The Bracebridge Fire Department is one of 50 departments in Ontario getting a slice of a $250,000 donation made by Enbridge Gas.

The department’s piece of the pie amounts to $5,000 and has already been used to purchase training material. Fire Chief Murray Medley says while the books will mostly be in the hands of the department’s new recruits, he thinks the veterans will make good use of the materials as well. 

While mostly books were purchased with the funding, Medley says the department also purchased training videos.

The educational materials were purchased thanks to help from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council’s Safe Community Project Assist. The program is run with help from Enbridge and provides fire departments in the communities where the company operates training materials.

“Some of these manuals are very expensive to buy,” Medley says. He adds the department does have access to other books and videos, but this money allows them to ensure every firefighter has access to the material if they want to learn or refresh their skills. 

Medley says two new recruits have been brought in this year and two other prospects may be hired in the future. The department currently has a roster of four full-time staff and 40 volunteer firefighters.

Since the Safe Community Project Assist program was launched in 2012, 244 grants have been awarded to fire departments in Ontario for additional training.

“Firefighting can be dangerous and unpredictable, and these training materials positively contribute to the health and safety of firefighters and the broader community,” Ontario Fire Marshal Jon Pegg says.