Canadian Firefighter Magazine

From the Editor: Knowledge, training, leadership

Drew McCarthy   

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From the Editor

With this issue, we find ourselves both in a new year and in a different situation here at Canadian Firefighter and EMS Quarterly magazine. Our regular editor, Jim Haley, is on a leave of absence, so for the foreseeable future, I will be filling in. Normally I remain happily behind the scenes as the editorial director of the magazine, but I’m excited to be stepping into the spotlight, for at least a little while, and especially for this issue.

Vehicle extrication is the most common type of rescue performed by firefighters. Brian G. Anderson, author of Vehicle Extrication: A Practical Guide, points out that while many extrications are simple, intuitive operations requiring little more than popping a door to release a victim, there are other situations that truly test the mettle of the rescuers.
In severe crash situations, says Anderson, there are three factors that inevitably come into play: the skill of the firefighters, the suitability of their tools, and the strong, confident leadership of officers.

Our feature story in this issue (page 16) is a real life report on how these factors came into play in a very challenging but ultimately successful extrication last November in Coaldale, Alta. Fire chief Andy Van Rijn describes the situation and reports to us on how “extensive training and a large arsenal of extrication equipment paid off.”
Anderson’s third key factor – strong, confident leadership –  is exemplified by Chief Van Rijn himself, in this report. Throughout the incident, from size-up to extrication, the chief exemplified what Anderson refers to as “clarity of thought and purposeful action.”

On a related theme, changing automobile technology has always brought new challenges for victim extrication. Firefighter and vehicle extrication instructor Randy Schmitz of the Calgary Fire Dept. sets out to curb responder fears about hybrid vehicles. He brings us up to date on the latest in hybrid technology and gives us an analysis of some appropriate emergency response procedures.


Our cover story (page 26) features the results of the grand finale of the FireFit Championships held in Niagara Falls last September. Our report has a look at what it’ll take to succeed in the coming year.  It looks as if the 2007 championships will be as exciting and rewarding as last year’s.

I hope you enjoy this issue and would like to remind you that we love your feedback. If you have any comments, ideas, news, press releases or story suggestions, please contact us at:

Canadian Firefighter and EMS Quarterly
P.O. Box 530
105 Donly Drive S.
Simcoe, ON
Canada N3Y 4N5

Tel: 519-429-5188
1-888-599-2228 ext. 253

We look forward to hearing from you.

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