OAFTO History


This was new when the association was created

The Municipal Fire Departments Instructors’ Association was created December 4th 1961. It had long been recognized that a standard method and scope of firefighter training was very desirable. It was also felt closer liaison between departments would help achieve this. An Instructors’ Association seemed ideally suited to this purpose and would also provide a medium for exchange of instructional methods, ideas and experiences. It would also combine many years of experience when seeking answers to training problems.                  

The fire service has undertaken many new roles in emergency management since those early days. It has also seen many technological advances which have forever changed the complexion and the complexity of the firefighters duties. Through it all the Instructors’ Association has well served the original goals and objectives. It has been a strong advocate of firefighter training programs, a communications network and the source of new and innovative ideas.

Over the years the Association has changed its’ name but the basic mandate has held firm – help the fire service grow safer, stronger, and more efficient.

The strength of the Association is the commitment and dedication of our members. Together we will work to find the best solutions to ensure firefighters are well prepared to perform their role in the community as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Educational Seminars

The Annual Educational Seminar began in 1967, five years after the birth of the Association. There was a recognized need to create a form to provide a great  deal of information to members of the fire service in a very short period of time in order to keep abreast of new developments and trends. An Annual Educational Seminar was considered the best vehicle to achieve that end.

Over the years it has grown to keep pace with fire service needs. Today it attracts fire service personnel from across Ontario, several other provinces, other government agencies and private sector emergency response teams. Recognized leaders and innovators in the emergency services field share their knowledge and experience through the Annual Educational Seminar.

Lesson Plan Development

The Association started developing and publishing lesson plans in co-operation with The Canadian Firefighter as a means to help those responsible for training firefighters to be more efficient and effective in the delivery of training  sessions. The lesson plans serve as a model upon which the fire service trainer can develop their own instructional style.

It is our goal to provide leadership in the education and development of fire service personnel in all positions and levels. It is also our goal to help each other and our colleagues meet the challenges of the modern fire services and not only survive but grow stronger and better in the process.

We hope to build an even stronger more effective and beneficial Association meeting the needs of an even more diverse fire and emergency service.

Firefighter Standards

The Association has long been an advocate of firefighter standards and has been instrumental in their development. Our members have sat on many committees and continue to represent the Association on the:

  • Professional Standards Setting Board
  • Firefighter Curriculum Committee
  • Curriculum Endorsement Board, and Training Officers Curriculum Committee.

Members of the Association have contributed several hundreds of hours to these committees and boards. In addition the Association has helped to finance the development of the Training Officers’ curriculum.

Charity Involvement 

The Association has long been involved in raising money for Camp Bucko. Camp Bucko is a burn camp for children in Ontario. For more information on Camp Bucko please check out their website here: Camp Bucko

At the most recent OAFTO Seminar at the Ontario Fire College OAFTO members generously raised and donated $2500.00 to support this important charity.

Camp Buck Videos

Third Party Organizations

Any reference to training provided by 3rd party organizations that is communicated in any way by the OAFTO members or executive is for information purposes only. The OAFTO does not evaluate nor does it officially recognize specific training courses with respect to their content, delivery or participant safety.