Education

Professional Experience

Fire Service Experience

Professional Affiliations

 

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.


Education

B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts/Amherst--May, 1984

Experience

Communications Director

Vision 20/20--2005 to Present

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

Campus Firewatch--May, 2000 to Present

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.

Comeau has been closely involved in a series of Department of Homeland Security grants, including www.igot2kno.org, Vision 20/20 and the Michael H. Minger Foundation.

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.

Technical Writer

writer-tech.com, 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

Center for Campus Fire Safety--October, 2003 to December, 2006

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 Dissemination

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 college-related incidents.

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 problem.

Grant

Comeau 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.

Media

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 and magazines.

Annual Conferences

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 Month

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.

Coalition Building

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.

Video Production

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.

Publications

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 articles.

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 VR.

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 Materials Technician.

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 operations.

Completed the department's 16 week recruit fire fighter training academy.

Fire Protection Engineer

Prime Computer--June, 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 alarm systems.

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 extinguisher operations.

Fire Protection Engineer

Firepro, Incorporated--November, 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.


Fire Service Experience

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.


Professional Affiliations

International Association of Fire Chiefs, Past Fire and Life Safety Section Board Member

National Fire Protection Association, Past Lodging Section Board Member

 

 
 
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