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January 16, 2012
By Jennifer Grigg


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Jan. 16, 2012 - Tomorrow is my first conference call with the board of directors of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA). Since becoming the assistant director for Ontario in December, this whole endeavour is still very new to me, and I’m not quite sure what I’m in for. Heck, I’ve never even been on a conference call before. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered life.

Jan. 16, 2012 – Tomorrow is my first conference call with the board of directors of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA). Since becoming the assistant director for Ontario in December, this whole endeavour is still very new to me, and I’m not quite sure what I’m in for. Heck, I’ve never even been on a conference call before. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered life.

In order to prepare, for my uber exciting first conference call, I carefully scrolled through all my emails related to the association and printed off any relevant documents and the agenda so I don’t look, or rather sound, like a total newbie on the call. I want to impress the other board members, after all, and assure them that they’ve chosen the right person for the job. Diligent, hardworking, prepared, etc., etc.

After doing so, I realized that since it’s a conference call that I’ll be making from home, my laptop will be within reach, with all of my emails and documents on it anyway (so I just wasted a bunch of paper.) Ah well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the association and what it entails, as it’s not only representing the volunteer firefighters in the province in which I live, it is a nationwide association representing all of the volunteer firefighters in Canada, of which I am now a board member. I’m very excited about this venture and eager to contribute in whatever way I can, as any volunteer firefighter would be.

In speaking with a few other fellow volunteers, it seems that the association isn’t all that well known, so my first order of business is to spread the word. So as I learn, you’ll learn. The website is http://www.cvfsa.ca/index.aspx, if you’re curious about it and want to read up on it.

One thing is for sure: as volunteer firefighters, we are all connected. Regardless of where we live across Canada, when one of us goes down, we all feel it, as seen from the reports following the passing of the two volunteer firefighters in December, and the two earlier in the year in Listowel. The news stops you in your tracks, every time.

We understand on a visceral level that it could happen to any one of us, and we feel deeply for the families, friends and fellow firefighters of those who gave their lives in the line of duty. The fact that there is an acronym for line-of-duty death, and that every member of every fire service everywhere knows what LODD stands for, is almost too scary to comprehend.

Bottom line – we all want to help and we’re here for the same reason. That’s why we joined the fire department in the first place. (That, and of course to do the cool stuff like drive the trucks and lay on the air horn and be on the nozzle putting out the fire . . . I digress.) We all want to do our part to make the world a better place, to help someone in their time of need, to make someone’s worse day even a little bit better.

We are all in this together.

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