Introducing the new Canadian Firefighter
By Laura King
Change. Big change. To better serve you, our readers.
Like firefighting techniques and health-and-safety philosophies that have evolved thanks to science, we’ve changed to give firefighters and fire officers more of what they need in a better format.
The most significant change is our title, which we’ve shortened to Canadian Firefighter to more accurately reflect our content. And our fabulous new Canadian Firefighter logo is cleaner and simpler, but also more modern.
Our regular writers are all still here – from Randy Schmitz’ popular extrication column to Jay Shaw’s heartfelt and often eye-opening opinions on fire-service issues. But the pages are full of more information – statistics, photos and other extras that give you additional details about the training techniques, fitness tips and how-to items that you have told us through emails that you read and use in your departments.
Why the new look?
Well, frankly, it was time. Our last makeover was in 1999, long before everyone had a smartphone and Twitter.
Not that we’re competing with social media and technology, we just want to make sure what’s written on our pages greatly appeals to those in our target audience.
To do that, we’ve added a news section at the front of the magazine and included more entry points on each page – photos, graphics, icons, pullquotes and other design elements that catch readers’ eyes.
In addition, we have committed to a sharper focus on training and education to help career and volunteer firefighters and officers, public educators and fire-prevention personnel excel in both their jobs and on their career paths.
Our goal is simple: we want you to read our magazine from cover to cover. We know that’s a lot to ask of busy people who have jobs, families and volunteer commitments.
But unlike consumer magazines, which feature diverse topics and expect that readers will peruse some, but not all, of the articles, each column or story in Canadian Firefighter provides a takeaway for fire personnel regardless of the size of your department or your role in it.
In the eight years that I’ve been editor of Canadian Firefighter our content has changed almost entirely, so we’re pretty comfortable trying new things! We have introduced new faces and voices, boosted the volume of pieces on training, health, fitness, wellness, healthy eating and public education and broadened our coverage of the volunteer sector.
We’re pretty sure you’ll like what you see in this issue. We’ve got a great story about successful training weekends and a detailed piece about choosing hoselines. Jay Shaw’s From the Floor column on the back page will make you think.
As always, all our content is written by firefighters – of all ranks – for firefighters, from Jennifer Grigg, a volunteer with the Township of Georgian Bay Fire Department in Ontario whose Dispatches column always includes a straight-from-the-heart message, to Deputy Chief Arjuna George of Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue in British Columbia, an expert in all things digital and a keen observer and promoter of fire-service progress.
In media and publishing, status quo is never an option. It shouldn’t be for fire, either.
I wasn’t going to mention that old analogy about years of fire-service tradition unimpeded by change, but in this case it’s apropos. It occurred to me during this design makeover that everything in our magazine is about change – progress, evolution, improvement – and it always has been.
Here’s to more of that!