Fire Services and Emergency Management

Fire Fighting Services Image
For Questions Contact:
Gary Johnston |
Job Title
Fire Chief
gjohnston [at]
Barbara Pinnell |
Job Title
Admin/Public Works/Drainage/Fire Coordinator
bpinnell [at]
Glencoe Station Truck Images

Southwest Middlesex Fire Department 

The Southwest Middlesex Fire Department is made up of trained volunteers who do a tremendous job of promoting public fire safety, protecting your lives and protecting the property of our community.  We have two stations within Southwest Middlesex with one located in the community of Glencoe and another located in community of Wardsville.  Our volunteers from both stations are dedicated to responding to 9-1-1 calls for fire, carbon monoxide, vehicular accidents and medical situations as quickly as possible.

Emergency Management

In accordance with the Emergency Management Act RSO 1990, Chapter E. 9 as amended, the municipality is required to conform to standards set out by Emergency Management Ontario in accordance with international best practices, including the four core components of emergency management, namely: mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.  Southwest Middlesex Council in cooperation with the County of Middlesex has implemented an emergency management program to protect public safety, public health, the environment, critical infrastructure and properties and to promote economic stability and a disaster resilient community.

Fire Dispatch Areas

Please see the attached map for fire service areas throughout Southwest Middlesex.

Fire Inspection Requests and Fire Safety Complaints

Southwest Middlesex offers fire safety inspections on a request and a on complaint basis.  It is the municipality's responsibility to ensure fire safety inspections are conducted upon complaint, or on request, and as necessary to meet the mandatory requirements of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA) and associated regulations.  Inspection requests can be submitted through our online submission portal below or by contacting our office.

Complaints of a fire-specific nature can also be requested. 

When submitting a request or complaint consider the following:

  • If your matter is about an emergency situation, please call 911
  • Fire safety inspections are not usually completed on single family homes
  • Complaints should be limited to specific fire safety concerns such as non-compliant open air burning


Fireworks Safety Tips

Southwest Middlesex Fire Department Wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Canada Day. Please celebrate safely!

Glencoe Fire Station 

The Glencoe Station is located at 71 Main Street, Glencoe, ON.  Included below is a photo showing our facility and the equipment used to protect the community everyday.

Glencoe Fire Station Image
Glencoe Station Truck Images
Green Flashing Light Awareness

In Ontario, all motorists are well-acquainted with the red flashing lights and sirens on emergency vehicles like police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. It's common knowledge that when these lights and sirens are active, it's a legal requirement to yield the right-of-way by pulling over to the right and coming to a stop. However, not everyone is aware of the Green Flashing Light used by Volunteer Firefighters.

In a city, emergency vehicles are staffed by full-time professionals who utilize red lights and sirens to navigate through traffic swiftly and reach the scene of an emergency urgently. In life-threatening situations such as fires or rescues, every second is crucial, and delays caused by traffic congestion can have a significant impact. In contrast, residents in rural and smaller urban areas rely on volunteer firefighters for their fire protection needs. These dedicated individuals often respond to emergencies using their personal vehicles, which lack the conspicuous red lights and sirens commonly found on official emergency vehicles.

When a call for assistance comes in, these volunteer firefighters may be at their regular jobs, spending time with their families at the beach, or even asleep in the middle of the night. Regardless of the circumstances, they drop everything and rush to the fire hall to retrieve the fire trucks and respond to the emergency. In cases where some firefighters couldn't make it to the fire hall in time, they proceed directly to the emergency scene using their personal vehicles.

It's essential to understand that the Green Light does not grant volunteer firefighters any special privileges when responding to emergencies. Instead, it serves as an identifier to other motorists, signaling that they should yield the right-of-way and allow the firefighter to reach the emergency unimpeded. The use of this green light is under the control of the Fire Chief, who has the authority to permit or revoke its use by firefighters.

Previously, a challenge existed in that regular traffic didn't always recognize the presence of an emergency, inadvertently obstructing the progress of firefighters rushing to respond to the call or reach the fire hall to initiate the dispatch of fire trucks. To address this issue, the Ministry of Transportation made an amendment to the Highway Traffic Act, allowing volunteer firefighters responding to emergencies to employ a green flashing light.

As per the Ontario Highway Traffic Act: Section 62.(16), a firefighter, as defined in subsection 1(1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, is authorized to carry a lamp in their vehicle that produces intermittent flashes of green light. They can activate this light when their motor vehicle is en route to a fire or another emergency. Likewise, Section 62.(16.1) of the Act specifies that only individuals described in subsection (16) are permitted to operate a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of green light.

If you encounter a vehicle with the distinctive flashing green light activated, now you know it belongs to one of our dedicated volunteer firefighters, rushing to aid a neighbor in need. Please remember that the home they are hurrying to save or the life they are about to rescue could be yours or that of a close friend. Kindly yield the right-of-way and let them pass without delay. Your cooperation can make a significant difference in emergency response times and ultimately save lives and property.

Flashing green light
Melbourne Fire Insurance Updates - October 24, 2023

Important information regarding upgraded Fire Insurance Ratings for homes and businesses of Southwest Middlesex that are within 8 kilometers by road of the Strathroy-Caradoc Melbourne Fire Station.

On October 24, 2023, the Strathroy-Caradoc Fire Department received accreditation for the delivery of Superior Tanker Shuttle Service (STSS) for commercial and personal lines for each of Strathroy-Caradoc's three (3) fire stations.

This Accreditation may have a significant impact on Commercial and Personal Fire Insurance premiums for homes and businesses within 8 km by road of the Strathroy-Caradoc Melbourne Fire Station. Residents and businesses can contact their insurance provider and inform them of this recent Fire Insurance Rating upgrade for their area. Proof of Accreditation can be provided to your insurer by attaching the links below.

Certificate of Accreditation - Melbourne Fire Station 

Commercial Lines

The Commercial Lines Insurance certificate verifies that the fire protection district is capable of delivering the minimum accepted fire flows to Commercial Lines insured property throughout the fire protection district and within 5 kilometres by road of the responding fire station.

Commercial Lines Insurance - Recognition for Fire Insurance Grading Received 

Personal Lines

The Personal Lines Fire Insurance certificate verifies that the fire protection district is capable of delivering the minimum accepted fire flows to detached dwellings throughout the fire protection district and within 8 kilometres by road of the below accredited Fire Stations:

Personal Lines Fire Insurance - Recognition for Fire Insurance Grading Received 

Open Air Burning & Controlled Burn Permit Application

Open air burning is regulated within Southwest Middlesex through By-law No. 2001-075.   Before starting any fires, contact the fire chief at 519-521-7850 and fire dispatch at 519-245-1300 or 1-844-220-1300 to avoid unnecessary fines and/or charges.  You may also request a control burn through the following form.   Please allow a minimum of 24 hours when using this form for the fire department to get back to you.  

Open Burn Infographic - Page 1
Open Burn Infographic - Page 2
Saved By The Beep 2023

Thursday, September 28, 2023, is Ontario's first Test Your Smoke Alarm Day! Last year there were 133 fire fatalities in the province - the most in 20 years. As part of Test Your Smoke Alarm Day, all Ontarians are encouraged to learn more about smoke alarms, fire safety, and home fire escape planning, which can save the lives of you and your loved ones. Most importantly, we want you to test you smoke alarms!

Installing, Testing & Maintaining Smoke Alarms:

  • There are many types of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can be hard wired, battery operated, or both. When replacing a smoke alarm, you must replace it with the same type that was there.
  • Because smoke rises, ceilings are the best location to mount your smoke alarms. Avoid placing alarms near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows and ceiling fans. Always follow manufacturer's instructions when installing smoke alarms.
  • Test smoke alarms at least every month by pressing the test button and listening for the three-beep alarm.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, and whenever the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Smoke alarms don't last forever. Replace smoke alarms according to manufacturer's instructions, usually every 10 years.

What To Do In Case The Smoke Alarm Sounds:

  • If your smoke alarm detects smoke, it will sound a loud, three-beep alarm pattern.
  • In the event of a fire, you may have less than 60 seconds to safely escape the danger. It's important to talk with all family members and guests about a home fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, follow your personal home fire escape plan. Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL 911. Never go back inside a burning home for anything or anyone.

How To Participate:

Snap a photo of you or family members testing your smoke alarms and post it to social media using the hashtag #SavedByTheBeep. You can also share FREE social media images and videos that you can find on the download page of Tag your friends and family to spread the message.

The Southwest Middlesex Fire Department urges all residents to participate in Ontario's first "Test Your Smoke Alarm Day" on September 28, 2023.

Please test your smoke alarms to protect yourself and your loved ones, and make sure they can truly be "Saved By The Beep"!

For more information on smoke alarm safety, please visit

Volunteer Firefighter Application

If you would like to be a part of protecting your community as a volunteer firefighter, please complete the application form and submit it to:

Barbara Pinnell, Fire Coordinator, at @email or drop it in our mailbox at the front door of the Southwest Middlesex municipal office at 153 McKellar St. Glencoe.

If you seek additional information in regard to this opportunity please contact  Fire Chief Gary Johnston  via email at @email or at 519-930-7850.

Firefighter Recruiting
Wardsville Fire Station

The Wardsville Station is located at 1784 Longwoods Road, Wardsville, ON.  Included below is a photo showing our facility and the equipment used to protect the community everyday.

Wardsville Fire Station Image
Wardsville Fire Station Equipment Image