2006 CAFC Conference: Fire Chiefs of The Year Announced; Stronger Support from Ottawa Requested

Thursday, August 17, 2006, Halifax NS – At last evening’s closing ceremonies of the 2006 annual conference, the Fire Chiefs of the Year were announced. At the conference, Fire Chief Patrick Burke was elected President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), and a resolution calling for more standardization in firefighter equipment and training was passed.

Fire Chief Serge Tremblay of the Montreal Fire Department has been named Canada�s Full-time Fire Chief of the Year. Fire Cjief Glen Sanders of the Shawnigan Lake Volunteer Fire Department is the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year.

Both awards were announced last evening during the closing ceremonies at the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs� annual conference held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fire Chief Sanders is Past President of the British Columbia Association of Fire Chiefs while Fire Chief Tremblay is the current President of the Quebec provincial association.

Fire Chief Patrick Burke, Niagara Falls Fire Services is President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. In congratulating Fire Chiefs Tremblay and Sanders, he said that, while there are major differences between the Montreal and Shawnigan Fire Departments, their chiefs share important characteristics.

�Both of our Fire Chiefs of the Year are mandated to protect the lives and property of their citizens. To do so effectively, they must be commited to training, public education and appropriate equipment,� CAFC�s President observed. �More than anything else,� he added, �they have equally shown themselves to be true leaders.�

There are 3,500 fire departments in Canada and 108,000 firefighting personnel. Volunteers comprise 91 per cent of all departments and 77 per cent of total personnel.

Fire Chief Patrick Burke was today elected President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC). He joined the Windsor Ontario Fire Department in 1968 as a firefighter, rising to Deputy Chief in 1994. He became Niagara Falls Fire Chief in 2002.

CAFC�s President referenced a resolution in calling for a National Fire Advisor passed today by Canada�s Fire Chiefs at their annual conference in Halifax.

�A co-ordinated and standardized approach to fire training and equipment is essential,� Fire Chief Burke said. �This is the only way we can be certain that significant response capability ca be readily assembled to deal with large-scale emergencies,� he explained. The role of the National Fire Advisor would include ensuring that strategic co-ordination.

Fire Chief Burke earned his law degree from the University of Windsor in 1990 and was called to the bar four years later. He is a former President of the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association. Also, he is a past Chair of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Board.

About The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs leads and represents the Canadian fire service on public safety issues with the vision of being nationally recognized as the fire service voice of authority. For more information, visit http://www.cafc.ca/home/home_e.php