The Fort Resolution, N.W.T., volunteer fire department has been issued a stop-work order by the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission.

The order was issued last month after the hamlet, which is responsible for the fire department, failed to respond to safety deficiencies identified in July 2013.

"They have to provide for the safety of their workers, and firefighters are workers whether they volunteer or are full-time paid firefighters," said Steve Moss, vice-president of prevention for the WSCC.

"If they're not providing any consideration to providing a safe workplace for them, then they're definitely opening up a can of worms."

Moss said the stop-work order was a last resort. The safety deficiencies include a lack of plans for fighting a fire, training firefighters and maintaining equipment, according to the WSCC.

Calls to the hamlet and chief Louis Balsillie — who is also deputy fire chief — have not been returned.