Notes from the monthly update meeting – November 28, 2023 (there was no meeting in October due to Halloween)

Leadership changes

  • Deputy Chief – Its likely no secret to most that Calvin and Ashley have been looking for a new house for sometime. They’ve found a beautiful, waterfront home that they’re going to rent for a year; unfortunately it is in Donaldston (East River FD’s area). Calvin has made the easy decision to put his family first and the difficult one to step down as Deputy Chief. While he’ll be out of the area for a year, he will be taking a leave of absence from active duty. The Board of Directors is aware of the change and will come up with a plan to replace the Deputy position likely after Christmas. Hopefully a year from now Calvin will be back with us, in a new home in our district! Once I hear back from the Board, I’ll let everyone know.
  • Training Officer staffing process – the Training Officer position will be open for applications in the coming days. Please watch the website for the position details, duties and expectations. A board interview will be conducted, and, as part of the interview, applicants will be asked to prepare a sample training calendar and explain their rationale behind it.
  • Captain and Lieutenant positions – this will be addressed after the holidays, as input from the membership is still being sought.

Housekeeping

  • This time of the year the road grim is at its worst… please rinse the trucks off as they come back from a call, especially if there’s snow/ice buildup. Weekend teams should be throwing some soap on the trucks at washing them; of course, if there’s time to stand around the boat, there’s time to wash a truck!
  • If you use Absorball on a response, it is your responsibility to please refill the buckets. Additional bags can be found in the shelf at the far end of the hall (by the trailers). If we’re out of bags, let one of the officers know.
  • The water refill station has been approved by the board and is with the Town of Stratford for approval (as the landlord). A replacement freezer is also being acquired.
  • If you’re using gear that is not originally yours (your name isn’t inside) please take a Sharpie from the dispatch office and put your name on it. This will help with sending gear to Clean Heroes. If your number needs to be replaced, put a note in the radio pocket of what number you need. If your gear is still torn or something got missed, let your officer know.
  • Reminder that once you come off weekend duty, your gear needs to be bagged and set out by the back door for the Clean Heroes Thursday AM pickup. Grab replacement gear from the closet on the 2nd floor.

Operations

  • Gas detectors – if you’re here first, go to the office, start them up and THEN drop your gear on a seat. Come back and put them in place. The MSA meters are different than we’re used to, and we have to adapt to these tools as we’re legally mandated to bump test them before use. Officers have the discretion to have the 2nd truck be responsible for the gas detectors if life safety is of concern at the scene.
  • Safe Operating Guidelines (SOGs) – each member will be provided with access to the SOGs. The choice between paper and digital copies is yours – you can have both if you like. The expectation is that over the next 12-24 months, we will begin the process of adapting to them, and adapting the SOGs to the realities of our department. These have been tailored to our needs but likely will need to be tweaked. Errors, omissions or concerns can be addressed to your officer.

Social

  • Mike Craig has put together a great plan to promote the PEI Firefighters 50/50 draw that will benefit CRFD first and foremost. This will involve some simple profiles of the membership, our apparatus, and purchases we’ve made using community funds. The goal will be to increase traffic and up ticket sales. Social media pages will be used. The details will be posted by the gear room door, on the bulletin board. Thanks to Mike for putting his sales experience and contacts towards this cause.
  • Christmas Dinner and Social is on Saturday – DUTY CREW IS ALPHA (1 & 2) for Saturday evening (1700hrs) to Sunday (1200hrs).

Occupational Health and Safety

  • A form will be setup on the website to allow for submissions of any issues or near-misses, should you not wish to contact a member of the safety committee. When ready, an IaR message will be sent out.
  • Reminder that the committee meets monthly (except for July / August) and is comprised of Carol Anne Duffy (Board) and Safety Officer Ken MacGregor (co-chairs) along with the Training Officer, and FFs Nick Jay, Vanessa Newcombe, Jeremy Villard and Freddy Affleck.
  • The bulletin board by the dispatch office will be the new Health and Safety Information Board (as required by OH&S). Cory Doucette has populated the Safety Data Sheets for the hall and they will be posted in “Right to Know” Station.
  • Driver Abstracts and Criminal Record queries – our insurance agent has asked for annual driver abstracts on all members. Please complete the form that will be available in the dispatch office. Abstracts will be provided to the department – all you need to do is add your driver license number and sign the consent. This form will not be kept by the department but it will be on file with Driver Records at Access PEI. Criminal record queries will also be annual, and I have confirmed with the RCMP that I can help complete the paperwork for everyone, and all you need to do is pickup the results and leave them for me (there will be a place to put them). If you need to be fingerprinted, Stratford RCMP will help with that (including after hours if necessary).
  • There is approximately $20,000 in year-end funding available. We are purchasing the following:
    • low-level strainer for Truck 5 (link)
    • 2.5″ hydrant valves and 2.5″ to 4″ Storz adapters (several)
    • A factory-refurbished Bullard QXT thermal imager (link)
    • Replacement hose
    • A set of Milwaukee FUEL battery operated hand tools
    • A new small chainsaw (possibly a Milwaukee battery-powered – if not, a Stihl MS261)
    • Chimney brushes (for calls when we cannot use the ball/chain to knock creosote off the walls of the flu)

General

  • Fiona generators – still trying to find a home for them. The Lions club respectfully turned them down, and the Knights of Columbus will likely do the same.
  • Recent equipment purchases include 24 new chairs for the training room and four new technician rescue PFDs for both ice rescue and marine (boat) duty.
  • The following members will be contacted by George Weatherbie at Metro Credit Union regarding the department’s RRSP that contributions are made to on your behalf by the Board of Directors. George has been given your emails/phone numbers. Please take some time to meet with him and see what the options are.
    • Freddy Affleck
    • Mike Craig
    • Jason Hogan
    • John Miller
    • Armando Rodriques
    • Gurpreet Singh
    • Alexis Traintaffillou
    • Jeremy Villard
  • Calvin and I attended the November board meeting. The budget was reviewed and once approved, I will share it with you.
  • I attended the Stratford Safety Services Committee meeting. Our call stats were presented, and a discussion was had around whether the volume of false alarms can be reduced (consensus was that it is what it is). The Town is looking into by-laws regarding the use of “sea-can” storage trailers on residential properties due to the potential threats they pose (they can store anything). This link to a WorkSafe BC report describes an incident a number of years ago where a firefighter was killed when the doors of a sea-can were blown off by a propane tank explosion (BLEVE).

Question on any of the above are always welcome.

G.