Ed Comeau is the principal
writer of writer-tech.com. His career in emergency services has
spanned over 30 years, and he brings together a unique
blend of experience in the fields of fire fighting, emergency medical
services, engineering, training and technical writing. He
is widely published and has presented at numerous conferences and
programs around the globe.
B.S., Civil Engineering,
University of Massachusetts/Amherst--May, 1984
Responsible for communications aspect of the Vision 20/20 project under the Institution of Fire Engineers - USA Branch. This ground-breaking project has been responsible for widespread introduction of Community Risk Reduction in a number of major US communities. As part of this project, Ed is responsible for managing various aspects of communications among the different strategy groups, Steering Committee and Executive Committee. He also is responsible for external communications with the fire safety community and media.
Ed also is a part of the team that organizes a variety of professional symposium and conferences relating to Vision 20/20 activities and outcomes.
Publisher of an electronic newsletter
that covers the complex issues of campus fire safety. This is
the leading publication in this field and serves as a primary
focal point for information. Ed is the author of numerous articles
covering a wide range of topics.
Ed has been involved in helping with passage of the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act since it was introduced in 2000 in Congress. This legislation was signed into law in 2000.
In its fourth year, National Campus Fire Safety Month 2008 was the most succesful one with a press conference on Capitol Hill with five Members of Congress, a large contingent of students from the University of North Carolina and the University of South Carolina, parents, advocates and fire officials in attendance. A total of 34 governors issued proclamations designating September as Campus Fire Safety Month as well as the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
llc--February, 1999 to Present
Principal writer for a technical
writing firm. Specialize in topics relating to fire, fire investigations,
fire protection engineering, technical rescue, hazardous materials
and terrorism. Well versed in developing reports
and articles for both a
technical and non-technical audience. Experienced in developing
interactive training material,
video productio, video
script preparation, and developmental editing. Publisher
of a monthly electronic newsletter Campus
Firewatch. Samples of writing and a detailed portfolio
are available, on-line.
Founder and Director
Founder and director of a national, non-profit,
education and advocacy organization that focuses on campus fire
safety issues. Comeau founded the Center and obtained significant
funding from industry sources to support its operations. As
the director, along with his position as publisher of Campus
Firewatch, Comeau has been recognized as a national authority in
the field of campus fire safety issues.
Information Compilation and
Comeau made extensive use of
the Internet for raising the awareness of campus fire safety
through mechanisms such as online videos, blogs and other
interactive tools. By scanning the wire services, Comeau regularly
identifies significant incidents relating to campus fires
and compiles this information into a variety of sources. This
information is regularly cited by the media.
Key information sources created
and maintained by Comeau are the Campus Fire Safety Fact Sheet
which serves as a succinct compilation of information regarding
incidents, legislation and strategies and the Fatal Firelog
which is the only sole-source of information regarding fatal
As publisher of Campus Firewatch,
Comeau maintains a monthly log of college-related fire incidents
and a legislative update.
Because of these efforts, Comeau
was able to identify and document that the most significant
problem area for fatal fires is off-campus (80%) which has
allowed for the development of programs to target this critical
was the author of a major $234,000 Department of Homeland
Security Fire Prevention and Safety Grant that funded the
development of a curriculum and "toolbox" for training
campus fire safety officers.
As part of an outreach program,
Comeau wrote and distributed press releases following significant
incidents that provided invaluable background information
to local and national media regarding campus fire safety issues.
This resulted in numerous media interviews including major
stories featured by ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News,
USA TODAY, Boston Globe, Inside Edition and many other newspapers
Comeau was the driving force
behind the creation of the annual Campus Fire Forum conference that brings together campus
fire safety officials, fire chiefs, state fire marshals and
others and managed them each year. A trade show is a vital
part of this conference and provides vendors with a critical
opportunity to interact with these professionals.
National Back-to-School Campaign
In partnership with Kidde and
Underwriters Laboratories, Ed helped to develop the 2006 Back
to School campaign that featured Ed in a satellite media tour
that reached millions of people across the country.
Activity on Capitol Hill
Comeau has assisted in writing
legislation on campus fire safety that has been introduced
in the U.S. Congress, including the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know
Act (which passed the House of Representatives in 2006), the
College Fire Prevention Act and resolutions supporting September
as Campus Fire Safety Month. He has worked with numerous Congressional
staff members in advocating for this legislation and has coordinated
a series of educational meetings between campus fire safety
advocates and key staff members.
As part of the support of this
legislation, Comeau was successful in bringing together 12
major fire safety organizations to co-sign letters of support
that were distributed to all 535 Members of Congress. In 2008, the provisions of the Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Act were signed into law.
In both 2005 and 2006, Comeau
organized a series of training programs held on Capitol Hill
for Congressional interns that included live fire training,
smoke trailer and sprinkler trailer demonstrations. This involved
bringing together instructors from across the nation to assist
in the training.
Also in 2005 and 2006, Comeau
organized summit meetings held on Capitol Hill that brought
together campus fire safety experts from across the nation
to discuss key fire safety issues.
National Campus Fire Safety
Comeau created National Campus
Fire Safety Month and was successful, in its fourth year,
in having 34 governors
issue proclamations designating September as Campus Fire Safety
Month in their states.
A coalition supporting campus
fire safety issues were built by Comeau that included 14 major
fire safety organizations. Another key coalition that is instrumental
in helping to pass legislation and proclamations is that of
parents who have lost children in campus fires and are looking
for an opportunity to become advocates.
Comeau was the producer and author
of the video "Graduation: Fatally Denied" that chronicles
the experiences of a fictional student's tragic encounter
with fire. He also developed a DVD compilation of campus fire-related
videos that serve as a library for campus fire safety officers
to use in delivering training.
Comeau was the author of a chapter
on campus fire safety in the 19th edition of the NFPA Fire
Protection Handbook. He has written for numerous publications
as well as authored a number of articles for the monthly electronic
newsletter Campus Firewatch.
Chief Fire Investigator
National Fire Protection
Association--November, 1994 to February, 1999
Responsible for the management
of the association's fire investigations department and staff.
Conducted field investigations of significant fires worldwide,
analyzed the incidents and wrote technical
reports. Incidents and reports include the English Channel
Tunnel fire, the Goethenburg Disco Fire, the Kobe earthquake
and the Oklahoma City Bombing among many others. Developed alternative
distribution methods for fire investigations material that included
web-based (HTML) and electronic (PDF) distribution. Author of
a number of articles for
NFPA Journal. Contributor and reviewer for a wide variety of
Served as a technical resource
for NFPA training videos.
This included script review, research and on-site subject-matter-expert
during shooting. Also served as a technical resource for several
commercially broadcast documentaries
in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Provided
interviews on various fire investigations and general fire safety
for both print and broadcast media.
Managed NFPA's participation as
a partner in a public-private venture between the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, American Reinsurance and the
United States Fire Administration that is developing an interactive,
CD-based, fire investigations training program called interFIRE
Fire Protection Engineer
Phoenix Fire Department--August,
1988 to October, 1994
Responsible for developing training
programs and curriculum in technical rescue. Disciplines included
Rope Rescue, Trench Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Swiftwater
Rescue, Structural Collapse and Shoring and Elevator Rescue.
Managed the department's Urban
Search and Rescue (USAR) Team and member of several FEMA USAR
working groups. Assisted in developing, and served as an instructor
for the US Army Corps of Engineers Structural Collapse program.
Assisted in the development and
delivery of the fire department's 240 hour Technical Rescue
course. Certified as a Technical Rescue Technician and a Hazardous
Managed the department's Program
Development Team that was responsible for providing support
to training programs in the areas of lesson plan development,
audio visual production and printed material. Extensive use
of desktop publishing and desktop video production. Pioneered
the department's use of television to deliver training directly
to the fire stations.
Developed engineering analysis
of special hazards such as petroleum storage facilities, airport
crash rescue operations, high rise fire protection and other
special hazard occupancies for use in tactical fire fighting
Completed the department's 16
week recruit fire fighter training academy.
Fire Protection Engineer
1985 to August, 1988
Responsible for all phases of
fire protection for a Fortune 300 company. Supervised maintenance
of all suppression and detection systems for 3 million square
feet of domestic manufacturing, warehouse, Research and Development
and office facilities.
Responsible for plan reviews of
new construction and renovation projects to ensure code compliance
with applicable local, state, and nationally recognized standards.
Member of the design and construction team for the design and
installation of sprinkler, fire detection and Halon suppression
systems in a 250,000 square foot office and research park.
Developed and implemented procedures
in the testing and maintenance of sprinkler, Halon, and fire
Emergency Coordinator responsible
for developing, maintaining and implementing pre-emergency disaster
plans. Investigated fire related incidents at all Prime facilities.
Responsible for training personnel
in fire safety, inspection, and testing procedures and fire
Fire Protection Engineer
1984 to May, 1985
Project team engineer for a fire
protection consulting firm. Served as Case Manager for a variety
of projects, including technical fire investigation, fire department
municipal studies and building design projects.
Prepared documentation for testimony
by senior staff at civil litigation cases. Performed field investigations
of fire incidents.
Amherst Fire Department Student
Force and Call Force
1980-1984 and 1986-1988
Fire fighter, emergency medical
technician and apparatus operator. Resident fire fighter while
attending the University of Massachusetts. Continued service
following graduation as a member of the department's call force.
Phoenix Fire Department
1988 - 1994
Served as a fire protection engineer
developing technical rescue procedures and training programs.
Completed the department's 16 week recruit fire fighter academy
as part of responsibilities.
of Fire Chiefs, Past Fire and Life Safety Section Board Member
National Fire Protection
Association, Past Lodging Section Board Member