Whitewater fire heads step down
Whitewater fire heads step down
July 26, 2017
The Daily Observer
Article by: Stephen Uhler
 
Sean Chase/Daily Observer
Whitewater Region firefighters extinguish hot spots after flames ripped through this two-storey residence on Hume Street in Beachburg in February. The chief and deputy chief of the department have resigned from their positions.

Sean Chase/Daily Observer Whitewater Region firefighters extinguish hot spots after flames ripped through this two-storey residence on Hume Street in Beachburg in February. The chief and deputy chief of the department have resigned from their positions.

 
On Monday afternoon during a special meeting, township council received the notice of retirement from Fire Chief Wayne Heubner and resignation of Deputy Fire Chief Mike Moore, which was effective immediately.
 
A meeting was held later that evening with volunteer firefighters to inform them of the changes. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management was also notified.
 
No explanation of the reasons behind the decision was made publicly, and efforts to contact the parties involved before press time were unsuccessful.

In a press release announcing the shake up, the township stated senior staff and council are reviewing options for an acting chief to ensure continuity in leadership during this transition, while an appointment for a new chief will be forthcoming.

 
The township recently embarked on a Fire Master Plan process to provide a long-term plan for fire services in Whitewater Region. Consultation sessions were held with volunteers at each of the five stations last week.

Robert Tremblay, Whitewater's chief administrative officer/clerk said the township is committed to the safety of Whitewater Region through continued effective delivery of emergency services.

 
“We thank emergency services personnel for their work as well as their cooperation throughout the planning process and transition in leadership,” he said.

The Whitewater Region Fire Department consists of 75 trained volunteers and a part time chief and deputy chief. It operates out of five stations spread throughout the township: Haley Station. Cobden, Foresters Falls, Beachburg and Westmeath.

In February, council announced the township's Fire Master Plan was being updated. This plan is a blueprint for fire protection that addresses all local needs and circumstances based upon costs the community can afford for the next 10 years, which can be reevaluated within five years.

 
One idea behind it is to find efficiencies, such as possibly reducing the number of firefighters or closing stations. The current plan states such changes would be political ones, and no ones the fire department itself would undertake.

The idea is to have a full blown master plan with recommendations in place before the next budget process.