Kitchener Fire Communicators go beyond the usual 'gift exchange' this past Christmas

This past Christmas in the Kitchener Fire Department Communication Centre, instead of the usual exchange of gifts between supervisors and communicators, we decided to look beyond ourselves to the community.

We are a division of women and so with the idea of “women helping women” we chose to make a donation of goods to Mary’s Place: a shelter open primarily to women as well as their families.

Free-will donations of monies were collected through a program called "Coins for Candy" started by our very own Sharon Musselman.  Candy (all kinds) was placed in the Communication Centre and front reception area for people to enjoy while leaving pocket change for the shelter.  Communicators were also invited to donate in place of the usual gift exchange in the Communication Centre.

The shopping was done (thankfully no wrapping required) and the week before Christmas the goods were delivered to a surprised receptionist.  Simple, everyday products that most of us take for granted can make a big difference for someone who has little.




Communicator Shirley Davidson and Kenadie Jourdin-Bromley


In 2004, I read an article in the Hamilton Spectator about Kenadie. She absolutely melted my heart – the innocence of this small child and the look of “anything is possible” in her eyes.

I left a comment on the link to Kenadie’s website, explaining that in some profound way, Kenadie had altered my life and my view of life. I offered to help in any way that I could. Her mother Brianne began corresponding with me via e-mail (they were living in Sault Ste. Marie at the time). In 2007, Kenadie began filming the movie IEP!, in Amsterdam. The family was there for three months and upon their return in November, Brianne invited me to meet them at Pearson Airport. This is when we first “officially met”.

Kenadie’s condition is called Primordial Dwarfism. Kenadie was the first known Primordial in Canada, coined “Canada’s Littlest Angel”. She is currently 8 years old, 33” tall and 16 lbs. There are now three other children in Canada with conditions that fall under the umbrella of Primordial Dwarfism.

Since 2008, Kenadie’s family has returned to live in Cambridge and we have grown very close. Brianne is like a sister to me. We speak daily and see each other several times a month. We often have Kenadie and her brother Ty for overnighters.

Christmas 2010, they stayed over Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day with us. My Christmas gift to Kenadie was a miniature horse named “Jersey”. It was purchased with the hope that Kenadie will build a special bond with her pony.

What Kenadie has added to my life is truly indescribable. When it is difficult to see past the horrors of the state of the world we live in, I see the innocence, bravery and strength in the miracle that is Kenadie.

Her website is:








Barrie Fire & Emergency Service Communicators



Barrie Fire & Emergency Service Communicators got together in 2009 and formed a team to participate in the CIBC Run For The Cure.  Not only did we raise money, we had a great time!  In 2010 we also participated but had the addition of Fire Suppression Staff in pink bunker gear who joined our team.  We didn’t go quickly or very far in between pictures being taken of our team.  The “Kickin’ Ash For A Cure” team of BFES Communicators has great support from everyone in the department as well as the Fire Fighters Association who help us out every year.  We encourage other Communications Centres to participate.  Once you do you will be hooked!

Sue Dawson, Barrie Fire & Rescue