U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman visited the Calgary Fire Department Training Academy this summer to see first-hand, the training firefighters go through to prepare them to battle fires. “The most important thing we can do in our societies is make sure we are protected… I just wanted to understand the training that was actually taking place for firefighters.”
Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have experienced a dry summer which has made wild fires a serious issue in the western part of the country. The United States has committed approximately 230 fire fighters to aid in Canadian wild firefighting efforts. When asked about the U.S.’s commitment to fighting the wild fires in Canada, Ambassador Heyman stated “this is about give and take, Canadians have come down on repetitive basis and helped us out, and whether it is Katrina or Hurricane Sandy out east … we just help each other.” Canada is not alone facing a dry season; there are four U.S. States in extreme drought and a total of 11 states facing drought conditions. This provides an opportunity for the United States and Canada to work together to address these issues in our environment and assist each other where needed.
Ambassador Heyman also thanked the firefighters he met with for committing themselves to this job and putting themselves in danger to protect citizens. “You have to have a lot of respect for the fire men and women who do this in their livelihood… We should take a moment and be thankful.”