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Fire Chiefs of the Year Award 2019
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Carreer Fire Chief of the Year 2019

Chief Cam Abbrey

City of Dauphin Fire Department


Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year 2019

Chief Judith Unsworth

Wheatland County



ECFO Bursary recipients

Deputy Chief Judy Unsworth (ECFO), Town of Strathmore, Deputy Chief Nina McCarthy (ECFO), City of Fredericton, and Assistant Deputy Chief Debora Bergeson (Candidate), Calgary Fire Department


Special Award and Researcher of the Year

Ret. Chief Len Garis accepting his Special award, as well

as the Research of the Year award of behalf

of Dr. Ian Pike



“A high tide raises all ships”, Fire Chiefs and FUS celebrate award recipients’”


Calgary, September 16, 2019 – The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and the Fire Underwriters Survey were pleased to announce the following recipients of the Fire Chief of the Year Awards, the Fire Chiefs’ Researcher of the Year Award, and a Special Award for Research and Practice. 


This year, close to 100 candidates were nominated or participated in the Fire Chief and Fire Chief Researcher of the Year Awards. The Fire Chief of the Year Awards, are presented in collaboration with Fire Underwriters Survey.  There is an award for a chief from a career department and from a volunteer department.


“We have traditionally had the delightful problem of too many riches, says CAFC President, Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block. Each year we are proud to receive nominations from communities who exhort the contributions of their chiefs. Every chief is fire chief of the year in his or her community”. This year the process was modified to better identify those that go beyond the role.


Chief Cam Abrey, Chief of the Fire Department in the City of Dauphin Manitoba was selected as this year’s career fire chief of the year. He was recognized for his many contributions to the fire sector not only through his community of Dauphin, but also as past President of the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs and co-chair the CAFC’s National Advisory Council, a body that brings together all of the provincial and territorial chief associations as well as the related national affiliate organizations.  The city of Dauphin said the following in a statement:


“The Councils, administration, and residents of the City of Dauphin and the Rural Municipality of Dauphin send their since re-congratulations to Cam, as he is very deserving of this award.  Not only is he a great Fire Chief, but he is also an upstanding and responsible citizen in our community, a family man, and a great friend to many.  Thank you, Cam, for who you are, and all you do for Dauphin!”


Chief Judy Unsworth received this year’s Volunteer Department Chief. At the time of nomination, Chief Judy Unsworth was the fire chief in Wheatland County, overseeing 9 departments. Mr. Currie explained:  


“Not only is the level of managerial acumen required for the sheer scope outstanding, but this Chief has managed to win the hearts of the nine communities served, with several of them contributing to the application”.  


Chief Judy Unsworth was also one of three recipients of the CAFC Executive Chief Fire Officer Bursary which was designed to increase the diversity of those holding the Executive Chief Fire Officer Designation in Canada.   Other bursary recipients included  Debora Bergeson (Candidate), Assistant Deputy Fire Chief, Calgary Fire Department, Nina McCarthy (ECFO), Deputy Fire Chief, City of Fredericton, Jeremy Parkin (ECFO), Deputy Fire Chief, Rama Fire Rescue Service, and Judy Unsworth (ECFO), Deputy Fire Chief, Town of Strathmore.


Two other awards were presented at the gala which included a special award to retired Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis for the intersection of research and practice, and Dr. Ian Pike who was selected as this years fire chiefs researcher of the year.  


The CAFC and FUS congratulate the awardees and thank all nominators and participants.


FUS Contact

Mr. Michael Currie

Vice President


CAFC Contact

Dr. Tina Saryeddine

Executive Director

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