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In light of the emotional events

From the editor

December 14, 2007 
By James Haley

This is the third time I’ve rewritten this editorial, in light of the emotional events that have unfolded during the last two weeks of March. The awarding of bravery medals to fire fighters in Ontario and the wonderful rescue of nurse Betty Kennedy related in this edition, are now tempered sadly by the news of the tragedy in Yellowknife of March 17 with the loss of two fire fighters.

This issue is devoted to health and safety issues for firefighters. This theme was decided many months ago in our 2005 annual plan and we certainly are not implying anything undue in Yellowknife. From initial reports that was a routine call and the firefighters and officers were well trained to handle it. Accidents happen. Our goal is to mitigate these. We do hope to present a report on the incident for a future edition with the co-operation of the department. But the news of the deaths of Lieut. Cyril Fyfe and Fire Fighter Kevin Olson underlines the dangers we face as emergency responders and the consequences that can occur. From new OH&S regulations in Ontario affecting the fire service to fireground command and training lessons and fitness advice, all of these articles and columns are aimed at helping us do our tasks more safely. Your comments are always welcome.

Aaron Feldman, retired from Vancouver, is devoting much of his time now to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation and has taken a lead role in the Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program – a program to assist in the reduction of firefighter injuries and fatalities in Canada. The aims of this program are shared with you here.
We dedicate this issue to the memories of Lieut. Cyril Fyfe and Fire Fighter Kevin Olson, honoured fallen of the Yellowknife Fire Department, never to be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and their colleagues.

Yours in fire service safety and education,
Jim Haley

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