North Cowichan names Ron French as interim fire chief
Martin Drakeley accepts job of fire chief in Powell River
North Cowichan has hired an interim fire chief, the Municipality announced Friday.
Ron French is currently Superintendent of Fire Services with BC Wildfire Service.
He previously served as Deputy Fire Commissioner with the provincial Office of the Fire Commissioner, Fire Chief with Central Saanich Fire Department, and Deputy Fire Chief with North Saanich Volunteer Fire Department.
The Municipality says French will remain interim fire chief “while recruitment for a permanent fire chief takes place, which is expected to begin later this year.”
Freedom-of-information documents show that French will be paid $2,000 per week during phase one, Aug. 25 to Sept. 30, and $12,000 per month during phase two, from Oct. 1 until a new fire chief is appointed.
North Cowichan Fire Department has about 100 paid on-call members — the largest such department in B.C. — with four fire halls.
sixmountains.ca earlier reported that Fire Chief and Senior Bylaw Manager Martin Drakeley had resigned effective August 25 amid firefighter concerns.
Further reading: http://bitly.ws/RTPb
Also on Friday, the City of Powell River announced it had hired Drakeley as Chief of Powell River Fire Rescue effective Sept. 5. http://bitly.ws/SzLS
North Cowichan’s firefighters joined the Canadian Union of Public Employees last March and are negotiating a first contract with the Municipality.
“A review of the organization structure will be considered as part of recruitment for a permanent fire chief,” Chief Administrative Officer Ted Swabey said in a statement posted on the municipal website on Friday.
Drakeley joined North Cowichan in 2019. http://bitly.ws/J5q9
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— Larry Pynn, Aug. 20, 2023