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Monday musings . . .


October 4, 2010
By Laura King


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Monday, Oct. 4, 2010

It’s catch up time again . . .

In my last blog entry, embarrassingly, more than a week ago after returning from the CAFC conference in Saint John, I noted some highlights from Gen. Rick Hillier’s keynote address. Hillier was funny, engaging, humble and enlightening. Apparently, he was also funny, engaging, humble and enlightening two days later when he gave exactly the same speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Oakville, Ont. Fire chiefs who were in Saint John will recognize every anecdote and message from the story about the speech in Oakville’s community newspaper, which was on my kitchen table when I got home. Seems I needn’t bothered to have taken notes in Saint John.

Back in
June the CAFC sent out an e-mail encouraging members to nominate colleagues for
Readers Digest’s Canada’s Top Firefighters issue in
October. The issue, on newsstands now, profiles 15 firefighters in its pages
and online. The stories are moving, gripping and focus on the generosity,
courage and selflessness of the nominees that is typical of so many in the fire
service. The magazine intended to profile just five firefighters but it was
bombarded with nominations – little did the editors know! The 15 are:

Matt
Dunfield from the Moncton Fire Department in New Brunswick;

Andrew
Philpot, assistant chief with Kamloops Fire Rescue in B.C.;

Kellyann
Meloche, a firefighter and EMT with Kahnawake Fire Brigade in Quebec;

Adina Kaufman, a firefighter
with Toronto Fire Services;

Doral
Lybbert, a volunteer fire chief in Mid River, Alta;

Mike
Masserey, retired Winnipeg fire captain;

Mike
McGrath, chief of the Torbay Volunteery Fire Department in Newfoundland;

Chief
Dale Shippam, Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue Services;

Firefighter
Kristy Storey, Delta Fire and Emergency Services in B.C.;

Chief
Training Officer Gary Brandel, Kelowna Fire Department in B.C.;

Senior
Capt. Roy Royer, Edmonton Fire Rescue;

Volunteer
firefighter Jean-Pierre Berube, Pohenegamook Fire Department in Quebec;

Fire Chief Rick Elder, Dalmeny Fire
Department in Saskatchewan;

Capt. Tom
Murphy, Alberton Fire Department in P.E.I.;

And
fellow Cape Bretoner, Fire Chief Lloyd MacIntosh,
North Sydney Volunteer Fire Department.

Take time
to read their stories here.

Speaking
of exceptional people, the Globe and Mail carried a piece last week on Chelsea
Kuzman, the 20-year-old chief of the 12-person fire department in Port Renfrew
on Vancouver Island. Kuzman
has generated plenty of press – the Port Renfrew paper ran a story the week
before and the and Victoria Times Colonist did its own story. Kuzman has been a
volunteer firefighter for four years. She has taken the necessary courses and
drives the pumper. She’s not sure if she’s the youngest fire chief in Canada but it’s
likely that she is. She deserves credit for stepping up, and the support of her
fellow fire chiefs.

The Newfoundland
and Labrador Association of Fire Services
lost a major supporter yesterday with
the death of Municipal Affairs Minister Dianne Whelan. NLAFS president Vince
MacKenzie described Whalen in a note to members as “a friend to the fire service of Newfoundland and Labrador and this association, a very caring and
intelligent woman, with an impressive respect of the firefighters of this
province and genuine interest in helping and moving issues forward.” Whalen had been battling cancer. You can read more here.

Lastly, and just for fun for a Monday morning, if you
haven’t yet seen Halifax musician and volunteer firefighter Dave Carroll’s new
video, Everyday Heroes, which was launched at the CAFC conference last month,
check it out on Carroll’s site, davecarrollmusic.com or www.911song.com. You can also download the
MP3.   

 

 


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