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Nipawin spending $53,600 on new fire gear, still searching for chief

The position of fire chief for the Town of Nipawin has been vacant since earlier this summer when David Balding left the role.
The Town of Nipawin discussed the matter during their Nov. 22 council meeting.

NIPAWIN — The Town of Nipawin is spending $53,648.76 plus taxes for nine sets of fire department turnout gear and 27 pairs of boots as replacements as they continue searching for a new fire chief.

The position was previously filled by Brian Starkell, who was awarded the role in 2010 when the previous chief retired. He remained chief until November 2019.

In 2020 David Balding, a firefighter from B.C. with 35 years of experience, became the town’s chief. He left the role in summer of 2021.

Since then, the town has hired a remote fire and emergency services consultant, Corey Rodgers, to complete the chief’s administrative duties while the department’s officers are completing the chief’s on-the-ground duties.

While the town did have applicants in the most recent call to fill the role, Barry Elliott, Nipawin’s administrator, reported to the town in their November council meeting that the role remains unfilled with another round of searching needed.

“We’re still beating the bushes to entice someone to take the role,” Elliott told the East Central Recorder. “We always go through a very comprehensive recruitment process because we want to make sure the decision is the right one, so we will be starting that again.”

The fire chief is responsible for the overall strategic development and administration of the departmental policies and procedures as well as the financial, technical, health and safety management of the department.

The town is asking that the ideal candidate possess accreditation or professional designation in fire or emergency services, professional fire officer qualification, degree or diploma in fire science public administration or a related field, extensive technical experience and/or experience in a fire department senior service leadership position. Equivalent combinations of educational qualifications and experience will be considered on an individual basis.

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