2018 Speaker Information

This page will be updated as information is received

Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC

Annual Seminar - 2018

Pre-Conference Workshop
Saturday, April 28 and 29, 2018
8:30 – 4:30

Information Officer - FULL

Acquire the skills and knowledge required of an Information Officer working at an emergency site or at a site support facility. Learn how to write key messages and media releases; communicate effectively with the public, media, and internal stakeholders; and utilize a variety of communication media.(Formerly EM186).  It features applied scenarios and activities, and includes an exam.

Prerequisites: Complete EMRG-1200 or EMRG-1220 or EMRG-1230 or EMRG-1240 or EMRG-1320.


Monday, April 30, 2018
8:30 – 9:30

Update from the Office 
Ron French, Office of the Fire Commissioner

After 35 years of demonstrated success in the Fire Service, both as a Fire Chief and Emergency Coordinator for the District of Central Saanich, I am now working for Emergency Management BC and the Office of the Fire Commissioner as Deputy Fire Commissioner for the past 2 years. 

Tasked with coordinating  the Structural Protection fire response to the BC Wildfires in 2017, the task was completed with the involvement of approximately 114 fire departments, 22 Type 2 Sprinkler Protection units and crews from all areas of the province BC .

In addition to my fire service experience, I also possess significant emergency management experience both domestically and internationally.  Post Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan, deployed as a Logistics Officer with the Canadian Red Cross. 

10:00 – 12:00

Local Solutions for a National Challenge

Kelly's presentation will provide an overview of FireSmart Canada and the various FireSmart outreach program, best practices, resources, tools and initiatives available to support communities in becoming fire adapted and fire resilient

Kelly Johnston, FireSmart Canada

Kelly began his wildland fire management career in 1991, as a seasonal firefighter for the BC Forest Service. In 1995, he moved to Parks Canada, where he continued to develop his fire management experience while working all across Canada and progressing to the Western Canada Fire Management Officer position. In 2005, Kelly accepted a position with the City of Kamloops, where he developed and led the Community Wildfire Protection Program. Kelly continued his contributions on various wildfire initiatives and working groups at the regional, provincial, national and international levels; including his past roles as a Director and Vice President for Partners in Protection (FireSmart Canada) and his current appointment to the National Fire Protection involvement in developing innovative fire management solutions across Canada, the United States and internationally. At that time, he also accepted the position of Executive Director with the Partners in Protection Association (FireSmart Canada). Kelly maintains his qualifications as a consulting Registered Professional Forester, IFSAC accredited Structural Firefighter II, Wildland Fire Behaviour Specialist and Ignition Specialist.

13:00 – 14:30

Inspection of Overhead Door

Roger will go through some relevant aspects of his fire door training course.  The full course is intended for fire door installers/technicians, and Roger will distill some relevant points for AHJs on where to look to ensure a fire door has been installed and maintained correctly.

Roger Melo, Overhead Door

Roger Melo has worked in the overhead and fire door industries for over twenty years.  He is a certified fire door trainer, and regularly provides fire-door installer / technician certification training and AIA-sponsored training to architects. Roger holds an engineering diploma in Civil Engineering Technology.




14:45 – 15:00

Inspections Through the Eyes of a Quad
Jim Ryan

While swimming in Hawaii, Jim was hit by a wave and had his head driven into the sand at the bottom of the ocean. He was instantly paralyzed and drowned. Persons on the beach and the lifeguards on duty revived him. Jim spent almost 10 months in hospital and in rehab recovering, learning how to breathe again and learning how to live as a quadriplegic. Since returning home, Jim has spoken to many groups, from service groups to university classes on his accident, recovery, experiences in the healthcare system and living as a quadriplegic in society. He is an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation, a member of the City of Chilliwack Transportation Advisory Committee and other groups in Chilliwack and the Lower Mainland.

As Jim has received much from many people and groups since his accident he makes every effort to give back and pay forward to others in society. 

15:00 - 16:30

Food Truck – Metro Area Discussion

This presentation is on the Richmond Fire-Rescue Mobile Food Vendor Inspection Program, as well as an update from the Metro Area Food Truck Committee regarding a potential consolidated Inspection and Certification program in the Lower Mainland/Metro Area and province.

Forrest Weissler, Richmond Fire

Forrest has been a member of Richmond Fire-Rescue (RFR) since August 2000, starting his career with RFR as a firefighter, also serving on the Technical Rescue team. 

In 2008, Forrest moved into the Fire Prevention Branch as a Fire Prevention Officer, and frequently as Acting Captain.  He has conducted a significant number of both fire and life safety inspections, and fire investigations.  Forrest actively engages business owners and stakeholders to promote fire and life safety risk reduction through code and bylaw compliance.  He continues to deliver training on fire prevention programs to new recruits, officers, and chiefs.  Forrest participates in corporate leadership development opportunities when presented.  He enjoys volunteering for both the City of Richmond, and the Richmond Firefighters Association.

Prior to joining RFR, he worked at E-Comm 9-1-1, BC Ambulance Service, and as a Helitack firefighter with the BC Forest Service.

In the past few years as the Food Truck craze has infused events in the City of Richmond, Forrest recognized the need for a Richmond standard of a Mobile Food Vendors inspection process. This process has been proven to be successful and is currently in its third year. An annual mass inspection day is a significant part of the inspection process.

Off the job, he is a dedicated father, dog master, and DJ.


Opening Ceremonies and Banquet

Heidi Cave - Key Note Speaker

In 1998 Heidi Cave was an active young woman looking forward to all the possibilities life had to offer. That all changed when her car was struck by a reckless driver going more than 100km/hr. The car crash resulted in a battle for Heidi’s life that would involve two weeks in a coma, seven months in the Burn Unit at Vancouver General Hospital and an additional five months in rehabilitation.

What should have been the darkest chapter of her life became a bright testament to the strength of the human spirit. Heidi is now a mother, author and motivational speaker. The tragedy of the accident has been turned into a life message of hope. She knows the power of love and courage, and how to impart it to others. Her story has inspired thousands to renew their own hope, and to believe that anything is possible.

Heidi’s book FANCY FEET: Turning my tragedy into hope is available in bookstores and Amazon.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018
8:30 – 9:30


This presentation will outline the importance of correctly firestopping fire resistance joints in order to help build code compliant buildings and ensure life safety. It will also provide an overview of current building code requirements, standards/types of inspection and common problematic industry practices. Lastly, it will highlight valuable resources and innovative firestop products available to persons involved in the firestop installation and inspection process to ensure code compliance

Stuart Moore

Stuart holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Mount Allison University and is actively completing his occupational health and safety degree from Simon Fraser University. He is the Fire Protection Specialist for Hilti in British Columbia. He is responsible for providing competent advice and recommendations as it relates to passive fire protection and life safety to contractors and owners, architects and engineers as well as building and fire officials. Stuart was an Account Manager for Hilti from 2013 to 2017 dealing primarily with general contractors in the lower mainland and has previously worked for the federal government in environmental heath


10:00 - 12:00

Understanding and Inspecting Generators

Are you comfortable inspecting emergency generators? Can you read a load test; determine if the generator is able to accept the transfer load and assess the fuel? These are just a few of the crucial questions that must be answered when you discover a generator. Learn what you need to know as a SCO when doing generator inspections. You will leave this lecture with the knowledge and tools required to identify and inspect an emergency generator with confidence.

Marc Royer, Lethbridge Fire Prevention Bureau / FPOABC Zone 6 Director

Marc is a senior Level Ill Fire Inspector/Investigator for the City of Lethbridge. He works in all parts of the code but is considered an expert in the inspection of generators and the storage and containment of hazardous materials and petroleum. Marc also works as a private contractor for the Alberta Safety Codes Council. He is an Advisor for students taking fire safety code courses online. He recently was asked to design new practicum evaluations for NFPA 1031 Fire Inspector Level I & II courses for an Alberta Safety Codes pilot project. Marc has also taught at several jurisdictions in British Columbia and Alberta. Marc is a dynamic and interesting speaker sharing relevant information to the Safety Codes Officer.

13:00 -14:30 

How Electricity Starts Fires

Technical Safety BC safety officers will explain how electricity starts fires and the role of electrical codes in supporting fire safety. They will share their years of experience with fire investigations as well as the resources available to Fire Prevention Officers through Technical Safety BC.  

Dave and George have worked with many fire departments in the Fraser Valley on fire investigations over the past two decades

George Razz, Technical Safety BC 

George Razzo, Electrical Safety Officer for 20 years. President of the Canadian Section of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators. 





Dave Shavalier, Technical Safety BC

Dave Shavalier, Electrical Safety Officer for 24 years.  Forty-one years in the military service.






Wednesday, May 2, 2018
8:30 – 9:30

How Does ERAC Support Dangerous Goods Emergency Response?

Join Spencer Buckland, President, Emergency Response Assistance Canada (ERAC) , as he walks through how ERAC supports first responders at rail, road and stationary tank incidents for LPG and flammable liquids.  Spencer will describe the process as it unfolds, the roles of each of the stakeholders and the resources available to those on scene.  Finally, learn how support to first responders is one of ERAC’s four focus areas, including online and on-site firefighting training for first responders across Canada, as well as emergency response assistance.

Spencer Buckland, President, Emergency Response Assistance Canada

Spencer has a diverse background with more than 17 years of senior management and leadership experience in various industries.  Spencer is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, NFPA 472 firefighting, Tank Car Specialist, a certified Hazmat Technician and holds a Master’s degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University, Victoria.

Spencer Buckland is the President at Emergency Response Assistance Canada and is responsible for overseeing training, assessment and approval of more than 400 hazardous materials responders annually.  Spencer leads a dedicated team to ensure effective emergency preparedness and response management 24/7/365 for more than 350 organizations across Canada.


10:00 – 11:00

Counterfeit Fire Products - A Fire Inspectors/Investigators Perspective

UL and ULC has a dedicated team of individuals protecting the integrity of the UL/ULC Marks. We review the concern, conduct an investigation, identify the root cause, and take appropriate action to resolve the issue, all with the aim of protecting the public and sustaining confidence in the UL/ULC mark. Just as important, we help our customers; regulators and law enforcement strengthen their own capabilities in combatting counterfeiting and reducing product hazards

Brian McBain, ULC

Brian has over 24 years of experience in fire and emergency services and has worked in all aspects of fire and life safety. He presently works for Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Representative where he provides assistance to regulatory authorities across Canada with regards to ULC certification and ULC Standards. Brian has worked at ULC for 12 years. Brian also served three years at the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) as a Fire Protection Specialist, worked nine years in the Fire Protection industry and currently has 24 years of service as a volunteer Firefighter and Fire Prevention Office


11:00 - 12:00

Fire Safety During and After Construction

Discussion of how Fire safety is managed throughout the course of construction with regards to this project.  What measures of Fire Safety are part of the Brock Commons Project and what we will see in future projects

Karla Fraser - Urban One Builders

Karla has worked in Construction for over twenty years.  Her background started in Manitoba working primarily as a layout surveyor for an asphalt company.  From there she went back to school in Calgary to take civil engineering technology and started working for general contractors in building construction.  Since moving to BC, she has had the opportunity to work on infrastructure, commercial and tower projects.  The Brock Commons wood project being the most unique challenge to date with the unique sequencing and speed of construction.   Brock Commons is a unique project in the fact that we were able to essentially build the building twice.  First in a 3D virtual model.  The model allowed us to work out the logistics and strategies of the building.  And then in real time.    

1:00 - 5:00


Sukh Johal will be hosting a guided tour some iconic Mass Timber demonstration buildings located at the University of British Columbia campus.  Coach bus transportation will be provided free of charge to the UBC Campus followed by a walking tour of the CIRS, Earth Sciences, Forestry, the Nest and Brock Commons buildings.  The main theme will be the evolution of Mass Timber buildings within the built environment.

WoodWorks BC – Canadian Wood Council
Sukh Johal, Dipl. T

Sukh Johal is a double graduate from the British Columbia Institute of Technology holding Diplomas in both Structural Engineering (1987) and Business Administration (1992). He also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree in International Business from the Asia Pacific Institute, Graduate School of Management (1996).

For the seventeen years before joining up with the Canadian Wood Council, Sukh provided value-engineering services (including the design & supply of “engineered wood component systems) to major wood frame construction projects in all of the western provinces of Canada and the western states of the USA.

Currently for WoodWORKS! BC in addition to being a technical manager, he is also the Midrise/Tall Wood Technical Lead where his skills, extensive network base and knowledge of all structural wood products have been greatly appreciated by those who are currently undertaking these projects of their own.

Wood WORKS! is a program of the Canadian Wood Council, whose mandate is to increase the use of wood in  construction, through education, training and awareness.

13:00 – 16:30

Canadian Wood Council Field Trip 

The tour will entail visits to several innovate demonstration projects including an 18 storey mass timber tower, a timber office building and a LSL/concrete hybrid five storey mixed use building.


Thursday, May 3, 2018
8:30 – 9:30

Health & Safety

Steve will provide a brief overview of the current status of fire investigator PPE, hazards and controls in BC, including WorkSafe BC legislation and BCPFFA recommended practices.

WorkSafe BC will provide an overview about WorkSafe BC and Fire Department past and current engagements: 2017 Fire First Responder Initiative and funding project and development of best practices in Risk Assessment for high risk hazards. Fire Investigation and PPE as it relates to fire site/scene assessments, 2017/2018 ammonia initiative update

Steve Farina, BCPFFA

Steve started out as a POC fire fighter with the Township of Langley in 1992. He began his professional career with Coquitlam Fire Rescue in 1997, was elected to the executive board of IAFF Local 1782 in 2005 and was promoted to Captain in 2015. Steve currently sits on the BCPFFA’s Mental Health Task Force and represents the BCPFFA on the WorkSafe BC’s First Responder Task Force on Mental Health. He also chairs the BCPFFA’s OHS committee and currently represents the Tri-cities, North Shore, Squamish and Whistler IAFF Locals on behalf of the BCPFFA as the VP of the Lower Mainland.Jacqueline Holmes 

Jacqueline Holmes

Jacqueline Holmes has been with WorkSafe BC for 13 years, initially working as a Nurse Advisor engaging workers in return to work programs with their employers, then as an Occupational Safety Officer in general industry and the Health Care Sector, and finally, over the last 5 years, as the Manager of Prevention Field Services in the Richmond head office. Jacqueline oversees one of the largest Prevention Officer teams in the province and is also Manager of Interest for the Health Care High Risk Strategy and many additional projects that are currently underway. She is also the Manager of Interest for Fire and acts as a point person for regulatory issues that arise from the Fire fighting sector. 

Don MacFadgen

Don MacFadgen has worked at Worksafe BC for approximately two decades. He spent his first two years with the organization working as a Research Assistant and subsequently became an Occupational Hygiene Officer, spending 3 years in Prince George and 12 years in the Victoria Area. In 2010 Don became an Occupational Safety Officer in Victoria (working on Risk Analysis Projects in 2015). Since 2016, Don has been a Prevention Field Services Supervisor in Nanaimo. Don's recent inspectional focus includes combustible dust (both wood dust and non-wood dust), manufacturing, RAU work including static electricity control in paint manufacturing, toxic process gases, cross boring project. Don's credentials include: Certified Industrial Hygienist; NFPA 1001 Level I and II certified firefighter, Emergency Medical Assistant - First Responder, Hazardous Material Technician, Canadian Registered Safety Professional, Incident Command System Level 3.

10:00 - 12:00

Wildfire Cause and Investigation

Wildfire origin and cause investigation is a fundamental task required for all suspected human caused fires occurring within the jurisdiction of BCWS. The determination of wildfire origin and cause is a fundamental requirement in supporting the BCWS prevention program. Aside from providing supporting information of determining and analyzing wildfire cause trends, there are legislated requirements for validating fire cause for cost recovery decisions and administrative hearings, claims for compensation and litigation.

Ian Douglas, Supervisor, BC Wildfire Service

Ian holds the position of the Wildfire Prevention / Enforcement Superintendent with British Columbia Wildfire Service (BCWS). He has worked in various capacities in the natural resource sector within the BC government since 1980. He gained his wildfire and wildfire investigation experience through 37 years with the BC Forest Service, BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) and the BC Wildfire Service.

Ian is the primary wildfire origin and cause investigation instructor for BCWS and has trained not only BCWS staff, but enforcement agencies such as, Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) Compliance and Enforcement Officers, RCMP and COS involved in regulatory and criminal enforcement of wildfire related investigations. Ian leads the provincial wildfire investigation program and manages a team of BCWS Wildfire Investigators.

Ian is a member of he Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) and is designated as a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT).

Wildfire Prevention, BC Wildfire Service

The 2017 wildfire season was unprecedented and as result there is an increased focus is on wildfire prevention. The BC Wildfire Service is working with its partners to ensure it can deliver a comprehensive prevention strategy for the residents of British Columbia. 

Erin Catherall 

Erin is a Communications and Engagement Specialist for Prevention with the BC Wildfire Service. This is a provincial position based at the BC Wildfire Headquarters and works in partnership with internal and external stakeholders to develop cohesive wildfire prevention and mitigation strategies. Prior to working in wildfire prevention, Erin was an Information Officer for BCWS.



Yana Stratemayer-Trinczek

Yana is a Communications and Engagement Specialist for Prevention with the BC Wildfire Service. This position is based at the BC Wildfire Headquarters, Kamloops and is focused on developing engagement strategies to ensure the development a comprehensive wildfire prevention and mitigation framework. Previously, Yana engaged communities on issues under federal government jurisdiction



13:00 - 14:30

Risk Assessment and the Fire Investigation

Fire Investigators must develop the ability to maintain situational awareness of risks associated with fire scenes. The severity and consequences of various risks can change based on the passage of time and/or due to actions taken. The goal of this session is to develop critical thinking abilities necessary for effective risk identification and mitigation. Examples of risks to be discussed include respiratory, structural stability, heat stress, hazardous chemicals, working alone, trauma and other musculoskeletal injuries

Tim Lee, IAAI

Tim started his career in Kawartha Lakes, ON in 1993 where he began serving his community as a volunteer firefighter. He completed a three-year college program as a Terrain and Water Resource Technologist. Relevant studies included hazardous materials spill mitigation and the behavior of contaminants in the environment. After graduating from college in 1993 he pursued a fire service career in suppression for seven years in the urban municipalities of Mississauga and Whitby. Prior to moving to British Columbia in 2006 he completed additional fire investigation sciences studies at Durham College / UOIT.

Tim gained three years of experience within Provincial Government as a Fire Protection Specialist and Training Officer with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office prior to relocating to British Columbia. He gained fire service management experience as a Fire Services Instructor with Mississauga Fire & Emergency Services and as the Fire Chief / Bylaw Enforcement Officer / Emergency Management Coordinator for a small Fire Department in Northern British Columbia. Tim worked for the Justice Institute of BC and the Office of the Fire Commissioner in  2006 and 2007 in roles dealing with providing training for fire investigators and the investigation of large loss fires. Since 2008 Tim has worked as a private sector fire investigator. He is presently employed by Fire Pro Investigations Ltd. He has served in various executive level positions with British Columbia Chapter 15 International Association of Arson Investigators Board of Directors.

Outside of the fire service, Tim is an active volunteer Technical Rescue Team Leader with Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue. He regularly applies risk assessment principles during training exercises and search & rescue tasks that occur throughout British Columbia. He is currently serving as a member of the British Columbia Search & Rescue Association (BCSARA) Technical Rescue Committee. He is a father of three, grandfather of three and is married to his adventure partner Lisa Lee, who works as a Nurse Practitioner with Vancouver Coastal Health.

14:45 – 16:30

Humans in Fire:  Hard and Soft Tissue Trauma 

This lecture will address the roles of fire investigators, coroners, and the Forensic Search and Evidence Recovery Team (FSERT) in fire related deaths.  The progression of the destruction of a body in fire and the effects of fire on hard and soft tissues.  An introduction will also be given to distinguishing between fire related damage versus sharp/blunt/ballistic trauma.  Case studies will also be presented and burnt calcine bone will be available for viewing.

Diane Cockle, PhD, RCMP

Diane Cockle has been a member of the RCMP for the past 20 years, 16 years of which has been as a forensic crime scene investigator.  Prior to joining the RCMP she was a professional archaeologist, and has been using those archaeological skills at crime scene investigations in Canada and abroad for the RCMP.  Diane received a PhD in forensic anthropology from SFU in 2013.  In 2016 Diane formed a new specialized group called the Forensic Search and Evidence Recovery Team (FSERT).  This is a group of qualified forensic identification (FI) members who have received special training to search and recover evidence including human remains from challenging crime scenes.  These scenes include burials, scatters and fire scenes (vehicle, structures and outdoor fires). 

Meaghan Huculak, M.Sc., RCMP

Meaghan HUCULAK is a Civilian Member of the RCMP Lower Mainland District Integrated Forensic Identification Services.  She graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a M.Sc. specializing in Forensic Anthropology.  Meaghan has worked as a Forensic Anthropology Technician for the Nova Scotia Medical Examiners Service, and was responsible for the field recovery and identification of human skeletal remains in both forensic and archaeological contexts.  She has completed placements within the Forensic Anthropology Units of the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department as well as the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  Meaghan provides forensic anthropological consultation for various skeletal cases in the Lower Mainland District and is a senior member of the Forensic Search and Evidence Recovery Team (FSERT).