The 2022 municipal election is on October 26. Get the latest election information. Les élections municipales de 2022 ont lieu le 26 octobre. Obtenez des renseignements à jour sur les élections.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service honours traditions while adopting new technology

Evolutions in firefighting improve safety and efficiencies

May 8, 2020

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service honours traditions while adopting new technology

Firefighting is a career steeped in proud traditions. Some have quipped that the fire service is “100 years of tradition unimpeded by progress.” In recent years the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) is disproving this adage as it adopts new technology with benefits rooted in scientific research making members safer and giving crews the ability to be more efficient.

“While our responders respect the history of our service, they are very keen to implement new technology, processes, and tools which help to improve the way they do their work,” said WFPS Chief John Lane.

The WFPS drone was used during this fire on Jarvis Avenue in July 2019.

It was spring of 2018 when the service introduced its first Remote Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) into service. The RPAS, also known as a drone, is available to be deployed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round to a range of calls. Equipped with a high definition camera and thermal imaging capabilities, it allows for safer, quicker, and more efficient responses to emergencies.

Since its deployment two years ago, the RPAS has been used at dozens of incidents, including structure fires, wildland fires, and water rescue calls.

The RPAS gave crews an advantage at this October 2018 fire
The RPAS gave crews an advantage at this October 2018 fire

It has proven to be invaluable tool within the department as it offers crews an aerial perspective of a scene.

“It allows crews to see where the heat or fire is located making it safer for our members,” said Scott Wilkinson, Training and Safety Equipment Project Manager.

Wilkinson added it also increases efficiency as it allows crews to resolve incidents more rapidly, reducing the consumption of fuel and water.

Another new tool recently made its way into the department’s tool box. The WFPS is currently undertaking a pilot project to evaluate the effectiveness of the Flameguard X-Tinguish Fire Suppression Tool (FST).

Flameguard X-Tinguish Fire Suppression Tool (FST)
Flameguard X-Tinguish Fire Suppression Tool (FST)

The FST is an aerosol suppression tool that can be used to knock down fires, significantly reduce temperatures, and prevent flashovers to allow safer access for firefighters. When deployed, the FST can reduce temperatures and disrupt fire propagation in a confined space, resulting in safer conditions for occupants and firefighters, as well as reducing water use and overall damage.

The tool is activated manually by pulling a pin which activates an electronic ignition system. An aerosol mist is generated which expands to flood the space and suppress flames within seconds. It was used by WFPS for the first time in early May at a fire on Elgin Avenue and Assistant Chief Ihor Holowczynsky reports it operated as intended.

“Safety is always our top priority. Our crews respond to a very high number of structure fires and we strongly believe this tool will increase crew safety,” said Holowczynksy.

Improving WFPS members’ safety is also the reason the department is moving away from traditional firefighting helmets, which are iconic symbols of the profession. Starting this year as the current standard-issue helmets reach the end of their 10-year lifespans, new helmets will be issued, which offer significant safety and performance advantages.

Chief Lane said  WFPS’ proud history will continue to evolve, following industry-best practices and scientific advancements.

“It’s important for us to stay on top of industry-leading practices and incorporate new technology. We are committed to providing the best service to residents and also offering our members the tools and resources they need to do their job as safely as possible.”


Celebrating City Employees Emergency and Safety Other City Information

Was this information helpful?

How can we make this web page better?

Information collected will be used to improve our website. Do not use this form to submit a request for service or information because it will not be forwarded to departments for response. To submit a request for service or information, contact 311.

This form is not intended to collect personal information; however, any personal information you choose to include in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

Ces renseignements sont-ils utiles?

Comment pourrait-on améliorer cette page Web?

Les renseignements recueillis serviront à l’amélioration de notre site Web. Prière de ne pas se servir de ce formulaire pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, car la demande ne sera pas transmise au service en question. Pour soumettre une demande de service ou de renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec le 311.

Le présent formulaire ne vise pas à recueillir des renseignements personnels. Cependant, les renseignements personnels que vous choisissez d’inclure dans vos commentaires sont recueillis par la Ville de Winnipeg en conformité avec l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée dans le but d’améliorer son site Web et ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Communiquez avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée de la Ville par courrier au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou par téléphone au 311 si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements.