Plympton-Wyoming considering full-time fire chief

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Firefighter Tom Gibson helps his wife, Rhonda, out of the new truck.Firefighter Tom Gibson helps his wife, Rhonda, out of the new truck.

Plympton-Wyoming is considering whether it needs a full-time fire chief.

The issue was raised by the municipality’s new Chief Administrative Officer Carolyn Tripp in a report she completed after reviewing the municipality’s services.

Tripp says while the department has merged in name, there are still two chiefs and  “this approach has not facilitated the melding of the two stations.”

Tripp suggested a new full time chief would be the administrative head of the department and would be responsible for the increasing amount of paperwork fire chiefs are facing. “This would be the administrative head do the budgeting and make sure the training would continue,” she says

The full-time officer would also be responsible for fire prevention work and fire inspections.

The CAO the current chiefs would remain in place as heads of the stations, directing the firefighters there and maintaining a sense of community within the two stations.  “I know the association raises a lot of money in Wyoming for example…any equipment purchased by that association would remain in the station,” she added.

Mayor Lonny Napper says the municipality has talked about the idea before “skirting around it” when it eventually appointed Mike Vasey as the chief in Wyoming.

“Perhaps it’s time for one chief so we’ll get some continuity across the building inspection and training areas,” says Napper.

And he says it may not be a huge cost increase either because Plympton-Wyoming is “already paying people to do training and inspections.”

Napper’s main concern is how much extra work the local chiefs are doing because of changing provincial legislation. “They put in their time out there and write report after report…in the last five or six years the province has changed what they’re expected to do.”

Tripp will research the idea and write a report outlining the proposed duties of a full-time fire chief and what it might cost.

She says if council approves of the idea, it would be possible to have a new chief working in Plympton-Wyoming by the end of 2016.

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