Alex Forrest to receive the Mary Beth Dolin Meritorious Fire Service Medal

June 10, 2014

To: All Members of Local 867

From: Union Office

Re:     Alex Forrest to receive the Mary Beth Dolin Meritorious Fire Service Medal 


We are proud to announce that our President, Alex Forrest, has been chosen to receive the Mary Beth Dolin Meritorious Fire Service Medal, which was established in 1988 to honour individual achievement in fire services. The medal is awarded to those who have demonstrated excellence, leadership or outstanding achievement, or to those whose contribution has substantially enhanced the safety of the people of Manitoba. The award is named for Mary Beth Dolin to commemorate her spirit of public service, which exemplified the unselfish dedication to duty prized within the fire service.

Alex was chosen to receive this medal for his outstanding contributions to the fire service and his passionate pursuit of presumptive legislation for all firefighters in all jurisdictions to provide them with compensation when they are diagnosed with an occupational disease.

Alex is well known across Canada and around the world for his work in establishing a scientific connection between various cancers and the carcinogens that fire fighters are exposed to throughout their careers.  As a result of his work, for the first time in Canada, in 2002 certain types of cancer were declared occupational diseases of fire fighting and compensable under Workers’ Compensation in Manitoba.  This was the first step in obtaining coverage for more cancers and heart injury within 24 hours of a shift within Manitoba and in obtaining similar coverage for fire fighters in eight provinces and two territories within Canada, meaning that 80% of firefighters in Canada are now covered by some form of Presumptive Legislation.

Alex also helped Australia to become the third country in the world to pass the legislation, after Canada and the U.S., and he is now assisting Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe that are now working towards passing Presumptive Legislation for fire fighters.  Alex is the only non-doctor to be awarded status on the International Agency for Cancer Research, which is part of the World Health Organization.

Alex will be presented with the Mary Beth Dolin Award on June 16, 2014 3:00pm at the Manitoba Legislation Building.  The presentation will be followed by a reception.

We hope that you will be able to attend and witness this presentation.  If you plan on attending please RSVP to the Union Office or Dave Naaykens at 204- 794-6035 or by Wednesday June 11th.