Ontario Fire Marshal's office say enough volunteer firefighters remain in Gogama

Ontario Fire Marshal's office say enough volunteer firefighters remain in Gogama
CBC News

An official with the Ontario Fire Marshal's office says there are enough volunteer firefighters left in the community of Gogama to protect the town.

Earlier this month, the entire volunteer fire department announced they were resigning en masse. The 11 firefighters, including chief Mike Benson, said they were quitting effective Dec. 1.
 
Art Booth with the Ontario Fire Marshal's office says a number of resignations have since been rescinded.
 
"Our expectation is on Saturday … that a number of those firefighters minus the three resignations that we do have will be able to respond to emergencies in Gogama," he said.
 
In the meantime, Booth says volunteers are needed.
 
"We encourage … that anybody who wishes to volunteer to support the fire services and emergency response in Gogama, we would appreciate hearing from them," he said.
 
'Inadequate'
 
Current fire chief Mike Benson says he still plans to resign. He says he decided to resign as tensions have been escalating between him and the Local Services Board since 2015. That year, a CN train derailed, spilling oil in the nearby Makami River.
 
He says until more volunteers are found, he's worried about crews being able to respond to emergencies.
 
"It's absolutely inadequate," he said.
 
"We were hard pressed sometimes to respond to emergencies. We never missed one but we have gone with staff where we could have used one or two other people."