Comment: Trucks and transitional times
By Lauren Scott
It has been quite a transitional time here at Fire Fighting in Canada.
After a decade at the editorial helm, Laura King has joined the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as its new Canadian regional education specialist.
I’ve learned so much under Laura’s direction and I am looking forward to guiding the magazine in the interim. I am excited to serve such an exciting and necessary industry.
In late September I had the chance to participate in Canadian Firefighter’s annual Firefighter Training Day and Career Expo at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute in Mississauga, Ont. Fire departments from across Ontario and Quebec participated in a range of training activities, from auto extrication to public education. For the first time, Career Expo was divided into three streams: those who are considering a career in the fire service, firefighters in training and department job hunters.
While some of these aspiring firefighters continue to hunt for jobs – armed with knowledge from industry experts – I am setting my sights on new stories.
I sat down with Vaughan Fire and Rescue’s Chris Dennis in September to learn more about common issues, like corrosion, and bigger issues like municipal budgets and community needs. He provided insight into how departments can keep trucks in service longer, for example, purchasing a galvanized apparatus will help to fight corrosion. On the mechanical side, he explained how features like pop-latches on pump panels can make the maintenance process much more simple. These small changes, he says, allow trucks to get back on the road faster.
In the Truck Tech column “To refurb or not to refurb” on page 16, Dennis answers a range of questions that fire leaders and council frequently ask about refurbishing trucks. He addresses the big questions like “should you spend money on an apparatus that could provide your department little return?”
Both Dennis and Toronto Fire’s Mechanical Division Chief Rob Anselmi explained what is important to their departments when it comes to truck specs. Anselmi says that Toronto aerials need to be smaller and taller than most Canadian cities. The countless high rises and narrow streets put Toronto trucks to the test every day.
Using their insight, and the insight of other industry leaders across the country – from fire chiefs to truck manufacturers – we pieced together some unique needs of a diverse array of departments apparatus cover story on page 10.
Different departments across Canada need different features within their fleet, whether this is a result of climate, council budgets, or community needs.
I encourage you to reach out with any advice or ideas about how we can continue to produce relevant content for the Canadian fire services. As I’ve told contributors in the past, “we’re a team.”
There is so much for me to learn, and lucky for me, Fire Fighting in Canada readers are the experts.