Kenora Fire and Emergency Services Chief, Kent Readman presented City Council his 2021 fourth-quarter report on Tuesday at a Committee of the Whole Meeting.

The report detailed staffing levels, training, call volumes, response times, and fire prevention.

Readman detailed staffing levels as his first area of focus and said levels have remained consistent.

“Our full-time staff is up with the addition of a new Deputy Chief we're one position short, which should be filled relatively shortly,” Readman said.

As per Readman's report, there are currently, 13 full-time staff, and 27 total volunteer firefighters.

The Chief did add that volunteer firefighter numbers are down, as they are 23 volunteers short of their 60-person target. He assured the council that a Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment will take place in quarter one of 2022, and is anticipating taking in 10 recruits into the new training program.

The second area he dove into was the call volume of the quarter. In that span Kenora Fire responded to a total of 105 calls, 98 of those calls were in Kenora, and seven outside of the city.

Out of the 105 calls, the three highest amount of calls were 30 fire alarm activations (28.6%), 21 motor vehicle collisions (20%), and 10 medical first responses (9.5%). The rest of the calls are as followed:

  • 30 Fire Alarm Activations (28.6%)
  • 21 Motor Vehicle Collisions (20%)

  • 10 Medical First Response (9.5%)

  • 9 Carbon Monoxide Alarm Activations (8.6%)

  • 8 Outdoor Fires (7.6%)

  • 8 Human Perceived Emergencies (7.6%)

  • 4 Structure Fires (3.8%)

  • 4 Rescues (3.8%)

  • 4 Hazardous Materials Emergencies (3.8%)

  • 3 Vehicle Fires (2.9%)

  • 2 Other Fires (1.9%)

  • 2 Other (1.9%)

Along with the number of calls, Readman broke down the response times for every call Kenora Fire responded to.

“Our average number of firefighters per call is 3.42, which is close,” Readman added.

The target number of firefighters per call is four. Readman compares response times with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1720 guidelines, which is for Fireground Staffing Levels for Career Fire Departments.

“Some of our numbers are quite a bit off the NFPA standard. Our geographical area makes our response times more challenging cause the city is quite large, we only have one career truck on duty 24/7.”

The average Turnout time of the first apparatus to all calls is 2:15, with a target of 1:20. The average response time of the first apparatus to all calls was 8:49 with a target of 4:00. The time of the first defibrillator to the patient (medical calls) was 9:03 with a target of 4:00. All time targets were referenced from the NFPA 1710.

Kenora Fire responded to three significant accidents during quarter four.

The first was on October 12, 2021, when a tractor-trailer caught fire on Highway 17A. In that call, Readman explained that 6 pieces of apparatus and 12 firefighters responded.

The second was on November 16, 2021, when crews responded to a fully involved garage fire on Mellick Avenue. Seven pieces of apparatus and 19 firefighters responded.

The final significant incident was on December 3, 2021, when a train versus transport truck accident took place on Railway Street. Five apparatus and 8 firefighters responded.

In the fourth quarter, Kenora Fire committed 439 hours to training.

“We will see that increase in 2022 with new training initiatives, and planning so that will be positive to see.”

COVID-19 has impacted Kenora Fire’s fire prevention activities, but crews were able to complete 13 fire safety inspections.

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services Fire Prevention Week activities were all shifted online with multiple social media posts. This year’s theme was “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety” and focused on knowing the sounds of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms.

As the holidays approached, Kenora Fire and Emergency Services held a 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety campaign that featured daily posts on our social media outlets and radio announcements created by CKFES members aired on local radio.

The purpose of this report is to provide Council with information on the 2021 fourth quarter activities for the Kenora Fire and Emergency Services.