By Angus MacCaull

On a warm weekend this past July, the Maritime Fire Chiefs Association gathered in Moncton for their 105th annual Conference. Jason Minigan, one of our insurance brokers in the Halifax area, drove up to attend as an exhibitor.

“It was interesting to see the chiefs learning new management skills,” said Minigan. “They’re also there to see some of the latest equipment to help them in the field.”

Minigan shared details with the chiefs about our new Shield Protection Program. It’s a group insurance plan with a mix of discounts and advice created specifically for firefighters.

“It’s nice to be able to offer this product to our volunteers and service people as a kind of thank you,” said Minigan.

Over the years we’ve been strengthening our relationship with these important community partners. Each fall we visit schools together to help educate elementary students about the importance of smoke detectors. And our annual Fire Hall Photo Contest spreads awareness of fundraising and recruitment needs.

According to Jim Prince, a lot of chiefs are struggling with recruitment. Prince is Chief of the Howie Centre Volunteer Fire Department in Cape Breton and one of our associates at AAM Financial. He also attended this year’s Conference.

“We’ve got a lot of recruiting problems, bringing people in, getting people trained,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a department with 35 members, or you’ve got a department with 10 members. You’ve got a lot of the same problems.”

When my family’s home caught fire, it was a group of volunteers who contained the blaze. I remember arriving at the scene—so thankful that no one was hurt and the neighbourhood was spared.

There’s no question in my mind that we need firefighters serving all of us throughout the Maritimes. If you know someone who might like to get more involved in their community, why not suggest they stop by their local fire department?

Maybe there’s a bright red truck in their future.