Top 10 achievements of CAFC in Ottawa

November 19, 2018
Written by Tina Saryeddine
With the end of 2018 near, top 10 lists become irresistible. This top 10 list is a view from my office here in Ottawa at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.

It’s a look back, but it’s also a thank you – to the chiefs, board and national advisory council, staff, members and partners.

While it could easily be a top 100 list, suffice it to say CAFC is grateful to be part of the team, to help and support or lead as the circumstance calls.

With that, let’s get started. Here’s is the top 10 list:
  1. Fire Rescue Canada 2018: The annual gathering and conference of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs took place in the nation’s capital in September 2018. Amazing speakers came forward through the call launched in January and February. Stay tuned for Fire Rescue 2019 in Calgary. Everyone is welcome to suggest presentations.
  2. Federal “friends of fire”: This year, we met with close to 100 Parliamentarians across all parties, as well as with government officials who have more than a dozen initiatives impacting our sector, at Fire Rescue, Health Canada, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada, Defence Research Development Canada, National Research Council, the Building Codes Commission and Indigenous Services Canada. This is a “fire friendly” era in Ottawa. Let’s make the best of it together.
  3. “Trusted Source” and “Power-Forward”: When tornadoes hit Ottawa, CAFC got a call from our trusted partner Duracell, reminding us that the Power-Forward truck is available to CAFC member communities when needed. Duracell is a long-standing and trusted partner of the CAFC.
  4. Sharing and Caring - Road to Mental Health Readiness: While there were accolades for the federal budget dedicating $30 million for mental health through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment, a more modest offering also fits on CAFC’s top 10 list because it got straight to the business of near-term impact. Public Safety Canada funded the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) approximately $140,000 to send 25 individuals to R2MR (resilience) master training. Nine individuals represented CAFC and are training others. We hope to see scale and spread in 2019.
  5. Female Fire Chiefs and Company Officers Network of Canada: This year, the CAFC launched the Female Fire Chiefs and Company Officers Network of Canada. The initiative stands on the shoulders of giants that have started such initiatives locally and provincially.
  6. Building the Policy Engine: More than 60 fire chiefs now sit on policy committees from diversity and inclusion to interoperability, building codes and best practices.
  7. Topics on Fire Webinar Wednesdays: This year, CAFC launched Topics on Fire Webinar Wednesdays, which is a series of webinars on topics ranging from water rescue to mental health and opioids to intergenerational leadership.
  8. New Research Databases: Fire Research Roster is a searchable database of fire-friendly researchers who are willing and interested in working with members. You can find it on the CAFC website. In the coming year, we will also make the National Fire Information Database broadly available for research purposes. You can learn more about the National Fire Information Database at www.nfidcanada.ca.
  9. Building Codes Commission: In January, CAFC President and Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block and Building Codes Co-chair Chief Gaetan Morinville, as regulator, were appointed to the Canadian Building Codes Commission. This is an important step in ensuring that the voice of the fire sector is clearly heard in the complex process required to balance the needs of the safety sector with those of industry.
  10. Executive Chief Fire Officers: In 2017, CAFC with support from Motorola Foundation launched the Executive Chief Fire Officer Program which replaces the Chief Fire Officer Program. By the end of 2018, 74 executive chief fire officers were certified across the country, which includes six new recipients. You can meet them on the CAFC website.
This concludes my top 10 list for this year. From all of us at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, we wish all the readers of Fire Fighting in Canada a very safe and joyous holiday season, and all the very best in health and happiness for 2019.


Tina Saryeddine, PhD, MHA, CHE is the executive director of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. You can find Tina’s contact information and learn more about the CAFC initiatives at www.cafc.ca.

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