FDNH personnel back on job after special meeting - Dec. 11, 2017
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Order has been restored and Fire Department of North Huron (FDNH) personnel are back on the job after a special meeting of North Huron Council Monday night at the Emergency Services Training Centre.
While the majority of the meeting was closed to the public, all members of the department were asked to be a part of it by council. The department's stance was communicated via an impassioned speech by Captain Jeff Howson.
It should be noted, however, that while FDNH personnel had verbally resigned from their positions, they still responded to two emergency calls afterwards, ensuring the community was looked after, according to firefighters.
Once in open session, council passed three motions, returning Acting Director of Fire Services/Fire Chief Mark Alderman to his post at the Training Centre and enacting legislation from a 2009 bylaw appointing Deputy-Chiefs Matt Townsend (Blyth) and Chad Kregar (Wingham) as co-Acting Directors of Fire Services/Fire Chiefs. Council also passed a motion stating that FDNH personnel would be actively involved in the hiring of the next chief.
Chief Administrative Officer Dwayne Evans explained the 2009 bylaw, saying that it defaulted duties to deputy-chiefs in the event that the fire chief resigned, so no appointment was necessary.
Howson said that when he spoke to council, it was important to communicate that what the department was doing was being done in the best interests of the North Huron community. He said he felt the message was heard loud and clear by council Monday night.
Shortly after 10 p.m. when the decision was made, North Huron issued a press release stating, "The Township of North Huron and the Fire Department of North Huron are pleased to announce that outstanding issued have been resolved. Effective immediately, the Fire Department of North Huron will resume full emergency services and the Township of North Huron has committed to engage the Fire Department of North Huron in future discussions related to the fire department.
"The Township of North Huron also wishes to announce that Deputy-Chiefs Matt Townsend and Chad Kregar will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Director of Emergency and Fire Services (Fire Chief) until a permanent replacement has been hired. The Township of North Huron also wishes to announce the appointment of Mark Alderman as Principal of the Emergency Services Training Centre effective immediately.
"On Nov. 24, 2017, former Chief Ryan Ladner resigned as Director of Fire and Emergency Services effective Dec. 11.
"North Huron Reeve Neil Vincent stated, 'The Township of North Huron truly values and appreciates the work of the Fire Department of North Huron. North Huron Council is very pleased the situation has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.
"FDNH personnel are pleased with the common ground resolved and a positive outcome for our community."
For the full story, see the Dec. 14 issue of The Citizen.