Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Ontario Fire College Training Modernization

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

ONTARIO FIRE COLLEGE TRAINING MODERNIZATION

Communiqué 2021-02

March 4, 2021

This Fire Marshal’s Communiqué is issued as a follow up to the January 13, 2021 announcement regarding the decommissioning of the Ontario Fire College (OFC) and the modernization of fire safety training in Ontario.

This Communiqué provides an overview of OFC training modernization through several modes, including online and blended courses, Regional Training Centres (RTCs) and Learning Contracts.

A fire department’s training program should be designed to meet its set level of fire protection service, based on its needs and circumstances, and guided by the advice of the fire chief. A training program can include a combination of different OFC training modes as well as local in-house training.

While the decommissioning of the OFC campus in Gravenhurst is set for March 31, 2021, staff will continue to play a leading role in developing training courses. This will include curriculum design and development, registration services, online training development and maintenance, training development to build capacity in RTCs, and monitoring performance and quality assurance of programs at the local level.

As part of this plan, OFC instructors will be assigned regionally so that fire departments have a central point of contact for all training inquiries within their region. Instructors will work collaboratively to ensure the availability of training across Ontario.

Available options for OFC training are outlined below:

  1. Online and Blended Courses
  2. Learning Contracts
  3. Regional Training Centres (RTC)
  4. Mobile Live Fire Training Units (MLFTUs)

Inquiries on any of the options available, or how to contact the instructor assigned to your region can be directed to Guy Degagne, Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal, Training and Certification (Guy.Degagne@ontario.ca).

1. Online and Blended Courses

Online courses are generally self-paced, which allows for greater flexibility in completing coursework.

Blended courses have a portion of the course online, combined with specific in-person training sessions. The purpose of blended learning is to focus in-person training to elements that cannot be taught online. Blended courses are offered through RTCs or Learning Contracts.

The following courses are available in either an online and/or blended format:

Course Online Blended
Online and/or Blended Formats
Legislation X
NFPA 1521 X
NFPA 1031 - Level 1 X
NFPA 1035 - PIO X
NFPA 1035 - Level 1 X
NFPA 1021 - Level 1 X
NFPA 1021 - Level 2 X
NFPA 1021 - Level 3 X
NFPA 1021 - Level 4 X
NFPA 1041 - Level 1 X X
NFPA 1041 - Level 2 X
Fire Code - Part 2 X
Fire Code - Part 6 X
Fire Code - Part 9 X
NFPA 1001 - Level 1 X
NFPA 1001 - Level 2 X
NFPA 1002 X
NFPA 1006 - Ice/Water Rescue X
NFPA 1033 - Fire Investigator X

The remaining National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) courses are scheduled to be upgraded to online and/or blended by the 2022-23 OFC calendar year. These include:

Course Online Blended
Online and/or Blended Formats
NFPA 1031 - Level 1 X
Fire Code - Part 3 X
Fire Code - Part 4 X
Fire Code - Part 5 X
Courtroom Procedures X X
NFPA 1072 Haz Mat Operations X

2. Learning Contracts

Learning contracts provide access to OFC programs through in-house training that is affordable and scalable, and they are provided at the local fire department at their pace.  Learning contracts are set up within one fire department, but there is an opportunity for smaller departments to share in the training.

The OFC supports learning contracts with full OFC course delivery including full registration in the OFC database; OFC course numbers; OFC course material; OFC assistance with arranging ASE testing; OFC support in case of Ministry of Labour investigations; and OFC certificates of completion for each student.

Course delivery costs $65 per student. Training can occur during working hours to reduce overtime costs and can be provided by fire departments’ training staff.

3. Regional Training Centres (RTC)

RTCs are operated by municipalities, community colleges, or associations. They are strategically located across the province and provide access to training for career, composite, volunteer, Northern Fire Protection Program (NFPP), and First Nations fire departments.

RTCs are capable of delivering all NFPA programs, including certification testing, and courses meet professional qualification standards including classroom and outdoor fire ground training. It is important to note that course availability across Ontario will be based on a needs analysis that must support local fire departments and the RTC’s infrastructure and capacity to deliver.

A number of factors may result in cost savings or avoidance for fire departments that train at RTCs including mileage to and from the home location, costs to backfill fire department personnel, meal reimbursement, banked time and overtime costs.

The interest to open and operate a new RTC has grown significantly since the announcement in January. A map of current RTC locations is provided below, along with some additional locations being considered. Please note that potential locations are continually being updated and not all locations are reflected in the attached map.

4. Mobile Live Fire Training Units (MLFTUs)

The OFM has purchased two mobile live fire training units that will be available to fire departments across Ontario. In order to support training across the province, one unit will be deployed in northern Ontario and one in southern Ontario. However, this will be continually reviewed to assess where there is the greatest need.

The MLFTUs offer diverse options for live fire training to meet the unique needs of training including: a confined space rescue hatch; main level training rooms; different attack options; multi-prop fire simulators; and portable props.

The OFM will be deploying these units in 2021 and can have them delivered to any location. The MLFTUs will need to be booked in advance and will be available seasonally between May and October. Please contact the OFC Registrar at ApplyOFC@ontario.ca to reserve a unit.


Appendix 1

Map of Ontario's 20 Current Regional Training Centres

Map of Ontario's 20 Current Regional Training Centres

Appendix 2

Ontario Fire College - Geographic Coverage Areas

Andrew Blair - Eastern Ontario
  • Northumberland
  • Peterborough
  • Hasting
  • Prince Edward
  • Lennox Addington
  • Frontenac
  • Lanark
  • Ottawa
  • Leeds and Grenville
  • Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry
  • Prescott-Russell
Robert King - Central Ontario
  • Kawartha Lakes
  • Haliburton
  • Muskoka
  • Simcoe
  • Grey Bruce
  • Dufferin
  • Northumberland
Ken Benoit - GTA / Niagara
  • Durham
  • York
  • Peel
  • Toronto
  • Halton
  • Hamilton
  • Niagara
Lyle Quan - Southwest Ontario
  • Wellington
  • Waterloo
  • Brant
  • Haldimand
  • Norfolk
  • Oxford
  • Perth
  • Huron
  • Middlesex
  • Elgin
  • Lambton
  • Chatham-Kent
  • Essex
Grant Love - Northeast Ontario
  • Renfrew
  • Nipissing
  • Parry Sound
  • North Bay
  • Temiskaming
Jamie Meyer - Rainbow / Algoma / Far Northeast
  • Sudbury
  • Algoma (Wawa and East and South of Wawa)
  • Cochrane
  • Manitoulin
Jennifer Grigg - Northwest Ontario (Nipigon and East)
  • Thunder Bay (Area East of Nipigon)
  • Algoma (Wawa and West and North of Wawa)
Tim Beebe - Northwest Ontario (Nipigon and West)
  • Kenora
  • Rainy River
  • Thunder Bay (Area West of Nipigon)