Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) protects the lives, property and environment of the people who live, work and visit the City of Ottawa. Service personnel are highly trained to respond to a wide variety of emergency and non-emergency incidents including fires, rescues and medical and hazardous-material emergencies. The department's headquarters is located on Carling Ave.
Like most North American fire departments, the Ottawa Fire Services is organized in a paramilitary fashion. The current Chief of the department is Gerry Pingitore. Serving Under Pingitore are three Deputy Chiefs, four Platoon Chiefs, five Division Chiefs, four Rural Sector Chiefs and twenty District Chiefs. At the station level, each urban station has a Captain for each of the four platoons. Each truck in the fleet is under the command of either a Captain or Lieutenant. For rural paid-on-call stations, each station has a station Captain and four Lieutenants.
The current Ottawa Fire Services came into existence in 2001 with the amalgamation of nine fire departments from Ottawa and the surrounding areas. The nine former departments include the Ottawa Fire Department, Gloucester Fire Department, Cumberland Fire Department, Kanata Fire Department, Nepean Fire Department, Osgoode Fire Department, Rideau Fire Department, Goulbourn Fire Department and West Carleton Fire Department.
There are 45 fire stations located across Ottawa, including 16 Paid On-Call stations and 5 composite stations. The stations are assigned to 9 district operations units. On Friday September 3, 2010, Chief deHooge announced that a three-year trial testing the use of 24-hour shift rotations would begin in January 2011. In Canada twelve of the fifteen largest fire departments are using the 24-hour shift rotation.
Currently, City of Ottawa firefighters are issued tan Starfield Lion bunker gear, black leather STC Marshall structural fire boots, and traditional black Cairns 1044 structural firefighting helmets for firefighters, red 1044's for Lieutenants and Captains and white 1044s for Chief Officers. In 2015, the department phased out their SCBA's (previously the ISI Viking), and replaced them with the MSA Firehawk M7XT with Rescue Belt II system and Ultra Elite facepiece.