Ontario firefighters say delays in fingerprinting may result in job prospects being ruined

Volunteer firefighters in Ontario face delays in submitting their fingerprints and photographs so that they can be processed for fingerprinting and undergo background checks. Residents must fill out various paperwork before police must take their fingerprints or photographs, delaying their record-keeping and adding to the backlog of other volunteers who have not been able to get fingerprinted, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

This delays an already long process for first responders, who are always on the move and competing with citizens for attention. The delays are also causing many volunteers to begin searching other jobs for temporary jobs to make ends meet and can affect the amount of recruits a fire department can accept from the public.

“The length of time they take to fingerprint you, it becomes a real distraction,” Peter McDougall, the vice president of the Ontario Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, told the Citizen. “When you start looking for other avenues to find a job or income because the money’s not coming in … the authorities come in and look for a paper trail, it’s a drain, it’s demoralizing, and there are cases where there have been officers who have been laid off and you can bet your bottom dollar their finger prints have not come in.”

When approached by the Citizen, Ontario’s Community Safety Minister, Sylvia Jones, said that she is “not aware of any reason it is taking as long as it is, and I will investigate the matter.”

Read the full story at the Ottawa Citizen.

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