Back to top

LETTER: Winlaw fire chief speaks to disciplinary action; mass resignation

To Whom it may concern.

The Winlaw Fire Department is a volunteer group that has come together to help their community in the event of an emergency. We were recently asked by the Regional Fire Chief to provide traffic control for a nonemergency community event, I refused. Disciplinary action has now being taken against me for failing to take a command from a superior officer. I do not believe this is warranted given the lack of an emergency, I believe that demanding a volunteer fire department respond to a nonemergency goes against the principals of what this group has volunteered to accomplish. I recognize that due to the seriousness and risk of what a fire department encounters it is critical that we have a chain of command and any objections to an operation be voiced in an incident debriefing and not at the scene of an incident. However if no emergency exist I do not believe the Regional Fire Chief should demand actions from volunteer firefighters.

The members of the Winlaw Fire Department support this opinion and believe I have done nothing wrong in refusing to respond to a nonemergency event. The members have agreed that any disciplinary action taken against me will be served by the entire department resulting in the Winlaw Fire Department being out of service.

Jon Wollenberg

Winlaw Fire Chief