2021 Speaker Information

This page will be updated as information is received

Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of BC

51st Annual Conference - 2021

Pre-Conference Workshop
Friday, April 16 (evening) Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18
8:30 – 4:30

Youth Firesetter Intervention I & II

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the NFPA 1035 Youth Firesetter Intervention Specialist (YFIS) and Youth Firesetter Program Manager (YFPM) Professional Standard (chapters 9 & 10). Students will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate a youth firesetting prevention and intervention program to meet the needs of their community. Various components of Youth Firesetter Intervention Specialist and Program Manager are explored, such as: how to identify children and adolescents involved in firesetting; interview youth firesetters and their families; use data to determine the level of risk for future firesetting; provide effective intervention; and determine a program's success in reducing the recidivism rate of firesetting behaviour in children and youth.  (Formerly FPO100)

Course Code: FIRE-1208
Prerequisites: FIRE-1206


Monday, April 19

8:30 – 9:30

Update from the Office 

This update from the Office of the Fire Commissioner will include details on new OFC team members, Playbook review, status of the Fire Safety Act and LAFC program, FIRES reporting overview and upcoming public education initiatives. 

Gord Sharpe, Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner

Gord grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and joined the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in October of 1987 as an infantry soldier.  H joined the Regular Force in 1989 under the Regular Officer Training Plan, proceeding to Royal Roads Military College and then to Royal Military College, Kingston graduating with an Engineering degree in 1993.  After earning Navigator (now Air Combat Systems Officer) wings in 1994 he was posted to 443 Maritime Helicopter Sqn in Victoria, BC.  He completed three operational tours at 443 that were interspersed with a broad range of international deployments, staff postings and courses such as the Joint Command Staff Program.  Highlights include a three-year posting at NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, the completion of an MBA as well as a Master’s degree in Defense Studies, and the appointment of Commanding Officer of CFRC Pacific from 2012 to 2014.  Gord left the Regular Force in 2015 and has been with the BC Public Service since that time.

Lisa Barrett, Manager, Fire Prevention Education

Lisa joined the OFC in February 2019, and has over 20 years working in both federal and provincial governments in corporate communications, public education, campaign creation, event planning and social media.

Lisa provides leadership and direction to the fire prevention education program on behalf of the OFC, including Fire Prevention Week, Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, resource development and participation in a number of fire and life safety education working groups.  Lisa works closely with the OFC’s stakeholders (including FPOABC, fire departments, Indigenous communities, all levels of government, educational institutions and the public) to advance the province’s fire prevention objectives.

Elizabeth (Liz) England, Fire Reporting Officer

Liz has been the Fire Reporting Officers at the OFC for four years.  She has been with the Government of BC for 27 years, with much of that time being spent as a Court Clerk for Provincial and Supreme Courts of BC.

Liz has been instrumental in the recent updates to the OFC Fire Reporting System (FIRES) and has recently developed the “How, When and Why to Report Fires” training program.  She looks forward to working with Fire Departments on this program.

Liz has been involved in an administrative role with the Structure Protection Program for the past three years and is pleased to be continuing in that program.

10:00 – 11:00

Fair Festivals and Food Trucks

Understanding the process for both electrical and gas requirements for food trucks and festivals. Hazards to be aware of. Reporting processes for hazards found.

Technical Safety BC

Michael Patricelli:

Gas Safety Officer for the Penticton region. Has been with the organization for 5 years.

Fabian McGill:

Electrical Safety Officer for the Penticton region. Has been with the organization for 2 years.

11:00 – 12:00

Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Kitchens

Discuss general areas the Fire and Building Inspectors are missing in identifying hazard areas in commercial cooking operations

Phil Ackland

Phil Ackland has been in the commercial kitchen exhaust industry for over 50 years.  He sits on the National Fire Protection Association’s technical committee for NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Equipment.  He has written a series of books on commercial kitchen exhaust systems covering installation, inspection, cleaning and fire investigation.

He offers training seminars to building and fire inspectors, fire investigators and insurance professionals.  He conducts fire investigations and provides litigation support testimony related to fire incidents in commercial kitchen exhaust systems.  Phil Ackland assists authorities having jurisdiction to develop and implement certification programs for kitchen exhaust cleaners and inspectors. 

1:00 – 14:30

How to Conduct Investigations from a Forensic Electrical Perspective

Conducting an investigation involving electrical equipment can be challenging.  A knowledge of electrical equipment and typical failure mechanisms can be helpful in developing a theory on the cause of a fire.  This talk will attempt to assist you in understanding common equipment and pinpointing a fire cause if it is electrical in nature.

Richard van Leeuwen

Richard van Leeuwen is an electrical engineer who has investigated electrical failures and electrically caused fires since 1995.  He has established a forensic electrical engineering practice supplying experienced, clear, and unbiased electrical engineering expertise to the insurance industry and legal profession.  He has a BASc degree from the University of Waterloo, a diploma in Management from McGill University.  He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the former Order of Engineers of Quebec, Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, International Association of Arson Investigators, and National Fire Protection Association

14:45 – 16:30

Using Social Media to Educate Communities!

In In this presentation Megan will educate on the powerful tools of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to educate and connect with their local communities on Fire Safety.

There will be time for Q&A opportunity at the end.

Megan Shallow

Megan is the owner of BNL Media Consulting. BNL was born out of a love for all things local. When Megan made the conscious decision to move to Kelowna full time, it was the interactions she had with her community and entrepreneurs that truly made her feel like she was a part of a community.

Megan first became fascinated with the power of the digital world when she did an honour’s thesis at UBC Okanagan looking at the impact Digital Communication was having on relationship initiation and maintenance among young adults. In hindsight, she thinks this was the beginning of BNL’s vision.

Following that degree, a trip to Thailand, being introduced to a digital marketing mentor who encouraged her to start writing a blog, and an amazing experience working in an extremely successful startup that specialized in Facebook advertising… here she is now!

Today, BNL no longer is just about Megan but about a team of passionate and very talented digital marketers and creatives that work closely with businesses that they believe need to be seen in their community. No matter whether you are a storefront, an online business, a community initiative or a personal brand - there is a community out there waiting to hear from you!

Every business that BNL works with not only becomes a part of the local conversation but is welcomed into an amazing network of entrepreneurs who are working together to change the way social media is used. BNL loves being connectors and they won’t hesitate to introduce you to anyone and everyone who is a perfect fit for you!

Megan loves sharing her knowledge with the masses in order to help everyone generate authentic content, positive messaging and foster honest connections with their community and customer base, which is why she started to speak whenever she could.


51st Annual Opening Ceremonies and Banquet



Tuesday, April 20

8:30 – 9:45

CO2 Extration Systems Designed for Use in the Cannabis Industry

Introduction to cannabis extraction methods

James Seabrook, Vitalis Extraction Technology

James leads the Engineering, Production, Application Science, and Quality divisions of Vitalis Extraction Technology.  A Graduate of the University of British Columbia Okanagan (2011), James holds a degree in Applied Sciences, Mechanical Engineering.  In the last three years Vitalis has become the largest global manufacturing business services the cannabis industry with machines now across four continents.  Vitalis continues to innovate best in class solutions to organizations in a multitude of industries around the globe.  With one patent issued and two additional pending, James and his team continue to build out pre and post-production compliments to their existing machines with a plan to execute full automation and customizability to existing and furture customers to meet specific customer requirements.

10:00 - 11:00

Cannabis Facilities and the Codes

Building Departments, Fire Departments Roles in the Planning, Developing, Permitting, and the Operations and Maintenance of Cannabis Facilities.  Incorporating Safety into a Design.

Sandy Mackenzie

Sandy retired as Fire Marshal with the City of Calgary Fire Department in 2003, after retirement he worked for the movie industry as a fire specialist for movie special effects companies with specialized fire equipment.  He is committed to the highest levels of professional an dpersonal excellence towards health, safety and the environment.  As a Fire Inspector, he and his High Rise Building partner (fire inspector) established the first Emergency Warden Procedures in the City of Calgary in 1979.


11:00 -12:00

Health Hacks

Up to date information on ways to optimize your health & prevent disease.

Wendy Ross

Born in South Africa, Dr. Wendy Ross completed a degree in International Relations and Economics before taking her MD in Australia.  She moved to Canada with her young daughter and worked in Emergency in rural and remote sites in BC and North West Territories.  She completed extra training in chemotherapy to become a GP oncologist and was lead physician in Penticton Oncology Clinic for almost 10 years.

Dr. Ross’s experiences with cancer patients led her to researching food as medicine and she did further training in this through Cornell University.  Her interests now lie more in preventative health and she became the Penticton Fire Department’s consultant 2 years ago.  She now speaks on plant based health and work life balance and has taken up freediving for relaxation.


13:00 -14:30

Detection Solutions For Construction (NFPA 241)

This presentation will cover an overview of NFPA solutions used in USA for construction, an example of detection and response points for complex worksite safety and using wireless detection for temporary fire alarm.

Tim Renaud

Tim Renaud has been involved in Fire Alarm for over 15 years and has grown in his role from being a technician to project manager, to sales of Notifier product to his current position as Regional Sales Manager for Notifier in Western Canada. In his current role, he provides sales support to his network of Authorized Distributors and does education outreach throughout the professional community in Fire Alarm related topics.


14:45 – 16:30

AGM and Zone Meeting



Vendor's Forum


Wednesday, April 21

8:30 – 11.45

Encapsulated Mass Timber: a New Construction Type for the 2020 NBC

This seminar will discuss the fire-related national building and fire code changes related to a new construction type called Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction (EMTC) to be used for wood buildings up to twelve storey’s.  As well, it will provide an overview of ongoing fire research at the National Council of Canada into various performance aspects of mass timber construction and tall wood buildings.

Marc Alam, Canadian Wood Council

Marc Alam is a member of the Canadian Wood Council. He is a Manager, Codes and Standards in the fire division.  Marc completed a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering at Carleton University, and currently is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in fire safety engineering also at Carleton University. His doctoral thesis studies the behaviour of heavy timber connections in fire conditions.  As Manager, Codes and Standards in Fire, Marc assists through participation in CWC’s building code and standards fire-related initiatives and the development of CWC’s fire design tools, as well as code-related fire research projects.



Lunch at Penticton Fire Department

Side by Side Burn Cells CLT vs Dimensional


Tour Bus to OK Falls – Tour of Structure Lam

Thursday, April 22


8:30 – 16:30

Wild Fire Observations and Scene Protection FI-110

An introduction to BC Wildfire Service and the Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation business area followed by "Wildland Fire Observations and Origin Scene Protection for First Responders - FI 110". The FI-110 is identified training in the National Wildfire Coordination Group's (NWCG), Wildland and Prescribed Fire Curriculum.

Chris Hodgson

Chris Hodgson is a Provincial Fire Origin and Cause Specialist with BC Wildfire Service. Chris began his wildfire career in 2008 managing fire crews in the private sector while also working as a danger tree faller and first aid attendant.  In 2016 Chris decided to make wildfire a full-time commitment, put down his saw and joined the ranks of the BC Wildfire Service. Prior to working as a fire investigator, Chris worked in various operational roles.

Chris recently finished a six-month contract with the Conservation Officer Service of BC, MIU and is currently working his way through the Investigation & Enforcement Skills certificate program at the Justice Institute of BC pursuing Type 1 fire investigator certification.

Nicholas T. Hamilton

Nicholas has worked for the British Columbia Wildfire Service for 14 years. He has experience working on an Initial attack crew and as a single resource performing operational and logistical roles. He has been a Provincial Fire Origin and Cause Specialist since 2017. He works at HQ-Kamloops. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Protection (VIU), and a Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management (Royal Road University).

Brian Morrison

Brian is a BC Wildfire Service - Provincial Fire Origin and Cause Specialist.  He has worked with the BC Wildfire Service for 21 years.  He became a fire origin and cause investigator in 2016 and a Provincial Fire Origin and Cause Specialist in 2017.  He has taken part in 87 fire investigations and have been the lead investigator on 69 fire investigations.  Brian is based out of Vernon.