Spaniard's Bay restaffs fire department

Nicholas Mercer
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Just under 30 applicants selected

For the past couple of weeks it’s been a strange sight to see a Spaniard’s Bay fire truck moving through the streets.

Spaniard's Bay fire department

If there’s been an emergency call, it’s been either departments in Bay Roberts or Upper Island Cove who have attended the scene.

However on Feb. 17, that changed. For the first time since a mass resignation of the Spaniard’s Bay fire brigade in late January, a pumper truck made its way around town.

It was moments after the council had selected some 28 people to re-staff the beleaguered department.

The 28 new members of the department is a solid mixture of the new and the old. It is comprised of upwards to 20 former firefighters as well as just under a dozen new faces, including three women.

They will join newly minted Fire Chief Kurt Roberts on the brigade. Roberts previously served as assistant fire chief and was appointed on Feb. 8.

The move to rebuild the department is one of the few positives that have come out of the controversy that’s engulfed the town since Jan. 19. That’s when the majority of the town’s firefighters stepped away from their duties in support of former councillor Sherri Collins, who tendered her resignation after accusing Coun. Brenda Seymour of harassing her. Collins was council's liaison with the department.

Seymour, the lone female firefighter in the brigade, levelled allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment against members of the department. She has also denied harassing Collins.


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Earlier this month, town manager Tony Ryan resigned from his post.

What’s left now is to get the new faces adequately trained and up to speed with their more experienced colleagues.

“We’re taking slow steps in the right direction,” said Mayor Tony Menchions.

As everything gets put in place the neighbouring departments remain on call for any emergency that could arise.

Geographic location: Bay Roberts, Upper Island Cove

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Recent comments

  • Gettin too foolish
    February 26, 2016 - 13:24

    I pity the boys on the dept. What's goin to happen next time they are at practice and some asks her to open a "ballcock" valve or tells her to "grab that hose". That'll probably get turned around and what's next - right to the cbc. Time for people to grow up.

  • Sherrie Percey
    February 25, 2016 - 03:19

    What we need is our fire department now. Not yesterday ,we had a fully trained staff who left ,we need them back the worst did happen on the 22 of February ,my parents did lose their home ,so while yet another meeting was on the go my parents lost 50 plus years of memories ,that my dear people is a reality check and now it's time to get our team back in running order ,i would love to see the original ones back ,the next fire we may not be so lucky and we may be burying 2 of the citizens of spaniards bay ,but at the moment we have 2 solder people homeless ! Think hard what has happened ,think if it was your parents because I know first hand now what it's like shuffle long through rub bage from a fire for you parents and to see everything gone !! So get them back ,have meetings about harassment but for the love of god think about peoples lives first !

  • Me nerves
    February 23, 2016 - 08:49

    There were 5 women who applied and they took 3. If the SB Council is going to be about equality you are sending the wrong message. It's like saying " now boys, we knows ye don't want too many women on there but we got to take a few cause everyone is watchin' and talkin' about us. And for the love of all things good, try and watch what you're sayin around 'em this time." Oh and not trying to start anything here but one of those 3 women is the chiefs daughter and another is a councillor's daughter. Both these men were on the selection committee. Not trying to say there was favouritism or anything, maybe they were the most qualified.

  • willis howell
    February 20, 2016 - 15:27

    good for them glad to see more women have signed up let them do what they do best and stop the bs

  • Jim
    February 19, 2016 - 16:23

    Why is it that news reports can't contain actual facts: 28 members that must be the actual number. Just under 20 former members? that must be somewhere between 16 and 20.? is this a case where they don't know the exact number/. Just under a dozen (meaning 12, I suppose} Is that 9,10 or 11 or again a case of we don't know ?.

    • bb
      February 22, 2016 - 07:18

      Yes Jim, got to agree with you. Not what you would call investigative reporting.

  • Delores strickland
    February 19, 2016 - 14:57

    Why was it that some councillors picked through the applications and had there say in who was qualified to be on the fire Dept, I think that it should of been done by people not on council cause maybe some council members could have a grudge against some fire fighters plus some hire's haven't got grade 12 or equivalents too.

  • concerned
    February 19, 2016 - 13:41

    including 3 woman! Good to hear. I guess Brenda Seymour and her husband are allowing woman to join now as they argued against it not to long ago. Good to see.