New chief for embattled fire department

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has hired Doug Gardiner as North Westside fire chief

Officials hope a smouldering dispute has been doused at the North Westside Fire Department.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has hired Doug Gardiner to be the department’s full-time chief. This comes two months after long time chief Wayne Carson resigned over a battle with RDCO.

“As far as I’m concerned, this should bring the conflict to an end,” said Jim Edgson, area director.

Gardiner has been acting as the department’s interim chief since early August.

“I’ve been watching Doug and communicating with some of the firefighters and I am very impressed with him,” said Edgson.

“In talking to some of the firefighters, they want Doug to stay.”

Carson, who had been chief for 19 years, resigned Sept. 16, claiming he had no choice given allegations and job changes being made by the regional district.

He was originally suspended by the regional district for three days in June but details around that circumstance have never been made public.

Carson then returned to duties after the suspension but a leave of absence began July 8. RDCO has stated Carson requested the leave but Carson has denied that occurred.

Gardiner has 27 years experience as a firefighter and he retired as assistant chief in charge of training in Saanich.  He also has experience in marine rescue.

“Morale in the department has remained high,” said Bruce Smith, RDCO communications officer. “Since August when Doug began, we have had four new and two previous members join the department.”

Carson continues to insist that he was treated unfairly by the regional district.

“I defended the projects on the fire department’s books before some regional district staff arrived,” he said, adding that dispute was more personality based than a personnel matter.

Carson says he has no plans to sue RDCO even though, he claims, some challenges remain.

“They have refused me a letter

 

Just Posted

Vernon council waits on fence as report prepared

Council to get information on cost of erecting fence for off-leash dog area at Marshall Field

Vernon Transit enjoys stellar year

Ridership up over tier average, says BC Transit representative

Biker airlifted from Vernon mountain resort

22-year-old injured at SilverStar Mountain Resort

Inaugural KidSport Greater Vernon golf tourney raises $18,000

Event raises single largest fundraising amount for Greater Vernon KidSport

Report says Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Most Read