Work progresses on strengthening fire services in Keno, Ross River, Old Crow and other Yukon communities

Press Release

The Government of Yukon recently delivered a wildland fire truck and firefighting equipment to Keno for use this winter. The new equipment is part of the government’s work with unincorporated communities to strengthen their volunteer fire services through education, training and equipment.

Residents from Keno were provided a program orientation with the fire truck delivery and volunteers will begin training to respond as Scene Safety Responders this month. As mutual-aid partners, the Mayo Volunteer Fire Department also familiarized themselves with the vehicle’s operation.

A review of Yukon fire services was published in December 2021. In the year since, the Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office has been working with communities to develop solutions for fire prevention and protection. This includes a new “levels of fire service” model, which matches community capacity and needs with sustainable fire service programs. In this model, if a community has one or more identified volunteers, it can initiate a Fire Safety Champion Program, with the potential to grow into a Scene Safety Response Unit, Exposure Protection (Basic), Exterior (Advanced) and Interior (Firefighter 1) fire service, based on volunteer resources.

In Ross River, eight volunteers started fire safety training in November 2022. In Beaver Creek, the Fire Marshal’s Office has identified a local Fire Safety Champion to support fire safety, prevention and recruitment. In Old Crow, planning is underway to recruit and train volunteers for a fire safety and protection program.

The Government of Yukon and the Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office will continue encouraging community-based, community-driven, and community-supported volunteer fire services by providing appropriate equipment, training and administrative support across the territory.

A year ago, the fire services review presented us with a roadmap to improve fire prevention and protection in this vast territory. The Yukon government is committed to the sustainable delivery of rural fire services. We are proud of the progress made by the Fire Marshal’s Office and communities across the Yukon and look forward to further momentum.

Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn

Quick facts

  • The Fire Marshal’s Office works with Yukon communities to oversee 16 volunteer fire departments and fire programs, providing administrative support, personal protective equipment and training resources to more than 115 volunteers across the territory.
  • Volunteers are paid an honorarium for time spent in training or callout.
  • Levels of fire services in the new model include: Fire Safety Champion Program, Scene Safety Response Unit, Exposure Protection, Exterior Operations and Interior Operations.
  • The Fire Marshal’s Office also oversees two specialty programs: Special Heavy Operations Team (SHOT) and Special Operations Medical Extraction Team (SOMET)
  • The 2021 review of fire services contained recommendations in the areas of governance, operations, strategy and risk management and compliance.
  • A number of the recommendations in the review were related to Occupational Health and Safety compliance. These were some of the first recommendations actioned, as the health and safety of volunteer firefighters in the Yukon is a top priority.
  • The Fire Marshal’s Office is working with communities to respond to the review’s recommendations.
  •  In addition to this engagement with communities, the Fire Marshal’s Office is working on a strategic plan for the next decade of fire services in the Yukon.

Contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

Julia Duchesne
Communications, Community Services
867-332-4188
julia.duchesne@yukon.ca

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