Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Osama bin Laden is dead, Superman gave up his US citizenship, and the Conservatives won a majority government . . . all within 48 hours. The Apocalypse must be just around the corner. Alternately, life will go on with little changes here and there, regardless of the headlines and hype.

In spite of my firm resolution to not take sides publicly, I admit that I'm glad MP Rafferty kept his seat, and that the NDP will take the role of official opposition. I believe that John won't forget the fire service, even with his party's sudden rise to second in command. 

Now that the epidemic of elections is behind us, perhaps the parties can make good on their promises to help the volunteer service. I will miss taking all those cheap campaign shots at our politicians, but I'm sure that Stephen Harper and his newly gained majority will continue to provide plenty of blogger fodder. And the offer is still on for him to come swimming with the sharks if he backs out on any of his election promises to the fire service.

The truly earth shaking news is that it's going to be colder here in Toronto tomorrow than back home in Upsala. It snowed in Upsala this morning, but it's supposed to be sunny and plus 16 there tomorrow . . . and cloudy and plus 8 here. The March Lynx did in fact make it's way into the month of May.

The OAFC Conference geared up another notch yesterday with a massive trade show and a stunning memorial service. I don't think I realized there was so much money and so many fire chiefs in the whole world. And I'm told this is only a tiny piece of what's really out there. It's astonishing, at least from my peripheral edge of the universe point of view.

The best part so far has been getting to know the fire folks closer to the centre of the universe. I had dinner tonight with Firefighting in Canada editor Laura King, Grand Falls, Newfoundland Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie, former Toronto District Chief Peter Sells, and two old instructing friends, Andrew and Cyndy (wow, that was a handful of names and titles). I am sometimes a square peg in a social round hole, but these folks all have enough craziness in them to make me feel very much at home.

I also encountered Firefighters Without Borders today. These folks travel to various needy countries - at their own expense - to deliver training and equipment to firefighters who have next to nothing. I complain frequently about government apathy toward the fire service. These guys spend money out of their own pockets to help firefighters that have little or nothing. If you have spare gear or cash, they need all the help they can get.

The fire service generates some of the finest people on the face of the earth . . . or perhaps the finest people on the face of the earth gravitate toward the fire service. I'm not sure which it is, but I am humbled to call them my friends.

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