Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Think before you type

Laura King   

Features Blogs Editor’s blog

Thursday, April 16, 2010

You know those online forums, the ones on which firefighters (and hockey parents!) like to post anonymous comments about news stories or issues, or people? Well, as reporters and writers already know but some forum participants clearly don't, it’s really important to think before you type.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court said yesterday that internet anonymity shouldn't be a shield for legal actions and ordered a Halifax-based newspaper and Google Inc. to provide the identities of people who posted comments about Halifax Fire Chief Bill Mosher and Deputy Chief Stephen Thurber. The two are considering a defamation suit against people who posted the comments.

The comments were in a discussion forum hosted by The Coast and were related to stories about racism in the fire department.

Mosher and Thurber are considering a lawsuit against the author of emails sent through a Gmail account. You can read the whole story here.

So, as in kids hockey, the following rules apply: wait 24 hours before saying anything about an issue no matter how strongly you feel; don't say anything in an e-mail you wouldn't say face to face; and, the real moral of the story - stay away from online forums.

Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs seems to have made its mark in
Ottawa a couple of weeks ago
during its Government Affairs Week. This entertaining photo
courtesy of
Mclean’s magazine’s Capital
Diary blog came to my attention yesterday. Enjoy!


a cool study to take to city, provincial and federal politicians that shows fire
sprinklers are good for the environment. The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition in
U.S. partnered with FM
Global for this project that analyzed the environmental impact of fire. Findings were published this week in a technical report showing that sprinklers
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a fire by 98 per cent.

The research involved
test burns using two identical structures built to replicate a typical living
room; one structure had a sprinkler system.

In addition to the dramatic
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the experiment showed that sprinklers
reduce the amount of water pollution released into the environment, reduce fire
damage by up to 97 per cent and reduce water usage to fight a home fire by as
much as 91 per cent.

You  can see the
study here (warning, you have to fill in some personal/company info first) and
you can see a video here. Forward it to the home builders association in your neck of the woods and every environmental group you can think of. The environment lobby is mighty powerful and its impact could be significant in the push for mandatory residential sprinklers. 

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