Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Comment: A snapshot of the fire service

By Brittani Schroeder   

Features canadian firefighter firefighters First Responders

This photo was taken by James Brown, of Thunder Bay, Ont. Brown is included in this year's Cover Photo Contest honourable mentions.

I have been working in the fire service industry with Canadian Firefighter for 11 months now, and throughout that time, I have learned a wealth of knowledge from both my colleagues and those working on the front lines every day. I have had the opportunity to meet firefighters and fire chiefs in person, through online meetings, and by visiting fire halls and events across Ontario. But, of course, travelling outside the province isn’t always easy or affordable. 

This year, the magazine introduced its first ever cover photo contest, and this gave me the chance to experience what those in fire service across the country have been through over the last year. We received over 75 photo submissions over a three-month period, and they ranged from wildfires and emergency calls to department life and training scenarios, and more. These photos came from eight of Canada’s 10 provinces and one territory. 

Seeing these photos come in over the last few months has been wonderful and enlightening. It’s given me even more of an introduction to the fire service than what I’ve encountered over the last year. I wish we could feature all of the photos we received in the magazine, because they were truly incredible. Some were thoughtfully planned out and captured, but others were a spur of the moment snap and are equally as breathtaking. Each gave me a glimpse into the lives of the firefighters who submitted them, and the daily challenges they face with their teams. 

Photo contests like this are important, not only because they showcase the talent featured in the fire service, but also because they create a greater sense of community throughout Canada. I’m sure these photos will also give you ideas for what to enter into future contests. 


We received over 75 photo submissions, and they ranged from wildfires and emergency calls to department life and training scenarios, and more.

The winner of the contest, featured on the cover of this magazine, is Alex Fortino from Ontario. His photo features a Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service member at a structure fire. Fortino is a 26-year volunteer firefighter with the Township of King Fire and Emergency Services. He has a passion for the fire service and showcasing the side of it that people don’t always get to see, through his photography. 

I also want to send out a big thank you to WATERAX for sponsoring this year’s cover photo contest. Your dedication to sharing Canadian firefighters’ experiences is commendable. From WATERAX and the editorial team, we all hope you enjoy the winner’s photo and the finalists as much as we did. You can find more honourable mentions on the Canadian Firefighter website as well. 

The Canadian Firefighter photo contest will run again in 2024. Stay tuned for content details, and get your cameras ready! 

As always, I invite you to pitch me your ideas, send me your latest news and accomplishments, or connect with me just to have a conversation. You can reach me at 

Until next time, happy reading and be well.

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