Trainer who played porn video replaced as fire chief

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The chief of a Conception Bay North fire brigade who admitted to showing a short pornographic video clip at the end of a training session has been replaced.

Jeremy Hall has been replaced as fire chief of the Bay de Grave Regional Fire department.

The board responsible for the Bay de Grave Regional Fire Department announced the move Monday in a news release. The new chief is James Edmunds, who previously was deputy chief.

The 2014 incident at a training session for members of the Spaniard’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department was mentioned by firefighter Brenda Seymour last fall when she asked council to suspend or remove fire chief Victor Hiscock. Seymour, who is also a town councillor, put forward a motion to do that at a council meeting last November, but the motion was defeated.

Coun. Sheri Collins, the fire department’s liaison on council, resigned at a council meeting last Tuesday, as did approximately 20 firefighters, including Hiscock.

In an interview with The Compass last November, Hall said he had since deleted the clip, which was sent to him via email and less than 30 seconds.

In the news release, the board states all members of the department will receive training on how to maintain a respectful work place.

SEE RELATED:

'Councillor calls for chief's resignation'

Hall was the young fire brigade’s chief from the start since it was founded in 2010 as a regional service for Cupids, South River, Clarke’s Beach, North River and Makinsons. He previously served as chief of the Cupids volunteer fire brigade.

Last week it was reported Hall was removed from the list of Fire and Emergency Services NL approved trainers for safety courses.

The Compass has not been able to reach Hall for comment Monday. The release did not indicate whether he resigned or was demoted. It also did not specify whether he will remain with the department as a firefighter.

Meanwhile, the Town of Spaniard's Bay met with officials from Municipal Affairs over the weekend.

Organizations: Bay de Grave Regional Fire Department, The Compass, Volunteer Fire Department Fire and Emergency Services NL

Geographic location: South River, North River

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Recent comments

  • J
    January 26, 2016 - 08:11

    At any other workplace you would be instantly fired for something like this. No questions. No excuses. Working at a fire dept is no different.

  • Bob
    January 26, 2016 - 05:29

    Very sad. This guy messed up, but the man haters have got there wish. If there is a fire at your house, who do you want carrying you out? This man or Ms Seymour? This man, and the other 20 that quit over this were volunteers. Now that's 21less fire fighters. We're they all pigs like the man haters claim? Maybe Ms Seymour is not so innocent in this? Maybe not, but you can bet that anything her husband does will now be scrutinized for the same things she has accused the others of. The man haters are just waiting for an excuse to pounce...

  • Mommy - what's a sexist ?
    January 25, 2016 - 20:13

    I'm confused. I thought the whole fire department quit. Why fire someone if they already quit. Just don't take them back. In fact, don't take any of them back. They displayed enormous ignorance with their show of solidarity - not for the victim - but for people who can't seem to grasp the concept of a respectful workplace. The women and kids backing them up was an added insult. Really did their community, their gender and their province proud.

    • Frank
      January 26, 2016 - 09:45

      If you were actually aware of what was going on, you would know that the video has nothing to do with the SBFD. It was played by an outside FD who was conducting the training course. The SBFD members quit in support of a Councillor who was tired of the harassment she was getting from Brenda Seymour.

    • Frank
      January 26, 2016 - 09:52

      If you were actually aware of what was going on, you would know that the video has nothing to do with the SBFD. It was played by an outside FD who was conducting the training course. The SBFD members quit in support of a Councillor who was tired of the harassment she was getting from Brenda Seymour.

    • Grapnel
      January 26, 2016 - 11:27

      It certainly does have something to do with the SBFD. It was one of the many complaints lodged by Brenda Seymour against the SBFD (even if it was an outside trainer who showed the video). She also highlighted other examples of sexual harassment, regular harassment as well as safety violations. It's these complaints that you're characterizing as harassing Councillor Sheri Collins, and seeing as how it was her job to liaise with the Fire Department, that would be like a McDonalds worker quitting because people kept ordering Big Mac's. This small town/small mind mentality is really getting tiresome. Join the century the rest of us are living in and stop making excuses for sexism and harassment.

  • Lee Davis
    January 25, 2016 - 18:52

    If that was a man who was offended by a juvenile porn flick (they have those online now, fyi), he'd lose his job because he demonstrated an inability to get along with his horny 2-digit IQ co-workers. Then again, if a woman is offended, the world must stop revolving whilst she deals with & talks endlessly about her feelings & the trauma she had to endure. Of course, that's why we have the CBC, & why many people can no longer tolerate it.

    • reality check
      January 26, 2016 - 09:32

      you are part of the problem.

  • Paula
    January 25, 2016 - 18:43

    Yes! No doubt bad judgement call in playing that video at training. But such an unfortunate event, Theres not much I remember from that night 8 years ago, the night my dad died, but I do remember he was one of the paramedics who arrived. He had so much compassion and dedication, he made the worst night of my life somewhat bearable! He's a trained professional, no matter what I'm my eyes. And with regards to the chief. Jimmy Edmunds who was my dads best friend, will be great no doubt (my respect for him and the love he had for my dad is outta this world) but the love and admiration Jake Hall had for the Bay de Grave fire department is like no other! Such sad and unfortunate circumstances. We all make bad calls and make mistakes, but seriously, ain't this gone a little too far?? There's people been murdered here, and they're murderers are still walking. Time to focus on more important things around us, My god. Seriously?)? People are so quick to judge and focus on negative! Look at all the positive things he's done for us, this community! Goes to show you can do a million good things, but that one bad goes so much farther than all the good. Heartbreaking :( your a great person and Chief Jake Hall

  • Ed
    January 25, 2016 - 17:57

    There is no excuse for the showing of that video at a training session. However we seem to be forgetting that these guys are not paid employees of a fire department, they are volunteers. There had to be a better way to handle this other that have the situation blow up and result in the entire Spaniard's Bay Fire department resigning. Showing that video clip was wrong but why now (two years later) does this blow up? Seems to me there may be something else we have not heard about at play here.

    • M. Claudette Sandecki
      January 27, 2016 - 12:31

      The porno flick incident leads Seymour's complaints because it is a documented fact, not a he said/she said.

  • Y
    January 25, 2016 - 16:39

    Stay on as a fire fighter, chief, the town needs your experience and training.

  • Yoda
    January 25, 2016 - 15:42

    are you crazy!!!! it does not matter if he was a good fire fighter or if there was no malice or sexual harassment intended! IT WAS SEXUAL HARASSMENT period. a GOOD chief as you put it would have knowing this so maybe you should rethink your statement. Wow just Wow

  • J'
    January 25, 2016 - 15:30

    All very valid comments. It seems however that the incident was brought up not to deal with sexual harassment but rather, to suspend or remove Brenda Seymour's Fire Chief Victor Hiscock (not Fire Chief Hall). Interesting...

  • dave k
    January 25, 2016 - 13:28

    i see the witch hunters are out in full force again

  • Fred
    January 25, 2016 - 13:18

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. It's sounds like Mr Hall was a goo Fire Chief and firefighter. He has used poor judgement on several occasions but no malice or sexual harassment was intended. Do we relieve all the fire fighters who ever witnessed this clip? No but we send them for training and move on. 'No need to waste thousands of taxpayers $$$$$$$$ on training new fire fighters. Of course in this new Liberal environment that won't be possible as they only have tunnel vision.

    • What?
      January 25, 2016 - 18:47

      So, bring back the PCs and porn? What?

    • Hess
      January 25, 2016 - 18:51

      OMG. Sorry, but showing a porno clip in a WORK PLACE is the opposite of a "good fire chief." It's not just certain people calling this sexual harassment- it is legally sexual harassment. I don't care how good he is at his job. He made a huge mistake and deserves to be removed.

    • Al Cahill
      January 25, 2016 - 21:14

      So he only used poor judgement on several occasions and you think that it's ok. He's the Fire Chief, he's the one who should be ensuring this shit doesn't happen in the workplace. Basically he's an idiot who shouldn't be the leader of place if that is how he acts in 2016.

  • Thisisgross!
    January 25, 2016 - 12:54

    Harassment is any unwelcome physical, visual or verbal conduct. It is against the law. Harassment may include verbal or practical jokes, insults, threats, personal comments or innuendo. It may take the form of posters, pictures or graffiti. It may involve touching, stroking, pinching or any unwelcome physical contact. Any behavior that insults or intimidates is harassment if a reasonable person should have known that the behavior was not welcome. The Newfoundland Human Rights Code protects everyone within provincial jurisdiction from harassment and other forms of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, (including pregnancy and sexual orientation), marital status, physical disability, mental disability, political opinion, color or ethnic, national or social origin and age (in employment only, between the ages of nineteen and sixty-five). How embarrassing that this is happening and there are people like a resident in the 21st century!!

  • steve howard
    January 25, 2016 - 12:54

    so very immature I feel he owes the whole community an apology especially the female fighter

    • Kev
      January 25, 2016 - 13:16

      Very much so.

    • Taxpayertoo
      January 25, 2016 - 15:07

      Time to bring your community on board with the rest of the world and stop acting like you are in a time warp from the 1950's. This was escalated by the good people of Spaniard's Bay who decided to come out and support their men. I have never been so appalled at listening to these women condemning a fellow woman because she had the guts to stand up and say stop. In turn they brought out their children to support what can only be called bullying. This was not brought out in the public eye by Ms. Seymour but by the firefighters and the families who obviously know nothing about professionalism. It is also extremely dangerous to have people who are hostile working in a position of trust. The entire community needs to be educated. Here is yet another example of why women who are harassed keep quite. Good on you Brenda, don't give up there are many that support you.

  • Carolyn Wrice
    January 25, 2016 - 12:24

    A resident, don't you get it! Doesn't matter if there was 0 women in the room. 0 tolerance is 0 tolerance. Playing a clip of a naked woman is degrading in any circle. When the instructor announced he was showing this, the chief should have proven he was a leader and respected his position and women and refused to have it played. Disconnect the behavior with Mrs Seymour and see it for what it is.

    • not a resident
      January 25, 2016 - 12:45

      Exactly.

    • John Hickey
      January 25, 2016 - 17:33

      Are you freakin' kidding me ?? 0 tolerance my #%@... When a bunch of guys get together, regardless of what capacity it's in, they should be able to do what they want as long as it's not directly affecting anyone specifically.. This is just another example of how the world is becoming an overly touchy place to live, where people want to control the actions of others who just don't live up to their high moral standards.. What has been done to this man for this benign incident is nothing short of obscene.. Get a grip for God's sake...

    • Grace Forward
      January 26, 2016 - 10:13

      John Hickey are you freaking kidding me! Have you ever held a job? Or a volunteer position? Have you ever read your employee or volunteer contracts that you sign? There is a mission statement, code of ethics and policies for any of these positions. High MORALE grounds is something I pride myself in. Maybe you should read a little on ethics and morales. This type of behaviour is exceptable in your buddies shed or in any setting where people gather for whatever reason Except anything that has to do that involves a workplace or volunteer envoirment. You get a grip. This type of thinking sets equality of any gender back. Maybe you need to feel the pride of a leadership role.

  • a resident
    January 25, 2016 - 11:50

    He admitted he made a mistake, who among us has not, it was not directed at Mrs. Seymour and the entire class was advised as to what was about to be shown and given the opportunity to leave the room. Further it was almost 2 years ago and the place to bring that up would have been then. This has caused the removal of a great chief, firefighter and trainer! As a woman I do not support the sexual harassment of any woman however I do not believe that in this particular indecent it is sexual harassment as it was not directed at her and it was meant for a laugh. Inappropriate yes for sure but not directed towards any one person

    • not a resident
      January 25, 2016 - 12:26

      I'm sure he's a great chief in terms of his commitment to the community, etc; I also hope he learns from this and is able to stay on as a firefighter. There is no time limit on when you can talk about incidents - especially when there appears to be a history. Porn and sexual comments in the workplace are inappropriate and cannot be tolerated. I *get* that it was "meant for a laugh" - but it just isn't funny. In what possible way could she have acted that would have turned out to be acceptable in this situation? She's damned either way; but she has my full support.

    • Lisa
      January 25, 2016 - 12:30

      Whether or not the video was directed at 'her' or not doesn't make the clip any less sexual harassment! No one should have seen that clip in a professional environment. Here's hoping that message eventually sinks in for everyone one day.

    • James
      January 25, 2016 - 12:38

      A great Chief is a good leader, impartial and sets by example - clearly he was not. A good firefighter - perhaps. A good trainer - don't think so. Doubt if he will ever train again. He may have admitted to the mistake however I doubt if he truly can comprehend why it was wrong or issued an apology. If you support this individual you then in turn support sexual harassment. Creepy....Your logic tends to be a part of the culture in that and many other communities. Note to self - avoid Spaniards Bay.

    • Grapnel
      January 25, 2016 - 12:43

      Except he didn't apologize or admit it was a mistake. This is what he said about it in the CBC article from Jan 21st. 1. It was "a joke" 2. It was only 23 second long 3. People were warned about it 4. Ms. Seymour laughed at it along with everyone else. 5. He's played it in other training sessions These are not the words of a man who feels he made a mistake. These are the words of a man who's trying to justify what is clearly unjustifiable behavior. I work as a trainer in a sales environment. I would never dream of playing pornography during one of my training sessions. It's just common sense. And it was Mr. Hall's lack of common sense that ended up being his undoing.

    • Christine
      January 25, 2016 - 13:39

      Saying that it never happened doesn't make it go away.

    • Lisa Keats
      January 25, 2016 - 14:13

      The people of Spaniard's Bay who are supporting the mistakes made by those in authority at the FD are missing the whole picture here- Sexual harassment was not directed at Ms. Seymore and it was meant for a Laugh. Get real, and look who is getting the last laugh. This cannot be tolerated in any form!

    • Anna Kelly
      January 25, 2016 - 14:43

      A Mistake..no a mistake would be if you accidently let a few seconds of this film in bu accident ..so this was no mistake..I wonder how any Man in that Training session would have re--acted if this guy had Mistakenly showed this Porn Video with there Daughter , Sister , Wife as the Star...cannot believe so many people are accepting of this kind of behaviour..Sad and Sick

    • What?
      January 25, 2016 - 18:38

      I, like most males, have watched porn. I have never thought it was 'for a laugh'. I don't ever remember using porn for its comedic content. If I want a laugh I'd watch something funny, not porn. You must have been in the room to know that everyone was told by the instructor that he was going to play some porn. Did he say it would be soft porn or hard porn or explicit porn or porn 'for a laugh'? And, by the way, no 'great' anything would display porn 'for a laugh'. But you admit he 'made a mistake', so I guess that excuses everything, right?

  • Wanda White
    January 25, 2016 - 10:58

    |Its just too bad that this had to come to this. Perhaps now, with the new training, the fire department , and others, will finally realize that degrading women is not acceptable.

    • Timocracy
      January 25, 2016 - 11:31

      I doubt it. This is Newfoundland & Labrador. We are a good 20 years behind the times in just about everything in my experience. Workplace sexual and non-sexual harassment is rampant here in government related institutions.

  • A Volunteer
    January 25, 2016 - 10:57

    He was demoted and yes he will stay on as an active firefighter. The demotion is only temporary!

    • jean larocque
      January 25, 2016 - 13:44

      Coun. Sheri Collins, the fire department’s liaison on council, resigned at a council meeting last Tuesday, as did approximately 20 firefighters, including Hiscock. does't sound like anyone is returning to work to me .maybe the board can put out the fires

    • Wanda
      January 25, 2016 - 14:39

      @jean larocque this article has nothing to do with ms. Collins or hiscock, it's about the instructor that showed the clip in question