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Editor’s pick 1: Holding the line, July 2016

Even among the several compelling stories in our special Fort McMurray issue in July, Chris Fuz Schwab’s narrative stands out. Schwab is the deputy chief in Smoky Lake, Alta., and his department was tapped early on to help. Schwab and two firefighters hopped in a pick-up and drove to Fort Mac, not sure what to expect. The next few days were a blur ¬– protecting neighbourhoods, watching houses burn, little to eat, lack of sleep; by times, chaos. Their purpose was strictly structurally fire fighting. “We were watching the houses in front of us burn down one after another. It was fast but in your mind you’re just watching . . . one, two, three houses . . . ”

Editor’s pick 2: Front seat, October 2016

Capt. Jason Clark’s self-deprecating humour makes his Front seat column a must read. The October column, in which Clark admits to an embarrassing moment at a scene, is particularly refreshing and a good reminder to learn from mistakes and keep egos in check!
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Editor’s pick 3: Dispatches, October 2016

Long-time columnist Jennifer (Mabee) Grigg wears her fire-service heart on her sleeve. So when the volunteer firefighter chose to leave her full-time position with the town’s planning department to follow her heart, it was a leap of faith – that led to a perfect landing. » Read more...

Editor’s pick 4: Tim-bits, October 2016

The subject matter of Tim Llewellyn’s October column offered a rare opportunity for humour, and we just couldn’t resist! As always, Llewellyn provides practical tips and tricks that help firefighters do their jobs better, in this case, bundling hose. Take me to your leader line . . . » Read more...

Editor’s pick 5: From the floor, January 2016

Jay Shaw never fails to offer fresh perspective in his From the floor column. Returning from a break during a conference, Shaw noticed a tablemate meticulously filling in spaces in an adult colouring book. “I chuckled to myself as I pictured a fire officer yelling for water only to find the pump operator curled up in the cab of the rig colouring because the job was so stressful,” Shaw wrote. Shaw’s teenage daughter – who was taking a university psychology course – later set him straight, and a new-found appreciation emerged. “How brave do you have to be to say you’re in pain?” Shaw writes. Well worth reading. » Read more...

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