Centre Hastings appoints new deputy fire chiefs

New fire chief to be hired by end of November - Centre Hastings appoints new deputy fire chiefs - Hastings' firehall signalling the municipality's new fire chief.

It may not be the vatican and this may not be a new pope, but the mystery surrounding the chief's position is no less intriguing.

The amalgamated Hastings County municipality, with Madoc as its hub town, dismissed fire chief Stanley Laton last month.

To compound matters, the two deputy chiefs, Dennis Derry and Bill Pollock, took retirement and sustained a serious illness, respectively. Chief administrative officer Pat Pilgrim said two deputy chiefs have been appointed internally and a new fire chief will be hired by the end of November.

Pilgrim said Bob Branscombe, a retired member of the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office, served as acting chief of the department since last September.

The two have boiled down a total of 22 applications for the fire chief position since the Oct. 4 application deadline to six final resumés that will be considered for interviews early November.

“We received applications from Alberta, across Ontario and North West Territory, but the majority were from the Quinte area,” she said.

Centre Hastings council appointed the municipality's new deputy chiefs during its last meeting Wednesday in firefighters Capts. Jeff Newman and Larry Carswell.

Pilgrim noted Brandscome had helped make things “smooth” with fire-response and emergency operations in Centre Hastings since the fire department saw its leaders leave last last month.

“He (Brandscome) was the fire chief and then he went to the (Ontario) Fire Marshal's office,” she said.

“He has a background in fire, so he's certainly been able to move us forward in the intern.”

The successful candidate will be responsible for oversssing the fire department comprised of two fire stations (north and south halls) and approximately 50 volunteer firefighters.

Laton was hired in November 2012. Previously, he was the part-time chief in Tyendinaga Township. Recently, Laton faced several personal attacks from residents in the community during a couple of public meetings surrounding regulating open-air burning in the area.

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