Volunteers
Written by Vince Mackenzie
This past summer, the Canadian government recognized the value of volunteer firefighters by introducing the volunteer firefighter tax credit.
Written by Tom DeSorcy
Growing up in this profession (and in the public eye in general, through my previous work in media), I’ve become well aware of optics and the way people perceive things.
Written by Vince MacKenzie
As firefighters, we tend to see in our own circles, but we also have a greater understanding, awareness of, and respect for the dedication of all our uniformed services.
Written by Tom DeSorcy
As a chief fire officer, I’m constantly being tested, but never as much as I was during an incident this year that put our department on the national stage.
Written by Vince MacKenzie
I  was honoured to be invited to a summit in Washington, D.C., this winter about the future of the volunteer fire service, hosted by the Volunteer and Composite Officers section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. As I departed for the United States, I vowed to be as open-minded as possible and to absorb as much as I could. I knew the three-day summit would be interesting but it was also eye-opening.
Written by Tom DeSorcy
This past hockey season, I was particularly interested in the NHL all-star game and the picking of the two teams.
Written by Vince MacKenzie
In today’s world image is everything. Organizations, corporations, governments and even fire departments hold their values out to the public for support. Everyone has a message, so marketing has to be a staple of any successful organization.
Written by Rob Evans
Feb. 11, 2011 - While fire departments in some parts of Alberta have closed their doors during the day or shut down altogether because there aren’t enough volunteers to meet the demand for service, the all-volunteer Redwood Meadows Emergency Services has created a recruitment and retention model that works.
Written by Laura King
The 120-page report on firefighter recruitment and retention in Alberta begins like this: The issue of recruiting and retaining firefighters is a worldwide issue that we in the Alberta fire service were naive enough to believe wasn’t affecting us.
Written by Tom Desorcy
Are you afraid to use the M word around your fire hall? That’s right, I’ll say it . . . motivation. The word is thrown around quite regularly in the career officer ranks, but I wonder about the volunteer fire halls. Is motivation something that you, as a career chief, work at?
Written by Vince MacKenzie
I am thrilled to contribute to a column that has been a staple of Fire Fighting in Canada. Please indulge me as I take a few lines to express my sincere pride in the volunteer fire service here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Hundreds of firefighters did an admirable job during Hurricane Igor, which ravaged the northeast and southern parts of Newfoundland on Sept. 21.
Written by Tom Desorcy
It’s sometimes beyond belief – amazing, in fact – that some Canadian fire chiefs are being questioned for their validity.
Written by Brad Patton
It’s been two years since I began writing this column and now it’s time for me to pass the pen or keyboard on to another writer. Writing for Fire Fighting in Canada has been a humbling and wonderful experience.
Written by Tom Desorcy
Having what you need, when you need it: whether you’re cooking dinner or running a business and, most certainly, at a fire scene, this phrase holds true.
Written by Brad Patton
Times they are a-changin’ and the fire service is going to have to find other ways to deliver services. The federal government is set to reduce funding to the provincial governments, which, in turn, will reduce funding to municipal governments and you know what that means – reduced fire department budgets.
Written by Tom DeSorcy
It has often been said that the size and extent of any emergency is equal to the number of satellite news trucks in the parking lot the next day.
Written by Brad Patton
Our condolences to the community of Point Edward, Ont., in the recent loss of volunteer firefighter Gary Kendall during an ice rescue training exercise.
Written by Tom DeSorcy
You’ve no doubt heard people say that we should all be marketing our fire departments, but what does that entail? Are we all supposed to set up social networking accounts and keep interested followers up on everything we do?
Written by Brad Patton
I need to start with an apology to all “big” volunteer/composite fire departments. In my bio at the end of this column, I wanted to emphasize that the Municipality of Centre Wellington, with a population of almost 29,000, is protected by an all-volunteer firefighting force. I believe this to be in the top 10 to 20 per cent of volunteer departments responsible for a population of that size
Written by Brad Patton
I have taken a few courses on leadership, received a couple of diplomas and read lots of books on the subject. I have also watched great leaders at work. I know that some people seem to be born with the skills needed to be a great leader, some have learned how to be a leader, and others will never learn.
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