Blaney praises firefighters at IAFF/Canada conference

Steven Blaney, the Canadian minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, praised the firefighters of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Canada (IAFF/Canada) on Monday for serving the public without hesitation.

Blaney made the remarks during the 21st Legislative Conference of the IAFF/Canada in Ottawa. IAFF/Canada represents more than 21,700 professional firefighters throughout Canada and works to ensure firefighters have the training and tools they need to successfully perform their jobs.

Blaney praised the Canadian government for its efforts to help all first responders.

"Responding to emergencies is increasingly challenging as they become more intense and complex," Blaney said. "That is why I am proud of our government's longstanding support and efforts to help all first responders - including firefighters, police and paramedics - do their jobs in this context."

Canada committed $500,000 annually to IAFF/Canada since 2008 to develop and deliver hazardous materials response training to first responders throughout the country. The contribution resulted in hazardous materials training for more than 1,800 first responders. Funding for the program was recently extended until 2016.

"I am grateful to all first responders for serving the public without hesitation," Blaney said. "They are true heroes, putting others' safety before their own."