Fire Fighting in Canada

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Comment: Spring cleaning

March 15, 2021
By Laura Aiken

Welcome to March! The promise of spring and all its crocus shoots and teasingly warmer temperatures has arrived. Time for blooms and…binge cleaning? With all the sanitation and disinfecting efforts that have gone along with COVID-19, you might be wondering, what on Earth needs its annual spring clean. I’m betting disinfection has taken on a whole new meaning this year. 

Spring cleaning is not just about wiping down any neglected corners. Spring cleaning is not just about lamenting the sorry state of the home garage (and suffice to say, I’ll admit mine’s pretty sorry). Spring is the traditional season to expunge. Out with the old and dirty, in with the new and tidy. At least until the universe’s ordinance of entropy comes and ensures disorder the eventual victor again. Thankfully, there’ll be another spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning is a state of mind that ought to be embraced in some measure for the benefit of not only renewal but the prevention of unfortunate outcomes. 

In this edition’s Truck Tech, Chris Dennis shares how an aerial truck missing its spring cleaning contributed to an eventual part failure. This is a good reminder that there is a reason for our seasonal habits, our anchors of annual order.

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On a more abstract note, spring and its promise of renewal means it’s a good time to critique what is working and what is not, or what can be simplified, as Paul Johnson shares in this month’s cover story on fire safety plans.

Spring cleaning means taking the opportunity to rearrange a piece of havoc wreaked by the last year into a new, more pleasing and efficient order. This is true of any year, and is made particularly pertinent by the ongoing pandemic, whose dwindling seems finally in sight (though the view is still obscured by hills and coming in a bit foggy). 

The need for renewal now may come from within the fire service itself as the vaccines are here, the first responders who choose to be are being inoculated and there is a propensity to beging weighing the gravity of changes the pandemic has brought. In the Volunteer Vision column, Fire Chief Tom DeSorcy tackles this subject by asking readers to consider how their attitude has evolved with the pandemic and what this means for the volunteer service. 

COVID-19 ripped up ‘the way things were always done’ like it was some kind of bad cheque. Some things will go back to the way they were before and some won’t. But it’s an opportunity to begin to choose the path forward again, a rebirth. That’s the promise of spring.


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