Plympton-Wyoming’s fire chief is resigning

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Steve Clemens

The Independent has learned Plympton-Wyoming Fire Chief Steve Clemens has resigned.

Clemens, who was the first full-time chief of the combined Plympton-Wyoming department, had been off on stress leave since July.

Clemens was hired in Jan 2017 and had been at the helm of the department when three senior firefighters were dismissed. Those firefighters say the were fired without reason. One had filed a sexual harassment charge after a number of confrontations with another senior officer in Wyoming. They’ve hired lawyers and the dismissals could be subject to a lawsuit.

The Independent obtained a copy of the news release the town is expecting to release today saying Clemens had resigned Oct. 23 – today – “to focus his efforts on his personal life and to pursue other professional opportunities.”

Mayor Lonny Napper, in the news release, thanked Clemens for “his valuable service and contributions” and wished him well.

The news release added the fire executive committee is looking at options to fill the vacancy.

The news comes on the heals of three months of work at the fire executive committee on some of the internal issues within the department, reworking the Safe Operating Guidelines.

Water and Ice rescues as well as silo rescues and hazardous materials situations were suspended due to lack of training. Other area departments will be called in for help with those types of emergencies. The committee says Plympton-Wyoming firefighters will only resume action in those situations after everyone completes training by a qualified third party trainer.

And both the Camlachie and Wyoming department have a new health and safety committee – a requirement under provincial law which had not been fulfilled.

The fire committee is also working to provide better PTSD and Peer-to-Peer support for the firefighters and their families, according to committee chair Councillor Bob Woolvett.