Capt Mike Blow
After long and eventful career of 35 years, 7 months and some days, Capt Mike Blow has decided to take his retirement from the Canadian Forces. Mike emigrated from England in 1967, He lived in Toronto where he attended school and graduated from Humber College in 1972, shortly after in October 1972 he started his career as a Pte in the Canadian Forces, originally joining the Communication Research (291) occupation. He commenced recruit training in Cornwallis in October 1972 and upon completion was posted to CFB Kingston to commence his 291 QL3 trades training. In Oct of 73 he was posted to CFS Masset where he filled various positions within the Com Rsch trade, including doing a 6-month tour of Alert, and was promoted to Cpl in 1975. While in Masset he joined the volunteer Fire Dept and liked it so much that he decided to apply for a remuster. While awaiting acceptance of his request, he was posted to CFS Bermuda in 1977 and while there received word that had been accepted for remuster into the fire Fighter occupation.
In Oct 1977 he was posted to CFS Leitrim, and the Career Manager decided to get one more tour of Alert from him before his remuster became official, so off he went for a short stint in April of 1978 to the see the Northern Lights for one last time. The two Career Managers then got together and decided some OJT might be beneficial so Mike was sent to the Fire Dept at Uplands to do some while awaiting his TQ3 course at CFFA. While in Ottawa, Mike met Lorraine, and in July 1978 they were married, they have two children, a son, Martin and daughter, Genevieve. Mike was sent on his TQ3 course in early 1979 and after completion was sent back to Uplands. As Lorraine was French Canadian, Mike thought it would be a good idea to learn the language so in 1982 he went on the year long French as a second language course and upon completion of the course was posted back to Uplands and remained there until Jul 1985.
In 1985 or so, CPO John Daley became the Career Manager, and as John promised, a lot of postings to sea started to happen. Seeing the writing on the wall and not being one to sit around and wait for the inevitable posting message, Mike did some pre-planning and requested the West Coast. Lo and behold the message arrived shortly after and in July 1985, off went Mike and family to CFB Esquimalt to the Damage Control School as in Instructor. While there he was attached to Provider to assist the Fire Detachment for a 3-month cruise. He received his promotion to MCpl in 1986 and as he had enjoyed Provider so much was posted to the ship in 1987. After a short tour the CF decided they wanted a military/civilian Fire Dept set up in Nanoose, so Mike was sent up island in 1988 to be the 2 i/c of the CFMETR Fire Dept, he received his Sgt rank in Jul 1992 and was immediately posted back to the Damage Control School as an instructor and the Fire Ftr trade advisor for the West Coast. The Navy then saw an opportunity, and as they needed a Snr Fire Ftr for HMCS Vancouver, asked Mike if he was interested. Not one to say no to an opportunity for free cruises on the open seas, he said yes and was promptly posted to the shore office for Vancouver in March of 1993.
He then traveled with the ship's company to Halifax to pick up the ship and help get it ready for the trip to its homeport of Esquimalt. While on board he was recommended for the CFR plan and was commissioned in the rank of Lt on the 14th Feb 1994. He was then posted ashore until the start of his Officer training at CFB Chilliwack. On 26 May 1994 he was sent to the CF School of Military Engineering for an exhaustive 10 months of training and to learn how to eat correctly. Despite having the odd food mark on his uniform, he successfully completed the Officer training and in Mar 1995 was sent to CFB Shearwater as the Wing Fire Chief. While there he managed to justify the downsizing of the Fire Dept and in the process made the rank for the position of Fire Chief into a Senior NCM, so in July 1996 off he went again to CFB Trenton to take on the job of the Wing Fire Chief. While in Trenton the Fire Dept became part of 8 Airfield Engineering Squadron (8 AES) and Mike was now in charge of the 8 CFR Flight. Mike was promoted to Capt in 1998 and as an essential part of 8 AES, supplied personnel to assist in the Winnipeg floods. Mike participated as 2 i/c of 8 AES in providing critical assistance to the city of Montreal for the Ice Storm providing engineering and generator support for 21 days during the initial aftermath of the storm.
The Career Manager decided that Mike had been in Trenton long enough and in 2001 posted him to the CFFM offices at NDHQ Ottawa; he was posted to the position of CFFM 2-2 and among other duties, managed the Halon and RPP programs for the CFFM. During his stay at NDHQ he was tasked to perform two Technical Assistance Visits to Bosnia and was also the CFFM representative for contract reviews with respect to the CANCAP contract for deployments.
In Sept 2006, a request was made to have a Subject Matter Expert to assist DGPGP, while there Mike finalized some outstanding items for the Fire Ftr occupation, among them was preparation of an options paper for obtaining and employing deployed military Fire Ftrs, doing the final revision of the Fire Ftr OS, and finalizing the Job Descriptions to describe what the present occupation does in terms of provision of services to the CF.
Mike’s last working day will be the 18th April and he will officially retire on the 8th of May, he will be staying in Ottawa with Lorraine and as yet has made no decisions on a career after the CF. He is hoping that he will now have time to actually do some motorcycle touring and perhaps take a long overdue trip to Europe and the UK with Lorraine to visit family and relatives.