Vol­un­teer fire chiefs re­in­stated

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - RON GRECH

The Con­naught dis­trict fire chief along with the chief and deputy chief of the Tim­mins vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers have been re­in­stated fol­low­ing a re­view of their ter­mi­na­tion last month.

Dis­trict Chief Kris Ouel­lette, of the Con­naught ser­vice, was ter­mi­nated in early Oc­to­ber, about a week af­ter Dis­trict Chief Daniel Savard and Dis­trict Deputy Chief Mau­rice La­gace of the Tim­mins vol­un­teers were dis­missed from their po­si­tions.

All three ap­pealed their ter­mi­na­tions, prompt­ing a re­view by the city’s head of per­son­nel.

They were no­ti­fied on Wed­nes­day that their ap­peals were suc­cess­ful.

“The re­view of all three dis­missals did not up­hold the ter­mi­na­tions,” Dave Lan­ders, the city’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, told The Daily Press. “Dis­trict Chief Kris Ouel­lette, Dis­trict Chief Daniel Savard, and Dis­trict Deputy Chief Mau­rice La­gace have been fully re­in­stated with the fire ser­vice and no­tice to the fire ser­vice em­ploy­ees and vol­un­teers were sent out yes­ter­day (Thurs­day).”

Their re­sump­tion of du­ties is ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

A source close to the sit­u­a­tion in Con­naught told The Daily Press last month the ter­mi­na­tion of the chief there re­lated to a long-stand­ing prac­tice of al­low­ing the vol­un­teers to claim a re­bate on things like cloth­ing and gas.

Af­ter the chief there was fired, the Con­naught vol­un­teers walked out en masse, fil­ing their res­ig­na­tions in protest, with the view their chief had been “wrong­fully ter­mi­nated.”

The eight vol­un­teers agreed to re­turn to work af­ter an emer­gency meet­ing with Lan­ders and Mayor Steve Black.

Lan­ders said dur­ing the chiefs’ month-long ab­sence, the cap­tains filled in to over­see hall op­er­a­tions and train­ing.

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