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
This letter below was from Estevan Fire Chief Dale Feser from a meeting with SGI that your SVFFA President, Doug Lapchuk, also attended:
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.
***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
In November 2008 the Saskatchewan Government announced changes in legislation that would allow volunteer fire fighters to use warning lights and sirens on their personal vehicles. The changes came into effect on April 1st, 2009.
However there is important information to take into account before you put lights and sirens on your personal vehicles. Head over to the Safety page to learn more about the SEVO program and the requirements.
FIRE CHIEFS/OFFICERS/ADMINISTRATORS: DO YOU HAVE A FIRE FIGHTER IN YOUR RANKS WHO HAS GONE "ABOVE AND BEYOND"? DO YOU FEEL THEY DESERVE RECOGNITION AMONGST THEIR PROVINCIAL PEERS? The SVFFA FIRE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR AWARD will honor one outstanding individual from each of the 10 zones. The applicant must be a VOLUNTEER in good standing and have been a member for at least ONE FULL YEAR . The Department must also have been an SVFFA member for a full calendar year.
As a leader you will need to pick the ONE candidate from your team. This may be a daunting task as you may have several who would fit the bill. But, for obvious reasons, only one can be selected (keep in mind you may nominate one of your other "All Stars" the following year provided they continue their outstanding service).
You can write the application in any form you desire: formal letter, bullet point, essay style etc. (please though, no poems) Pick your candidate for 2017, and submit by March 30 2018 to Paul Cockell at email@example.com or Box 62 Leroy, SK., S0K 2P0. Winners will be chosen and their Chief informed prior to the award ceremony at the Spring School in Nipawin April 20-22 2018
This award will be for the "rank and file" members, therefore Chiefs will not be eligible for this award.
NEW FOR 2018!!! We will include deputies and other officers.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your zone reps , Paul Cockell or Courtney at the S.V.F.F.A. office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, here is the information pack!