PALMER RAPIDS – Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan (BLR) Township council has named Chris Voldock as fire chief and Jordan Genrick as deputy fire chief.
The decision was made at an emergency council meeting, held on May 12 at the municipal office, and the recommendation came from the firefighters that attended the meeting. Voldock comes from the Brudenell hall and Genrick is from the Hardwood Lake hall.
The emergency meeting was requested by Rob Stein, the Palmer Rapids district fire captain, following the resignation of acting fire chief Matt Cruchet and training facilitator Mike McCloskey. With the resignation of the acting fire chief, the township essentially did not have a working fire department.
Reeve Norman Lentz began the meeting by reading a prepared statement. He said he thinks the meeting was a waste of taxpayer’s dollars and asked Councillor Garry Gruntz to help chair the meeting.
“I feel Jordan Genrick and Chris Voldock would do a great job,” Reeve Lentz said. “If anyone wants to resign, you can hand in your pagers tonight.”
Discussion circulated on how the situation got to where it is today. Councillor Heather Phanenhour said council unanimously asked for a sustainable five-year plan from the planning committee, one that would comply with the fire marshal’s standards and stick to, or stay under, the set budget.
Councillor Trevor Liedtke assured the remaining members of the planning committee their work was not done in vain.
“You didn’t waste your time on that planning committee,” Liedtke said. “Something is going to come out of it. I’m not going to see it dry up.”
Tom Neuman, an auxiliary firefighter with the township for 28 years, noted the fire department was called on May 10 for a tree and hydro lines on the road.
“I refused to go myself because it’s not legal,” Neuman said.
Coincidently around 15 minutes into the meeting, several pagers went off, calling on firefighters to respond to a fire in Hardwood Lake.
Many of the firefighters left the meeting only to return minutes later after they were called off.
Councillor Liedtke then asked Stein if he would consider the position of acting fire chief.
Get your May 14, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.