Fire Chief’s message

Dave Elloway
Welcome to the Guelph Fire Department

For more than 100 years, our dedicated members have been proudly serving our diverse community. And on their behalf, I hope you will find the information presented on this site interesting and informative.

If you have any questions about the Guelph Fire Department, please contact us.

Dave Elloway
Guelph Fire Chief

Our services

The Guelph Fire Department provides fire and medical emergency services within the city of Guelph. In addition, fire protection services are provided to Township of Guelph-Eramosa residents.

The provision of service is designed to meet the needs and circumstances of the community, as approved by Council. Fire service activities are carried out under the authority of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

Our divisions

Fire suppression

Fire suppression is staffed 24 hours per day by fully trained firefighters who:

  • respond and extinguish all fires of various magnitudes where reported and warranted: structure fires, kitchen fires, grass fires, illegal burning, car fires, explosions, equipment fires
  • perform automobile and equipment extrication: car accidents involving trapped persons, industrial accidents involving trapped persons
  • give medical assistance: first aid, CPR, provide oxygen, ambulance assistance, assist in transport of casualties
  • are efficient and effective in: water and ice rescue, confined space rescue, hazardous materials control, carbon monoxide detection, in-service fire safety inspections, Fire Department tours to all groups and ages, CPR training, investigation of various unknown yet potentially dangerous situations, (natural gas odours, explosion sounds, liquid and gas leaks, unknown situations)

Fire prevention

The Guelph Fire Prevention Bureau employs one chief fire prevention officer, one assistant chief fire prevention officer and four fire prevention officers. The Bureau also has one clerical assistant assigned to it.

Through the department’s Fire Prevention Bureau, we teach residents about fire safety at home, school, and in the community.

Our fire prevention officers:

  • offer public fire safety education through lectures and demonstrations to schools and institutions, Guides/Scouts/Cadets, babysitters, general public and other groups or organizations.
  • conduct annual fire safety inspections in all businesses and institutions and ensure fire protection equipment is maintained. Fire-related bylaw enforcement and Ontario Fire Code, business and liquor license approval inspections, property transfer fire inspections and fire code interpretations are available on request.
  • are qualified in: fire origin and cause, determinations for fire investigations, courtesy home inspections, assistance, in emergency planning, after-fire consultations, fire setters counsel, portable fire extinguisher demonstrations, Fire Service career preparations and co-op student placement, mall displays and other exhibits.


The Training division delivers and coordinates program delivery to meet fire service industry standards and best practice recommendations. As technology advances, the division adapts to keep current with training mandates.

Strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the Guelph Fire Department Safe Operating Policies, Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Section 21 Guidance Notes provides for safe and objective-based training simulations that prepare Fire Suppression personnel to effectively and efficiently serve the public.

The training officer(s) delivers a myriad of training programs such as live fire evolutions, incident command operations, emergency first responder, and technical rope rescue to name but a few.

Partnering with the Fire Suppression division, certified trainer courses are provided to platoon personnel. These on-shift instructors deliver training in auto extrication, ice and water rescue, emergency elevator/high-rise operations, and assist with live fire evolutions.  In addition, firefighters maintain their operational readiness through drill and review using the former Ontario Fire Marshall Firefighter Curriculum and online training (Fire Learning Management System). This includes keeping up-to-date on carbon monoxide and hazmat awareness.

The training officer(s) also keep abreast of today’s changes by attending seminars, conferences and workshops, and attending classes at the Ontario Fire College to help develop new training programs for the fire department. As well, the training officer(s) is also responsible for the coordination of delivery of fire department training programs, management of the training environment, assessment of the performance of fire service personnel, monitoring and evaluation of ongoing training programs, research and evaluation of fire department policies, procedures, techniques, equipment, supervising assigned staff on the training ground, and maintaining public relations.


The Communications division, located at Guelph Fire headquarters, employs eight alarm room technicians. The technicians, deployed on four platoons, work in a team environment that employ the call taker/dispatcher methodology.

The division uses a Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system, a Records Management System, and a trunked digital interoperable radio system.

The division is responsible for call answer and full dispatch for the department as well as one County of Wellington fire department. The division is also responsible for call answer and call out for six County of Wellington fire departments. In addition, the division monitors the status of fire department sources, answering emergency and administrative calls for the service, prioritizing and dispatching resources, monitoring and responding to radio transmissions, and monitoring and acting upon direct reporting alarm systems.


The Administration division is staffed by two administration assistants, and a supervisor of Administration.

The division’s mandate is to support all facets of Guelph Fire Department operations. For example, the division works collaboratively to support the needs of Fire Prevention, Training, Communications, Mechanical, and Emergency Preparedness.

In addition, the division monitors ongoing expenditures through coding and tracking, to ensure the recovery bylaw is followed, and find efficiencies where possible to enhance operational effectiveness.

Emergency management

The Guelph Fire Department is tasked with emergency management and business continuity for the city of Guelph. The deputy chief (Administrative) is named as the community emergency management coordinator (CEMC), and is responsible for the Emergency Management program. The CEMC works with the Community Emergency Management Program Committee (CEMPC) to define and prepare the community for emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

The emergency management program requires at least four hours of training for the Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) each year, in addition to an exercise being conducted that tests the emergency management program. The program also includes the identification of participants, and providing training and educational opportunities. Members of the Emergency Operations Control Group are defined in the Emergency Management Bylaw, as are their roles and responsibilities.