As the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler, nature is reminding us that summer is coming to an end. Throughout the first part of 2023, the CFSA Board of Directors has been working diligently to accomplish the goals that were set out for the year. Its has been a busy first half, with our Annual General Meeting (AGM), Annual Education Forum (AEF), our first half day Technical Seminar held at Seneca College, the development of our association’s strategic plan, and the addition of two new board members all being completed.
Our Annual General Meeting was held this past March as part of our Annual Education Forum. This was the first AGM that was held in person since 2019. This year’s event featured a new venue, the Venu Event Space located in Vaughan, Ontario. The entire Board of Directors, with the support of our partners at Association Concepts, worked tirelessly to develop a program that would benefit our members and provide industry relevant education opportunities. With the support of our Scholarship doners, the CFSA was able to award $10,000 to twelve students currently enrolled in fire safety programs in Canada. I am happy to say that the 2023 AEF was a huge success. The event was the largest in CFSA history! Attended by over 150 members, speakers, and public. This year’s AEF also had a record number of sponsors, thank you, we could not have done it without you.
Continuing to keep with one of our core principles, our Public Education Committee planned and held a half-day in-person Technical Seminar in the lab facilities at Seneca College. The event was a two-part seminar presented by two of our Board of Directors, Scott Pugsley, who led the Sprinkler System portion of the session, and Mike Clouthier, who presented on Aspirating Smoke Detectors. This was a CFSA first ever hybrid seminar with both in-person and virtual options. The Technical Seminar was well-received with the in-person portion of the event selling out. Our Public Education committee is working hard to develop and offer additional technical seminars over the next few months. Watch you in-box for details.
In December of 2022 the CFSA Board of Directors voted to undertake the development of a strategic plan. The purpose of this plan was to develop the goals and objectives for our association for the next three years. The strategic planning is well under way, and I look forward to providing additional updates in future messages.
The CFSA has welcomed two new Board members, Frank Donati and Chris Ramenda. Frank is the Program Coordinator and Professor for the Fire Inspection & Fire Safety Education Program and the Fire Safety Systems Program at Fanshawe College. Chris Ramenda is the Chief Technical Director and Fire Alarm/Electrical Division Manager for Onyx Fire Protection Services. A warm welcome to both of you and thank you for your support.
Lastly, as summer comes to an end, many parents will be sending their children off to college and university. Many of these students will either stay in college dorms or in student housing. For most of these students, this will be the first time they are away from home with no parental supervision. Before we send our children off, it is imperative that we take the time to discuss basic fire safety with them. Some key discussion points are:
- Ensuring their house or dorm rooms have working smoke alarms.
- Identifying their primary and secondary fire exits.
- Develop and practice an evacuation plan.
- Participate in fire safety training if provided by their college or university.
- Most importantly, NEVER assume a fire alarm is a false alarm.
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