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Wellesley council opts for full-time fire chief

The township of Wellesley has decided to make the position of fire chief a full-time job.

The township has already received about half a dozen applications for the position, which will be an expanded one; the new chief will also be the township’s fire inspector, and will take on a larger role in emergency management. The township currently contracts out fire inspection work.

Former fire chief Dave Geil resigned from the position last fall for personal reasons, and the position has been vacant since then. The chief’s duties have been carried out by the three district chiefs and CAO Susan Duke.

After consulting with staff and the district chiefs, council debated whether the position of fire chief should remain part-time or become a full-time role with added responsibilities.

Duke said the decision was put off until council was satisfied the full-time hours were justified and the township could afford a full-time fire chief.

“Council deferred the decision…until they had completed their budget and determined that in fact they could include a realistic salary in the fire chief/fire inspector’s position and still maintain a percentage increase in the budget they were satisfied with.”

The township will be accepting applications for the position until Apr. 24.

It could still be some time before the new chief assumes his duties, Duke said.

After the application process is complete, staff and council will review and analyze the applications and shortlist them if necessary. That will be followed by an interview process, job offers, and a waiting period if the successful applicant has to give notice to his or her employer.

“It could be a lengthy period of time; it’s not going to happen tomorrow.”

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