From the Editor: April 2016
It’s our mandate to keep you informed about innovations – robotic technology, for example, that’s useful in certain dangerous firefighting or hazmat situations.
By Laura King
But it’s also our mandate to help firefighters grow – as mentors and leaders.
Which is why we constantly seek writers and columnists who can provide new perspectives, fresh insight and even unconventional viewpoints.
Jason Clark is a volunteer firefighter in Central Elgin, Ont. I met Jason – sort of – at the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs conference in May 2015; we sat at the same table at lunch, with his chief, Don Crocker (a favourite tablemate at conferences – he brings chocolate treats!) and several other chief officers.
Clark was opposite me at a large, round table, and with conversations going on and only a brief lunch break, we were never formally introduced – often at these conferences everyone assumes everyone knows everyone else.
Months later, Clark emailed asking about potentially contributing to the magazine and told me we’d been lunchmates but he hadn’t interrupted the conversation to introduce himself (nor had I). Admittedly, Clark said, he had been intimidated by the white shirts and stripes around him (figuratively, as everyone was dressed in business casual for the conference), although he’d been anxious to ask about writing.
A couple of phone conversations and lots of emails later, Clark’s first Front Seat column chronicles his transition to captain and the roller coaster of emotions – and litany of questions – that comes with the new position and responsibilities.
Clark will write regularly for Canadian Firefighter, offering advice to those who aspire to leadership roles in volunteer and career departments. We know the significance of good leadership in fire halls – career and volunteer. Clark’s column will provide a newly acquired view from the front seat; his frankness is sure to both entertain and intrigue.
Sean Kingswell is a career firefighter in London, Ont., and, like so many full-timers, he’s an entrepreneur on the side. Kingswell’s sideline is firefighter health and wellness – a whole-body-and-mind approach to firefighter safety.
Kingswell’s offerings will complement longtime contributor Sherry Dean’s Fit for Duty column, delving deeper into areas that affect every firefighter – issues such as sleep, recovery, injury prevention, cancer prevention, goal setting, hydration, and medical diligence.
We know, now, the importance of good mental and physical health on performance – we know physical health affects mental health, and, vice versa, and we’re expanding our coverage of those key areas with the addition of Kingswell’s column.
We think you’ll find valuable information in these new columns – Front Seat and Tools of the trade – that will make you think about your lifestyle, your work-life balance and your goals and aspirations.
After all, robots – like the Argo J5 Responder remote-controlled fire vehicle featured in our cover story – can accomplish only what smart, healthy humans program them to do.