills Development Fund projects being announced today. These initiatives will help ensure our frontline heroes have the necessary skills and resources to protect our communities and keep Ontarians safe. We extend our thanks to Premier Doug Ford, the Hon. Monte McNaughton, and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development for their dedication to Ontario’s firefighters.”

– Rob Grimwood
President, Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs