Fire Fighting in Canada

Comment: What a year

November 18, 2021 
By Laura Aiken

I got my winter boots out the week I began writing this in November. And my coat. Hesitantly, my mittens. I’m a reluctant embracer of the cold, though there are great things to look forward to in a Canadian winter. We have two columnists, Chris Harrow and Gord Schreiner, who both used hockey analogies in their articles for December. I’m not surprised. Is there no more comforting sign of a return to Canadian normalcy than community pucks back on the ice? Though many in the fire service have had a difficult year of uncertainties and high demands, there is a lot to be grateful for as we look towards holidays perhaps spent again with families in person, rather than over Zoom. 

This slow slide to a new normal’s been a bit of a buzz, as I sit here in Ontario, knowing my experience is regional and still uncertain, still cautious. Could be upended by Christmas Eve, if covid precedents are to be accounted for, but there is reason for cautious optimism with high vaccination rates. 

Consider this may be the end of large scale lockdowns, schools may stay open, and those hockey pucks might be back on the ice for a long time to come. This winter may be the turbulent receding of this virus that made a mockery of the word ‘unprecedented’ for the memories of most. And as nice as it is that the barricades and traffic directing has ceased in my Ontario grocery store, it’s the blossoming of the dusty social and work event calendar that’s been the best boon of all. 

Pandemics end, and this one looks like it will too, though a global end is a very different conversation than geographical endemicity, even within our own country. We’ll be talking about COVID-19 for a long time to come, but we’ll be talking about a lot of other things too. We already are. 


I hope you enjoyed your 2021 editions of Fire Fighting in Canada and that they helped inform and foster your connection with the fire service.   

If there’s anything you’d like us to be talking about, please reach out to me at or 416-522-1595. Many of our greatest reads come from our readers. 

Happy holidays to you and yours; to all those who show up to help on the worst day of someone else’s life. May it be a restful, festive, holiday season of fun and good cheer. 

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