Calgary, AB,

Calgary Fire Department appoints Junior Fire Chief to act as safety ambassador for children

Zoe Ramsey, a nine-year old patient at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, was named the 2017 Junior Fire Chief today in a ceremony at Varsity Station 17. Acting Fire Chief Allan Ball made the announcement, presented Zoe with duty gear and a special certificate honouring her appointment.

Each year during Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department appoints a Junior Fire Chief to act as a fire safety ambassador for his or her peers.

Zoe’s duties will include promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!,” and encouraging Calgarians to help their families stay safe year-round. As part of Zoe’s first day, she and her family went for a ride in a fire engine and had lunch with the crew at Station 17.

“Zoe is a positive role model with an enthusiastic and happy outlook,” said Deputy Fire Chief Allan Ball. “Partnering with Alberta Children’s Hospital has given us a very capable ambassador who will share the importance of fire safety with her friends, family and fellow patients.”

Zoe has been a patient at the Alberta Children’s Hospital since she was 2 years old and has gone through countless appointments, tests and procedures related to her mild hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Through it all, Zoe has been described as being “an absolute trooper.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring joy and provide distraction to a well-deserving patient,” said Sandy Baggott, Child Life Lead for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. “This is an exciting event and we are pleased to participate and help promote important initiatives around both fire safety and leadership."

During Fire Prevention Week, October 9-14, 2017, the Calgary Fire Department reminds everyone that seconds matter in any emergency. On October 14, Open Houses are being held in three fire halls across the city and Calgary Fire has also released a public awareness video featuring a Mahogany family who did everything right during a catastrophic house fire in 2016. See information below.

Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed in Canada in 1919 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as a major fire that destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on February 3, 1916. Smoke alarms have been at the centre of Fire Prevention Week for the past three years because they are proven to give residents the best chance of escaping home fires and reducing serious injury.

To learn more about smoke alarms and other Fire Prevention Week events and activities, please visit

Fire Hall Open Houses

On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, The Calgary Fire Department is holding Open Houses at three firehalls across the city. Come visit 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m for fire truck tours, treats, refreshments and tons of information about how to keep your family and home safe from fire. There are three locations to choose from:

  • Mount Pleasant Fire Station 7, 2708 4th Street NW
  • Saddleridge Fire Station 32, 800 Saddletown Circle NE
  • McKenzie Town Fire Station 30, 6 McKenzie Towne Gate SE

"Every Second Counts" – Matt & Chelsey’s Story

In a new video for Fire Prevention Week (available on City of Calgary youTube), a family from Mahogany recounts their experience being in a devastating house fire in 2016. Even with working smoke alarms and doing everything right, they still had only seconds to escape.

“We woke early in the morning to the sound of the smoke alarm going off,” said Matthew, father of four. “Immediately, we smelled smoke. I had left the room and you could see the flames coming through the floor on the main level.”

“Within the time that the alarm went off, to the time we got outside was less than a minute,” said Chelsey, mom. “In the end we lost everything. But it’s just stuff. I got my kids out.”

Chelsey advises Calgarians to be prepared, and know that while most fire engines will arrive within 7 minutes of a 9-1-1 call, fires can double in size every 30-60 seconds.

“Just get out,” she says. “And make sure you have smoke detectors because I don’t think that we would have gotten out had it not been for us being woken up by them.”