Interview with Jason Augustine, Fire Chief from Elsipogtog, New Brunswick
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Jason Augustine about his experiences with the IFMS and the NIFSC Project, and how the programs offered have impacted his community.
Ensuring Community Safety
Jason Augustine is the recently appointed Fire Chief in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick. This is a large community of 4,500 people and is heavily involved in the fishing and forestry industries. This bustling community is rich in infrastructure and resources and Augustine sees a need for the best fire protection the community has to offer — the community boasts an arena, pool, health centre, school, community hall, grocery store and pharmacy, among others. To ensure that residents are safe, he has scheduled 750 home safety assessments and he enthusiastically stated that he’s “going all out on the whole community” — the school, health centre, businesses, everyone needs proper fire protection.
Firefighting is a Family Affair
Augustine joined a junior firefighters’ program in 1990, at the same department where his brother was a firefighter, and his father was the Deputy Chief. In 1993, he became an official volunteer firefighter, while also working as a fisherman. In time, he was promoted to Deputy Chief. When the position of Fire Chief became available, it was only natural that he would apply. Having taken over the role in January of this year, he is already taking workshops to expand his knowledge to better serve his community.
Augustine recently took two IFMS fire and life safety training workshops — Governance for Fire Service Administration and Fire Bylaw Development. Through these courses, he came away with a better sense of what needs to be done and actionable next steps. For instance, how to implement bylaws related to chemicals and plastics to keep the community and the environment safe.
The biggest takeaway from the IFMS workshops for Jason was the value in the training — learning about what’s going on within fire services, what’s happening on a larger scale, and what he can do to bring that information back to his fire department and share it with his firefighters. His goal is to promote continuous learning among his firefighters and to encourage them to take the online workshops themselves. The ultimate goal is to ensure that everyone is fighting fires in the safest and most efficient manner.