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Blogging from Parliament Hill

Editor's note: The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is in Ottawa this week for government-relations week. Rob Evans, deputy chief of Redwood Meadows Fire Department in Alberta and the CAFC photographer, is blogging from Parliament Hill.

robMarch 15, 2012, Ottawa - I was going to take some tourist time in Ottawa today, taking pictures and walking around the area of Parliament Hill without the constraints of meetings with MPs and delegations. Instead, I have been catching up on some news and going through the pictures I have taken during the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs government-relations week.

March 15, 2012
By Rob Evans

Editor's note: The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs is in Ottawa
this week for government-relations week. Rob Evans, deputy chief of
Redwood Meadows Fire Department in Alberta and the CAFC photographer, is
blogging from Parliament Hill.

March 15, 2012, Ottawa – I was going to take some tourist time in
Ottawa today, taking pictures and walking around the area of Parliament
Hill without the constraints of meetings with MPs and delegations.
Instead, I have been catching up on some news and going through the
pictures I have taken during the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
government-relations week.

Flipping through the pictures, I came across one that Grand Falls-Windsor Chief (and fellow Fire Fighting in Canada contributor) Vince MacKenzie had taken of me with Toronto Fire Services Chief Bill Stewart and Montreal Chief Serge Tremblay. It made me think about how beneficial this week, and my overall affiliation with the CAFC, has been, not only to me but to my entire department. You see, my department – all 40 strong – is all but a “station” to these men, when you put their departments side by side with mine. But when we are in uniform, attending meetings and delegations, the size of our departments doesn’t seem to matter. These chiefs are great mentors, as are all the others I have worked with for the past five years with the CAFC. The smaller fire departments and their chiefs need to realize this, and not be scared away by the misconception that smaller fire departments do not have a voice.

metro_chiefs  
FFIC blogger Rob Evans (centre) with TFS Chief Bill Stewart and Montreal Chief Serge Tremblay on Parliament Hill last evening as part of the CAFC's government relations week. Photo by Vince MacKenzie.

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The networking, team building and mentoring that takes place within the CAFC is outstanding, and we need more volunteer chiefs to recognize this and join the association. Of course, money is tight in departments from coast to coast to coast, but the $250 for a membership in the association is well spent and the return you can get for that small investment is ten fold, if you choose to use the network to your advantage. All the chiefs I sat with this week would welcome a call if you needed help, regardless of the size of your department. 

Well, writing this has given the clouds a chance to break . . . a little. Maybe it’s time to head out, play tourist and reflect a bit more on my small department’s place in the Canadian fire service.

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