Fall 2013 OPFFA Seminar Report

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by Rob Labossiere, Secretary

This fall educational seminar covered a wide variety of topics.Listed below are some of the highlights:

PTSD – A great presentation by Col. Rakesh Jetly. “The absence of disease does not always mean mental health”. This is an issue across Canada – British Colombia and Alberta have both added PTSD to their WCB presumptive legislation. There was a lot of discussion on this topic and the need to take a lead on early identification, intervention and education.

Current Negotiation and Arbitration Decisions will be of assistance to us in our upcoming negotiations this fall. This included panel discussions on the recent Toronto Arbitration.

Panel Discussions on Labour Management Issues ranged from the recent firings for twitter usage to cameras on fire apparatus to various disciplines.

Presentation on Fire based EMS in Canada – showed the value of the early response and the difference it makes in the out comes in medical emergencies.

Firefighters across North America are facing cuts, from cutting fire tucks to closing fire halls that puts their safety and that of their community at risk. Firefighters are fighting back. We have not only been politically active concerning our own issues in Winnipeg but we have also been working on educating the public on the services we offer and the value of those services.

Saving Lives and Property was an excellent presentation by I.A.F.F. rep Scott Treibitz on media relations vs. public relations. The OPFFA also showed their new media campaign. The last campaign in 2011 – www.sendfirefighters.ca was well received by the public. The new commercials were still uncut, but they basically interviewed people (not actors) in downtown Toronto asking if they had any comments about firefighters. The participation by the public was amazing – reinforcing why Firefighters are rated at the top in polls for most trusted professionals.

Thank you for your support