In its 2021 annual report, the Service de sécurité incendie de Laval says it finally reached a strike force level of 10 firefighters in 10 minutes last year for 97 per cent of interventions, with an average response time of five minutes and four seconds for the arrival of the first vehicle.
The fire department says the goal was achieved through some major investments, including the implementation of a new GPS system in vehicles, as well as the addition of a new pump truck at the Saint-François district firehall.
According to the report, a new collective agreement for 2019-2024 was signed last year between the firefighters and the fire department, with the addition of level one first responders being part of the agreement.
“When we call the fire department, we are often in the midst of a crisis situation and a few minutes can make all the difference,” says Laval city councillor and executive-committee member Sandra Desmeules who is responsible for public safety issues.
“I therefore salute the work of all our firefighters who unhesitatingly are implementing new practices to be able to intervene faster and more efficiently. The fact that they are able to intervene in less than 10 minutes in 97 per cent of situations, above the 90 per cent target set the Ministry of Public Security, is exceptional and worthy of mention.”
In spite of the fact the last two years left the fire department preoccupied with sanitary issues linked to the pandemic, Laval fire chief Patrick Taillefer said they were still years of great change for the department.
“We improved our services to citizens, with the addition of four firefighters and a first responder chief, the addition of an ice-rescue service at Firehall No. 5 in Saint-François, the optimization of our operational material and the renewal of our vehicles fleet,” he said.
“All these investments were such that our strike force rose to a high level, which allowed us to live up to our mission, which is essentially to protect the lives and property of the population.”
Over the course of 2021, Laval’s fire department received 5,706 calls for assistance, of which 257 concerned building fires. Of these, 63 fires required a level of alert (1 to 5) with a significant deployment of firefighting personnel.
In addition to fighting fires last year, the fire department also dealt with these issues:
- Spills of dangerous materials;
- Road accidents and freeing accident victims;
- Assistance to persons stranded on ice or in the water;
- Gas and carbon monoxyde leaks;
- Elevator rescues;
- Civil emergencies.