Fire Ops 101


For immediate release

Elected Officials Return to Feel the Heat

Fire Ops 101 Returns to the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Training Centre

Vancouver, BC – On September 23, 2019, the British Columbia Professional Fire

Fighters’ Association (BCPFFA) will welcome elected officials and decision makers from

across the province to Fire Ops 101 at the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Training Centre.

Participants will experience the realities of fire fighting through 10 different scenarios which

represent the dynamic occupation of a professional fire fighter. Suited up in turnout gear,

including a self-contained breathing apparatus, participants will feel the heat while entering

and extinguishing a controlled building fire. They will use specialized life-saving

equipment, such as the jaws of life, work in confined spaces, and will finish by treating

patients with pre-hospital medical care.

“Fire Ops 101 offers insight into the physical and psychological demands of the job.

Participants will appreciate what fire fighters on the front lines are going through, and this

experience helps them understand the challenges faced to keep our communities safe,”

says Gord Ditchburn, President, BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Association.

The day-long program is a BCPFFA bi-ennial event and was launched in 2009. Scenarios

include hands-on fire fighting and rescue operations under the controlled supervision of

the Vancouver Training Division personnel and BCPFFA representatives.

Fire Ops 101 takes place on Monday, September 23, 2019 at Vancouver Fire & Rescue

Training Centre, 1330 Chess St, Vancouver, BC. Fire Ops 101 hands-on scenarios will

begin at 1:00pm and end at 4:00pm.


Media Contact: Any media who would like to attend or observe is asked to register for

media credentials prior to Wednesday, September 17, 2019. Please contact Nicole Clark,

Director of Communications, by email at or by phone at

604.436.2053 or 778.789.0820.

For all other inquiries, contact or 604.436.2053 or visit FireOps101.

Gord Ditchburn, President | Todd Schierling, Secretary Treasurer

BCPFFA Executive Board 2018

For Immediate Media Release: June 3 2018

Re: 40th BCPFFA Biennial Convention, Penticton BC

The 40th BCPFFA Biennial Convention wrapped up on May 29th, 2018 at the Lakeside Resort in Penticton, BC where 139 delegates representing 53 locals totalling  3955 members attended to vote on resolutions and elections. The BCPFFA board has some new faces as we enter a two year term from 2018 through 2020. Returning board members by acclamation are Gord Ditchburn as President, Todd Schierling as Secretary-Treasurer, Robert Weeks as Vancouver VP & BCPFFA Executive VP, Cory Parker Lower Mainland South VP, Steve Farina Lower Mainland North VP, Brent Bond Okanagan VP.  New to the board by acclamation are David Burns Fraser Valley VP, Aaron Charlton Island VP, Lee DePellegrin Kootenay VP, and elected as Northern VP was Dean Aussem. Trustees Mike Hill and Miles Ritch were re-elected, and Stewart Dumont was elected.

President Gord Ditchburn stated; “This year’s convention was special as we posthumously recognized Clayton Murrell as Honorary Membership to the BCPFFA. Clay was our BCPFFA Kootenay Vice President for six years, and Cranbrook’s Local 1399 President. Clay was a true gentleman and a moral compass for our leadership.”

  • Back Row (Left to right) - Stewart Dumont, Miles Ritchie, Dave Burns, Lee DePellegrin, Aaron Charlton, Steve Farina, Dean Aussem, Mike Hill.
  • Front Row (Left to right) - Brent Bond, Robert Weeks, Gord Ditchburn, Todd Schierling, Cory Parker.

At the BCPFFA Recognition and Awards Banquet, departing members were recognized for their years of service to the BCPFFA:  

  • Mike Rispin served 7 years as Executive Vice President Island Region
  • Fred Wilkinson served 7 years on the board as Vice President Northern Region
  • Mike McNamara served 3 ½ years as Vice President Fraser Valley
  • Clayton Murrell served 6 years as Vice President Kootenay Region

Recognition was also provided to past board members as well:

  • Mike Hurley served 8 years on the board as President  2008-2016.
  • Brian Leavold served 5 years with the board from 2009-2012 & 2014-2016
  • Rob Lamoureux served 2 years with the board from 2014-2016

The Resolution to recognize Clay Murrell as “Honorary BCPFFA Member” was unanimously supported by the delegation.  At the Awards Banquet, Local 1253, received an “Axe Award” on behalf of Clay’s family at the awards banquet.

Cranbrook Local 1253 receives Axe Award on behalf of Clayton Murrell 

Cranbrook Local 1253 receives Axe Award on behalf of Clayton Murrell 

For more information, contact the BCPFFA office @ 604-436-2053 or

Fire Fighters to Receive Mayday Training and Survival Skills

For immediate release                                                 
January 18, 2018

Fire Fighters to Receive Mayday Training and Survival Skills

Burnaby BC – BC Professional Fire Fighters are set to receive Fire Ground Survival (FGS) training from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), a program designed to provide consistent Mayday operations throughout the fire service and to increase fire fighter survivability when the unpredictable happens.

Fire fighter fatality data from the U.S. Fire Administration show that fire fighters becoming trapped or disoriented are major factors in structural fire ground fatalities. And while no similar office in Canada exists to track this data, the belief among fire fighters on the ground is strikingly similar. These incidents in which fire fighters have lost their lives have a consistent theme – inadequate situational awareness put them at risk.

“This training will equip fire fighters with the knowledge and skill set of survival techniques for making life-saving decisions under extremely stressful situations,” states Michael Hurley IAFF 6th District Vice President.

The IAFF Fire Ground Survival training applies lessons learned from investigations conducted by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of fire fighter fatality incidents. The four-day intensive training will cross-train fire fighters to become instructors who can then provide these fire ground survival skills to all the department’s fire fighters.

Funded by a grant from the Assistance to Fire Fighters (AFG) grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has now made available in Canada the training – which uses props that simulate potential fire ground scenarios – which teaches fire fighters to perform potentially lifesaving actions if they ever face a situation in which they become lost, disoriented, injured, trapped or low on air.

BCPFFA President Gord Ditchburn says, “We are thankful for the IAFF providing the FGS program. This training reduces fire fighter injuries or fatalities and will help ensure that we fire fighters go home to their families at the end of the day.”

Interested Media can witness the FGS training on January 24th, 2018 anytime between 10am to 3pm at FireHall #7 - 3151 Gilmore Diversion, Burnaby, BC V5G 1E8. For background information visit the Fire Ground Survival Website.   Media Contacts: BCPFFA President Gord Ditchburn (604) 916-7110 or IAFF 6th District Vice-President Michael Hurley (604) 219-4966


IAFF Wine Club

Support the IAFF Foundation through the IAFF Wine Club

The IAFF is pleased to announce an IAFF Wine Club for Canadian IAFF members, beginning with members living in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia with other provinces to be added in the future.

The IAFF Wine Club, a partnership between the IAFF and Arterra Wines Canada, delivers top Canadian wines to your door from Great Estates Okanagan and Great Estates Niagara wineries, with 15 per cent of profits benefiting the IAFF Burn Fund in Canada.

Participation in the IAFF Wine Club also brings you exclusive offers on winery tours, merchandise and other items such as invitations to exclusive members-only events.

Click Here for information about the IAFF Wine Club in either western Canada or eastern Canada. For IAFF members in provinces not yet eligible, we appreciate your patience as we work to meet the necessary regulatory requirements for shipping to your province.

Fire Ground Survival Program

The British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Association (BCPFFA), with support from 6th District Vice President Mike Hurley, has been approved for an IAFF Fire Ground Survival (FGS) mobile training unit (trailer) for the purposes of delivering the IAFF’s FGS training program to our members across the BCPFFA. The IAFF has partnered with the BCPFFA to develop a service delivery model for this program and the utilization of the trailer, where required.

The process will involve in "Training the Trainer" over the course. The mobile unit will be sent to all regions of BC to those Fire Departments with FGS instructors and who want to learn Fire Ground Survival Life Saving Skills.