A number of Firefighters from the Energy City were in Regina for the Annual Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs Conference held in Regina from April 11-15. 

"We had the annual conference so both myself and the Deputy Fire Chief attended the conference," shared Fire Chief, Dale Feser.

"My duties extend a little bit further. Typically I'm there for approximately five days as I'm a board director for Zone 3, the southeast region of the province. So there's board of director duties both before and after the conference and of course, all the way through the conference. Deputy Chief Davies was in for three days."

There was a pre-conference workshop on how to be an expert witness in court.

"It's all about testifying in court and how to establish yourself as an expert witness on the stand when you're in Court of Queen's Bench."

"We run breakout sessions like that and we also have keynote speakers. We were very honoured to have Retired Fire Chief Darby Allen who is from the Fort McMurray wildfire fame. He has since retired and does a lot of speaking engagements. He did a great job of focusing on how they handled the situation especially such a large scale situation like that. It was very interesting to hear him again, this is my second time hearing Darby speak and he's a great speaker. He's very intimate, very candid, he likes to field questions from the audience."

"We had Laura King, who was with the National Fire Protection Association. She was showing the education materials that are available for fire departments so that way they can get out into the community and do better public education to our customers."

"We had the Federated Co-op as well. They did three breakout sessions on how to handle propane emergencies as well as how to handle anhydrous ammonia emergencies, and the third one was how to deal with transportation of petroleum products and should those vehicles become involved in a motor vehicle accident."

Fire Commissioner, Duane McKay was also in attendance and made a presentation on where the initiatives are to assist fire services throughout the province and for the next five years.

While Feser noted that there were a number of highlights, probably the biggest of all was the banquet and awards ceremony. Fire Marshall Randy Ryba.jpgFire Marshall Randy Ryba won the award for Fire Prevention Officer of the Year (photo courtesy Estevan Fire and Rescue Facebook)

"We recognized a couple of our peers. Fire Marshall Randy Ryba won the Fire Prevention Officer of the Year Award and the Fire Chief of Merit Award went to Fire Chief Denis Pilon who actually hailed from right around this area for awhile. He was the Fire Chief in Weyburn for quite a few years and he moved on to become the Fire Chief of Swift Current."

"Chief Pilon is actually going to be retiring in the next couple months so it was very nice to give him a good sendoff. He also sat as a board director by my side for the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs so it was kinda difficult to keep that one under wraps and not have him tipped off that he was receiving the award for several months."

In all, Chief Feser was very happy to be able to attend the conference.Fire Chief Denis Pilon.jpgFire Chief Denis Pilon was awarded the Fire Chief of Merit Award (photo courtesy Estevan Fire and Rescue Facebook)

"It's all about the forward progression of the fire services in the province, communication, and establishing relationships and goals not only with firefighters or other fire departments but also with some of the major stakeholders in the province such as SUMA and SARM, the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Critical Incident Stree Managment Response Team."

There was also quite a bit of talk surrounding the best ways to help the first responders of the Humboldt bus tragedy.

While away, Estevan was still in good hands who only had to deal with one accidental activation of a fire alarm that occurred. 

"They were able to quickly reset that for the business owner and reset the fire alarm panel and let the business return to normal operations."

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