Thunder Bay

Dryden, Ont., recruits new paid on-call firefighters

The City of Dryden is moving ahead with its recruitment of new paid on-call firefighters.

32 people have applied to join Dryden fire department, city says

Dryden received over 30 applications for new paid on-call firefighters. (Dryden.ca)

The City of Dryden is moving ahead with its recruitment of new paid on-call firefighters.

The city's fire department has been in a state of flux since February, when more than 30 of its firefighters walked off the job, citing tensions between them and Dryden Fire Chief Ryan Murrell.

Dryden then gave the firefighters a deadline of March 9 to sign a return-to-work form; if they didn't, their positions with the fire department would be considered vacated. About 30 of the firefighters chose not to sign the form.

Now, the city is pushing ahead with finding replacements.

Selection process starting 'soon'

"Recruitment for paid on-call positions within the Dryden Fire Service closed on April 12th, and there have been approximately 32 applicants," Dryden CAO Roger Nesbitt told council on April 16. "The selection and interview process will begin soon."

Switching from a volunteer service to a paid on-call fire department is expected to cost the city an additional $138,000 per year in wages, according to a report to Dryden city council.

Dryden is getting firefighting support from volunteer services in surrounding areas, as well as from some professional firefighters the city has hired on a temporary basis, while it rebuilds its fire service.

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