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New SVFFA Executive Director

Meet your new Executive Director!

Michelle Williamson has been a member of Qu’Appelle Fire and Rescue since 2006. Michelle grew up in Qu’Appelle and joined the department when she moved back after attending SIAST in Moose Jaw. However, Michelle has been around fire service for more than her 13 years on the department. Her father, Ron Heisler, joined in 1988 and has been Fire Chief since 2002. Michelle is currently the Treasurer for QFD and a Medical First Responder for the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. Michelle also sits on the board of the Qu’Appelle Regional Fire Training Center, QFD’s passion project.

Michelle has attended fire schools and is trained in Fire Inspections, Wildfires and Firefighter Level 1000 with the SVFFA.

Michelle says that what she really loves about being a volunteer fire fighter and medical first responder is “brotherhood” of her department. It goes beyond emergency response. She says “That is a great group of people that you can call on for any kind of help”. Michelle refers to Deputy Chief Kyle Rogers as her little brother, since his time as a junior member, and all members as family.

Michelle lives in Qu’Appelle with her boyfriend and many pets. She has a passion for Mini Coopers and old houses. Her favourite Mini, she has eight, is her 71 Mulberry Austin Mini, affectionately named Boop.

NewsMichael LapchukNews
Heart & Stroke FAST Signs of Stroke
FAST-Mnemonic.jpg.jpg

Heart & Stroke’s campaign promoting the acronym F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech and Time) is a simple way to help Canadians recognize the signs of stroke and take immediate and life-saving action by calling 911.

Since 2014, the FAST campaign has successfully improved public recognition of the signs of stroke in Canada. Beyond recognizing the symptoms, the campaign also urges people to call 911 immediately if they - or the person they are with - are showing signs of a stroke. Calling 911 triggers a provincial “stroke alert”, which allows health care providers at Saskatchewan’s designated stroke centres to prepare to treat a stroke when the patient arrives.

Thanks to the financial support from the Government of Saskatchewan, Heart & Stroke is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Health Authority and other stakeholders to raise awareness across Saskatchewan.

Check out these 4 YouTube videos for more information:

***Updated SVFFA Zone Maps***

You have probably notices a change with the Zone Map. The boundaries have been updated to follow EMFS radio coverage and the SAFC zones.
This will result in a number of departments being listed in a different zone than they were in previous years. Rest assured, for those that prefer attending meetings in their previous zones there is no problem with this, just inform your zone rep.
This isn’t a change, it is a correction and update so the SAFC, EMFS, and SVFFA zones all follow the same borders.

To see the new map, click here.

2018 CVFSA Annual Conference and AGM - Slave Lake, AB

We are excited to announce the 2018 CVFSA Annual Conference and AGM will be hosted by Lesser Slave Region Fire Services in Slave Lake, AB.  This years conference dates are September  27, 28 and 29th.  The link listed below has all the conference details and registration information.  Act quickly as the conference is already 50% sold out.  We look forward to seeing you in Slave Lake in September! Conference details and registration info.

New Events Page is Now Available!

If you look up at the top navigation bar you will see a new link between News and Education and Training: the Events page!

To help clear up the clutter on the News page and to make the events easier to read we have created a new Events page. Check it out! It has a purpose built layout so you can see all the important information about the event one quick glance. You'll be able to see the event name, location, date/time, and more!

If you use Google Calendar or have an Apple device you can even click a link to put the event into your personal calendar! Never miss another fundraising, curling, or appreciation event!

Letter from SVFFA President About Recent SUMA/SARM CISM Resolution

March 14, 2018

From the desk of the President
Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association (SVFFA)

Dear SVFFA members:

It is with a sense of disappointment that I find myself writing to you all today. As you may or may not have been aware, the SVFFA and SAFC had put forth a resolution to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association, (SUMA), as well as the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, (SARM), asking for a one time per capita funding of fifty cents per Saskatchewan resident. This money was being asked for from the two associations to help make sure that our peer counselling program, CISM/CISD peer support, can continue without having to be funded from our own pockets.

Sadly the resolution was defeated at SUMA due to a wording error which presumed that SUMA would tell SARM what they have to do. As we all know this was not the proper wording and as such the resolution was defeated at SUMA. We then rewrote the wording to be specific to SARM and at the convention in Regina today, the resolution was soundly defeated by 85% of all voting members. The concerns that were brought forth against the resolution were as follows:

  • If a SARM member does not want to pay the fifty cents per capita are there sanctions against that RM?
  • What happens down the road if this is a onetime assessment, will we be knocking on the door again for more money in the next few years?
  • SARM insurance has a clause for paying for PTSD treatment so why would they have to add this?
  • And the biggest and loudest concern was that SARM does not feel that this is their problem to worry about, it should be coming from the province to make sure it is always funded.

I am not going to argue any points in this letter, but rather I am going to suggest to all that read this, maybe we should start writing to either WCB to add the ability to bill for debriefing/defusing/peer counselling, or start writing or emailing our elected officials to make the funding for this available through either health, SGI or some other department.

I will take this time to personally thank all the board members of the SVFFA and SAFC for their work on this matter and furthermore I feel we need to thank the Town of Balgonie council for backing the amendment at SUMA, and thank the council of the RM of Edenwold for backing the resolution at SARM. Without these two councils stepping up we could not have moved this ahead. Having said that you as members now need to step up with other volunteer firefighters and start a letter writing campaign to bring awareness to this matter.

I remain positive that we will find some way to get the support that is badly needed for volunteer fire services in our province, it is just going to take a little bit longer and more hard work from our side, but that is OK because we are volunteer firefighters and we always get it done.

Yours in firefighting

Doug Lapchuk
President
SVFFA

SGI Agrees to Single Rate for Vehicle Extrication/Fire Suppression

This letter below was from Estevan Fire Chief Dale Feser from a meeting with SGI that your SVFFA President, Doug Lapchuk, also attended:

Hi Everyone,

I would to provide you three with a debriefing as to the outcome of the SGI meeting held in Regina this past Monday in regards to the SGI Municipal Fire Services Compensation for Motor Vehicle Collision Responses.

Those in attendance heard SGI’s response to the Dillon Consulting report post SUMA conference and directive given by the minister of relation to the report.

SGI has agreed to consolidation of the productive and non-productive call criteria which means that all work being done on/at an emergency scene as a result of a motor vehicle collision will be considered productive and paid at the current productive rate of $913.00/Hr, prorated after the first hour in 15 minutes increments.

After voicing this to the attendees, I took the liberty to again read the SAFC’s official response letter to the report in its entirety to argue for a non-productive rate to be still applicable and payable at half the current productive rate (CPI included) when fire incident command has made the decision to stand down any further response so that wages of responding firefighters would be at least covered in that aspect to avoid any further financial burden of the municipalities.

All in attendance agreed to this, however SGI requested further assistance from the SAFC and the SVFFA in determining proper language reflecting this for their new policy.

I agreed to offer assistance in this on behalf of the SAFC as the SVFFA also offered their help in this matter on a consultation basis to SUMA and SARM as they will have the final say in the wording.

SUMA and SARM were both very grateful that we would help them out in this area.

Thanks to the hard work of SVFFA, SAFC, SUMA, SARM, and others the new SGI rate for motor vehicle collision response will be $913.00/hr, effective 01 March 2018.

NewsMichael LapchukSGI
2018 SGI Fire Suppression/Extraction Rates

***PLEASE SEE UPDATED POST ABOVE FOR CHANGES TO THE SGI FIRE SUPPRESSION/EXTRACTION RATES***

The Saskatchewan Consumer Price Index for Saskatchewan in 2017 was 1.7% therefore the 2018 rates are as follows:

  • Hourly Rate for Productive Call:  $913.00
  • Hourly Rate for Non-Productive Call:  $549.00
NewsMichael LapchukSGI