More notes from the MFCA
By Carey Fredericks
July 14, 2008
Still with the Maritime Association of Fire Chiefs conference - which wrapped up last Wednesday with a banquet of planked halibut thanks to the wonderful folks at the Conquerall Bank Fire Department, and some wildly entertaining Newfoundland jokes – the wrap-up sessions on apparatus by FDNY’s Mike Wilbur were something all 250 chiefs in Lunenburg’s HB Studios theatre (where they make PlayStation games!) aren’t likely to forget.
Wilbur, a veteran of 9-11 and a renowned expert in all things apparatus, had the theatre in stitches and near tears with his four hours of videos and messages about firefighter safety. If you haven’t seen Wilber’s presentation (http://www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com/), make an effort to book him into your next association conference. I won’t attempt to replicate any of his presentation here – I couldn’t do it justice – but being able to captivate a room full of chiefs in a warm theatre (Maritime style – no air conditioning) on a perfect summer day just steps from the Atlantic is remarkable and speaks to Wilbur’s message, his passion and the quality of his show.
Next year’s MFCA conference is in Pictou County (http://www.townofpictou.com/main.html), the birthplace of New Scotland. During its business meetings last week, the MFCA membership agreed that the association would play a bigger role going forward in the convention planning, taking some of the pressure off the host community (similar to how things are done in many other associations). Pictou has big shoes to fill after the success of this year’s conference. We're looking forward to it!
As I write this I’m in Cape Breton visiting family and wondering why we can’t all live here. The weather since we arrived in N.S. on July 3 has been perfect, the pace is slow, the people are wonderful and we’ve not had a meal in 11 days that hasn’t included seafood (lobster, lobster sandwiches, halibut, mussels, more lobster, crab, fishcakes, sole, more lobster and fish chowder). We fly out this evening and it’s back to reality tomorrow.
One last MFCA note – congratulations to new president Bernie Turpin from the Halifax Regional Fire Department and his executive, first vice president Vince MacKenzie from Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., second vice president Alan Duchesne and sergeant at arms Gary Partridge. The MFCA admits there's lots of work to be done over the next few years. We know these guys are up to the task.