Member Spotlight: Bradley Davidson

Tell us about yourself and why you decided to join the fire service.

My fire service career started early with an opportunity to join the local volunteer fire department. I was honoured to have great Chiefs and a great bunch of guys who all had special skills and talents in their own right. My Dad (Roy) also had been a Volunteer on the same department prior to my joining. It was on this Department I first heard Chief Alan Brunacini’s name and I also developed a major interest in fire investigation after attending a couple of seminars related to the topic by the Assistant Fire Commissioner from the Office of the Fire Commissioner. 

After almost ten years with the local volunteer department and living at the fire hall, I transitioned to an industrial brigade. Industrial fires and emergencies are a different beast. During my time there we had busy, tough years but that only developed our department. We were told often what an awesome team we had. Our members all came from different trades and professions and backgrounds - we had safety professionals, industrial hygienists, welders, carpenters, electricians, pipe fitters, steamfitters, instrumentation trades, first aid instructors, grandfathered members in the trade of inspection testing and maintenance of water based fire protection systems, paramedics, and medical first responders. Looking back now I can see why other Chiefs would envy our department.  

On the Safety & Wellness side of firefighting I'd like to focus more on firefighter cancer prevention after recently losing a dear friend and firefighter brother as well as a cousin, who was a former volunteer firefighter to cancer.  I’m a TNT for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, as well as a Canadian Consultant for Firefighter Cancer Consultants.

Additionally I plan on fulfilling the training requirements to be a Master Trainer for the Road to Mental Readiness Training for those in public safety. 

My last class at FDIC was titled Managing Industrial Fires & Emergencies “ Know Your Enemy & Survive”. In that class we studied a LODD and how our Department nearly had a similar event with an intermodal container. It is my belief if we study a LODD and try to learn from that incident it honours the firefighter that was suddenly taken away from his family and his brothers in the Fire Service too soon. And the many other incidents such as molten metal runaways and explosions etc. that I experienced.  As I have a depth and breadth of education, experience and training on Industrial Fires and Emergencies.

I am happily married to my wonderful wife Wanda. Together we have three beautiful grown daughters, Aleah, Ashley and Brandy, a granddaughter, Avery, and a grandson, Vance. My first love, wall-eye fishing is something that I would like to do more of with my family.

Who or what has inspired you as a fire instructor?

What has inspired me as a fire instructor is giving back to the service. Meeting and observing the many other talented instructors in the fire service at world class events like FDIC.

Chief Alan Brunacini has influenced me on so many levels. I have studied his craft, service and many contributions to the Fire Service while taking a Certificate in Fire Service Leadership course from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia - Canada. I met him at FDIC and grew very fond of him. Like him I believe in lifelong learning. And always making Mrs.Smith magnetic for Fire Departments.

Other instructors who have inspired me include Joe Starnes, Andy Starnes, David Griffin, Bobby Halton, Gordon Graham, Don Abbot, Dan Madzyrkowski, John Dixon, Steve Przbowski,  Jerry Tracey,  Benjamin Walker, Shan Raffel, Rich Gasaway and Michael Reick.   

What are some things you are working on in your department and how can others learn from that?

Some things I’m working on in my fire department are health and safety issues from a Safety Officer perspective at fires or HSO in the background and implementing measures and policies to protect our firefighters health. As well as cancer awareness and prevention, PTSI awareness and prevention using the R2MR methodology are important topics for me to pass along. 

Tell us about a project or training accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

One more recent accomplishment I’m proud of is obtaining the NAFI Certified Fire and Explosion (CFEI) Investigator credentials and the training to be able to teach this as well (CFII).  

What do you hope to accomplish as a fire service instructor?

As a Fire Service Instructor I want to pass on my knowledge and experience to others and be a trainer that adds value for Firefighters by enhancing their knowledge and skill sets so everyone is safer and goes home at the end of the day. And has a long and heathy career and retirement years. I'd strive for people to challenge the status quo. 

What is the biggest change you have noticed in the fire service since you started?

Since I started in the Fire Service the biggest change I have noticed is that we are much more educated now than ever before. We now know that the toxins we are exposed to cause cancer. We have to do more for our brothers in the service in that area. Additionally, there is a vast amount of information available via the internet or on apps that can be accessed anywhere by your smartphone. 

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Two things that most don't know about me is I would like to train and serve as a FD Chaplain one day, and my deep admiration and respect for Chief Alan  “Bruno” Brunacini through his immeasurable contribution to the Fire Service and for “Mrs.Smith”. 

And finally, what advice do you have to give another instructor or to somebody who is just starting out as an instructor? 

To the new Instructor I would say to keep in mind that when making decisions and policies that affect the department make them based on what benefits the department as a whole. Involve them to increase buy in. And listen to the members concerns as you serve them. 



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