President's Message - August 2020

Welcome to summer 2020. This year has certainly not been anything we could have imagined. We started with the loss of Tim Irish, then the virus started, and we eventually had to close down the country. The country, and the world, have undoubtedly changed. How we communicate with each other, how our circles of friends and co-workers have changed, working from home, no social meetings or gatherings, and all of our meetings are online. Now the governments are opening up the country again with summer upon us, but the virus numbers are rising back to the point equal to the original numbers. The states are shutting down and putting more restrictions on. Here in Alberta, our health officials are worried about the second round, and if these numbers do not reduce, then we could see restrictions put back in place.

I have been spending some of my time researching my family tree and found out that some of my relatives were very sick with the Spanish flu from 1918-19. They had restrictions and face masks to wear during their time. We need to be able to help slow down and stop this virus in its tracks, but the young people are taking risks and not social distancing. The new numbers were out yesterday, and ages from 20-29 are the ones getting sick. We still have not seen the full power of the virus, and we need to hold on as the next several months and possibly years will change us forever. Please be safe.

Your executive has been working hard and trying to work in these new times. With everyone being home more, the rise in fires has increased, and the demand for investigations are going up. The problem with this is everyone is more at risk as social distancing is hard when working so closely with your co-workers and fellow fire services. Please suit up, glove up and mask up so we can be safe. These houses and businesses that we all go into are more likely to have more harmful drugs in them today than ever before. I have noticed a few investigators working without adequately preparing themselves for the investigation and not wearing any protective equipment. Safety has to be the first thing on our minds and always think about our loved one and fellow workers when we do not act appropriately. At our last executive meeting, I appointed Jamie Young as my Second Vice President as this position has been vacant for a few months. Jamie brings a lot of experience to the table. He works in Cape Breton NS with the Fire Marshals office. Welcome to the team, Jamie, and I look forward to working with you.

Continue looking at our website and your emails as we will have some fantastic webinars. I know one will be with Dr. Katy Kamkar, Clinical Psychologist. Katy is a member of the Executive Board, Sheldon Barker, Vice President CAFI, and Regional Fire Safety Officer with Correctional Services Canada will also be presenting. These two webinars will undoubtedly be exciting and very informative. Val is always looking for ideas and people to introduce topics and host webinars. Please reach out to him and help CAFI.

Please, everyone, stay safe.

Thank you,

David L. Slipp
President CAFI