Keynote Speakers

Matthew Pegg
Fire Chief
Toronto Fire Services
In 2018, the City of Toronto experienced two mass-casualty incidents that tested the resilience of both the City and each of the emergency responders. Fire Chief Matthew Pegg will provide and overview of the Toronto Fire Services response to these two mass-casualty incidents and will share outcomes with fellow Fire Chiefs and first responders. Chief Pegg will explain how TFS has enhanced procedures as a result of these incidents and will also explain how the City of Toronto responded to and healed from these tragic events. Finally, we will discuss how these incidents impact our people and what Fire Chiefs need to know before they find themselves in a situation like this.

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts is an expert on resiliency and change. Having experienced catastrophic failure and extraordinary success Joe teaches how to overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of high performance. He helps delegates redefine what’s truly possible by confronting limiting mindsets. What is most amazing about Joe is that in 1989 he was living on the streets of Vancouver as a homeless skid row addict. Through his resilient human spirit, Joe pulled himself out of despair to become a highly respected business and community leader. Joe’s message is relatable, humorous, honest, raw and unforgettable. He tackles the stigma associated with mental health and addiction in an authentic way that comes from his personal life experiences.

Ken Block
Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
Fire Chief, Ken Block was appointed Fire Chief of the City of Edmonton on Feb. 1, 2009. Serves as President, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), Canadian Building Codes Commission member, Chair Governance Council, Alberta First Responders Radio Communications system, past President, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, past Chair CAFC, National Advisory Council, Presidential Advisor, Alberta Fire Chief's Association (AFCA).
Worked as an advocate previously serving three terms as Edmonton Fire Fighters Union President. His leadership was instrumental in addressing a fractured labour management relationship between Fire Fighters Union and the City of Edmonton, eventually developing into one of the most progressive Labour Management relationships in North America, highly regarded as a model across Canada.
He has worked as a tireless campaigner for public safety and for those in the Fire service, playing a significant role in the successful lobby of the Alberta Provincial Government as well as Internationally in Australia, to enact Fire Fighter’s Presumptive Cancer legislation, recognizing seventeen primary site cancers as well as heart injury as being job related in Professional Fire Fighters, as well advocating the issue in United States, Norway, Denmark, Croatia, Iceland and Germany.
He was named to the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs, High Intensity Residential Fires (HIRF) Committee , tasked with bringing recommendations forward to address Alberta Building Code public safety issues related to fire safety. To date 18 of the 20 recommendations put forward by the HIRF Committee has resulted in amendments to the Alberta Building Code.
Awards received include Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Alberta Centennial Medal, Canadian Exemplary Services Medal, Alberta Provincial Emergency Services Medal. Chief Block was named Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association 2015 Fire Chief of the Year and Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, 2013 Chief of the Year.

Amanda Brazil
Research Scientist
Centre for Health and Community Research, University of Prince Edward Island
Amanda Brazil is a Research Scientist at the Centre of Health and Community Research-University of Prince Edward Island and formerly the Director of Programs and Policy with the Canadian Mental Health Association – PEI Division. Amanda recently completed her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island where she researched critical incidents in the volunteer fire service. Amanda has extensive experience working and researching in the areas of corrections, addictions, and mental health and has been a volunteer firefighter with Cross Roads Fire Department for 8 years. She is a member of the PEI Critical Incident Stress Management Steering Committee and is also a researcher with Firewell, a national team of firefighters and researchers interested in firefighter health who are working together to improve firefighters’ health and safety through research.

Dennis Brescacin
Division Chief - Administration CEMC, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue;
President, Thunder Bay Professional Firefighters' Association
Mr. Dennis Brescacin is a Division Chief with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, Emergency Manager for the City of Thunder Bay, President of Thunder Bay Professional Firefighters’ Association and member of the Department’s Critical Incident Response team. He is also an Occupational Health and Safety Level 2 firefighter job specific certified and former member of the Thunder Bay Fire Rescue OH&S Committee. Dennis is also the ex-officio member of the City of Thunder Bay Psychological Health & Wellness Executive Committee.

Jim Burneka
FF/PM, FF Cancer Consultant
Firefighter Cancer Consultants, also Dayton, OH FF/PM
Jim Burneka has been involved with the fight against occupational firefighter cancer for over a dozen years. Jim assists departments on an individualized basis to implement best practices on reducing the risk of occupational firefighter cancer.  Jim has been a Firefighter/Paramedic with the City of Dayton, Ohio since 2001. Jim has is currently working in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board (WCB) on a Firefighter Cancer Prevention Pilot Program. The program consist of evaluations of eight Saskatchewan Fire Departments to compare current practices v.s. best practices on reducing their members risk of being diagnosed with occupational firefighter cancer. Jim will be debuting his findings at the Saskatchewan Fire Chiefs Conference in April 2019.

Lori Campbell
Principal, Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership
NorQuest College
Dr. Lori Campbell is the Principal of the Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership at NorQuest College. Lori began her career as an E.S.L. instructor in Edmonton, moving to the Northwest Territories where she was a teacher and college leader for 15 years. After returning to Edmonton, she led the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) at the University of Alberta. From 2011 – 2018, she worked at Enbridge Pipelines as the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion and led the development and implementation of the first company-wide D&I strategy for both Canada and the United States. Lori attended the University of Alberta, earning a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Adult and Continuing Education, and a PhD in Educational Administration and Leadership.

Dean Colthorp
Assistant Deputy Fire Chief
Spruce Grove Fire Services
Dean Colthorp is the Assistant Deputy Fire Chief - Training with the City of Spruce Grove, Alberta.
With over thirty years of service including:
• The City of Surrey Fire as a Fire Fighter
• Assistant Chief with the Westside Fire Rescue - Training and Operations.
• Program Coordinator and later the Program Director with the Justice Institute of BC’s Fire & Safety Division.
• Langley City Fire Rescue Services Assistant Chief - Training as the City of Langley Occupational Health and Safety Officer.
• City of Abbotsford Deputy Fire Chief – Operations and Training.

Scott Cowan
Calgary Fire Department
Scott Cowan has over 20 years of experience in Emergency Services as a Paramedic, Firefighter, Emergency Management Officer and currently works as a Fire Captain in charge of Technical Rescue with the Calgary Fire Department (CFD). He was previously the Training Coordinator for the CFD and the Task Force Leader for one of Canada's National USAR Disaster Response Teams, Canada Task Force 2. Cowan has a Master's Degree in Leadership with a focus on Building Firefighter Resiliency to Critical Incident Stress and a certificate in Critical Incident Stress Management from the University of Maryland. He currently sits on the Mental Health Advisory Committee for the Calgary Fire Department and helped to create the 'Resilient Responder' program.

Phil Crnko
M.A.Sc., P.Eng. - Engineer
Halton Regional Police Service
Phil Crnko is a Professional Engineer and business executive with over 20 years experience providing mission-critical engineering design services across Canada, focusing on First Responder Land Mobile and Broadband Data Networks. Phil is currently President of Black Castle Networks Inc., a specialized technical consulting firm focused on designing mission-critical telecommunications systems for Public Safety and Government. A graduate of McMaster University with undergraduate advanced graduate degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Phil effectively bridges engineering and business worlds and has successfully worked on LMR (Land Mobile Radio) and PSBN (Public Safety Broadband) system designs at municipal, provincial, state and federal agencies across Canada, and internationally. From roots as a Motorola cellular R&D engineer to regional systems engineering lead, to engineering director level accountability for all of pre-sales in Canada with responsibility for an over ~$200 Million annual market P&L, and most recently acting as General Manager for sales & business operations responsible for the Ontario Market, Phil has a significant business perspective of both historical & future trends in the LMR & PSBN telecom markets in Canada. With respect to achievements, Phil has twice won Motorola Galvin Masters Awards - one of the company's most prestigious awards - and also been named an RF Subject Matter Expert at Motorola Solutions. Phil lives in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife Josiane and three young daughters, and is a proud supporter of the Ride & Run to Remember charities in remembrance of fallen Canadian Police and Peace Officers.

Stéphane Denis
Battalion Chief
Gatineau Fire Department
Stéphane Denis holds a diploma in fire prevention, one in firefighting, he holds the fire officer certifications 1 and 2. Stéphane is currently pursuing higher education at university in fire related subject and in management. He started his career as a volunteer firefighter before joining the Gatineau fire department 20 year ago in 1999. Having risen thought the ranks of lieutenant, and captain he was appointed battalion chief in March of 2016. He is in charge of four fire stations on the # 2 platoon. Stéphane served many leadership roles in the fire department, having been a union executive member for more than 5 years and on different committees. During the last year, Stéphane was acting division chief in charge of labor management. Stéphane was involved in the 2017 floods, 2018 tornado, and this spring, again in the worst flood to hit the Ottawa region in over 100 years.

Steve Dongworth
Fire Chief
Calgary Fire Dept.
Steve Dongworth was appointed as Chief of the City of Calgary Fire Department on January 1st 2015. In June of this year Steve will have completed 43 years in the professional fire service, the first 15 in the United Kingdom. Calgary Fire employs close to 1500 people with over 1300 frontline personnel serving the community out of 40 fire stations.

Coby Duerr
Assistant Chief
Calgary Emergency Management Agency
Coby Duerr began his emergency services career as a firefighter in the small community of Naramata, BC back in 1993. Since then he has held various positions, in fire and emergency management, with Pentincton BC’s Fire Department, Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Emergency Management Agency and Canada Task Force 2 (managed by Calgary Emergency Management Agency). He has deployed to the 2011 Slave Lake Wildfires, 2013 southern Alberta floods, 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, and 2019 High Level Chuckegg wildfire among other events. Coby has recently returned to the emergency management world as Assistant Chief of Emergency Management Operations for Calgary Emergency Management Agency and is a Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Hester Dunlap
Psychologist, Clinical Lead
Bellwood health Services
Hester Dunlap, Ph.D., C. Psych. Dr. Dunlap is the clinical lead in the Trauma and Psychological Injury as well as the Concurrent Trauma and Addiction program at Bellwood Health Services. She is the former Clinic Head of the Work, Stress, and Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health where she provided assessment and treatment following occupational trauma, and held a cross appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She has 15 years of experience working with occupational trauma and has been a member of the Mental Health Advisory Committee at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Chad Guenter
FF/EMT, Canmore Fire
Co – Founder, Project All In foundation
Chad Guenter’s healing place is the river. When he found his way back to it after a struggle with depression, he used his stand-up paddleboard to give back. Chad Guenter’s love of water came to him late in life. Inspired by a happy memory of learning how to white water raft in a university course, Chad left a lucrative but passionless career in ironwork to gain his guiding certification. He loved life on the river, but the lack of financial reward was not sustainable, and eventually he found himself declaring bankruptcy and moving back home to Western Canada. Times were hard, and the pressure of balancing multiple stresses added up to a diagnosis of depression in 2008. He felt “stagnant and stuck,” so when friends suggested Chad try stand-up paddle boarding, he impulsively bought one – and landed on a way to give back. Keep Calm and Paddle On was born. In 2012, Chad paddled 300 km to Saskatoon to raise money and awareness for mental health, and promote the healing power of the water. The annual event has grown each year with Chad’s passionate work at the helm. He paddles for himself, he paddles for family members who have struggled with mental illness, and he paddles for the growing group of supporters who join him each year to “stand up” for mental health.

John Hay
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue
Chief John Hay is the Fire Chief for Thunder Bay Fire Rescue (TBFR) and is responsible for overseeing deployment of over 200 firefighters to support the City of Thunder Bay and the surrounding areas. Chief Hay’s experience is in paramedicine, training and fire suppression; he strongly advocates for innovative health and wellness initiatives for the men and women of TBFR.

Samantha Hoffmann
Fire and Life Safety Educator
Barrie Fire and Emergency Sesrvice
Samantha Hoffmann has been in the fire safety field for more than 27 years. She started her fire career at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as Fire Marshal and Emergency Planning Co-ordinator. In 1996 she joined North York fire department in the rank of firefighter and worked in the Fire Prevention, Public Education and Media sections. North York Fire amalgamated and became Toronto Fire Service where Samantha worked in an Acting Captain capacity until August of 2011 when she left to join Barrie Fire as their Public Fire and Life Safety Officer. Since joining Barrie Fire, Samantha and the Fire Prevention team have received many awards and accolades for their work in Public Education and Community Outreach.

Kerri Holmes
Project Coordinator
Transitional Solutions Inc
Kerri has a Bachelor of Education and spent 24 years working in the municipal sector, including five years as a Public Safety Educator for Strathcona County Emergency Services. She is now consulting for both private and public sectors, specializing in Training, Occupational Health & Safety and Emergency Management systems. Kerri is the Membership and Program Coordinator for the Strathcona Industrial Association; she provides key support to the Strathcona District Mutual Assistance Program which encompasses over 20 industrial member companies and 6 associate members including AHS, AER and AEMA. Kerri also has a certificate in Emergency Management Accreditation Program from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and is trained in advanced Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Peer Support and ICS.

Chris Howe
Acting Captain
Niagara Falls Fire Department
Chris works as an Acting Captain for the Niagara Falls Fire Department where he gives back not only to the public but to coworkers and peers who are struggling with issues in substance abuse, PTSD, mental health and various other work and personal related problems. In this role, Chris is able to see the epidemic of drug related illnesses as a first responder. Having come from this deadly illness, he is able to offer a very specific and empathetic hand to the still sick and suffering addict. Chris continues to raise awareness while speaking to business groups, emergency service departments and the general public about recovery and addiction in the workplace.

Denise Hynes
Toronto Fire Services
Capt. Denise Hynes works in the fifth largest fire department in North America, in one of the most diverse cities in the world.

She has developed teacher workshops, prop kits, and safety events using NFPA programs. As an NFPA Remembering When Scholarship winner, Hynes has coordinated the training of more than 700 home health staff at 15 separate training sessions.

Hynes coordinated a partnership with COSTI Immigration Services to design fire and life safety sessions translated into Arabic for Syrians who had recently come to Canada. She delivered presentations to help the newcomers learn how to stay fire safe. The program for Syrian immigrants and the theatre presentation were acknowledged with awards from the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.

David Jane
Canadian Forces Fire Marshal 3
Department of National Defence
Maj David Jane joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 and has served across Canada and around the world as a Firefighter, Fire Service Instructor, Fire Chief, Fire Marshal and CBRN Specialist. He is currently serving in the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal's office in Ottawa responsible for fire protection of domestic and deployed military operations. One of his secondary responsibilities is wellness for the National Defence Fire Service which includes physical fitness, mental health and carcinogen exposure reduction.

Dr. Nick Jones
Executive Director
Canadian Institute fr Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT)
Nicholas (Nick) Jones is the interim Associate Vice-President (Research) and the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) as of June 1, 2019. Shortly after joining FGSR, Nick was also appointed the Executive Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT). Nick started at the University of Regina in 2006 in the Department of Justice Studies. He was the Coordinator of the Police Studies program from July 2007 until June 2012. He served as Department Head from July 2015 through June 2018 when he became the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) for the Faculty of Arts. Before his academic career, he worked as a counsellor at a halfway house, a youth correctional worker, and received training as a facilitator of family group conferencing. Jones is an associate professor and holds a Bachelor of Arts (psychology and sociology) from the University of Calgary, a Master of Administration of Justice from San Jose State University, and a PhD from the University of Calgary. His doctoral work examined the judicial response to the Rwandan genocide. He has an active research program focussing primarily on restorative justice, transitional justice, policing, genocide, and Indigenous justice. He has authored one book and numerous peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, and book chapters.

Laura King
Canadian Public-Education Representative
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Laura King is the NFPA’s public-education representative for Canada, helping departments build fire- and life-safety programs.  Laura was a journalist for more than 30 years and worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers across Canada; she was editor of Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter magazines for 10 years before moving to NFPA in September 2017.  Laura has an honours degree in journalism, political science and public administration from Carleton University, and a certificate in Introduction to Incident Management Systems; she is a certified Road to Mental Readiness instructor, and a certified NFPA 1035 Fire and Life Safety Educator.  Laura lives in Oakville, but she’s from Cape Breton, and comes from a long line of fire-safety advocates.

Mike Kwasnica
Fire Chief / Class 2 Building Official
Humboldt Fire Department / City of Humboldt
Mike is the Fire Chief for the City of Humboldt. He started as a volunteer firefighter in 2001 and progressed to the first full time Deputy Chief in 2007 and finally to his current position as Fire Chief in 2012. Director for Zone 6 as well as 1st Vice President for the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs. Also sits on the Humboldt EMO committee and was directly involved with the first 72 hours after the Bronco Bus crash and the community response. On the evening of April 6th, 2018 an unthinkable tragedy occurred when the bus driver and 28 passengers from the Humboldt Broncos Hockey team collided with a transport truck, taking the lives of 16 of those people. Although the accident itself was approximately 170 km northeast of the City of Humboldt, the community of Humboldt immediately became the focus of worldwide attention and the focus of that traumatic event. The City Manager, the Fire Chief and other senior managers with the City of Humboldt responded immediately on the evening of April 6th to establish an Emergency Operations Centre to respond to the need for a trauma counselling and the overwhelming media attention.

Brian Ladds
Hazardous Materials Coordinator
City of Calgary Fire Department
Brian has been with the Calgary Fire Department for 20 years and is currently the Coordinator of the Hazardous Materials Response team. Brian is a technical committee member of NFPA-2 Hydrogen Technologies Code and recently appointed to the Hydrogen Safety Panel at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Richard Liebmann
Deputy Chief / Directeur adjoint
Montreal Fire Department / Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal
As Deputy Director, Richard oversees strategic and operational planning as well as fire prevention for the sixth largest municipal fire service in North America, serving over 2 million residents. He also serves as deputy coordinator of city-wide, inter-agency emergency response and recovery for large-scale incidents. His primary responsibilities include optimization of organizational performance and the implementation best practices in fire safety and management. One of his proudest achievements was spearheading the implementation of fire-based medical response throughout Montreal in 2007. Richard earned a B.Sc. from McMaster University and a Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Gary Ludwig
President and Chairman of the Board
International Association of Fire Chiefs
Gary Ludwig currently serves as the Fire Chief of the ISO Class 1 Champaign (Illinois) Fire Department and is currently the President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He has 42 years of fire, rescue, and EMS experience.

Chief Ludwig started his career with the City of St. Louis at age 18, just two months out of high school, rising through the ranks and retiring as the Chief Paramedic of the St. Louis Fire Department after 25 years of service. He has also served 10 years as Deputy Fire Chief for the Memphis Fire, managing EMS and the Emergency Management Office.

He has a Master’s degree in Business and Management, and has been a licensed paramedic for over 40 years. He has written over 500 articles for professional fire and EMS publications and is the author of three books. He has also been invited to speak at over 250 professional EMS or fire conferences or seminars. He has won numerous awards including the James O. Page EMS Leadership Award from JEMS Magazine in 2014, the IAFC EMS Section’s James O Page Achievement Award in 2018.

Dr. Joy MacDermid
School of Physical Therapy, Western University
Dr. Joy MacDermid is a Professor at Western University, Canada. She holds a CIHR Chair in Gender, Work and Health, and the Dr. James Roth Research Chair in Measurement and Knowledge Translation. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. She has published over 480 research papers. She represents the fire sector at CIPSRT as an Associate Scientific Director.

Scott Maxwell
Executive Director
Wounded Warriors Canada
Scott began his career on Parliament Hill. His involvement in federal politics would see him involved in several high profile Consular Affairs cases, interceding and advocating for Canadian’s detained abroad. Scott transitioned his experience in federal politics to provincial politics. While at Queen’s Park, he applied his public policy experience to provincial matters and was able to advance important social policy improvements on mental health and social services available to children and youth. On June 11, 2007 Trooper Darryl Caswell, a high school friend of Scott’s was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. From that day forward, Scott made a promise to himself that he would find a way to give back to those who so bravely serve Canada.

Dr. Megan McElheran
Clinical Advisor
Wounded Warriors Canada
Dr. Megan McElheran is a Clinical Psychologist with WGM Psychological Services in Calgary, AB. Dr. McElheran completed graduate training at the Stanford University clinical psychology consortium, during which she obtained specialized training in the treatment of PTSD through the National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, CA. Dr. McElheran has been in practice in Calgary since 2008.

She continues to focus on work with first responders, and her clinical practice involves work with active-duty members of the Canadian Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of the Calgary Firefighter Department, medical personnel and others who are directly or vicariously impacted by traumatic events. She routinely engages in teaching and supervisory activity to ensure sound dissemination of empirically-grounded interventions for trauma. Dr. McElheran is regularly engaged for speaking events, both locally and internationally.

Robert McGuinness
Technical Director
Fire Underwriters Survey
Robert McGuinness joined the Fire Underwriters in 2009 as a Public Fire Protection Specialist. Over the past 10 years he has been integrally involved with the FUS team in the digitization and mapping of the Canadian Fire Insurance Grading Index. He has also worked on various fire hall location optimization projects, using GIS methods, with municipalities across Canada. In 2018, Robert took on the role of Technical Director of the Fire Underwriters Survey group which subsequently led to the building fire risk prediction validation project with Vancouver Fire Rescue Service and New Westminster Fire Rescue Service. He registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGBC in 2013 and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers as a Professional Member in 2015.

Donna McLean
Director of CANUTEC
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate, Transport Canada
Donna started her career with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Directorate in 1999 with the Compliance and Response Branch. She held various positions within the Directorate, spending most of this time instructing federal and provincial/territorial inspectors on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

 In 2003, she moved to Health Canada to work in the field of emergency preparedness and response. In 2005, she became the acting Contingency Planning Manager for the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response. In her various roles within the Health portfolio she worked on developing contingency plans and exercises for various situations such as infectious diseases and natural disasters.

In 2008, Donna returned to the TDG Directorate as Chief, Inspection Standards and Safety Awareness with the Compliance and Response Branch. Since then, she took on more responsibilities to support the TDG inspectorate community. In 2016, she became the Director of CANUTEC.

Shayne Mintz
Canadian Regional Director
National Fire Protection Association
Shayne Mintz is the Canadian Regional Director for the National Fire Protection Association and has over 4 decades experience in fire and life safety. Shayne has served as fire chief for the City of Burlington, ON and has held the position of assistant deputy fire marshal in charge of Fire Protection Services for the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal. Mr. Mintz has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Public Administration degree and is also a member of the Institute of Fire Engineers (MIFireE). He also holds Chief Fire Officer designation from Dalhousie University and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.

Scott Morrison
Assistant Chief
Vancouver Fire Rescue Services
Assistant Chief Scott Morrison has been a member Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services since 1991, and has been in the fire service since 1987. Scott worked within the suppression ranks, joining the Technical Rescue Team in its inception in 1996 until 2014. He spent a majority of the next few years in training working with New Recruits, Technical Rescue, Live Fire, and Officer program. Scott was promoted to Assistant Chief in January 2016 where he supported operations and the EMS division during the development of the opioid crisis. Assistant Chief Scott Morrison currently supports the Training Division, Emergency Management, and CAN TF1.

Randy Patrick
Acting Deputy Chief
Peel Regional Police
Acting Deputy Chief Randy Patrick began his career as a Police Constable with the Peel Regional Police in 1980. His initial postings saw him gain experience in Uniform Patrol, the Youth Bureau, and the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

As Acting Deputy Chief Patrick moved up the ranks his postings included Officer-In-Charge of the Central Robbery Bureau, Court Services, Records Services and as the Divisional Commander at 12 Division in Mississauga.

Following his promotion to Superintendent in 2008, Acting Deputy Chief Patrick was assigned as the Executive Officer to the Chief of Police serving under Chief Michael Metcalf. In November of 2011 he was promoted to Staff Superintendent and became the Officer-In-Charge of Corporate Operations. In February of 2019 he was appointed as the Acting Deputy Chief in charge of Corporate Services Command.

Acting Deputy Chief Patrick continues to represent Peel Regional Police on numerous committees including the OACP, Common Police Environment Group Committee, the CACP, Human Resources and Learning Committee and the Ontario PSBN Association.

He has received the Police Officer of the Year Award in 1989 and again in 2002, the Knights of Columbus Humanitarian Award in 2008 and in 2016 was appointed the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General of Canada at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Acting Deputy Chief Patrick has a Certificate in Administration from Dalhousie University and is a graduate of the Institute for Strategic International Studies.

Denis Pilon
Ret. Fire Chief
City of Regina, Saskatchewan
Denis retired as fire chief from the Swift Current Fire Department in August 2018. He is a Saskatchewan boy, born and raised in Melville where he first became involved with the fire service as a volunteer fire fighter. He served as chief in Melville for 5 years before moving to Weyburn where he spent 15 years as fire chief followed by 8 years as fire chief in Swift Current.

He has a Certificate in Business Administration from SIAST, Certificates in Fire Service Leadership, Fire Service Administration, and Incident Command from Dalhousie University, Certificates in Emergency Management, Exercise Design and Fire Officer 4 certification from the Justice Institute of BC. He has attained Executive Chief Fire Officer (ECFO) designation from the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. He has served on the SAFC, CAFC and the IAFC serving on boards and committees for all those associations.

In his leisure time, Denis enjoys amateur astronomy, golfing, camping, traveling and spending time with his family. He and his wife Laura of 39 years have 4 children and six grandchildren.

Bill Pottruff
Training Officer
Lappe Fire Department
Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM), is vast and complex. Volunteer firefighters are responsible for the majority of responses to disaster events and routine emergencies in many areas of the Nation. The volunteer fire service is a shinning example of the accomplishments of volunteerism, however, membership is declining.  Chief Pottruffs' exploratory research has identified specific motivational factors that will increase long-term retention of volunteers and lead to increased organizational resilience. DEM that is effective and sustainable requires a holistic management paradigm focused on increased volunteer retention. Chief Bill Pottruff will share successful innovative strategies leading to doubling his Department's membership in 10 years.

Georgette Reed OLY, ChPC, MA, BPE, CSCS TSAC-F
Health and Wellness Coordinator
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services
Georgette Reed. Has had a keen interest in Sport, Fitness, Health and Wellness all of her life. A certified track and field and strength and conditioning, coach with 44 years of competitive experience under her belt in the sports of athletics, bobsleigh, swimming and water polo, Georgette now puts all of the knowledge and expertise to good use as the Health and Wellness Coordinator for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and Mental Health First Aid, Psychological First Aid and R2MR (first responder) instructor and master trainer for the City of Edmonton.
During her athletic career, Georgette represented Canada in the Olympic Games, the World Athletics Championships, The World Bobsleigh Championships, The Pan American Games, The Commonwealth Games and many other international events. As a competitor, Georgette won 17 national titles (15 in the shot put and two discus titles). Upon retiring from competing, Georgette was the head cross country, track and field coach for the Univ. of Alberta for 10 years, and helped develop champions at the provincial, national and international levels and was a mentor/coach for Special Olympics Athletics athletes and coaches in Alberta.

Currently, Georgette competes as a masters’ athlete in the throwing events and volunteers coaching Paralympic hopefuls in the throwing events. She is on the Board of Directors for Athletics Alberta and is the President of the Edmonton Track and Field Council

Karen Roche
Deputy Fire Chief
Burlington Fire Department
Deputy Fire Chief Karen Roche began her career in Emergency Services as an ICU Nurse with the Toronto General Hospital in 1989, performing in Medical Surgical ICU, and in addition to her experience as a Fire Fighter she is a fully licensed Registered Nurse (RN).

Karen transitioned into the Burlington Fire Department in 1998, first acting as a Training Officer with the department, and acted in a number of roles related to High Angle Rope Rescue, Hazmat Training, and provided all medical training for Burlington Fire, and was the Project Manager for the acquisition and implementation of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems technologies for the agency in 1999.

Karen subsequently worked for the Hamilton Fire Department, starting as Medical Coordinator in 2003, and performing her Fire Fighting duties with distinction, rising through the ranks to Assistant Deputy Chief in 2010.

In 2014, Karen was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief at the Burlington Fire Department, and has provided outstanding leadership to the agency, receiving the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal from the Governor General in 2018. Karen also provides leadership as a certified Community Emergency Management Coordinator within the Ontario OFMEM organization.

Deputy Fire Chief Roche is active in numerous charitable associations and professional associations, including the Women Fire Chiefs and Company Officers Network of Canada, is a Committee Member of the United Way Hamilton & Halton working on poverty reduction initiatives, works in the International Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP) and volunteers extensively with the Salvation Army in Halton Region.

Deputy Fire Chief Karen Roche is a graduate of both McMaster University and the DeGroote School of business programs on leadership and planning, and Queens University Labour Relations Program, and has added certificates and achievements with the Canadian Emergency Management College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Gregg Schaalje
FF/Lieutenant, Rocky View County Fire
Co – Founder, Project All In foundation
Gregg Schaalje’s place of Zen are where the waters flow and the sky is blue near the mountains. Gregg has had to deal with becoming mentally strong from a very young age and had to learn how to become resilient as he grew up with the challenges that he faced, he has family members that have dealt with mental health issues all his life, thus he knows how to support and be / stay strong mentally. Gregg’s love for the outdoors came natural to him as he grew up in Calgary and spent most of his time in the outdoors or in the mountains where it made him happy. In grade 4 Gregg was told to be taken out of school as the teachers told him the his learning was completed and that he could not be taught any more, It was then that Gregg’s resiliency started. Later in life Gregg became a volunteer firefighter and moved up the ladder of his career to the highest post as Fire Chief, at that point once again Gregg realized that his mental health was not great and the ladder he was on needed to be changed, this in 2018 Gregg started a new ladder and became a probationary firefighter. Gregg has helped set up 3 CISM teams and is on his Rocky View Health and Wellness committee. Gregg met Chad in 2016 when the worked together in Canmore and the friendship started, Gregg Joined Chad in 2018 for his first KCPO and the friendship was forged in water.

Randy Schroeder
County Fire Chief, Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services
President, Alberta Fire Chiefs Association
Randy Schroeder is the President of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association, and Fire Chief for Lac Ste. Anne County and the Town of Mayerthorpe, a total of 6 stations - 100 firefighters, serving a population of 15,000 people, over 3000 just northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Serving for 25 years, has a passionate desire for fire service education and growth, as a board member for AFCA since 2009 has worked on many initiatives for fire services across the Province and has been the Chair of the Alberta Core Competency Initiative since its inception in 2016.

Kathryn Sinden
Assistant Professor
Lakehead University
Dr. Kathryn E. Sinden RKin, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology at Lakehead University. She has clinical and research expertise in ergonomics and implementing interventions to support worker physical and mental health.

Bryan Singleton
Deputy Chief, Technical Services
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services

Bryan Singleton is the Deputy Chief of Technical Services with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. Responsible for the dispatch centre, public safety communication technologies, data and analytics, and accreditation. He has served in public safety since 1986 for both Fire and EMS agencies. In addition to working directly in Emergency Services, Bryan spent four years with the Government of Alberta in the Ministry of Health as the Director of Emergency Health Services. 

Rory Thompson
Fire Chief
Langley City Fire Rescue

Rory Thompson has 45 years of fire service experience. He served as a volunteer firefighter, police officer/firefighter with the Esquimalt Police/Fire Department, Program Director of Professional Programs at Justice Institute of BC’s Fire & Safety Division and for the past 8 years has served as fire chief at the City of Langley, BC.

Graham Thomson
Political Commentator and Writer
Graham Thomson is an Edmonton-based political commentator and writer. He previously worked for the Edmonton Journal/Postmedia as a political columnist for more than 20 years covering events in Alberta and across Canada - and also overseas including twice being embedded with Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Before that he was a senior reporter for CBC Television and Radio. He has received numerous journalism citations including a National Newspaper Award, a B'nai Brith award for Human Rights reporting, a Candian Meteorolgical and Oceanographic Society award for climate change reporting, and was a Journalism Fellow at Massey College (University of Toronto).

Erin Waugh
Lead Diversity and Inclusion Consultant
NorQuest College
Erin is Lead Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at NorQuest College in Edmonton. As an inclusion specialist, Erin has worked with multiple organizations across Canada and the US. He has lived in Egypt, Switzerland, Japan, Israel, and Oman. Erin holds a Master’s degree in Education.

Zakary Whittamore
Senior Data Scientist
Opta Information Intelligence
Zakary has been working as a Senior Data Scientist with Opta Information Intelligence since 2017. He previously worked as a data scientist in the actuarial department of Aviva.

Scott Wilkinson
Senior Academy Officer
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service
Scott is a 28 year veteran of the fire service and is the Senior Academy Officer for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. He is a licensed paramedic and manages the fire training officers along with leading the WFPS officer and chief officer development programs. Scott is also the developer and program manager of the WFPS U.A.V. program. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree in physical education, he is an accredited Fire Officer and has extensive experience in fire investigations, incident command and peer support. Scott also served as Deputy Chief of the Springfield Fire & Rescue Service where he dedicated over 23 years and managed their training and medical programs.

Joe Zatylny
Deputy Fire Chief
City of Calgary
Joe Zatylny is currently a Deputy Chief with the Calgary Fire Department with 25 years of emergency service experience, including over 10 years in senior fire leadership roles. In his current role he oversees a diverse portfolio including mental and physical health and wellness, labour relations, the Fire Training Academy, workforce scheduling, disability management, critical medical response support, technical teams support, 911 service management, and hazardous materials response support. Some of his key projects have been training sustainability, fostering a culture of empowerment, and enhancing firefighter health and wellness.