'We have a remarkable department': Chief reflects on time with Fort Erie fire services
The Standard

When the moment comes when Ed Melanson will hang up his fire helmet one last time, he’ll take many great memories with him as he walks out the Central Fire Station.

His most cherished memory was the first Fort Erie Fire and Emergency Services Awards Banquet Melanson attended as a fire chief.

He hasn’t forgotten the date either; it was April 22, 2017.

The awards banquet is held yearly to honour volunteer firefighters for their years of service. 

“The (banquet) was the fondest day of my life and there are many, many, many memories that are truly outstanding,” Melanson said.

“I will never forget. There was so much joy and well wishes, and optimism and knowing that we’re making a difference.”

Although he said he will miss Fort Erie, Melanson has accepted a position as Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief with the Saugeen Shores Fire Department. He said he is looking forward to helping their department grow and flourish.

“I’m going to help them become future-ready because Saugeen Shores is expanding as Fort Erie has expanded quickly. There is a lot of population growth going on there.”

Melanson said he is proud of the changes the fire department has made over the years and described the department as future-ready for the growing community.

He also said he believes Fort Erie’s fire department is better and healthier than ever before.

“We now have manuals and documentation and a process in which the fire department runs,” he said. 

Melanson also noted the department has a strategic master plan that’s council-approved, and has developed a core set of values and new vision and mission statements.

“And all of this is intertwined to allow the next senior officer the ability to see what we do, how we do it, where we come from and how do we get there. It allows them to make decisions based on documentation rather than guessing.”

Melanson said he deeply loves the Fort Erie community and said what he most likes about the gig is the amazing people he has worked with over the years.

“We have a remarkable fire department with invested, intelligent, driven people that want to make a difference in their community and that is the main reason (I love it).”

Melanson began his career as a volunteer firefighter with the Fort Erie Fire Department in 2005. He steadily rose the ranks to become chief in April 2017.

Melanson’s last day with the department is July 8.


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