Making Canada proud from across the pond

By Geoff Lee

August 9, 2017 2:20 PM

Former emergency services technology student, Iain Bushell, emulates Lakeland College’s student leadership branding strategy with his appointment as deputy chief officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Scotland earlier this year, the largest such service in the United Kingdom. Supplied Photo

You could say Iain Bushell is the newest poster graduate for Lakeland College’s student leadership marketing strategy, with a new academic year to start in September.
The former class of 1997 emergency services technology student is settling into his new overseas job as the deputy chief officer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Glasgow, Scotland.
As the DCO, Bushell will lead the development of the future SFRS operational model and role.
His first day on the job was June 19.
The SFRS announced his appointment on April 25 following his previous role as fire chief and director of emergency management, with the Strathcona Country Emergency Services in Alberta.
“The SFRS is now looking towards the next phase in its transformation journey, and Iain will bring new ideas and insight that will allow us to deliver the best solutions for our communities,” said Pat Watters, chair of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board in the hiring announcement.
The SFRS is the world’s fourth largest fire and rescue service, and the biggest in the United Kingdom.
SFRS said Bushell will play a key role in the future direction of its organization with his proven track record in frontline operational response, organizational development, and key support roles.
Bushell honed his skills at Lakeland’s Emergency Training Centre following a successful career as a helicopter navigator in the Canadian Armed Forces.
He says he chose the program because of the opportunity to gain both firefighter and emergency medical skills.
“I knew I wanted to get involved in emergency services, so being able to get both those qualifications at the same time, in the same program, is what appealed to me,” he said.
Bushell also received valuable information from his instructors, who shared their experiences, and the small classroom sizes made for a successful team environment.
“I think it was a great foundation for me, and if nothing else, I learned to take the opportunities that I get and see what comes of them, and not to be afraid to challenge myself,” he said.
“I was inspired to dream big, go out into the world and do the best I could do, and achieve all of the things I wanted to achieve.”
Bushell became a member of Strathcona County Emergency Services as a firefighter and paramedic in 2001.
In a span of 12 years, he served as deputy fire chief of finance and human resources, deputy fire chief of operations, and then fire chief in 2013.
He also was involved in the High River flooding and the Fort McMurray wildfires.
It was only a couple of months ago that Bushell was browsing the U.K.‘s Chief Fire Officers Association website when he found the job posting.
With support from his family, Bushell decided the job was worth applying for.
His dual citizenship made him an eligible candidate – being born in England – and he was familiar with the country having married his wife Lindsay in Scotland 13 years ago.
Lindsay is also a trained paramedic who has worked for air and ground ambulance services in Canada. The couple has a six year-old son, Crosby.

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