OPFFA – Pickering Firefighter Recipient of Distinguished Patrick J. Defazio Award

In Editor Choice, Provincial

The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA) recognizes dedication in Bruce Kinsman.
At the 24th Annual Convention of the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association (OPFFA), career firefighters from across Ontario will meet virtually to celebrate the achievements of three exceptional individuals whose passion,
dedication and hard work have contributed to advancing the success of the firefighter profession. Pickering Firefighter

Bruce Kinsman is this year’s recipient of the distinguished Patrick J. Defazio Award.

The Defazio Award was established in recognition of the work Patrick Defazio did to promote better health and safety measures for Ontario’s firefighters. Patrick DeFazio served for many years as the Chair of the OPFFA Occupational Health and Safety Committee and represented the OPFFA on the Provincial Section 21 Committee (presently Section 21). He was instrumental in establishing the Canadian General Standard for Firefighter Bunker Gear.

Bruce Kinsman has served the Pickering community as a professional firefighter for twenty-seven years and was President of the Pickering Professional Firefighters Association (PPFA) for 12 years. He is passionate about advocating for health and safety of his fellow firefighters. Over the course of his twelve years as Co-Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee, he ensured firefighters had two sets of bunker gear, personal regulators and facemasks, headsets on all fire apparatus, and that the station implemented after fire decontamination protocols. He advocated for a hearing conservation program to monitor the risk of hearing loss as a result of occupational noise exposure. Most recently, Bruce worked to ensure the safety of Pickering’s members during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring firefighters had proper PPE and access to front line testing.

Bruce Kinsman will retire from the firefighter service in November 2021 and undoubtedly will be leaving the profession in a better position than when he became a professional firefighter in 1994.

Toronto Firefighter Frank Ramagnano (Joe Adamkowski Award) and Fred Audibert of Niagara Falls (Ed Hothersall Award) will also be presented with awards in recognition of their hard work and dedication in keeping Ontarians safe.
For more information visit www.opffa.org/awards-of-distinction.html

“Bruce has always had our memberships rights and health and safety on his mind. He has successfully lobbied firefighter issues with all levels of government. His efforts have improved the health and safety of those not only at the Pickering Local, but across the province and country.” Mike Palachik, President of the Pickering Professional Firefighters Association.

“Firefighting is a risky profession. On any call our members may be exposed to extreme temperatures, falling objects, toxic substances and strenuous physical labour. Over the course of a firefighter’s career they are at risk of cancer, traumatic injury, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. That is why the work of members like Bruce Kinsman is so important to our profession.”
Carmen Santoro, President, Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association

The Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association represents more than 11,000 professional full-time firefighters in over 80 cities, towns, and regions, servicing over 85% of Ontario’s population. Ontario’s firefighters are experts in all aspects of fire service delivery in Ontario. OPFFA advocates for quality fire protection, prevention and education services for Ontarians along with strong health, safety and economic safeguards for Ontario’s firefighters.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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