CFFF Courage Vol.14 NA

Vol.14

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HONOURING THE FALLEN 2018 24 NATIONAL DEFENCE AND THE CANADIAN FORCES MARSHAL'S HOST REMARKS By Lieutenant Colonel Lee Goodman, CD, Canadian Forces Fire Marshal Prime Minister Trudeau, Captain Kirkpatrick, firefighters, families and friends, ladies and gentlemen: As was mentioned in the introduction, I am the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal and I am here today representing the honorary hosts for this year's ceremony, the National Defence Fire Service. National Defence and the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal's office are proud to have been involved with the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation since its inception. We are honoured to support this important national memorial ceremony. I'd like to extend my appreciation to the Foundation for its dedicated work honouring and remembering the fallen and supporting their families. The National Defence Fire Service is in many ways like a municipal fire service, albeit one that spans the country from coast to coast. We have a combined civilian and military fire service which supports the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces at their home bases and also when deployed on operations. For National Defence, fire prevention is and will remain our focus; but it is not a 100% guarantee that fires will not occur. Therefore, we must be vigilant in our training and preparation, and maintain readiness to respond to all manner of emergencies – from structural fires, to aircraft rescue and firefighting, to wildland fires. And of course, we must be ready to respond to the wide variety of non-fire emergencies – hazardous material incidents, vehicle collisions, medical emergencies and technical rescues. All of these responses place our firefighters at risk; a risk which they knowingly and willingly undertake. And so, it is with this sense of community with all fire services, that we join you today to recognize the accomplishments and the sacrifices made by those firefighters whose names appear on this Canadian Firefighters Memorial. We celebrate their dedication and their selflessness. We share the grief of their families and their friends. We count on firefighters to protect the public - to protect lives, to protect property, homes and businesses. At the same time, as a fire service we try to prepare and protect our firefighters from the immediate hazards of their profession. Over the years, there have been significant technological improvements to the vehicles, equipment and protective clothing that they wear. But we are now realizing that there are potential long-term health effects for firefighters – both physical and mental – that are related to the tough job that they do. Symptoms may appear while a firefighter is still on the job, or many years after retirement from the fire service. So now instead of just thinking about prevention in terms of how to stop a fire from igniting, we also need to think about prevention in terms of long-term health outcomes for our firefighters. We cannot fully protect firefighters from their occupational risks, but we can certainly improve their health outcomes through better awareness, better procedures, and better support for them and their families. In closing, to the families of the fallen firefighters who are being recognized today, I offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved ones. I also offer my sincere gratitude to you for supporting your family members while they were engaged in this noble yet hazardous profession. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

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