President's Message - October 2020

Hello to all,

It is hard to believe that my two-year term as CAFI President will be coming to an end soon. This will be my last President's Message to our members. It has been an incredible journey over the past two years. We have seen so many changes in our lives and within this organization. Our country has witnessed so many disasters and losses. From massive forest fires, floods, tornados, large loss structure fires with facilities, and then 2020 has been a crazy turmoil for all of us with the onset of the global pandemic. As an association, we were saddened with the passing of Vice president Tim Irish in January. Then we began with COVID. During these COVID months, many of us have been extra busy with all the fires as families were spending a lot of time at home, working from home, attending school from home, not getting out to visit friends, going to movies, restaurants, and being able to fly to see families or partake in family vacations.

And now we are entering the second phase of the pandemic, which we were warned about. It now appears that our local and provincials governments will be looking to reduce or close businesses again, and restrict our movements. I have been working on my family tree during this time and have found out my Grandmother Slipp was sick in 1918-19 with the Spanish Flu and had to drop out of University. The family had to wear masks, restrict outings, and depend on family and friends for help. Those two years were crazy around the world over 100 years ago, and that was without the benefit of instant communication via the Internet!

Looking ahead to 2021, I pray that we start to return our world to what works best for all of us and not know what frightens many. Unfortunately, Mental Illness is on the rise, and way too many First Responders are suffering by not being able to handle this extra stress.

Looking forward to the next two years, Sheldon Barker will lead this great organization. Sheldon is an experienced Fire Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the public safety industry. He is a strategic thinker and an exceptional communicator with a solid commitment to operational excellence and continuous improvement and a clear focus on service delivery. Sheldon is also skilled in Critical Infrastructure Protection, Health & Safety, Incident Investigations, Fire Prevention, Paramedicine, and Industrial Safety. Strong military and protective services professional specializing in Emergency Management. He will be a valuable asset to CAFI and I look forward to serving alongside him.

Thank you to all my Board members, committees, and associates that have helped me. Special thanks to Vladimir (Val) as my Past President and Shirley Yuen from Bond Association Management for her advice, support, and guidance.

Best of luck to CAFI for another forty great years; our Association has grown over these forty year, and going forward, we will remain vital and relevant for all our members.

David L. Slipp
President CAFI