Fire Fighting in Canada

Comment: A fire magazine is born

August 30, 2022 
By Laura Aiken

Fire Fighting in Canada was started in 1957 by Norman Parkins after the fire chief in Medicine Hat, E.L. Morris, asked him on a cold winter day in 1955 why there wasn’t a magazine published in Canada to serve the fire field. Morris told Parkins he wanted to see pictures of other chiefs across Canada and find out how they overcame their challenges and read technical articles on fire fighting. Morris also said he wanted to feel confident that the equipment he read about or saw advertised was available in Canada. Parkins called fire chiefs and equipment manufacturers across the country and found the idea of a magazine to be very well received. The first subscriber was a fire marshal who signed up eight months before the first issue.  

Sixty-five years later, we are still serving the original vision spawned by Morris and Parkins on that wintry day in Medicine Hat. There is a need to share information in the fire service and the team at Fire Fighting in Canada is proud to work for this national platform of exchange, the legacy it leaves and the future conversation it aspires to. This magazine began for you and it is still for you. Thank you to all our readers and advertisers for your continued support of this endeavour. Your ideas, questions and contributions are always welcome in our inbox, on the phone and of course, once again face-to-face. 

For this edition’s cover story, we talked to some well-known memory keepers in the fire world about how business used to be done, what was worn and simply the way things used to be. I ended up with the intent to call far more than I had space or time to talk to, but my intent remains, and a second installment is underway. A special thank you to Mike Rogers at Rocky Mountain Phoenix for going above and beyond in assisting me with contacts and background information.  

It has been particularly interesting to reflect on the past at a time when the world feels unusually unstable, like Earth’s sporting a huge question mark. Climate change, wars, polarization, a pandemic, the promise and perils of social media, supply chain woes, inflation; the list feels endless but so is the hope, love and beauty that remains. As the mysteries of the future march on, we can all take a cue from the fire service and do what we can to prepare. As we reminisce in this special 65th anniversary edition, most certainly enjoy the gift that is the present!   


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