Skaling proud to be elected Can­ning fire chief

For­mer chief Weis­ner to re­main val­ued as­set to or­ga­ni­za­tion

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA CAN­NING, N.S. [email protected]

He is proud to take over the helm of the Can­ning Fire Depart­ment and says the for­mer chief will re­main a val­ued mem­ber of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and a great re­source.

The Can­ning depart­ment’s elec­tion pro­ce­dure be­gan with nom­i­na­tions in Oc­to­ber and was fi­nal­ized at a meet­ing on Dec. 17. Jeff Skaling was elected chief with re­spon­si­bil­i­ties tak­ing ef­fect on Jan. 1. In Can­ning, the fire chief and other se­nior of­fi­cers are elected to two- year terms.

“It’s a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity be­ing chief, so you have to take that in stride,” Skaling said.

He will take over from Rick Weis­ner, who served as chief for the past decade and, be­fore that, as deputy chief for 18 years. Skaling said he feels proud to have been elected to take con­trol of the depart­ment’s reigns.

Dur­ing Weis­ner’s time as chief, Skaling and Scott Cruick­shank served as deputies. Skaling said they worked well to­gether and made a great team, some­thing he is con­fi­dent will con­tinue now that Scott Cruick­shank has been elected deputy chief and Mark Cruick­shank has moved up to as­sis­tant deputy chief.

“Luck­ily, we share the work­load very well,” Skaling said. “Our whole depart­ment is like that, we’re re­ally for­tu­nate we’ve got a good group of peo­ple at Can­ning.”

He said Weis­ner would re­main with the depart­ment and will be “an in­cred­i­bly valu­able as­set” even though he is no longer chief. Skaling said he would be keep­ing Weis­ner on speed dial.

“His wis­dom will be no fur­ther away than a phone call,” Skaling said.

As with al­most any vol­un­teer group, es­pe­cially within the fire ser­vice, Skaling said it’s get­ting harder and harder to find and re­tain vol­un­teers. They cur­rently have 40 mem­bers but, with the new fire hall, they have room for sev­eral more. Skaling said the depart­ment’s mem­bers are very ded­i­cated, con­tribut­ing thou­sands of vol­un­teer hours each year.

Be­cause there was such lim­ited space in the old hall, the depart­ment’s present by­laws cap mem­ber­ship at 50. One of Skaling’s goals as chief is to com­plete a re­view of the by­laws and make amend­ments where ap­pro­pri­ate, such as to the max­i­mum num­ber of mem­bers. A com­mit­tee has been struck to un­der­take the work. It’s been about eight years since the by­laws have been re­viewed.

Skaling said with the re­cent con­struc­tion of the multi com­plex that now houses the fire depart­ment, they don’t plan to spend a lot of money tack­ling other cap­i­tal projects for a while. How­ever, some money was saved through strin­gent bud­get­ing dur­ing the con­struc­tion project and this will be used to pave the rear fire­fighter park­ing area in 2019. The depart­ment’s crest was re­cently added and flag­poles will be put up in front of the build­ing in the spring.

“We had to cut some things dur­ing the build­ing project to make sure we stayed within bud­get and now we will be able to grad­u­ally com­plete those lit­tle projects go­ing for­ward,” Skaling said.

FILE PHOTO

Jeff Skaling has been elected chief of the Can­ning Fire Depart­ment. He be­gins his new role on Jan. 1.

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