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Greater Sudbury

Fire Suppression

A fire truck.

Our trucks are black on red for a standardized look and because emergency lights show better against a black background. In Ontario about one third of fire trucks have this colour scheme.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops codes, standards and guidelines to set the levels of service at emergency events. The various levels of service set by the NFPA that can be provided are: 

  • Awareness level service involves identifying the issue and controlling access to the scene.
  • Operations level service involves identifying hazards and responding using mainly defensive techniques.
  • Technician level service involves identifying hazards and responding using both defensive and offensive techniques.

We provide a number of services at various levels. Read more below.

Career Firefighter Service Levels

Career (full-time) firefighting services are provided at four stations. These stations are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They include Van Horne, Minnow Lake, Leon (New Sudbury) and Long Lake Road. These stations have four career firefighters on duty at all times, with the Van Horne station having an additional four firefighters to operate the aerial truck. There are no volunteer firefighters at these locations. The Platoon Chief is also located at the Van Horne station and is responsible for all fire service responses, including all volunteer response, for all stations throughout the City of Greater Sudbury.

Training:

  • Each career firefighter takes part in 288 hours of on-duty training at their station or at the training grounds of the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre.

Response (staffing) attendance at calls :

  • All calls are responded to with four career firefighters per responding vehicle immediately from the station.  
  • Career firefighters respond to calls from their Fire Station and, where necessary, travel to other areas of the city to assist where incidents dictate a need for additional resources.
  • The average reaction time in 2016 in the career stations is 1 minute, 36 seconds. Reaction time is defined as the time of dispatch, to putting on personal protective equipment, to getting in the truck and driving out the door with four firefighters. This results in a career fire truck being on scene at an emergency on average in 4 minutes and 38 seconds.

Level of available response from career-staffed stations include:

  • Interior fire attack on residential, commercial and industrial buildings. 
  • Medical service response as trained Emergency First Responders to provide medical aid using a medical tiered response format in conjunction with Paramedic Services responses.
  • Technical rescue, including auto extrication, still and swift water rescue, and ice rescue at the technician level.
  • Rope, high and low angle, trench and confined space rescue at the awareness level only. 
  • HAZMat services at the awareness level, with decontamination capabilities.   

Volunteer Firefighter Service Levels

Volunteer firefighters are an integral part of the fire services delivery model in the city. Volunteer firefighter services are provided at 19 City of Greater Sudbury fire stations, including Azilda, Beaver Lake, Capreol, Chelmsford, Coniston, Copper Cliff, Dowling, Falconbridge, Garson, Hanmer, Levack, Lively, Red Deer Lake, Skead, Val Caron, Vermillion Lake, Wahnapitae, Waters, and Whitefish.

Volunteer firefighters are not present at their stations and currently respond from wherever they may be at the time of the incident. They are notified of calls by pager. Depending on their personal circumstances, they have full discretion as to their availability to respond to a call. As a result, volunteer firefighter attendance is not consistent on a call-by-call basis throughout the city.

Training:

  • Each volunteer firefighter is offered 72 hours of paid training per year, and additional optional unpaid training, on a rotating schedule. In 2016 volunteer firefighters have on average attended 33% of the available training.
  • Volunteer firefighters are trained to perform basic firefighting skills at their stations and attend a mandatory annual training at the Lionel E. Lalonde Centre.  
  • Capreol, Dowling and Levack station volunteers are also trained as Emergency First Responders like their career peers. Emergency First Responders provide medical aid using a medical tiered response format in conjunction with Paramedic Services responses.

Response (staffing) attendance at calls:

  • Response to calls is based on a volunteer firefighter’s availability to respond to a call at their discretion. The average reaction time in 2016 in the volunteer stations is 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Reaction time is defined as time of dispatch, to driving to the station in their personal vehicle, to putting on personal protective equipment, getting in the fire truck and driving out the door with an undetermined number of firefighters in the truck. This results in a volunteer fire truck being on scene at an emergency on average in 9 minutes and 59 seconds.
  • Fire ground staffing requires appropriate numbers of firefighters at a fire response to ensure firefighter safety and fire ground effectiveness such as having enough firefighters on scene to make entry into a building to suppress the fire and rescue people, if required. Not knowing how many volunteer firefighters are attending, career firefighters are currently dispatched to respond to all areas of the city to ensure sufficient firefighters at structure fires.

Level of available response from volunteer unstaffed stations include:

  • Interior fire attack on residential, commercial and industrial buildings when the appropriate number of combined volunteer firefighters and/or career firefighters is on scene.
  • Technical rescue, including auto extrication, although not all volunteer stations have the applicable equipment or training.
  • Still, swift water and ice rescue at the awareness level. Azilda and Skead Stations offer technician level still water rescue. 
  • Rope, high and low angle, trench and confined space response at the awareness level. 
  • HAZMat services at the awareness level.  

Composite Service Levels

Combined (composite) firefighting service is only provided at the Val Therese fire station. This station maintains a minimum staffing of two career firefighters supplemented by volunteer firefighters. The career staff at the Val Therese station also responds to the Val Caron and Hanmer response areas to supplement the volunteer response.

Response to calls:

  • Between two and four career firefighters respond to calls, plus volunteer firefighters as available.

Level of Available Response:

  • The service levels at this station are identical to the career stations, except that a minimum of two career firefighters will be in attendance at the incident, plus volunteers as available. 
  • Career firefighters provide an enhanced level of response that supports the volunteer firefighters in these stations.
  • The average reaction time for the career firefighters in 2016 is 1 minute and 42 seconds. The average  reaction time in 2016 for volunteer firefighters at the Val Therese station in 2016 is 3 minutes and 22  seconds. The volunteer response truck at this station is normally the second arriving truck as the career truck is already on its way to the scene and arrives on average in 6 minutes and 19 seconds.   

Why do so many fire trucks go to an emergency? 

Greater Sudbury Fire Services follows standards and guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association, Provincial Health and Safety Legislation, and the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal.

Take a look at our video to see what happens when we are called to a fire and how many firefighters are needed on the scene to safely get a fire under control.