Level of Service Standards - Fire Protection Services - Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program

Table of contents

1.0  Acknowledgements

Recommendations for the content of this draft were received on January 30, 2016 from an Expert Panel including:

As well, the request for comments was made to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) Fire Protection Working Group. This group has representatives from all regions under INAC's mandate.

2.0  Purpose

2.1  This directive states the policy of INAC, through its Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program (CFMP), for providing funding for fire protection services. The scope of the CFMP extends to the Yukon, where financial assistance is provided to six Indian Act First Nations, for capital infrastructure projects under $1.5 million and related ongoing operation and maintenance. Other Indigenous communities located in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are subject to various self-government agreements and are not eligible for CFMP funding.

2.2  The level of service standards for fire protection services (Annex A) is determined on a national basis and serves as the standard to which INAC is prepared to financially assist First Nations in providing basic fire protection services (including fire prevention supporting relevant code compliance and public education) for their communities. This Level of Service Standards aims to be comparable to what would be available in off-reserve communities of similar size and circumstances.

2.3  This document is in effect as of April 1, 2016 and supersedes previous departmental directives related to fire protection services funding. This document is subject to legislative or policy changes and is to be reviewed at a minimum of every five years.

3.0  Scope

3.1  This directive is applicable to INAC staff who are providing funding or fire protection support for services in First Nation communities and Regional First Nation Fire and/ or Emergency Services organizations, where applicable.

3.2  A main theme of the Level of Service Standards for Fire Protection is the importance of fire prevention. Fire safety experts advocate that fire prevention (which includes public education, inspection, and code enforcement) is foundational for fire safety. The rationale to prioritize fire prevention is outlined throughout this updated departmental standard.

3.3  The Level of Services Standards for Fire Protection describes the approach taken by INAC to fund fire protection services using a continuum of services model. The continuum has three tiers. The first tier is investment in fire prevention and fire education programming. The second tier is investment in capacity development, training and effective operation and maintenance of fire protection equipment. The third tier is investment in capital investment towards fire protection infrastructure or equipment. First Nations must meet the requirements at each tier to move to the next tier of funding. This tiered funding approach increases support to a community based on its ability to deliver services at each tier.

4.0  Authorities

4.1  The Authorities for this directive are included under the Terms and Conditions for Contributions to Support the Construction and Maintenance of Community Infrastructure. They include:

5.0  Issuing Authority

5.1  This directive is issued under the Authority of the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Operations.

6.0  Definitions

6.1  Authority Having Jurisdiction – Local government having the authority to determine standards when not defined by legislated or adopted codes (i.e. the governmental body responsible for the enforcement of any part of this Code or the official or the agency designated by that body to exercise such a function).

6.2  Asset Condition Reporting System (ACRS) – The periodic examination of INAC funded buildings and assets, including vehicles, to determine if the construction as well as maintenance and operation conform to the Protocol for INAC Funded Infrastructure (i.e. the listing of Statutes, Regulations, Policies, Codes, Directives, Standards, Protocols, Specifications, Guidelines, and Procedures applicable under the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program).

6.3  Community Risk Assessment (CRA) – A comprehensive review and formally reported assessment of the physical assets and activities carried out to understand a community's risk and its capabilities to respond to a fire incident. This qualitative and/or quantitative evaluation of the measures designed to minimize, both direct and indirect, losses due to fire, and is intended to strengthen a community's overall fire protection and provide recommendations to further improve fire services.

6.4  Community Risk Reduction Plan (CRRP) – The CRRP plan will provide a technical review and assessment of a First Nation community's risk, mitigation and ability to prepare for and respond to a fire incident.

6.5  Comparable Services – Fire services provided by the community for the community that are comparable to the levels of service that would generally be available in off-reserve communities of similar size and circumstances.

6.6  Continuum of Service Model – The approach taken by INAC, and described in the Level of Service Standards, to fund fire protection services (Annex B). The continuum has three tiers. The first tier is investment in fire prevention and fire education programming. The second tier is investment in capacity development, training and effective operation and maintenance of fire protection equipment. The third tier is investment in capital towards fire protection infrastructure or equipment. First Nations must meet the requirements at each tier to move to the next tier of funding. This tiered funding approach increases support to a community based on its ability to deliver services at each tier.

6.7  Fire Department – The department of a local or municipal authority in charge of preventing and fighting fires.

6.8  Fire Service Unit – A fire protection team comprised of professional or volunteer firefighters and administrative personnel appointed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction or the Chief and Council to undertake fire protection activities.

6.9  Fire Inspection Services – The examination of INAC funded public-access buildings or assets, including vehicles, as part of INAC's overarching Asset Condition Reporting System (ACRS) inspection regime to determine if the construction as well as maintenance and operation conform to the Protocol for AANDC Funded Infrastructure (i.e. the listing of Statutes, Regulations, Policies, Codes, Directives, Standards, Protocols, Specifications, Guidelines, and Procedures applicable under the CFMP).

6.10  Fire Plan Examination – Examination of a facility's fire plan to ensure fire suppression capacity matches building needs including but not limited to fire apparatus access/egress, access to water and needed fire flow, fire life safety infrastructure and applicable building and fire codes for new construction, changes of occupancy use, renovations, change or alteration of fire and life safety systems, and associated field inspections.

6.11  Fire Protection Engineering Services – The review of building plans, specifications, shop drawings, and on-site inspections to ensure that the building design and construction conforms to applicable fire protection codes, standards and requirements for INAC funded public-access buildings or assets. For capital infrastructure projects, the application of the INAC Capital Projects Report (DCI# 460671) will provide evidence of this requirement.

6.12  Fire Protection Services – The protection of life and the safety of people and property (i.e. First Nation residences and INAC funded public-access buildings or assets on reserve) from fire, including everything relating to:

6.12.1  CRRP developed from a CRA and related programs to reduce, mitigate, or eliminate the community's risk;

6.12.2  Prevention of fire through public education, fire life safety initiatives, inspections, code enforcement, training, and awareness campaigns; and

6.12.3  Suppression of fire using apparatus or infrastructure to eliminate loss of life and reduce loss of property.

6.13  Fire Safety Plan – Documentation that provides information on the alarms, transmission of alarms, response to alarms, evacuation of immediate area, evacuation of smoke compartment, preparation of floors and buildings for evacuation and extinguishment of fire. The building fire safety plan shall include emergency procedures to be used in case of fire, including sounding the fire alarm; notifying the fire department; instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds; evacuating endangered occupants, including special provisions for the disabled; confining, controlling and extinguishing a fire; and the time required to complete evacuation.

6.14  Fire Services Assessment – An assessment of current fire service capacity by a qualified subject matter expert.

6.15  INAC funded public-access buildings or assets on reserve – There are 14 types of public-access buildings or assets that INAC funds:

6.15.1  Offices;

6.15.2  Schools;

6.15.3  Day Care Centers;

6.15.4  Fire Stations;

6.15.5  Student Residences;

6.15.6  Teacherages;

6.15.7  Community/Cultural Centers;

6.15.8  Arenas;

6.15.9  Gymnasiums;

6.15.10  Indoor Pools;

6.15.11  Youth/Senior Citizen Centers;

6.15.12  Trade Shops/Workshops;

6.15.13  Garages; and,

6.15.14  Warehouses.

6.16  Integrated Capital Management System (ICMS) – The Database of Record for the Capital Facilities and Maintenance program is the Integrated Capital Management System. It is the sole database for the CFMP.

6.17  Level of Service Standards for Fire Protection Services – Levels are defined in terms of a tiered funding approach. Community fire prevention, code compliance and education programs are prioritized first. The next priority is community capacity and training. The final priority is investments in capital/equipment (e.g. buildings, vehicles, protective equipment etc.).

6.18  Underserviced Site – Underserviced is defined as populated sites without fire prevention activities and limited fire protection services or assets. A site is defined as a physical parcel of land catalogued in INAC's Land Registry system.

6.19  Subject matter expert – An individual with the required certification, professional experience and related knowledge to perform relevant reviews, inspections and/or analysis required for the community.

7.0  Policy

7.1  INAC provides funding assistance through the CFMP to First Nations for fire protection. In many cases INAC provides this funding as part of an annual core capital funding contribution. See Annex E for related program policies, directives and requirements, which include specifics for planning, monitoring and reporting obligations.

7.2  The services supported under this policy pertain to core fire safety services required for public health and safety, as described by the CFMP and cover residential housing units and INAC funded public-access buildings or assets (Annex D).

7.3  Other fire related services, those that are outside the mandate of the CFMP, are not funded. These include but are not limited to forest fires; medical emergencies; fire investigations or coroner reports; fires involving commercial, industrial and other private enterprises; vehicular extraction on provincial roads, and all associated costs of these types of services or use of associated assets. These are beyond the scope of this directive and are therefore not covered under this Level of Service Standard as outlined in Annex D. As well, this Level of Service Standard does not apply to fire protection that a Band may offer to a neighbouring Band or municipality.

7.4  Regions will implement this directive giving consideration to the tiered funding approach (i.e. prioritizing support to First Nations for activities such as community fire prevention, code compliance and education programs first).

7.5  In accordance with Paragraphs 6.1 and 6.4, INAC will provide a contribution toward fire protection levels of service as outlined in Annex A.

7.6  Where situations or conditions warrant modifications to the Level of Service Standards, these unique situations or conditions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by INAC or a Regional First Nation Fire Service on behalf of INAC. Increases significantly above the Level of Service Standards (e.g. $25,000) will require approval by the Regional Director General and notification to the Director General, Community Infrastructure Branch, citing the circumstances, objectives and budget. Funding is to be provided from within existing regional budgets and the region will have the discretion to require reporting of the results from the community where additional funding has been released.

7.7  As outlined in Annex A, fire prevention programs focusing on the preservation of life and property are the priority. The Level of Service Standards promotes fire prevention as the foundation and encourages each community to implement it to reduce the risk of fire-related deaths, injuries and loss of critical infrastructure on reserve. Comparable standards for smoke alarms shall be included as part of the framework.

7.8  INAC regions will update the Integrated Capital Management System records of INAC funded fire assets (i.e. assets that serve to provide dedicated fire protection services for the communities) no later than June 30th each year or more frequently as required by the Program Control Framework.

7.9  Due to regional circumstances INAC may fund Regional or National First Nation Fire organizations and their national partners to perform specific functions associated with this policy, including but not limited to performing fire marshal/commissioner roles similar to provincial services (where appropriate), undertaking fire prevention campaigns, and conducting Community Risk Assessments and developing Community Risk Reduction Plans in partnership with Bands, as well as undertaking Fire Service Assessments. Other activities may include undertaking asset inspections and developing Operations and Maintenance deficiency reports for corrective action or addressing code non-compliance, developing and implementing fire protection initiatives targeted to households and communities, establishing targeted or specialized training for firefighters, and working with local and regional fire protection service providers to leverage support within communities for fire prevention and fire protection.

8.0  Responsibilities

8.1  First Nations – First Nations are the owners and operators of community infrastructure on reserve. First Nations that receive funding from INAC through the CFMP are expected to:

8.1.1  Financially contribute to the operation and maintenance costs of their fire facilities, vehicles, equipment and systems in accordance with the INAC policy directive on Operation and Maintenance (see Annex E) including charging service fees for the fire services that they provide.

8.2  Band Councils – Band Councils of First Nations that receive funding through the CFMP are responsible for:

8.2.1  Prioritizing spending to meet the needs of their communities, including fire protection services. First Nations may establish their own fire departments, or contract fire protection services from nearby communities;

8.2.2  Ensuring that Fire Protection services are provided per their funding agreements;

8.2.3  Operation and maintenance funding allocation;

8.2.4  Adherence to this policy directive (i.e. the Level of Service Standards found in Annex A) as well as national and provincial health and safety codes;

8.2.5  Ensuring that Fire Protection infrastructure is designed, constructed, maintained, and operated in accordance with the relevant standards, protocols and guidelines;

8.2.6  Ensuring that operators and firefighting personnel are certified to the appropriate level for the services provided;

8.2.7  Delivering Fire Protection infrastructure in accordance with the Protocol for INAC Funded Infrastructure; and

8.2.8  Providing fire prevention awareness information and/or programs to their communities.

8.3  INACINAC regional offices support First Nations with funding for the provision of Fire Protection services for residential and INAC funded public-access buildings or assets on reserve and on Land Set Aside in the Yukon where applicable. INAC regional offices are responsible for:

8.3.1  Administering funding agreements with First Nations and other organizations to provide fire protection services;

8.3.2  Ensuring approved funding agreements identify the appropriate terms and conditions for codes, standards, and regulatory requirements;

8.3.3  Ensuring compliance by recipients with established funding agreements;

8.3.4  Providing recipients with advice and assistance regarding funding criteria as outlined in this policy directive and the Level of Service Standards found in Annex A; and

8.3.5  Ensuring that the data provided by First Nations pertaining to their fire protection assets is accurate and uploaded to ICMS as described in departmental guides in order that Bands may benefit from ACRS inspections and be supported in their capital planning efforts through the First Nations Infrastructure Investment Plans.

8.4  INAC – Headquarters

8.4.1  Headquarters may undertake periodic data audits of ICMS to verify input from the regions.

8.5  Other Parties – There are regional and technical First Nation organizations and national fire partners such as the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada that may provide advice and support to First Nation governments in developing and delivering fire protection services. Similarly, provincial agencies or organizations may also play a role, for example in the certification of fire fighter personnel and assistance with fire investigations. Additionally, municipalities entered into Municipal Type Service Agreements (MTSA) with First Nations have associated roles and responsibilities incumbent in the terms of the established agreement.

8.6  Working through or directly with fire protection partners such as the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada, INAC may support the efforts of partner organizations. For example, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is working with Statistics Canada to develop a national fire incident reporting database, in which fire incidents on reserve would be recorded. Such a database will mean that fire incident data will be available for use by Bands, Regional First Nation Fire organizations, and federal departments in their development of programs to support fire protection on reserve. Regions that are leading special initiatives may work directly with national fire protection organizations in partnership, when applicable.

9.0  Enquiries

9.1  This document may evolve based on feedback from users and other stakeholders. Comments on the document and questions on departmental policy on which this document is based may be forwarded to normes_standards@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca.

10.0  Annexes

Annex A – INAC Level of Service Standards: Fire Protection Services

1.0  Purpose

1.1.   The Level of Service Standards for fire protection services are determined nationally and are the standards of service that INAC will fund through the CFMP to assist First Nations in providing fire services to their communities. This level of service standard is comparable to the levels of service that would generally be available in off-reserve communities of similar size and circumstances.

1.2.   The Level of Service Standards provides a description of criteria that will be used to establish the level of funding.

2.0 Level of Service Standards

In reviewing the description of the levels, it is useful to consult the Continuum of Service Model in Annex B.

2.1.   The INAC Level of Service Standards for fire protection services is focused on five priority areas that have been identified by fire safety experts as critical to the reduction of structural fire-related risk and losses:

2.1.1.   Individual home fire safety and awareness;

2.1.2.   Public/Community fire safety and prevention;

2.1.3.   Supporting Building and Fire Code compliance;

2.1.4.   Comparable smoke alarm standards;

2.1.5.   Fire department coverage/capacity and preparedness – if available.

2.2.   As such, INAC will support a continuum of services that is built on a tiered foundation of investment for fire protection. This continuum, and its associated scope and categories of service including community level capacity, are outlined in Annexes C and D. Tiers are described below:

Infographic: Approach to funding fire protection on reserve

2.2.1.   Tier 1 - Prioritizes investments in fire prevention and fire education programming

  • Focused on individual home safety and household fire prevention;
  • Examples - applying comparable smoke alarm standards and code compliance.

2.2.2.   Tier 2 - Invests in capacity development, training, and the effective operation and maintenance of fire protection equipment

  • Focused on community fire prevention inclusive of both individual home fire safety and enhanced public fire safety governance; Footnote 1
  • Examples - firefighter recruitment and retention.

2.2.3.   Tier 3 - Provides capital investments toward fire protection infrastructure or equipment dependent on clearly identified risks and requirements

  • Focused on fire services inclusive of individual home fire safety, public/community fire safety governance and an operational fire department.

2.3.  Tier 1 - Fire Prevention and Educational Programming is the foundational level for INAC in providing funding for fire service. Each First Nation is expected to meet this level of service in order to be considered for INAC funding at Tier 2 or Tier 3.

2.3.1.   Communities are either serviced by a small fire service unit or full MTSA, or have no service.

2.3.2.   The minimum criterion for Tier 1 is that a fire prevention/education program be established (i.e. education initiative) that focuses on individual home fire safety.

2.3.3.   This funding base level may be built upon to reach Tier 2 and Tier 3. Communities at Tier 1 that are serviced by a full MTSA will not be considered for Tier 2 funding. However communities with fire service units remain eligible for Tier 2. Similarly, communities that are partially serviced by an MTSA, have an existing fire department and provide community safety awareness and education programs remain eligible for Tier 2 and Tier 3 funding.

2.4.  Tier 2 - Capacity Development and Training is the next funding level for fire service. First Nations are expected to meet the requirements in this tier in order to be considered for INAC funding at the next tier.

2.4.1.   Communities are serviced solely by a fire department (or brigade) or a combination of fire department and partial MTSA.

2.4.2.   Tier 2 funding is intended to ensure an operational fire department that is trained, and adequately operated and maintained fire protection equipment. Both areas need to be supported by an established public/community fire safety governance Footnote 2 system.

2.4.3.   In addition to the Tier 1 criterion, the minimum criteria for this level of service are a completed fire service assessmentFootnote 3 and First Nation Band Council Resolution. The fire service assessment is to be conducted by a subject matter expert and will establish the fire service requirement specific to the needs of the community, including the required number of firefighters and their equipment. The Band Council Resolution (BCR) will formally establish the community's level for fire services per their fire service assessment and outline formal responsibilities within the community.

2.5.   Tier 3 - Capital Investments is the highest funding level for fire service provided by INAC. At this funding level, First Nations are expected to have met all the requirements of Tier 1 and Tier 2.

2.5.1.   Communities are serviced solely by a fire department or a combination of fire department and partial MTSA.

2.5.2.  Tier 3 funding aims to enhance the fire department capacity and preparedness through capital investments in infrastructure and equipment. This is intended to assist First Nations in the planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, and replacement of fire infrastructure.

2.5.3.  Capital project proposals for fire infrastructure and/or equipment remain subject to the Department's National Priority Ranking Framework (NPRF) and overall infrastructure planning process. Projects that are not in the First Nation Infrastructure Investments Plans or detailed in the Integrated Capital Management System will not be funded.

2.5.4.  Regional offices are to use the NPRF to inform the development of their Regional First Nation Infrastructure Investments Plans (Regional FNIIP). The NPRF provides the foundation for consistent and transparent ranking of infrastructure investments. The Framework's priorities are defined by the following Program Activity Categories:

2.5.4.1.  Protection of health and safety as well as assets (i.e. assets require upgrading or replacement to meet appropriate standards);

2.5.4.2.  Health and safety improvements (i.e. upgrades of existing assets, new construction/acquisition projects to mitigate an identified significant risk to health and safety);

2.5.4.3.  Recapitalization/major maintenance (i.e. extend the useful operating life of a facility or asset, or maintain the original service level of the asset);

2.5.4.4.  Growth (i.e. anticipated community growth requiring new housing, roads, schools, community buildings, etc.);

2.5.4.5.  Or other programs identified in a Community Risk Reduction Plan.

3.0 Grandfathering of Existing INAC funded Fire Protection Assets

3.1  With respect to capital investments (i.e. Tier 3), the existing stock of First Nation fire protection capital assets will conditionally be exempt from the revised Level of Service Standards. Existing INAC funded fire protection assets will remain eligible for INAC support toward operations and maintenance funding, on conditions outlined below. New capital requests for funding will be subject to the Tier 3 Level of Service Standards and will require that the Band fulfill the requirements of Tier 1 and Tier 2.

3.2  Conditional requirements for INAC funding grandfathered fire protection assets:

3.2.1  The First Nation will demonstrate, through the ACRS inspection regime, ability to retain or acquire the minimum number of adequately trained firefighters to safely operate the fire protection asset (i.e. minimum personnel required to operate the INAC funded firefighting vehicle).

3.2.2  The First Nation will demonstrate, through the ACRS inspection regime, capacity to maintain fire protection asset (e.g. fire hall, firefighting vehicle, etc.) in a safe and operational manner.

3.3  There may be extenuating situations and/or conditions whereby a First Nation cannot meet the conditions of this "grandfathering" section (e.g. insufficient number of firefighters and/or failure to maintain assets in operational condition). In such cases, any proposed amendment to the funding allocation is at the discretion of the Regional Director General.

3.4   If a First Nation is receiving annual funding from INAC, then a First Nation with "grandfathered" INAC funded fire protection assets will still need to meet the requirements for Tier 1 (i.e. fire prevention/education) and Tier 2 (i.e. capacity development and building) within their current core capital funding contribution. Additional funding will not be provided under the revised Level of Service Standard to accommodate additional costs for First Nation-led fire prevention initiatives.

Annex B – Continuum of Service Model (March 2016)

The Continuum of Service Model (Annex B) supports a range of funding options for providing fire protection services in First Nation communities. The continuum starts with investments for fire prevention and educational programming, then investments in firefighting capacity/training and finally investments in capital and equipment. First Nations must meet the requirements at each tier to move to the next tier of funding.

Your community does not have a Municipal-Type Service Agreement or a fire service unit or department

First Nations communities are expected to fund most Tier 1 fire protection services and activities from their core capital allocations but can submit project proposals for additional funding for specific home fire safety initiatives.

Tier 1 services and activities include fire prevention activities and educational programming such as:

  • the installation of smoke alarms
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • home fire safety programs

To qualify for Tier 2 funding, your community is required to adopt a Band Council Resolution for the provision of fire service or prevention programs.

Other requirements that need to be met for Tier 2 funding include:

  • education initiatives and home fire safety programs or initiatives
  • functioning smoke alarms in all households
  • properly sized, functioning fire protection systems such as smoke detector systems and sprinkler systems, in all public buildings

Tier 2 funding includes capacity development and training in fire service activities such as: 

  • community risk assessments
  • basic firefighter training
  • capital investment plans

After qualifying for Tier 2 funding, it is recommended that your community:

  • develop and implement a community risk assessment plan and a community risk reduction plan
  • do a fire service assessment

Once your community has signed a Municipal-Type Service Agreement or has a trained fire service unit or department, your community will be eligible for funding based on the requirements established for your new capacity.

Your community is served solely by a Municipal-Type Service Agreement for fire protection

First Nations communities are expected to fund most Tier 1 fire protection services and activities from their core capital allocations but can submit project proposals for additional funding for specific home fire safety initiatives.

Tier 1 services and activities include fire prevention activities and educational programming, such as:

  • the installation of smoke alarms
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • home fire safety programs

To qualify for Tier 2 funding, your community is required to adopt a Band Council Resolution for the provision of a fire service or prevention programs.

Other requirements that need to be met for Tier 2 funding include:

  • education initiatives and home fire safety programs or initiatives
  • functioning smoke alarms in all households
  • properly sized functioning fire protection systems such as smoke detector systems and sprinkler systems, in all public buildings
  • third-party fire safety inspections

Before moving forward, it is recommended that your community develop a band-administered fee-for-service community fire services and programming.

Tier 2 funding includes capacity development and training in fire service activities such as: 

  • community risk assessments
  • basic firefighter training
  • capital investment plans

After qualifying for Tier 2 funding, it is recommended that your community:

  • develop and implement a community risk assessment plan and a community risk reduction plan
  • do a fire service assessment

Due to the variable nature of Municipal-Type Service Agreements, your community may access funding on a case-by-case basis for:

  • capital investment plans and maintenance management plans for firefighting equipment, with appropriate operation and maintenance of assets
  • Basic Firefighter Training 1 (exterior fire attack only)
  • the development of firefighter training standards and capacity plans

To find out if your community qualifies for Tier 3 funding, contact your INAC regional office

Capital projects for communities with Municipal-Type Service Agreements will be evaluated on a case-to-case basis.

Your community has fewer than 100 homes and a fire service unit or department

First Nations communities are expected to fund most Tier 1 fire protection services and activities from their core capital allocations but can submit project proposals for additional funding for specific home fire safety initiatives.

Tier 1 services and activities include fire prevention activities and educational programming, such as:

  • the installation of smoke alarms
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • home fire safety programs

To qualify for Tier 2 funding, your community is required to adopt a Band Council Resolution for the provision of fire service or prevention programs.

Other requirements that need to be met for Tier 2 funding include:

  • education initiatives and home fire safety programs or initiatives
  • functioning smoke alarms in all households
  • properly sized functioning fire protection systems such as smoke detector systems and sprinkler systems, in all public buildings
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • band-administered fee-for-service community fire services and programming

Tier 2 funding includes capacity development and training in fire service activities such as:

  • community risk assessments
  • basic firefighter training
  • capital investment plans

To qualify for Tier 3 funding, your community is required to have:

  • a fire service assessment
  • a capital investment plan
  • maintenance management plans for firefighting equipment, with appropriate operation and maintenance of assets
  • Basic Firefighter Training 1 (exterior fire attack only) for all firefighters

Before moving forward, it is recommended that your community:

  • develop and implement a community risk assessment plan and a community risk reduction plan
  • develop and implement firefighter training standards and capacity plans

Once your community qualifies for Tier 3 funding, proposals to fund fire protection capital projects can be submitted to your INAC regional office.

Examples of fire protection capital projects for communities with fewer than 100 homes and a fire service unit or department:

  • firefighting vehicles such as a heavy brush truck
  • buildings such as garages, storage sheds, public works bays, to store assets or equipment
  • firefighting equipment such as hoses, water dugouts, trash pumps, trailers with a water tank, pump and hose, up to 10 sets of Nomex coveralls, respirators, gloves, head protection and hand tools
Your community has 101 to 175 homes and a fire department, and may also have a partial Municipal-Type Service Agreement for fire protection

First Nations communities are expected to fund most Tier 1 fire protection services and activities from their core capital allocations but can submit project proposals for additional funding for specific home fire safety initiatives.

Tier 1 services and activities include fire prevention activities and educational programming, such as:

  • the installation of smoke alarms
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • home fire safety programs

To qualify for Tier 2 funding, your community is required to adopt a Band Council Resolution for the provision of a fire service or prevention programs.

Other requirements that need to be met for Tier 2 funding include:

  • education initiatives and home fire safety programs or initiatives
  • functioning smoke alarms in all households
  • properly sized, functioning fire protection systems such as smoke detector systems and sprinkler systems, in all public buildings
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • band-administered fee-for-service community fire services and programming

Tier 2 funding includes capacity development and training in fire service activities such as:

  • community risk assessments
  • basic firefighter training
  • capital investment plans

To qualify for Tier 3 funding, your community is required to have:

  • a fire service assessment
  • a community risk assessment and a community risk reduction plan
  • a capital investment  plan
  • maintenance management plans for firefighting equipment, with appropriate operation and maintenance of assets
  • Basic Firefighter Training 1 (exterior fire attack only) for all firefighters

Before moving forward, it is recommended that your community develop and implement a firefighter training standard and capacity plan.

Once your community qualifies for Tier 3 funding, proposals to fund fire protection capital projects can be submitted to your INAC regional office.

Examples of fire protection capital projects for communities with 101 to 175 homes:

  • firefighting vehicles such as a mini pumper, a crew cab or snuffer truck
  • buildings such as an insulated, heated single-bay fire hall
  • firefighting equipment such as up to ten sets of turnout gear, six sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus gear, two spare Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus tanks, head protection, hoses and hand tools
Your community has more than 176 homes and a fire department, and may also have a partial Municipal-Type Service Agreement for fire protection

First Nations communities are expected to fund most Tier 1 fire protection services and activities from their core capital allocations but can submit project proposals for additional funding for specific home fire safety initiatives.

Tier 1 services and activities include fire prevention activities and educational programming, such as:

  • the installation of smoke alarms
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • home fire safety programs

To qualify for Tier 2 funding, your community is required to adopt a Band Council Resolution for the provision of a fire service or prevention programs.

Other requirements that need to be met for Tier 2 funding include:

  • education initiatives and home fire safety programs or initiatives
  • functioning smoke alarms in all households
  • properly sized, functioning fire protection systems such as smoke detector systems and sprinkler systems, in all public buildings
  • third-party fire safety inspections
  • band-administered fee-for-service community fire services and programming

Tier 2 funding includes capacity development and training in fire service activities such as: 

  • community risk assessments
  • basic firefighter training
  • capital investment plans

To qualify for Tier 3 funding, your community is required to have:

  • a fire service assessment
  • a community risk assessment and a community risk reduction plan
  • a capital investment  plan
  • maintenance management plans for firefighting equipment with appropriate operation and maintenance of assets
  • Basic Firefighter Training 1 (exterior fire attack only) for all firefighters
  • a firefighter training standard and capacity plan

Once your community qualifies for Tier 3 funding, proposals to fund fire protection capital projects can be submitted to your INAC regional office.

Examples of fire protection capital projects for communities with more than 176 homes:

  • firefighting vehicles such as a triple combination pumper, with the option of a fully equipped mini pumper or a fully equipped brush truck or tanker
  • buildings such as an insulated, heated emergency response centre, with expansion option if required
  • firefighting equipment such as up to 25 sets of turnout gear, 10 to 15 sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus gear, 4 to 8 spare Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus tanks, head protection, hoses and hand tools

Annex C – Technical Requirements/Specifications for Fire Protection Assets (Tier 3 Sample Capital Investments)

1.0 Fire Flows (Piped Water Supply):

The design of piped water supply systems to provide required fire flows will be established by a qualified professional or specialist who will establish water flow requirements based on fire loads and site conditions. Fire flow will be integrated with domestic and commercial flow requirements as recommended by the qualified professionals or specialists. This may be defined by NFPA 1142 and/or Fire Underwriter Survey requirements. A Fire Service Assessment will determine required fire flow.

2.0 Fire Vehicles:

Motorized water delivery and fire pumpers are to meet standards as described below. The type, weight and capacity of fire vehicles, the water supply system (e.g. size, type, and condition of piping) and the transportation infrastructures (e.g. roads and bridges to carry weight) must be compatible.

2.1 Fire Vehicle Sizes:

Firefighting vehicles and water delivery/firefighting trucks will be of a capacity and design to conform to standards adopted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (using applicable NFPA standards as guidelines i.e. 1901, 1906 and 1911) and to suit local conditions and requirements in accordance with the following allowable maximums:

  1. Triple Combination Pumper: Fire Truck 4 x 2 (2 wheel drive), 2,841 L/min (625 IGPM) pump 2,273 L (500 Imperial Gallon) tank;
  2. Mini Pumper/Snuffer Crew Cab Truck: Fire Truck 4 x 2 (2 wheel drive), 1,909 L/min (420 IGPM) pump 1,363 L (300 Imperial Gallon) tank;
  3. Heavy Brush Truck: Fire Truck 4 x 4 (4 wheel drive), 1,909 L/min (420 IGPM) pump, 1,363 L (300 Imperial Gallon) tank; and
  4. Tanker: Water Delivery/Fire Fighting Body, Truck 4 x 2 (2 wheel drive), 2,955 L (650 Imperial Gallon) tank.

3.0 Fire Hall Accommodation:

Capital funds, subject to availability and departmental priorities, may be provided for the construction of fire halls or acceptable multifunction infrastructure at an acceptable level of service as determined by the following criteria and conditions:

  1. a site survey has been completed by a qualified professional or specialist identifying fire protection requirements and fire hall needs;
  2. the First Nation has, or shortly will have, at least one fire truck;
  3. the First Nation has an active fire department; and
  4. firefighting services are not available through an adjacent provincial region, municipality or fire district.

3.1.  Construction of new fire halls and the upgrading of existing buildings shall comply with the National Building Code and related standards and equivalent codes.

3.2.  Fire hall space is for the exclusive use of fire trucks and associated firefighting activity.

3.3.  A fire hall may be a free standing structure or a dedicated portion of another building such as a public works building. Fire halls may also be integrated with police, ambulance and emergency preparedness facilities.

3.4.  Where the fire hall is part of an existing or proposed multipurpose building, the fire hall portion will be constructed so as to enable it to be isolated from other functions. In such cases, financial assistance will be calculated on the basis outlined below.

3.5.  The maximum fire hall space eligible for financial assistance is as follows:

  1. one fire truck - 125 square meters;
  2. for each additional fire truck add 27 square meters;
  3. the fire hall space requirements should be based on a seven year period, or the period of useful life of the building, whichever is less; and
  4. specifications beyond these that potentially expand the use of the building for services other than fire protection may be considered by the Regional Director General for funding.

4.0 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

PPE compatible with Workers' Compensation Board regulations, NFPA standards or acceptable to the province or territory, will be provided.

5.0 Ancillary Fire Fighting Equipment

5.1   Equipment and Tools: Fire hoses, fire hose nozzles, ladders, pike poles, tarpaulins, self-contained breathing apparatus, various hand tools, forcible entry tools and any such other equipment required to fully equip a fire truck will be provided based on a review of requirements.

5.2   Fire Department Emergency Communication System: The provision of a fire department emergency communication system in both new and existing fire halls will be subject to an assessment of requirements, and it will be compatible with existing systems in the area (including mobile/portable equipment).

5.3   Storage Tanks: Water storage facilities will meet household use and fire service demands as required. The design and location of the storage tank will be determined by applicable engineered standards who will consider such factors as the nature of the combustible materials, life hazard, fire frequency, climatic conditions, demography, geology, and water source, adequacy and reliability of supply.

5.4   Fire Hydrants: The process of locating and spacing fire hydrants shall be determined from needed fire flow, water system infrastructure, engineering studies and NFPA standards.

Annex D – Scope of INAC Support for Fire Protection Services Support

Support provided by the Capital Facilities Maintenance Program (CFMP) is meant to protect INAC funded housing and community infrastructure on reserve from a structural fire Footnote 4. These assets include:

  • Community housing
  • Daycare centers, schools, student residences, and teacherages
  • Band offices
  • Fire stations
  • Municipal garages/warehouses
  • Water and wastewater treatment facilities
  • Recreational/cultural centres, arenas, gymnasiums, and indoor pools
  • Youth and seniors centres
  • Band-owned trade shops/workshops

The following specialized services are outside of CFMP's mandate for funding and therefore not included under this Level of Service Standards for Fire Protection:

  • Motor vehicle accident response requiring specialized equipment and training, as well as registration with provincial bodies.
  • Forest and grass fire response requiring specialized training and advance registration with provincial bodies.
  • Emergency management response to natural disasters requiring specialized training.
  • Medical emergency response requiring First Responder training and registration with provincial bodies.
  • Search and rescue activities and training (e.g. high alpine, water)
  • Fire service to third parties (e.g. any service off reserve, or to on reserve lessees, non-First Nations interests, or to "for profit" enterprises should be covered by a fee for service contract/reverse Municipal Type Service Agreement).

For a complete list of the infrastructure and activities related to fire protection that are covered under this directive, please refer to the Terms and Conditions for INAC Transfer Payments – Contributions to Support the Construction and Maintenance of Community Infrastructure.

Annex E – Related Policies, Directives and Tools

Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program – Management Control Framework

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