Fire Prevention Canada Launches Operation En Garde - Information program aims to reduce loss of life

    OTTAWA, Sept. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Fire Prevention Canada (FIPRECAN), the
national voice of fire safety and education, today launched Operation En
Garde, a new proactive information program, to help reduce the number of
deaths in Canada. On average, fire kills eight Canadians every week.
Residential property fires account for 40% of all fires and a staggering 73%
of all fire deaths. In 2007, 22 fire fighters lost their lives battling fires.
Two FIPRECAN spokespersons will now be available to respond to media inquiries
following fatal residential fires across Canada to address fire prevention
    Mr. Frank Albert is the official spokesperson for French media and
Mr. E. David Hodgins is the official spokesperson for English media.
    "We want to seize upon teachable moments to make Canadians aware of the
simple things they can do to prevent disaster from occurring in their homes.
Understandably residents will be more receptive to implementing preventative
measures following fatal fire incidents in their neighbourhoods. The aim, of
course, is to prevent the loss of life," noted David Hodgins.
    "Our longstanding relationships with fire departments nationwide and our
resources provide the necessary tools to be able to offer extensive practical
information on fire prevention education. We are counting on the media to
disseminate these life-saving messages," said Frank Albert.

    Official Spokespersons

    David Hodgins has an extensive background in emergency management and
fire services. He was appointed Managing Director of the newly created Alberta
Emergency Management Agency in May 2007. Prior to joining the Alberta
Government, Mr. Hodgins served as an Assistant Deputy Minister and B.C.'s Fire
    Mr. Hodgins is a graduate of the University of Alberta Public
Administration Program and Certified as an Emergency Manager (CEM) in 1994.
His formal education is complemented by 31 years of experience in emergency
management and fire services in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Alberta.
    Mr. Hodgins supports Public Safety Canada as a Service Coach assisting
the Canadian Emergency Management College. He is also a regular contributing
author, writing on the subject of leadership for Firefighting in Canada.
    Frank Albert has been involved in crisis and emergency management, and
fire services for over 30 years. For the last 15 years, he has been teaching
at the Quebec Fire College in subjects ranging from Fire Safety Management to
strategy and tactic courses. He has reviewed and implemented laws, by-laws,
regulations, codes and standards surrounding fire prevention management.
    Mr. Albert is the former Director of the City of Cowansville Fire
Department. Due to his program on auxiliaries, the City of Cowansville was
awarded the Merit Ovation Prize from the Union of Municipalities of Quebec for
innovation in Public Security Auxiliaries. Prior to this, he served as a
Division Chief for the island-wide Montreal Fire Department as well as the
Director of the City of Cote Saint Luc Fire Department. Mr. Albert was also
the recipient of the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation.

    For information on FIPRECAN or for media wishing to arrange an interview
with a FIPRECAN spokesperson, please contact MaisonBrison at 514-731-0000 -, or visit FIPRECAN's newly revamped web site:

    Fire Prevention Canada (FIPRECAN) profile

    Fire Prevention Canada's mission is to increase the awareness of fire
prevention and safety through direct education of the public. The
organization's goal is to reduce the number of mostly preventable residential
fires across this country, many of which are fatal. The Council of Canadian
Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners is a member of Fire Prevention Canada and
helps manage its affairs. FIPRECAN also creates a yearly Fire Prevention Week
Kit and organizes events surrounding Fire Prevention Week, which takes place
this year from October 5th to October 11th.
    Fire Prevention Canada is a registered charity which is proud of the
patronage of Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor
General of Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Danny Esposito, MaisonBrison, (514) 731-0000,

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