Kirkfield firehall rocked by mass resignations
At a meeting on Dec. 19, six of Kirkfield’s 17 volunteer firefighters announced they are resigning from the force. Five of the six will resign effective Jan. 1, 2023.
One of the six, who acts as union representative, plans to stay on until a new collective agreement is negotiated with the city. These six individuals collectively take with them over 190 years of service to the Kirkfield community as volunteer firefighters. Their mass departure leaves the hall that averaged 200 callouts a year in pre-COVID times with a roster made up of four veteran volunteers and seven new recruits who joined the force just this year.
Bob Winsor, one of the six, left a brief note on the Kirkfield Community Facebook page on Dec. 20, informing the community of his decision.
“Over the last 14 years,” Winsor said, “I have had the opportunity to be part of the Kirkfield Fire Department. If it was the middle of the day or night if the pager went off, we would respond to help our neighbours who were having a bad day. Over the past three years fire administration and human resources at the City of Kawartha Lakes has treated several firefighters poorly. Last night, myself and several senior firefighters resigned.”
When asked for comment on the resignations at the Kirkfield Firehall or the status of fire service in Kirkfield and area as of January 1, KLFS chief Terry Jones said little in the way of specifics citing employee privacy issues.
“We cannot comment on the employment details of identifiable individuals,” Jones said.
“Please be assured that we have emergency protocols in place to respond to fire calls and other types of emergencies,” Jones continued. “While we have employees who are leaving the service, we have also hired new volunteer firefighters to that station (Kirkfield) bringing our number of employees to the 2021 level. Ongoing recruitments efforts continue with our next intake in the spring.”
“While we regret all resignations from our service, we respect the decisions of the firefighters, we thank them for their service and we wish them all the best,” Jones said.