UFV receives funds for two fire-service projects

The goal of the research is to improve efficiency and effectiveness, potentially leading to fewer fires.

  • Aug. 18, 2013 6:00 a.m.

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) has received almost $135,000 in funding to conduct two research projects that could lead to fewer fires and more effective and efficient fire-service delivery across Canada.

The funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program was presented on Monday at Fire Hall 1 in Abbotsford.

Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, chair of the Fire Community of Practice, said one of the projects involves conducting a survey of all fire services across Canada – including those in Abbotsford and Mission – to determine what they see as the key areas that should be researched.

Garis said these areas could include health and safety issues for firefighters, sustainability for fire services, or finding and maintaining volunteers.

He said three to five items will then be presented at a meeting in December as recommendations on what should be further researched.

The second project involves developing an evidence-based “framework” – in the form of a manual or paper – for senior fire service officials to follow in making decisions about the operation of their departments.

The projects are a partnership between UFV, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), and Defence Research and Development Canada.

“This research will bring vital information and much-needed capacity to Canada’s fire service,” said CAFC president Stephen Gamble. “The future of the fire service will rely on our ability to make decisions based on predictable outcomes.”

Research for both projects will be conducted by Dr. Darryl Plecas of  UFV and Dr. Paul Maxim, a professor of economics and former associate vice-president of research at Wilfrid Laurier University.