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Webinar Wednesdays: 2019
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First Responder Occupational Health & Safety:

are we really doing enough?


Webinar Date:



Fire Chief Bruce Burrell (ret.)



A past leader in the Canadian Fire Service who was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a terminal disease, and likely an occupational disease, led to him doing much research on occupational exposures and their potential health effects. Many first responders may find themselves with a diagnosis that is not readily recognized as an Occupational Illness.  Bruce has had conversations with many members of First Responder Agencies and has determined that there is no consistency in practices, recording of potential exposure, medical surveillance or policies, procedures, practices or legislation.  


Bruce has provided both leadership and has extensive experience in organizational change by motivating teams to move action plans through to results, as a Fire Chief, Chief of Emergency Management, Health and Safety Manager, and, Vice-President and President of a National Association.   Bruce has participated as a member and executive member of Charitable Organizations and NGO’s. He has also participated on International and National Committees and Working Groups.   A life-long learner, Bruce continues to read, research and learn. Belief  that we can “always do better” has been both a cornerstone of what Bruce has done, and what he continues to do.


Webinar Synopsis:

Whether a transportation accident, hazardous materials spill, medical event, structure or vehicle fire, training or skills re-qualifying, First Responders from all disciplines are exposed to many of the same and some occupational specific hazards. Many materials are present in our static and mobile workplaces and emergency scenes.  As new materials are developed they pose additional risks in the workplace.   Now is the time to coordinate across First Response Agencies, Provincial and National Organizations. Now is the time for Action. There is more that can be done internally.  There needs to be a coordinated effort for additional research and legislation on improving the Health, Safety and Wellness for First Responders across the country.  Imagine a better future - better safeguards, better reporting, enhanced medical surveillance, cross organization information sharing and standardized reporting all supported by improved research.






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