South Korean firefighter learns from counterparts in Mississauga during visit

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Published January 31, 2024 at 4:43 pm

South Korean firefighter visits Mississauga firefighters
Tae-Sik Jeong, a member of South Korea's National Fire Agency, is shown some firefighting training practices this week by one of his counterparts in Mississauga. (Photo: Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services)

A high-ranking firefighter from South Korea has been in Mississauga this week to pick the brains of his counterparts here and study best practices with an eye toward improving public safety in his own country.

Tae-Sik Jeong, a member of South Korea’s National Fire Agency, is in Canada conducting a research assignment on how the East Asian country can improve emergency response and public safety outcomes, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services officials said.

“We welcome opportunities such as this to share knowledge and information with our fire service partners from across the world and contribute to the global public safety efforts being made far beyond the borders of Mississauga,” Mississauga Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi said in an email to insauga.com.

Rizzi added the fire official’s information-sharing visit to Canada was prompted by several events the past few years in South Korea including major floods last year and a Halloween tragedy in Seoul in 2022 that killed 159 people.

Established in 2017, South Korea’s National Fire Agency is a central administrative body responsible for firefighting and public safety activities throughout the country, Mississauga’s fire chief explained. It has fire service headquarters in 18 cities and provinces throughout South Korea and 250 fire stations.

The public safety agency also oversees 70,000 full-time firefighters and 120,000 volunteer firefighters.

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In addition to meeting with Rizzi, the South Korean fire official also sat down with Ben Gallagher, manager of Mississauga’s Office of Emergency Management, and members of that team to discuss emergency management practices in Mississauga and throughout Ontario and Canada.

“Much of the discussion focused on the importance of inter-agency collaboration,” said Rizzi, adding the OEM team will continue to correspond with Tae-Sik Jeong for the duration of his research assignment in Canada.

The high-ranking fire official was also given a tour of the Garry W. Morden Centre in Mississauga, a “state-of-the-art” site for firefighter training, Mississauga officials added.

In total, six South Korean officials are in the GTA “to work and learn from Global Medic,” an Etobicoke-based humanitarian relief organization that provides disaster relief both in Canada and around the world.

Global Medic officials suggested the South Korean visitor meet with Mississauga OEM team members as well while in Canada given the past collaboration between the two GTA organizations.

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