BOWEN ISLAND (NEWS 1130) – More than two dozen firefighters on Bowen Island are threatening to quit.
The 26 volunteer members say they’ll resign on Thursday afternoon unless the fire chief steps down or is let go.
They say they’re unhappy with the chief, and claim he isn’t doing anything about their concerns.
“We appreciate and acknowledge the point made in your letter that there can be challenges with any transition,” the firefighters say in a letter to the Bowen Island Municipality. “We assure you that as a group we have made every effort to address those challenges.”
The members say despite multiple meetings with the chief and the municipality, nothing was resolved.
“Our concerns were highlighted by the decision to cease all further practice and training sessions with the Fire Chief,” the firefighters write. “It was not a decision we took lightly but by that point we believed it was necessary to underline the importance of the issues we had raised.”
The membership adds that it tried to “make it clear” that their concerns were “fundamental to the operation of the fire department,” and that they were “not reconcilable.”
“The only remaining solution is to terminate the employment of the Fire Chief before or at the end of his probationary period. We trusted that when representatives of the entire volunteer membership, with decades of experience and service to this community, came to you to say in no uncertain terms that the relationship was fundamentally not working, you would accept that.”
They’ve given a deadline of 4:00 p.m. Thursday for the Chief Derek Dickson to either be let go or resign.
Dickson was hired over the summer.