New chiefs arrival a true homecoming

New chief’s arrival a true ‘homecoming’ - It must be nice to have your dad ride shotgun when it comes to the new, full-time township fire chief.

Marc Desjardins, a native of Glen Walter, is taking on an expanded fire chief position for South Stormont, where father, Roger, served for many years as the part-time chief, retiring in fall 2012.

Mayor Bryan McGillis said both Desjardins senior and his successor, Gordon Mills, worked long hours.

“This is a full-time job, in terms of providing training and purchasing that you’ve got to do as a united department,” McGillis said, not to mention more stringent regulations.

Desjardins comes back to his roots after serving more than 20 years as a full-time and volunteer firefighter, starting with the Glen Walter fire brigade.

“Council is absolutely delighted to have Marc join our corporation,” McGillis said, noting that a previous, highly qualified candidate got “cold feet.”

The mayor said a casual chat with Desjardins senior led him to discover the former chief’s son had some interest in coming “back to his roots.”

Desjardins’ latest role is as chief prevention officer for the past eight years with Waterloo Fire Rescue.

McGillis said the township is fortunate to land a firefighter with considerable experience who will be taking a cut in pay.

CAO Betty de Haan said the full-time chief’s pay scale is between $69,000 and $88,500.

Desjardins had earned $111,000, according to this year’s Sunshine List for provincial public employees making over $100,000 in annual salary.

Expected to join the South Stormont Fire Dept. in December, he will lead 96 part-time firefighters and co-ordinate the services of four fire stations in Long Sault, Ingleside, Newington and St. Andrew’s West.

Desjardins takes over for Deputy Chief Steven Flegg, who is filling the interim chief’s position since the departure of Mills last spring.

Link to article: New chief’s arrival a true ‘homecoming’

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