Brooke-Alvinston looking for a fire chief; current chief ‘welcome to apply’

Jeff McArthur

There could be a new face at the helm of the Brooke-Alvinston fire department by the end of June.
A report to council says the contract of the current chief, Jeff McArthur, expires at the end of July.
McArthur came to the position in 2017 after the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office investigated the Alvinston and Inwood departments. Officials found a laundry list of issues, many of which had to do with record keeping and training.
The OFM also recommended the two departments merge with one part time administrative chief overseeing the two stations.
Council agreed and Brooke Fire Rescue came into being. But it has been a bumpy ride.
The new chief faced opposition from Inwood firefighters as he pushed for more training. Firefighters were restricted from some duties at fires because their training was not up-to-date. The issue eventually led to the resignation of 16 Inwood firefighters and the municipality moving the equipment out of the community’s fire hall.
The plan has been to build a fire bay at the local library, however Mayor Dave Ferguson has said there needs to be a conversation about the level of service needed in the municipality.
On Feb. 27, McArthur brought a report to council asking for support to maintain a presence in Inwood, but council didn’t not commit to that.
During his tenure, McArthur also took on the role of part-time fire chief in Southwold Township, where his family lives and works.
Brooke-Alvinston Administrator Janet Denkers says McArthur is welcome to apply for the position, like other internal and external applicants, by mid June.
The Independent contacted the current Brooke Fire Rescue chief, however, he has not returned our calls.