Fire department releases video on mayday training

Fire department releases video on mayday training

The intention of the video is to stress the importance of training and preventing future incidents

Berkeley Fire Department

FOLSOM, Calif. — The Berkeley Fire Department, Cahill Multimedia and EVALS Learning Management System released an After Actions Video that explains the Channing Way Mayday Event.

The term mayday was adopted by the fire service from the Maritime Industry and means “Help Me” after being translated from its French origin.

The three-alarm fire at a historic East Bay church was the result of a wind-driven fire that concluded with a partial collapse, a mayday and a near-catastrophic loss of a firefighter.

Following the ​mayday at the Channing Way fire last fall, the Berkeley Fire Department identified a number of factors that contributed to both the near-miss, but also factors that possibly saved a firefighter’s life once he was in a bad situation. The forward-thinking department partnered with EVALS and Cahill Multimedia in order to share their story with their own agency, as well as the entire fire service.

“The intention of the video is to provide first-hand accounts from the people involved in the mayday and to stress the importance of training in the outcome of the incident and in preventing future incidents. The video is not intended to critique or criticize tactics or individuals,” Deputy Chief Dave Brannigan said.

Incidents like these are thoroughly investigated by specially trained teams to find out what happened and what may have caused the incident to happen. The lessons learned are then disseminated in a report.

“The spirit of the After Actions Video is to augment the official reports, to make the story of the incident more accessible,” James Doyle, a co-founder of EVALS, said. “Not everyone will sit down and read a 200 page report, but they might watch a video. We believe that AAVs provide an engagement level far beyond the traditional method currently being used in post incident training. Watching AAVs can enhance learning by creating more interested and vested participants.”

Jason Cahill of Cahill Multimedia and a fire captain with 17 years on the job stated, “Sometimes you can do everything right and still die, for every other situation what you know will be the PPE that saves your ass.”

Chief Brannigan concluded that, “As a department, a positive result of a near-miss is to analyze and share what we learned, both negative and positive, and then plan training to address any identified issues.”

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Fire Halls in Abbotsford BC

Suppression

The Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is responsible for the prevention and suppression of fires; the mitigation of the effects of dangerous goods incidents; assisting in the rescue of people from potentially dangerous situations; and assisting with medical emergencies.

The Fire Rescue Service operates under the direction of the Fire Chief, who reports to the Mayor, and Council through the City Manager. The department is dispatched by the Fraser Valley Regional Fire Dispatch Centre, which receives calls from the 911 Operators.

The Department operates 8 Fire Halls. Career fire fighters are assisted by auxiliary fire fighters who are paged when required. Career fire fighters operate out of Fire Hall 1, Fire Hall 2, Fire Hall 6 and Fire Hall 8, with one engine each. Career staffing enables the Fire Rescue Service to provide 24-hour year-round emergency response capabilities for fires, rescues, and other emergencies.

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Fire Hall Locations

Fire Hall No. 1 (Clearbrook)

Fire Hall 1, located in Clearbrook, is the main fire hall, housing administration, fire prevention, and the training division.  Fire Hall 1, as one of four career staffed fire halls in the City, has suppression fire fighters on duty 24 hours a day.

32270 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, BC   V2T 2L1
Telephone: 604-853-3566
Fax: 604-853-8452
Location Map

Fire Hall No. 2 (Sumas Prairie)

Fire Hall 2, as one of four career staffed fire halls in the City, has suppression fire fighters on duty 24 hours a day.

35995 North Parallel Road
Abbotsford, BC   V3G 2E3
Telephone: 604-855-4112
Fax: 604-852-4773
Location Map

Fire Hall No. 3 (Aberdeen)

Fire hall 3 has a complement of auxiliary fire fighters, notified by pager, to assist with emergency response to the south/west section of Abbotsford.  Fire Hall 3 auxiliary members will also respond to any area of the city when required.

28465 Fraser Highway
Abbotsford, BC   V0X 1A0
Telephone: 604-856-1541
Fax: 604-856-1591
Location Map

Fire Hall No. 4 (Matsqui Village)

Fire Hall 4 has a complement of auxiliary fire fighters, notified by pager, to assist with emergency response to the north/east section of Abbotsford.  Fire Hall 4 auxiliary members will also respond to any area of the city when required.

5775 Wallace Street
Abbotsford, BC  V0X 1S0
Telephone: 604-826-4772
Fax: 604-826-4372

Location Map

Fire Hall No. 5 (Mt. Lehman)

Fire Hall 5 has a complement of auxiliary fire fighters, notified by pager, to assist with emergency response to the north/west section of Abbotsford.  Fire Hall 5 auxiliary members will also respond to any area of the city when required.

30373 Merryfield Ave
Abbotsford, BC   V0X 1V0
Telephone: 604-856-3786
Fax: 604-856-3795

Location Map

Fire Hall No. 6 (Abbotsford)

Fire Hall 6, as one of four career staffed fire halls in the City, has suppression fire fighters on duty 24 hours a day.  There are auxiliary firefighters assigned to Fire Hall 6 to assist with emergency calls when required.

2427 West Railway Street
Abbotsford, BC   V2S 2E3
Telephone: 604-853-5868
Fax:604-852-2973

Location Map

Fire Hall No. 7 (Sandy Hill)

Fire Hall 7 has a complement of auxiliary fire fighters, notified by pager, to assist with emergency response to the east section of Abbotsford.  Fire Hall 7 auxiliary members will also respond to any area of the city when required.

34989 Old Clayburn Road
Abbotsford, BC   V2S 6W7
Telephone: 604-855-0614
Fax: 604-851-5056

Location Map

Fire Hall No. 8 (Blueridge) New Fire Hall

Fire Hall 8 as one of four career staffed fire halls in the City, has suppression fire fighters on duty 24 hours a day.

30811 Blueridge Drive
Abbotsford, BC
Telephone: 604-855-7911
Fax: 604-855-7988

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service Training Centre

1544 Riverside Road
Abbotsford, BC  V2S 8J2
Telephone: 604-859-6610
Fax:  604-859-6680
Location Map

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List of BC Fire Training Programs

Please find a list of Firefighter and First Responder Schools located in the across Canada where you can obtain some of the basic requirements for employment as a firefighter with municipalities like the City of Surrey and City of Abbotsford.

By no means is this list complete or fully comprehensive. Instead it is meant to be an introduction to getting you started on your fire fighting and first responders career. If you are intending to pursue either career please do your research. It’s important to know that only 6% of people who enter professional fire fighters and first responders careers actually make it to a full time postition. If you are considering attending any of these institutions, we recommend you research them and confirm that they remain in good standing with their governing body.

All websites will open in new windows.

Learn more about International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)

For more information on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

list-of-fire-training-in-bc

CPAT Overview for Abbotsford BC

Here’s a great resource to get started on the first step towards becoming a fire fighter for municipalities like the City of Abbotsford.

CPAT Overview

THE IAFF/IAFC FIRE SERVICE JOINT LABOR MANAGEMENT
CANDIDATE PHYSICAL ABILITY TEST PROGRAM
In 1997, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC) teamed up with 10 major North American fire services and unions to create the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed to test fire fighter candidates on their ability to perform simulated tasks consistent with the duties of a fire fighter. The test is designed to ensure that candidates possess the physical ability to complete the critical and essential tasks of fire fighting.
The CPAT consists of eight (8) separate events performed in a continuous manner.
The CPAT test is a pass/fail event. The CPAT must be completed in 10 minutes 20 seconds (or less) with each event completed correctly.
Certificate
The CPAT certificate is issued onsite after successful completion of the test. The CPAT certificate issued by the City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is valid for 1 year from the date of successful completion of the test.  Charges may apply for replacement of a certificate.

CPAT Weights and Clothing

The entire CPAT is completed while wearing a 50 pound (22.68 kg) vest to simulate the weight of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and fire fighter protective clothing.  An additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5 pound (5.67 kg) weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), is added only for the stair climb event.
What to wear for CPAT Testing and Walk-Thru Orientations?
Throughout all events, the candidate must wear long pants and footwear with no open heel or toe. A hard hat with chin strap, work gloves will be provided. Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.
CPAT Tools and Equipment
All props were designed to obtain the necessary information regarding a candidate’s physical ability to complete fire fighting tasks.  The tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring the candidate’s physical abilities.
CPAT Event Sequence and Timing
The events of the CPAT are placed in a sequence that best simulates their use in a fire scene. The test consists of a series of eight events separated by an 85 foot (25.91 m) walk between each event.  This walk allows the candidate approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.  To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent you from hitting exhaustion, no running is allowed between events.

To ensure scoring accuracy by eliminating timer failure, two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stopwatch; the second is the backup stopwatch. If mechanical failure occurs, the time on the backup stopwatch is used. The stopwatches are set to a pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the candidate is deemed to have failed the test.

Medical Clearance Request

To minimize the health risk, candidates are required to consult with a medical professional to ascertain an opinion on their ability to partake in CPAT testing.
The Candidate must bring completed Medical Clearance Request Form to the CPAT Test session. Candidate will NOT be permitted for testing without Completed Medical Form.
This form must be completed by a medical doctor (general medical practitioner). Any costs incurred in this examination or the completion of this form is the sole responsibility of the candidate.
Fees
  • CPAT session is $230.00 CND plus applicable taxes.
  • Walk-through Orientation is $40.00 CND plus applicable taxes.

CPAT Refund and Cancellation Policy

  • Once payment is received and testing is booked, payment is non-refundable.
  • Partial payment will be refunded for medical reasons only. Requests for refunds must be received at least 72 hrs prior to the scheduled test date. Requests for refunds must be in writing and accompanied by a medical doctor’s written verification that you are unable to test due to injury/illness.  A $50.00 administration fee will be deducted from the refund. Refund requests should be emailed to cpat@abbotsford.ca.
  • Approved refunds will be issued via cheque and mailed to your account address. No refunds will be given to individuals who take the CPAT but are unsuccessful.
  • The City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service reserves the right to change or cancel scheduled dates. Notification will be sent via email to the address used during the registration process. Registrants will be placed into the next available date, with the option to reschedule.
  • The information on the registration form is collected for internal purposes only and will remain confidential.
CPAT Booking Policy
Sessions cannot be rescheduled within 72 hours of the scheduled testing. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in the forfeiture of course fees.
 Privacy Policy
Personal information is collected for the administration of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service programs only, as authorized under Section 26 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  The City of Abbotsford does not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual whom the information is about or otherwise in accordance with law. The City of Abbotsford retains personal information only as long as necessary for the purposes of this program and as required under the Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact the Information & Privacy Co-ordinator at 604-864-5575, City of Abbotsford, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC V2T 1W7.

Preparing for the CPAT

The CPAT simulates the physically demanding tasks of fire fighting. As such, successful completion of the CPAT requires a high degree of physical fitness in the areas of aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and balance.
In order to ensure successful completion of the CPAT all candidates should view the CPAT Orientation videos review the CPAT Orientation Guide. The CPAT Candidate Preparation Guide provides information on how to physically prepare for the CPAT test.
It is the responsibility of all candidates to arrive at their scheduled test date familiar with the CPAT sequence of events, requirements of each event and the criteria which constitute a pass or fail at each event.
Remember that it is the responsibility of the candidate to be familiar with CPAT procedures and expectations prior to your scheduled CPAT date. Since CPAT guidelines specify that all applicants must be given an opportunity to attend 2 Orientation sessions within eight weeks prior to scheduled CPAT, any candidates registering less than 8 weeks in advance must complete the Waiver of Orientation form.
It is your responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand any part of the CPAT events or procedures.

CPAT Walk-through Orientation Only (THIS IS NOT A CPAT TEST)

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) provides the foremost opportunity for applicants to prepare for the CPAT. Candidates booking a test date 8 weeks or longer have the opportunity to register for a scheduled walk-through orientation sessions within eight weeks prior to their CPAT date.
The Walk-through Orientation session provides you the opportunity to view the CPAT events, talk with instructors, physically examine test equipment, tools and props and practice. The Orientations are conducted in small groups and pre-registration and payment is required. Note: this is not a test nor a practice run. This is optional and is not required prior to the Test.

Pre-Screening

CPAT test day, pre-exercise heart rate will be measured. If pre-exercise heart rate >110 bpm, you will not be allowed to proceed with the CPAT. Please be advised that certain substances may elevate heart rate (caffeine, smoking, energy drinks some over the counter cold medications) and it is recommended to avoid these substances the day of your Timed Trial/CPAT test.
Testing Schedule

It is RECOMMENDED that if you are requiring CPAT for any hiring occurring within the next 3 months,  book one of the soonest dates available as it is first come first serve and there is no guarantee that CPAT dates will be available at the time of your hiring.

NOTE: Mobile (iPhone etc.) and Mac Computer (Safari browser) equipment might not be compatible with this website, when booking and making payment for the test, use standard computer.

Testing Location

1544 Riverside Road
Abbotsford, BC

Contact Us

CPAT information or inquiry Email cpat@abbotsford.ca   NO PHONE CALLS

Business Addresses and Phone Numbers
Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service
 32270 George Ferguson Way
 Abbotsford BC
 V2T 2L1
 Phone: 604-853-3566 (office hrs 0830-1630, M-F)
 Fax: 604-853-7941 or 604-853-8452
City of Abbotsford, Collections Department
 32315 South Fraser Way
 Abbotsford, BC
 V2T 1W7
 Phone: 604-864-5522 (office hrs 0830-1630, M-F)
 Fax: 604-853-8505
sturcture-firefighters-playbook

Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook

Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook

The purpose of the BC Firefighters Training Playbook is to ensure competency in a very high risk position. Under paragraph 3(3)(b) of the Fire Services Act (B.C.), the Fire Commissioner is required to establish the minimum standards of training required for fire services personnel in British Columbia. This Playbook sets out a competency-based ladder that provides for a minimum level of sequential training and operational requirements that must be met by each fire department. The Authority Having Jurisdiction will set the Service Level (refer to pages 10, 17 and 18) to be provided by its fire department, which in turn determines the minimum training Competencies that must be met by that department. The Playbook establishes the minimum training Competencies required and the standards from which they are drawn.

You can read the full playbook here,  Structure Firefighters Competency and Training Playbook.

Fire-training-and-the-need-for-volunteers

Fire Training – Need for Volunteer Firefighters

Training will soon be front and centre at the Dominion Volunteer Fire Department.

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Scott Duffney, who will be taking over the role of fire chief as of Wednesday, said his focus will be to increase training.

“Investing in and developing our officers who are there right now.”

Duffney said they do weekly training now but he wants more members trained in Level 1 firefighting and other courses through the Nova Scotia Firefighters School in Waverley.

He wants to reenergize the training program with the help of former chief and now training officer Murray McNeil.

Duffney, 44, moved to Dominion 10 years ago and joined the fire department.

“I moved to Dominion and was looking to give back to the community and get involved.”

Ten years later, he’s still glad he did.

“It’s the group of people that are in it, a fantastic group,” he said. “Volunteering in a community is one of the best feelings, knowing you are doing something good for the community.”

Duffney, who was a captain with the fire department for five years, has also spent time as its treasurer, fire prevention officer and training officer.

He was nominated and accepted the position of chief during the December monthly meeting.

There are currently 28 members in the fire department.

“The fact they have that confidence in me was definitely a feel good moment,” he said. “Leading up to it knowing I was going to be nominated and would be accepting it I was a little anxious but that’s just the body’s normal response in taking on something new and bigger but I’m up for it.”

He said the increased focus on training will also involve the ice and water rescue units.

“We believe water and ice rescues are areas that need more focus and as a result have someone that can focus solely on that,” he said of the new director of technical rescue operations Brendan Burke.

“We are also looking into expanding into other areas of emergency response.”

Duffney said he also wants to revamp the recruiting process.

“Recruitment and retention in a small town volunteer fire department is one of the biggest challenges we have.”

He said one way to work on recruiting is through the junior firefighter program which is open to young people between the ages of 16-18.

“It gives young people an opportunity to try it out within safe parameters to see if it’s something they’d be interested in.”

A junior firefighter takes part in training and responds to calls, although school hours play a part in when they are available.

“They would definitely be assisting and participating in emergency response.”

A person must be 18 years old to become a regular member of the department.

He said the last time the junior program was in place they had four members and two transitioned into the regular membership.

Duffney said he’s looking forward to his role as chief, adding there is something special about the Dominion firefighters.

“Their willingness in helping the community. Anytime the community requests anything of us we’re always right there to help.”

napili bay snorkeling

Sail Maui – Molokini Snorkeling

As with all business people, everyone needs some R & R. Recently, our family took a vacation to the beautiful island of Maui. Not only did we get to enjoy the island but Sail Maui took us on our dream vacation.

We also were able to take in one of the amazing Sail Maui Tours, the Molokini Snorkeling Tour.  Molokini is one of Maui’s most incredible snorkeling destinations. The unique, crescent shaped crater is a natural marine preserve, and is home to over 250 species of tropical fish. Sail Maui combines the elements of performance sailing in the trade winds with snorkeling in the protected, crystal clear water at Molokini crater for a truly outstanding experience.

We were able to discover Molokini aboard Paragon II, where your trip included a continental breakfast on the leisurely sail across Ma’alaea Bay. While eating our amazing local fresh fruit and baked goods, we took in the stunning landscape that makes Maui special. We hoping to go back sometime between December and May when it’s whale season and hopefully spot humpback whales as they swim nearby. While at Molokini, swim, snorkel, and rinse off with our fresh water shower. After snorkeling, we’ll invite you to indulge in a full lunch buffet and refresh with a variety of beverages, including wine and local beer.

Aboard Paragon II we had the experience and the thrill of a lifetime! Our Molokini snorkel trip was one of the best parts of our trip to Maui. Already can’t wait to go back! :)

12-SEO-Tips-For-Beginners

12 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips for Beginners

We came across a great article, 12 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips for Beginners by Constructiv Works Inc. We’re excited to try to implement some of these skills in our blog and website to help improve who finds us. It will be interesting to see where we are at in the next 12 – 18 months.

We hope you enjoyed the article as much as we did. Read the article here or in it’s entirety below.

 

12 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips – On-Page SEO Tips for Beginners

 

It’s no secret that On-Page SEO is an essential part of ranking well in search engines, helping drive users to your business website, and in turn, bringing in new customers. The following is  the 12 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips for Beginners. These tips and tricks can help you gain Google’s trust, and give your blog post the page authority to climb right up the rankings, maybe even to page one.

1) Use Your Keywords On The Page

Make sure the terms you want to rank for are present on the page, either exactly or in a variation of the keyword, is key. For example, if your website is about an ‘auto body shop in albany’, make sure that information is on the home page.

It is important to note though, that the days of stuffing a keyword or phrase into every other sentence is long over. In fact, Google’s Hummingbird updates primary goal was to sniff out, and penalize sites that use keywords excessively, and recognize synonyms as well. So make sure your copy reads natural, using alt-text and headings that relate, but isn’t an obvious attempt at adding more keywords to your post or page.

2) Link Out To and Authority Site

Linking out to an authority site that relates to the information you are providing is a great way to prove to Google that you are aiming to provide real value, and are worthy of trust. Select a phrase in your copy and link it to a page that relates on wikipedia, another authority site, or a .gov or .edu site to raise in the SERPs faster!

3) Pay Attention To Image File Names, and Alt Text.

It’s a good idea to name your picture and images in a descriptive way, avoiding names like ’01.jpg’, opting instead for names like ‘car-in-shop.jpg’ or ‘newly-painted-car.jpg’. This is also important when adding alt text to your pictures, avoid using it to stuff keywords, instead use a descriptive phrase that relates to the keyword.

4) Add A Promotional Video

Adding a video to your home page, preferably above the fold, can be very helping in on-page SEO. You see, the time a user stays on your site actually affects your sites ranking. A video can help visitors hang around longer, giving your site a good boost in SERPs. Some video hosting sites that can also help is using Vimeo or Youtube to host the video, optimizing for search and then embedding it on your own website.

On-page SEO is essential to ensuring your business website is working, bringing in new customers. These tips can help you be on your way to ranking well in search engines.

5) Use the Power of Social Media – Integrate Share, Like and Tweet Buttons

In September 2013 Google launched the Hummingbird Algorithm update, and with it the search giant quietly began factoring in social signals as proof of the quality of the content on a site. Linking your site to popular social media platforms is an important part of SEO. By providing your readers with like, share, tweet and pin buttons will encourage users to share your content, building your social proof, and increasing your search rankings.

6) Write Useful Content People Want To Read & Share

With social proof now factoring in search results, writing shareable content is an important part of keeping your site on top. Take the time to write quality content that your readers will find useful, and will want to share, increasing your social proof, and gaining Google’s trust.

In fact, it’s pretty useless to spend loads of money on links, and SEO if your content isn’t interesting, useful, or well written. Create real, actionable information, presented in easy to understand language, and broken down to bite sized quips, helping your readers get true value from your site.

7) Pictures, Infographics and Bullet Points

Breaking up your text with related bullet points, pictures, diagrams, graphs or illustrations is a great way to increase engagement, and keep users on your site longer – a metric Google uses to measure the value of your content. Most users are pretty impatient, even if your content is AMAZING, if it isn’t broken up with pictures, graphs and diagrams many will shy away from 500+ words of solid text.

Taking the time to create a few useful info graphics for your content or tutorial can help you climb the search ranks much more quickly.

8) Create Unique Title and Description Meta Tags for Each Page

Make sure your title and description tags are unique on a page level, reflecting the content unique to the page or post. These tags, hidden away at the head of your web page, contain the text that is shown in search results, playing a key part of on-page SEO, and is the first impression users will have on your website. Taking the time to plan, write, and word the tags properly can increase CTR exponentially.

9) Internal Linking – Link Pages and Posts Using Relevant Anchor Text

Interlinking your website pages and posts is a great

way to get more pages indexed, and ranking, helping to boost the ranking of the inner pages, helping your site rank on a page level. This increases the number of terms you can rank for, potentially increasing your traffic by leaps and bounds.
If you mention a term explained in another post, take the time link to it using a relevant term, boosting the rank and authority of both posts.

10) Add a Blog to Your Website & Update It Regularly

Adding a blog to your website is a great way to keep Google interested in your site, and raise the crawl rate to get your new content indexed faster. You see, Google isn’t that interested in static website that stay the same year in and year out, playing favorites with newer content and regularly updated websites.
Blogging provides website owners with a way to tap into this preference, providing regular new content, and ranking for more keywords than would be possible with a static website.

11) Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

Having a mobile friendly site is no longer really optional, not if you want to rank well in search engines. April 2015 saw Google’s latest update, also known as Mobilegeddon in SEO circles, penalizing websites that were not accessible on mobile devices, and with over 50% of users accessing the internet via smart-phone or tablet, it only makes sense.

A fully responsive, mobile ready website is essential to ensuring your site dominates search results.

12) Use Schema Mark-up for Stronger Local SEO

Local businesses and service providers who hope to dominate local search results should add schemas to their pages to boost local search rankings. Schemas were specially developed to help search engines understand your websites content more thoroughly, this includes the address and linked social media pages. Adding the relevant schemas to the address, phone number, email and relevant linked social media accounts can help with search, and Google Map rankings.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions. Gary