Firemen tarnished by ad scammers

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  • Aug. 24, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Submitted

The Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) is recommending Alberta businesses use caution when asked to purchase advertising space in magazines purporting to represent fire fighters and fire services.

“We do not issue this alert lightly,” says AFCA executive director Bill Purdy. “In the past year one company sold thousands of dollars of advertising and never delivered a publication to anyone. Some businesses have recently received invoices for advertising they never agreed to; in fact they were never even contacted by the publishing company. Others have been contacted by salespeople who imply that they are practicing firefighters in order to gain trust with the advertiser. Organizations using such business practices are not associated with the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association.”

The AFCA has one official publication, The Gazette. It is published by Rose Country Advertising & Public Relations of Edmonton. Companies interested in advertising, should contact Rose Country 780-451-5670 or the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association.

“We depend upon a good relationship with the business community” adds Purdy. “Over 80 per cent of Alberta’s firefighters are volunteers. Most have to take time off work to respond to emergency calls and we need the support of businesses to enable them to do that. When unscrupulous people take advantage of these generous businesses, it creates problems for all of us.”

“These publishers are taking advantage of the goodwill that exists between fire fighters and their communities. Everyone wants to help their local firefighters and emergency services. All the members of the AFCA really appreciate that support and sincerely regret that some people are capitalizing and making money on that great relationship,” Purdy said.

If a business is contacted (usually by telephone) and asked to purchase advertising for a firefighting, fire safety, or emergency services publication, Purdy says to ask questions. If you are not satisfied with the answers, call the AFCA before spending your money (780-719-7939). If you receive an unsolicited invoice, don’t pay it and advise the AFCA.

The Alberta Fire Chiefs Association represents more than 350 fire departments in Alberta and more than 13,500 firefighters. This includes approximately 10,000 volunteer and 3,500 full-time firefighters.

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