With this being Fire Prevention Month fire fighters are grabbing the headlines in a big way. Reader’s Digest Canada has released a safety guide on its website and lists the most courageous fire fighters. Reader’s Digest asked for nominations and received over 100 responses.
Six IAFF members Kristy Storey, Dale Shippam, Gary Brandel, Adina Kaufman, Matt Dunfield, and Ray Royer were selected for the feature. Their personal stories will inspire you, make you sad and most importantly make you happy to be a part of the profession.
Storey was in elementary school when she sustained burns to her face, arms and legs after a science experiment exploded. But the accident didn’t slow her down. Now at the age of 32, Storey competed in her third Ironman competition and medaled in the World Police and Fire Games.
Shippam was the picture of health until he learned he had a rare heart virus. After receiving a heart transplant, Shippam has a new outlook on life and is raising awareness for organ transplant research. He’s helped to raise almost $1.4 million for the Toronto General Hospital and Western Hospital in five years.
Brandel a 30-year veteran was tired of not being able to show younger fire fighters a real example of what’s it like being in a fire. So the former automotive machinist took matters into his own hands and built a flashover simulator to show fire fighters exactly what would happen just before a burning home combusts. That training would help tremendously when he and his crew battled the Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park in 2003.
Kaufman maybe petite but she has a large generous spirit. She is helping young people reach their potential by volunteering in a variety of mentoring organizations in Canada. Kaufman has also traveled the globe helping to train other fire fighters and to set up medical clinics.
Royer was a fire fighter for nearly 30 years until a cycling accident left him a quadriplegic. He sits on the Canadian Paraplegic Association and the Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities, but his lasting contribution is his positive attitude friends say.
Dunfield will go out of his way to help anyone in need. He has received accolades for his efforts back in 2001 when he helped rescue a 300-pound man from his burning home. Now Dunfield makes sure he is on top of his fire fighting game by staying up to date on the latest technologies and trends.
Make sure you read the remarkable stories of all the fire fighters by going to this link.