By Laura King
May 30, 2011, Toronto – It’s been a good day here at the International Conference for Fire & Rescue Executives in Toronto with lots of networking time with vendors and delegates.
May 30, 2011
It’s been a good day here at the International Conference for Fire & Rescue Executives in Toronto with lots of networking time with vendors and delegates.
The best line of the day goes to Chief John McKearney of Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services, who said, “Believe it or not, firefighters are involved in prostitution in a meaningful way.” The room cracked up, but in the context of fire departments reaching out to their communities and constituents, the quip was a great example of some of that outside-the-box thinking that fire-service leaders keep hearing about at chiefs’ conferences.
McKearney hosts the 2012 version of the conference and swore to delegates here in Toronto – where it’s 23 C, sunny and powerfully humid today – that it will be sunny and dry in Vancouver. Right.
It was a pleasure today to hear Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, of the Austin Fire Department in Texas, talk about diversity in the fire service – or the lack thereof. Kerr is, I believe, the only female chief I’ve heard speak at the 20-plus conferences I’ve been to in the last four years. ‘Nuff said.
|Chief Rhoda May Kerr of the Austin Fire Department in Texas speaks about diversity challenges at the International Conference for Fire & Rescue Executives in Toronto on Monday. Photo by Laura King
As mentioned yesterday, we’re on the road for the next little bit to chiefs’ conferences and training weekends, and although we’re invited to most, it’s tough to fit them all in. The New Brunswick Association of Fire Chiefs, at its conference over the weekend, honoured former Riverview Fire Chief Doug Hamer for his more than 37 years of service. Quite an accomplishment. You can read the whole story here.