Brooke-Alvinston will hire a part-time fire chief.
Council approved the move at an in camera session Feb. 23. Administrator/Clerk Janet Denkers will work with a retired investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office to set out the guidelines for the new chief and recruit the right person for the job.
Council has set aside $10,000 to find the new part-time employee. And Denkers says the salary for the position is already in the 2017 budget, although officials declined to say how much the new part-time chief might be paid before the hiring takes place.
The move comes after a report by the fire marshal’s office. Investigators spent several weeks looking at both the Alvinston and Inwood departments and issued 27 recommendations.
Many of the recommendations dealt with administrative and training problems including not filing reports on fires and having different operating procedures and the lack of up-to-date training for some members of the two departments.
McGugan has said he would like most of the recommendations in the Ontario Fire Marshal’s report dealt with in one year.
In January, council discussed the idea of merging the two departments under one chief and asked administration to come up with a possible job description and salary for the new Brooke-Alvinston employee.
Mayor Don McGugan says the new part-time chief’s main responsibility will be to take care of the administrative work and to merge the departments into one unit with common practices.
Denkers expects the new chief will be hired by June, “if not sooner.”
Brooke-Alvinston becomes the second Lambton municipality to hire an administrative chief in the last few months. Plympton-Wyoming hired a full-time chief in January to handle the administrative duties for the volunteer department. Steve Clemens is also overseeing the merger of the Wyoming and Camlachie departments.