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Volunteer firefighters reprimanded for critical comments, says councillor

Coun. Gerry Montpellier says some part-time volunteer firefighters were slapped with a disciplinary letter from Sudbury Fire Services letter after criticizing the city’s fire optimization plan.

Gerry Montpellier says part-timers received disciplinary letters after commenting on fire optimization plan

The disciplinary letters sent to firefighters critical of optimization plan 'are out there' says Coun. Gerry Montpellier. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Coun. Gerry Montpellier says some part-time volunteer firefighters were slapped with a disciplinary letter from Sudbury Fire Services after criticizing the city's optimization plan earlier this year.

In February, the city proposed shutting down nine smaller fire stations in rural areas in favour of composite stations in Lively, Chelmsford, Val Caron and Garson.

The plan was eventually scrapped, but drew fire from people in smaller communities and outlying areas, many who expected to lose access to fire services and volunteer fire fighters.

At yesterday's meeting of the city's emergency services committee, Montpelier said the city now needs answers.

The letters are 'out there,' and councillor wants an explanation

Montpellier said he does not know exactly how many letters were handed out, but having a disciplinary letter in your personal record can be a setback for aspiring firefighters.

"They're out there, gentlemen. I would like an explanation of them," he said. "It holds back some from applying. It holds back some from even staying."

City staff would not address Montpellier's comments in open session because they deal with human resources.

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