A day in the life of Toronto Fire Fighters

It was only a fraction of what Toronto Fire Service crews deal with on a daily basis but a chance to experience what they go through first hand. Eight hours in the station, on the truck and at every call. No matter what.

It was non-stop from the moment we arrived. Below is an extended look at what we were able to capture along the way. You can’t help but appreciate the service these men and women provide this city after you have a look.

TIME LOG – December 5, 2012

Cpt. Rick Berenz welcomes us to Toronto Fire Station 245 otherwise known as “The Cottage”
Fire Station 245 - Mark McAllister ride along

Try on some gear and make sure it fits before a call comes in. Boots then pants then jacket. Check.
Tour of the station with an introduction to the rest of the crew
Fire Station 245 - Mark McAllister ride along 1
Call comes in. Quickly get on the truck and head out. Making our way to a school close by for a fire alarm. Another truck there before ours. Turns out to be a false alarm.

Crew stops by Scotiabank HQ to gather toys for Annual Christmas Toy Drive
Mark McAllister fire station call toy drive stop
Radio call to dispatch. Letting them know we’re clear from that location and heading back.

Back to station for some down time. Tea and cookies in the kitchen area. Others on their laptop or watching TV.

Another call comes in. Heading to the Walmart at Scarborough Town Centre.
Fire Station 245 - Mark McAllister ride along 2
Arrive at location along with trucks from 3 other stations. Electrical smell indoors. Another crew inside investigating. Platoon Chief on the radio while we stand by.

Cleared from the scene. On our way back to Station 245 when another call comes in en route.

Told to make our way to Scarborough General Hospital. Standing by. False alarm.
Fire Station 245 - Mark McAllister ride along 3
Just get back to station when the tones ring again! Start heading to Markham Road.

Dispatched to another location on Tuxedo Court within minutes. Multi story high rise building. Message from Chief while en route “We’re going to be lobby.”

Speaker system to residents: “Attention! Toronto Fire Services on scene. Stay in your units until further notice.” Young boy with toy fire truck there to welcome us. Other crew on 16th floor checks things out while we make our way down to the basement and reset alarm system.

In truck one more time. Already turning around and heading back to same building after alarm system triggered again. First truck to scene this time. Our crew heads upstairs. Nothing.

Back to home base once again.

Ian Keith making dinner in the kitchen. Stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto, jalapeno havarti and asparagus wrapped in. Roasted red pepper sauce and orzo on the side.

About to sit down for something to eat when we hear more bells. Time to go! Told that a woman fell and may be unconscious at home en route.
First on scene. EMS soon after.
Mark McAllister fire station call leaving at night
Woman taken from her home on a stretcher and put into back of ambulance. Possible fractured hip.

Back to station for dinner and conversation. 6 calls in a little more than 3 hours. I’m told that this isn’t necessarily a typical day. You never know what to expect. You just have to be ready at all times.

Say goodbye and thanks to the crew. Great job by everyone showing us the ropes… and the fire pole we didn’t get to use.

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