Canada’s professional fire fighters are proud to serve their communities. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) represents more than 23,000 professional fire fighters across eight provinces and two territories, men and women who risk their lives and their safety to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens and to protect our national infrastructure.
Today’s professional fire fighter does a lot more than fight fires. In cities across Canada, professional fire fighters use existing personnel, vehicles and training to respond quickly to serious medical emergencies, and additional training and skills to respond to a variety of emergencies such as hazardous materials calls, ice/water rescues, industrial accidents, rope rescues and other emergencies. We are Canada’s first line of defence.
Canada’s professional fire fighters are on duty 24/7/365 and are ready to respond in minutes to virtually any emergency, all for less than a dollar a day to the typical Canadian household, based on average property assessments. Professional firefighters work a 42-hour workweek and work nights, weekends and holidays away from their families with no additional compensation for doing so.
Fire fighters are also dedicated to their communities, donating countless off-duty hours and raising millions for local charities and national organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
That’s why year after year, Canadians rank fire fighters as the most trusted profession in independent public opinion polls.
The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, DC with a Canadian Office in downtown Ottawa Ontario, is North America’s leader in public and fire fighter safety. Our 23,300 Canadian members belong to 182 local affiliates and six provincial associations.
The IAFF provides our local affiliates with research and assistance on issues affecting public and fire fighter safety, as well as other issues such as collective bargaining, public relations and governmental relations. We also protect the image of Canada’s professional fire fighters and ensure the media and others accurately portray the important roles fire fighters play in their communities.
In 2009, the IAFF began an innovative partnership with the Government of Canada through which more than 2,500 first responders in hundreds of communities have received Haz-Mat and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) response training with the IAFF curriculum at no cost to their local municipality. Millions of Canadians are safer as a result of this initiative.
The IAFF conducts a grassroots and non-partisan legislative program that culminates in an annual Canadian Legislative Conference, during which fire fighters from across Canada come to Ottawa to lobby their MPs and Senators to act on emerging public and fire fighter safety issues.
Day in and day out, the Canadian Office works closely with the democratically-elected leadership of 182 local affiliates, with the three Canadian IAFF District Vice Presidents, Canadian Trustee and six Provincial Associations to assist in meeting the needs of affiliates at every level.
The Canadian Office is an active participant in worker rights and social justice initiatives of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).