Dismissed fire chief says firing was 'beyond his control'
Ex-fire chief Reid Douglas releases open letter to his former employees
Former Winnipeg fire chief Reid Douglas has released a letter saying his firing was beyond his control, and he did not "walk away" from Winnipeg firefighters.
The City of Winnipeg terminated Douglas this week.
The dismissal came within weeks of the anticipated release of an audit report on a controversial fire hall land deal, but city officials have not revealed why Douglas was fired.
City councillors quickly came forward saying the timing of the termination was suspect.
Douglas had been in the position for two years and had been with the force for over 35 years.
On Friday, Douglas released an open letter to his former staff.
The letter is below:
An Open Letter To the Staff at WFPS
I am aware that over the past few weeks you have been living in an environment of uncertainty and extreme anxiety over the situation that is unfolding not only in the media but within the department. As the scenario has now unfolded to this point you are aware of my departure from WFPS. What is important to me for you to know is that I did not walk away from you. This was something beyond my control.
It is most important also for you to know how very proud I am of each and every one of you. Proud of you for the dedicated and selfless service you provide to the citizens of this great city and for the daily sacrifices you make to ensure the safety and health of our people. Proud of the friendships we have developed and grateful for the invaluable assistance you have provided me over the years. There was never a day that I did not feel humbled to be in your presence and having the privilege to be your Chief.
In countless discussions with many of you, when presented with a situation needing a solution, my advice to you has always been to “Do the Right Thing”. As this scenario unfolds further and the impending Fire Paramedic Station Audit moves on to Council and becomes public record, I assure you I am following my own advice by “Doing the Right Thing”. It is most important that all of Council is first to have the opportunity to review and debate this issue in an unfettered manner.
In the mean time there are still fires to put out, patients to be attended to and people needing help. I hope the public knows that when they dial 911, they are calling on the services of one of the finest Fire and EMS services in the world.