Skip to main content

Adam Brayford

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing

empty
person filling out a physical job application
Credit
pexels.com
Working as a Fire Information Officer for the BC Forest Service proved to be the most dynamic, unpredictable, professionally validating experiences I had ever encountered.

What would unfold as a live interview with CBC News encapsulated the tone of much of my Co-op experience with the Forest Service. It was unpredictable, fast-paced and an incredible skills-testing experience.  Not to mention an affirmation of my fervor for crisis communication.

That day, the Southeast Fire Centre was abuzz with activity.  My interview with CBC passed successfully, feeding the public with essential wildfire insights and fuelling me with the adrenaline to respond to the demanding month that lay ahead. One 100+ hectare fire led way to another, and another. Soon, it was the norm for me to spend 17 hours in the office, researching the latest wildfire updates from various sources on and off the fire line, responding to media requests, answering public phone calls, updating information lines, liaising with provincial headquarters, instating fire bans and learning to re-prioritize as my tasks and focus changed unexpectedly, every ten or so minutes.

Evenings, my roommate and I would brave the swarms of river moths on the tennis courts for a game or two, when her hours as a nursing student allowed. My three cell phones lay always within hearing distance, should reporters call to interview. At times, all three would ring simultaneously, and I would answer questions over telephone in between sets. My standby hours would keep me by my phones, in the vicinity and away from the town pub, until 10 p.m. nightly.

The longest period of consecutive days that I could work was nineteen days – with overtime aplenty – before I had to take three days of rest. Such a stretch occurred in July, the busiest wildfire month in BC of 2008. That adrenaline-fuelled period found me escorting camera crews over fires by helicopter, interviewing with television, radio and print upwards of twenty-five times daily and working continuously in order to maintain a steady flow of information from the fire lines to the public and to the Ministry of Forests and its many partners. By the end, naturally, I felt very much a part of this particular emergency communications lifestyle.

Working as a Fire Information Officer for the BC Forest Service proved to be the most dynamic, unpredictable, professionally validating experiences I had ever encountered. Was it challenging? Yes, absolutely. Adapting to a work climate built upon strict and sacred hierarchy, to the long, intense hours, adjusting to life in a smaller town: these all presented challenges to overcome. However, the opportunities that taking full advantage of this unique Co-op position afforded me were amazing.  My work portfolio certainly thickened with references and interview clips. My self discipline has never been so honed. And finally, I have an appreciation for life in the West Kootenay, arguably the most beautiful area in the province. I have no doubt that fond memories of a whirlwind summer and an invaluable university experience will draw me back to the area in future.

Although, perhaps the next time I visit the hot, lush Kootenays will be on vacation,  and minus a cell phone or two.

Beyond the Blog

  • Missed part one of Adam's adventure's with BC Forest Service? Be sure to check out the entire series, Summer of Wildfires.

About the Author

Adam Brayford

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

person filling out a physical job application
library_books
Blog
Why You Must Apply
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration

While life in Kootenays may bear the reputation of being laid back, Co-op student Adam Brayford finds that within the realm of emergency communications, the province's warmer region is abuzz with activity.

You Might Like These... Your Next Co-op

The author
Grow Beyond Your Job

If you want to extract every opportunity from your co-op term, take these proactive steps to grow professionally beyond your job title. 

Seraphina standing and smiling in front of a Canadian Coast Guard vessel
My Co-op Journey: How I Landed a Co-op Working on 3 New Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard

“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up” - Les Brown

Image of the Author
3 Reasons Why There's No Rush to Finish Your Degree

Matthew enters his fourth year with a newfound perspective on graduation. His time working for SFU Career and Volunteer Services has taught him that when it comes to education, there should be no rush. Here, he shares his top 3 reasons why!