June 2nd - 4th 2023, Wolfville, Nova Scotia



Zac Ma


CFB Halifax Fire Department

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saturday 13:00 - 14:30 &1500 - 1630

Sunday 08:00 - 11:30 & 10:00 - 11:30

Department coverall required, with helmet and eye protection


"Introduction to the Artificial High Directional in Technical Rescue"

“Natural, improvised, and purpose-built high directionals are used to manage loads over edges and through openings. They can make otherwise impossible tasks possible.”

 Using two Arizona Vortexes (AHD) we will talk about the parts, the names of the parts, including the ratings of the equipment.  This is fundamental in gaining trust in the gear. Students will build, break down, and re-build then be timed. This drill is effective it because builds muscle memory of the steps involved and most importantly, students come to the realization that they are in fact able to build an AHD very quickly.  Often this piece of equipment is intimidating.  This drill may minimize the intimidation factor more than any other I have seen.


Finally, as a group, we will run through an evolution of a 90-degree edge transition incorporating all the lessons we have learned.  We will both raise up over and lower down over a 90-degree edge.

It would be beneficial for the student to have a basic understanding of rope rescue and MPD (Multi-purpose Device)



Zac Ma’s career in the fire service began in 2010. After graduating, Zac joined CFB Halifax Fire Department where he holds the rank of Lieutenant. Zac is a certified rope rescue technician, confined space technician, tower rescue technician and holds a current IRATA Level 1 certification. For the past three years, Zac has been developing and delivering the technical rescue program for CFB Halifax. Outside of implementing the technical rescue program at his fire department, Zac has had the opportunity to teach various disciplines including naval boarding party team members and mine rescue to mine workers. When Zac is not spending time with his wife and three children, he enjoys training for marathons and competing in GRIMP (International Tech Rescue Competitions). One competition took place in Los Angeles, California where the most elite technical rescue teams from Belgium, Germany and the U.S. competed on a decommissioned WWII battleship. The other technical rescue competition took him a bit further afoot to Taiwan where his team placed 8th out of 27. Zac has had the opportunity to teach technical rescue all over Canada, compete across the world and is now grateful to expand that region to include FDIC Atlantic.