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Chief plans restructuring of Smiths Falls fire department

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By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

The retirement of a senior officer is prompting plans to alter the command structure of the Smiths Falls Fire Department.

At a regular meeting of town council on Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

The new structure will be similar to the way the fire department was organized from 1994 to 2003, said Beauchamp. Having a lieutenant responsible for fire safety will allow the department to invest more effort in this area, he said, adding that, “Our main mandate is to provide fire safety in town.”

Because the position of captain was well paid, said Beauchamp, the new structure should cost roughly the same in salaries, said Beauchamp. The existing arrangement, with only two senior officers, “does not comply with the laws and standards of the industry,” he stated in a written report.

Councillor Chris Cummings, noting that council was seeing this report for the first time at the Nov. 7 meeting, stated that he was not prepared to approve a motion to allow the restructuring without taking the time to think it over.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the timing of the report was due to the captain’s retirement taking place “much sooner than anticipated,” and added that the matter will be brought back to council for formal approval as quickly as possible.

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Chief plans restructuring of Smiths Falls fire department

smiths-falls-fire1-230x306

By Chris Must
chris@pdgmedia.ca 

The retirement of a senior officer is prompting plans to alter the command structure of the Smiths Falls Fire Department.

At a regular meeting of town council on Monday, Nov. 7, Fire Chief Normand Beauchamp explained that Capt. Richard Laming has retired. Instead of appointing a new captain, Beauchamp said he intends to put three lieutenants in supervisory roles. One lieutenant will be responsible for fire prevention, another for logistics (vehicles, equipment and scheduling), and another for training and health and safety. The position of captain will be eliminated.

The new structure will be similar to the way the fire department was organized from 1994 to 2003, said Beauchamp. Having a lieutenant responsible for fire safety will allow the department to invest more effort in this area, he said, adding that, “Our main mandate is to provide fire safety in town.”

Because the position of captain was well paid, said Beauchamp, the new structure should cost roughly the same in salaries, said Beauchamp. The existing arrangement, with only two senior officers, “does not comply with the laws and standards of the industry,” he stated in a written report.

Councillor Chris Cummings, noting that council was seeing this report for the first time at the Nov. 7 meeting, stated that he was not prepared to approve a motion to allow the restructuring without taking the time to think it over.

Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris said the timing of the report was due to the captain’s retirement taking place “much sooner than anticipated,” and added that the matter will be brought back to council for formal approval as quickly as possible.

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