Meet the Board Initiative - April 2023
"A quick chat" at the water cooler with Jessica Potvin;
CFSA Director; Chair; Social Media Committee
Tell us how you started in the fire safety industry?
I was working full time and decided to go back to school for firefighting. I soon realized that my body was not going to allow me to be a firefighter so I switched gears and focused on other aspects of the industry. I have been in the industry for over 20 years now and I am still passionate about it. I have always been interested in the fire safety/protection industry (what child does not want to become a firefighter) and being in the industry for so long has afforded me many opportunities. The people I have met along the way and what I have learned has been invaluable to me. I look forward to more years in this industry.
Why did volunteer with the CFSA?
I volunteered with the CFSA to get more involved in the fire protection industry than I already am with my career. It gives me a chance to meet new people in the industry and to help a great organization. The CFSA has allowed me to try new things (I take care of their Social Media) and to work with some amazing people. Volunteering also gives me a sense of accomplishment. I look forward to doing more with the CFSA.
In the wide world of Fire Engineering / Fire Safety topics, what are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about advocating for fire sprinklers, in new homes and existing high-rise buildings. Statistics prove that home fires burn hotter and more intense now due to the materials in the home. We all need to advocate more for home fire sprinklers, especially in new housing developments and retrofitting existing high-rise buildings. Fire sprinklers and smoke detectors save lives and fire sprinklers put much less water on a fire than the fire department does. It is imperative that initiatives for fire sprinklers move forward, and all parties involved from government, AHJs, developers, fire departments, etc make this happen.
Volunteering is a great way to give back. If you had a message for others, what would that be?
I would say make the time to volunteer, no matter how busy you are in life. It is so rewarding and you can make a difference in any area you choose. If you cannot do what you love as a career, then volunteer doing that passion. You get so much more out of life when you make time for others and make a difference in the world.