Mississauga Training Centre Fosters Interagency Partnerships

Mississauga Training Centre Fosters Interagency Partnerships

By Shawn Matheson
Division Chief of Training
Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services (MFES)

The Garry W. Morden Centre

The Garry W. Morden Centre (GWMC), is named in memory of the late Mississauga Fire Chief Garry Morden. The site was designed as a multi-agency training, maintenance and development facility, with the primary users being Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) (Fire Training, and Fleet, Facility and Maintenance), City of Mississauga (Information Technology), Peel Regional Police (PRP) and the Department of National Defence (DND). It also services the needs of outside agencies and private corporations. The centre officially opened on May 8, 2012.

About the Garry W. Morden Centre

The City of Mississauga identified the need for a new fire training centre as well as a new mechanical service centre through the business planning process in the early 2000s.  At that time, the space that MFES occupied for these purposes was relatively small and becoming operationally inadequate. It was clearly time for more space to be acquired to meet the current and future demands of the City.

As the project began to move ahead, partners came onboard. The Department of National Defence, at that time, had their Mississauga-based company, the 75th Company of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, operating out of leased warehouse space. The Peel Regional Police were looking to expand their training facilities in the form of a driving track. Coming together in a single space provided a solution to the needs of each of the agencies and would help to further foster a strong partnership between municipal, regional, and federal governments

The public would also benefit. By increasing the training and skill levels of first responders and the Canadian Army Reservists at the site, the Centre would help to develop interagency training opportunities, increased local response capacity and enhanced levels of service for the public.

The 63,000 square foot Administration building was built to Leadership Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards and it includes many green design elements such as rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and vehicle washing.

Fire Training Features

Ongoing training is critical in the fire service. It’s important from a firefighter health and safety perspective, and also from a professional competency level, that fire service personnel are required to have a broad knowledge of skills to perform their duties. Often times, these duties are in dangerous and unpredictable environments. Some of the fire training ‘props’ (items that support this training) include:

Rescue Training Tower:

The training tower at the Centre

The tower is used for a variety of training. This five storey building is metal and concrete construction. It has an elevator shaft for year round indoor rope rescue training as well as a commercial loading dock for industrial response training scenarios. It can be set up as a Commercial, Industrial, and/or Apartment type occupancy for training in all types of emergencies such as Search and Rescue, Apartment Fires, Firefighter Survival and High Angle Rescue.

Propane Props:

Firefighters require training in flammable liquid and combustible gas emergencies and the propane prop area provides the necessary tools for industrial and transportation-related emergencies response training. Training with propane props provides a safer controlled environment as the trainer has control of when the fire is extinguished. The use of propane simulates real fire in different types of vessels and vehicles that typically rely on its use. Propane burns very clean so it also reduces the impact of training on the environment.


The propane props

Burn Building:

This is where live fire training is conducted with real smoke, heat and flame. Live fire scenarios can be simulated for, basement, kitchen, bedroom, and garage fires. A common hallway/corridor stretching across the 2nd floor at the rear of the building provides for highrise live fire scenarios. Firefighters advance down this hallway into any of the 2nd floor fire units, which can be set up to simulate a high rise fire scenario. The building has a fire pump supplied standpipe system that provides for backup safety lines and hydrants.


The burn building

Driving Track:

This driving track is a partnership with the Region of Peel and is shared by MFES and PRP for driver training seven days a week. The track length is one kilometre in length and includes a motorcycle training area and a fully functioning signalized traffic light intersection. Two hundred and forty two police officers have died as the result of injuries in the line off-duty in Ontario, according to the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation. The track was built to aid in driver training and reduce these numbers.


The driving track

Hazardous Materials:

Mississauga has specialist trained Fire Fighters to deal with any Hazardous Materials incidents in the city. MFES are also available to assist our surrounding neighbour communities such as Brampton, Oakville, Milton and Toronto. The hazmat area has a rail prop with tracks and a rail car donated by CP Rail. A drainage ditch provides an area to practice damming procedures to protect the environment from hazardous runoff. The ditch also provides for transportation rollover scenarios.


The hazmat area has a rail prop with tracks and a rail car donated by CP Rail.

Auto Extrication Training Pads:

The city responds to vehicle collisions every day. All 600 plus firefighters are trained in the removal of trapped victims from vehicle collisions. MFES takes great pride in its internationally recognized and award winning Auto Extrication Team. It is a self-funded team that competes in local and international extrication competitions every year. Cars headed to the scrap pile can be moved from storage onto the training pads or highway prop with onsite heavy equipment. The prop area includes a hydro pole prop that will allow for a downed pole or wires on top of a car.

Department of National Defence (Canadian Army Reserve)

This facility is home to an Infantry Company of the Toronto Scottish Regiment, an Army Reserve unit with its headquarters in Toronto. The Regiment is part of 32 Canadian Brigade Group. The Toronto Scottish have a long and proud history having served in all of Canada’s wars and most recently the unit has had a number of soldiers serve in Afghanistan and domestic operations across Canada. The Mississauga Company will consist of approximately ninety soldiers at full strength. The soldiers train at this facility on Tuesday nights and use it as a deployment centre for weekend training.



A vehicle from the Toronto Scottish Regiment and an aerial truck from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services on the grounds of the Garry W. Morden Centre.

To arrange for a visit, contact the Garry W. Morden Centre at (905) 615-3760.