Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Welcome. I've certainly appreciated all of your presentations today.
My first question is for Chief Simonds.
I am a former mayor of a very small community with a volunteer firefighting department. I noted that in your executive summary you state, “Currently, most Volunteer Fire Departments are experiencing serious challenges in recruiting and retaining valuable members.” It was my experience that often the issue was retaining members because they didn't often have the opportunity to use their skills. In a small rural community, often they were fighting field fires and working with their RMs.
One of the questions I have for you is on your first recommendation, which is that the grant would be given to all volunteer firefighters who provide at least 200 hours of service. That would not include the time they spend in training and keeping up those skills. Is that correct?