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Department of

Barrie Fire & Emergency Service

This page informs on the department's role in the working structure of the organization, positioned to best serve our community.

Departmental Functions

Barrie Fire & Emergency Service is governed by "By-law 2002-264, a By-law to Establish and Regulate the Barrie Fire & Emergency Service." This By-law sets out definitions, the mission of the department and the mandate. The mandate sets out six distinct areas of operation for the department, Fire Suppression, Technical Rescues, Public Education Programs, Public Assistance, Fire Investigation, Training and Communications. BFES is governed and charged with the responsibilities under several legislative requirements, including the Fire Protection & Prevention Act.


The Operations Branch performs the following services:

  • Respond to reports of fires, fire alarms, technical rescues, hazardous material incidents, medical emergencies and perceived emergencies
  • Meet the Ontario Fire Marshal's mandate to have 10 fire fighters on the scene within 10 minutes, 90% of the time to a single-family residential structure fire
  • Comply with Council's motion to have a less than 6 minute road response, 90% of the time to a single-family residential structure fire
  • Monitor the community's perception of service delivery through monthly questionnaires and public education based events.
  • Continually review level of service provision and implement adjustments as required.


The Training Branch performs the following services:

  • Provide training and educational opportunities to assist in meeting job specific and Health and Safety standards as dictated under federal, provincial and municipal law.
  • Develop qualified and competent fire fighter and officer candidates for the purpose of mitigating emergency situations including disasters.
  • Responsible for succession planning within the Department.


The Prevention Branch performs the following services:

  • Enforcement of the Ontario Fire Code, the Ontario Building Code and City of Barrie By-laws. Audit, document and inspect buildings to ensure the environment is safe through compliance, legal use of occupancies and legal action, if necessary.
  • Create and promote public education programs in schools to ensure children have the necessary tools to protect themselves from fire.
  • Educate the public and target specific behaviour in the community for the purpose of creating and developing a fire safe community.
  • Conduct cause and origin.
  • Legislated requirement to follow-up on complaints, investigate fires and inspect occupancies.


The Communications Branch performs the following services:

  • Responsible for the receipt of fire and emergency related calls for the Barrie Fire & Emergency Service and for those municipalities or other agencies with which contractual agreements are in effect
  • Receive and process requests for assistance, assess information, prepare data and perform the dispatching function of emergency vehicles for Barrie and client municipalities
  • Convey instructions, information and direction to the service requester, provide logistical support to the fire scene and maintain radio communications with emergency responders
  • Monitor call dispatching on a monthly basis to identify areas of concern and meet industry standards, guidelines and legislative requirements

Administration Branch

The Administration Branch performs the following services:

  • Overall administration of 157 staff in five branches:
    • Administration
    • Communications
    • Operations/ Suppression
    • Prevention
    • Training
  • Strategic planning for the Department
  • Co -ordination with other City Departments and external agencies
  • Compliance with municipal, provincial and federal legislated requirements and best practices
  • Enhancing the level of service provided to the public

Key Departmental Objectives

  • Prevent or reduce loss of life and /or property damage by responding to emergency calls for service.
  • Maintain a sufficient level of qualified staff on hand to ensure response times meet Provincial and accepted service level legislation and standards.
  • Provide community based public education and Code compliance enforcement with the goal of reducing or eliminating life and property loss.
  • Provide staff training and education to meet all required training and safety standards.
  • Provide communication services to Barrie and area municipalities that meet service delivery standards.

Strategic Plan & Other Program Deliverables

  • Comply with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s guidelines, Fire Code, FPPA (Fire Protection & Prevention Act).
  • Comply with the requirements for the fire service as set out by the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
  • Implement the Fire Master Plan.
  • Analyze the Statistics Canada survey and implement a strategic plan to make changes.
  • Comply with Council motions and priorities.
  • Promote safety to the citizens of Barrie through proactive public education.
  • Enhance and increase service delivery levels to the public.
  • Enhance the health and safety of responding personnel.

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