SUBJECT: Update - Postponements Related to COVID-19 and Modified OFC 2020-2021 Calendar Offerings

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Ministère du Solliciteur général

Ontario Fire College
Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management 

1495 Muskoka Road North
Gravenhurst ON P1P 1R8
Tel:       (705) 687-2294
Fax:      (705) 687-7911

Collège des pompiers de l’Ontario
Bureau du commissaire des incendies et de la gestion des situations d’urgence

1495 chemin Muskoka Nord
Gravenhurst ON P1P 1R8
Tél:       (705) 687-2294
Téléc:   (705) 687-7911

MEMORANDUM TO:  Stakeholders

FROM:     Guy Degagne
                   Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal
                   Training and Certification
                   Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management        

DATE:       May 29, 2020

SUBJECT:  Update - Postponements Related to COVID-19 and Modified OFC 2020-2021 Calendar Offerings

Further to my memo from May 4, 2020, I am writing to provide you with an update on classes at the Ontario Fire College (OFC) and the certification examination sessions being administered by our Academic Standards and Evaluation (ASE) Unit.

We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak as it evolves. On the physical distancing advice of public health officials, we have made the decision to further postpone all in-person classes at the OFC until further notice, given the increased level of precautions that need to be taken to ensure the health and safety of staff and fire service members.   

However, we understand the importance of training and reducing the impact on continuing professional development for fire service personnel.  As such, the OFC will continue to offer all of its core NFPA programs through our Learning Contract delivery mode.  NFPA programs being offered will include:

  • NFPA 1001 Levels 1 & 2;
  • NFPA 1002;
  • NFPA 1021 Levels 1 to 4;
  • NFPA 1031 Levels 1 & 2 and including all Fire Code courses;
  • NFPA 1033;
  • NFPA 1035 Levels 1 & 2 and PIO;
  • NFPA 1041 Levels 1 & 2;
  • NFPA 1072 Awareness, Operations, Mission Specific, and Technician levels;
  • NFPA 1521; and,
  • Legislation.

Learning Contracts allow the Ontario fire service to have access to the OFC courseware, support of OFC instructors, support of OFC Registrar’s Office and support of ASE certification examination while delivering the course content in-house, within their own department with their own fire personnel.  This will allow a fire department to have more control of training initiatives while respecting current restrictions due to COVID-19. 

In addition, the OFC will offer the following courses fully online:

  • Legislation;
  • NFPA 1072 Awareness;
  • NFPA 1021 Level 1;
  • NFPA 1035 PIO;
  • NFPA 1041 Level 1; and,
  • Fire Code Part 2 and 6.

Furthermore, the OFC will offer the following Blended Learning courses, where the knowledge requisites portion of the courses will be delivered online.  The skill requisites portion of the course will be made available as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased to allow for an easier physical learning environment to be operationalized.  The Blended Learning courses will include:

  • NFPA 1001 Level 1 and 2;
  • NFPA 1002;
  • NFPA 1021 Levels 1 to 4; and,
  • NFPA 1033.

The OFC will work with its affiliated Regional Training Centre (RTC) partners to support training already scheduled during this calendar year from June 1 onward.  The OFC will also work with its RTCs to support any new training requests, as a result of training demands arising from COVID-19 restrictions.  The OFC has developed a mitigation plan to ensure a safe training environment that can be implemented locally if there is a demand for face-to-face training at the local level. 

With respect to ASE certification and examination sessions, the Office of the Fire Marshal will continue to support the Remote Test Site pilot project and the OFC training offerings.  Plans are being developed to resume further certification examination sessions which will also take the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  As those details are confirmed, I will communicate those strategies promptly. 

Should you have any questions related to the OFC, please contact the OFC registrar at ApplyOFC@ontario.ca.  Should you have any questions related to certification examination sessions being administered by ASE, please contact OFMtestingandcertification@ontario.ca.

To learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 please visit www.ontario.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you for your patience as we worked to provide a new training program during these unprecedented times.  I look forward to working with each of you.

Guy Degagné
Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal
Training and Certification
Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management

Last modified: Monday, 28 September 2020, 10:05 AM