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Editor’s blog from the CAFC – day 2


September 27, 2011
By Laura King


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Sept. 27, 2011, Calgary – Well, the folks in St. John’s have a tough act to follow in 2012 with last night’s appearance by country superstar Paul Brandt at the CAFC’s Fire-Rescue 2011 fun night.

Sept. 27, 2011, Calgary – Well, the folks in St. John’s have a tough act to follow in 2012 with last night’s appearance by country superstar Paul Brandt at the CAFC’s Fire-Rescue 2011 fun night.

Brandt made a cameo appearance in Calgary’s promo video shown at last year’s conference in Saint John, N.B., so there was considerable speculation that he would perform last night at the Girletz Ranch Rodeo on the outskirts of Calgary (actually, it’s so far outside of Calgary that the Edmonton skyline loomed in the distance – boy it’s flat out here!).

Brandt did one number, then patiently signed autographs and posed for pictures with chiefs, their spouses, magazine editors and the like!

Congrats to the CAFC’s host committee for raising the bar and to Calgary Chief Bruce Burrell for having great connections!

The CAFC’s opening business session yesterday was positive and purposeful.

President Rob Simonds noted the CAFC’s successes of the last year, including the volunteer firefighter tax credit and the association’s status as a trusted advisor to the Conservative government.

Pinball Clemens brings his motivational presentation to the chiefs this morning, after which Denis Pilon of the Swift Current Fire Department talks about residential sprinklers – an issue that the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and others have taken on. We’ll keep you posted.

Meantime, if you haven’t seen our photo gallery with highlights from yesterday’s sessions and last night’s entertainment, click here.

Follow Laura's CAFC experience on Facebook and Twitter!

* * *

Sept. 26, 2011, Calgary – There is a palpable optimism in the air here
in Cowtown where the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs conference hits
full stride today.

Having Julian Fantino, the associate minister of defence, here for last
evening’s opening ceremonies to talk about Ottawa’s role in moving
forward the broadband spectrum issue – and promising to work with
first-responder groups – was important and lent a fair bit of clout and
credibility to the work the CAFC has done with government over the last
couple of years. (There’s an update on the interoperability issue this
afternoon.)

A video-taped message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have been
light on content – Harper mentioned the firefighter tax credit and
wished conference delegates well – but it was symbolic of the CAFC’s
efforts to learn how to advocate for its causes, to work with other
agencies and to listen to others.

Today’s session opens with a 90-minute CAFC business meeting – more on that this afternoon.

Meantime, delegates here from coast to coast to coast are keen to get on
with the business of addressing fire-service issues from better
communication with municipal councils to how to get communities to buy
into the notion of residential sprinklers.

Oh, and there’s some less serious stuff too. Those who custom ordered
their Calgary-made cowboy hats wore them proudly last evening; more are
expected to do so at tonight’s truly Calgarian fun night at a
rodeo/ranch – should be both interesting and entertaining.

And, as was widely posted on Twitter and Facebook last night, the poor
saps from Calgary Fire who responded to the alarm at the conference host
hotel, the Westin, took a ribbing worthy of a rookie hazing. As CAFC
administrator (read chief cook and bottle washer!) Vicky Roper noted on
Facebook: Irony – when the hospitality suit band’s “smoker” sets off the
alarms at a fire chief’s conference! Needless to say, the chiefs
immediately heeded the evacuation order and vacated the building, then
started timing the response . . .

More later.

Follow Laura's CAFC experience on Facebook and Twitter!


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