President's Message - March 2020

This Presidents Message is very difficult to write as events since the last one has changed so much. First off was the loss of my dear friend and colleague Tim Irish in January. Tim's passing was such a shock to everyone who knew him. Tim's dedication to CAFI was above and beyond, and he was so excited to become President in December. Tim had so many ideas of how he was going to implement during his term. The training was one. He and I wanted to have online training for all Fire Services across Canada. We had been working on this for months. Tim wanted our Social Media presence to grow so we could let everyone around the world know what CAFI stood for, again we had a meeting in January to start that process.

I spoke at Tim's Funeral along with Val and Katy. I was so proud of all the CAFI members that attended, all the Toronto Police Service and fellow OFM members and other Fire Services. All of our hearts broke at the loss of Tim. His smile was so contagious and his dedication to his four children (Tim called them his pups). We all said our goodbyes that day, but every day I am in my office, Tim's picture is looking down on me and guiding me to continue with his plan. We all have so many memories of Tim, and we will keep him in our hearts forever.

To honour Tim, the executive voted to make Tim the Honorary President for the remainder of 2020. During our March executive meeting, I invited Tim's wife Shalini, and his two daughters, Marianne and Melody, to join us on our call. I informed them of the decision to make Tim's dream come true and make him President. We all spoke about Tim, and how this decision was unanimous. The family was so proud that we would do that for Tim and the family. As you can see, this edition of the Journal is dedicated to Tim Irish and what he was proud of. His picture taken in September 2019 shows off his Graduation from Laurentian University and him receiving his Certificate for CCFI-A designation. Tim worked so hard to earn this and wanted everyone to know if he could do it anyone could. Tim, we are so proud of you.

The world has changed as we know it, and now over the last couple of months, we have seen the devastation of the COVID-19 virus. This virus has spread so fast around the world and has changed the world as we know it. I ask everyone to stay home with their families and wash your hands and stay 2 meters / 6 feet from others. I know we still need to do fire investigations, but please be safe.

Everyone, please be safe during this time in our lives.

David Slipp, National President
Canadian Association of Fire Investigators