A shakeup at the Port Hope Fire Department after town council asked its fire chief to step down… effective immediately.
Lindsay Biscaia has the story…
‘His knowledge and involvement with fire fighting is parallel to none.”
It’s not a performance issue.. according to Port Hope mayor Bob Sanderson..it’s a normal planning process.
And Sanderson is refuting reports that Jim Wheeler was “requested to retire”…
Instead, he was just asked to leave his position… effective immediately.
“If somebody chooses to retire it’s their decision. It’s not our decision to have somebody ‘retire’. It’s our decision not to have them be with the community or the municipality as an employee. That’s our decision.”
Wheeler began his career in fire services in the 70’s.
He became fire chief for the municipality last year… and was deputy chief prior to that.
Sanderson says council elected to move Wheeler into the position of chief last year… in an employment agreement which went through to 2018.
“And within that contract there’s obviously the ability for us to invoke the interest of the municipality. Obviously it protects the employees as well.”
Sanderson says when it comes to Wheeler’s dedication to the community… he has a legacy.
“First Nations had a pow wow, and technically they couldn’t have their traditional fire. And Jim found a way to make sure they could have it without a problem. So that kind of thing is extremely important.”
“Every person that I spoke with in the Port Hope community today had only good things to say about Jim Wheeler, and say that his dedication to the community will be missed. Meanwhile, Newswatch tried to reach out to Jim wheeler himself for comment but he was unavailable. LB, CNW, Port Hope.”