A number of volunteer firefighters handed in their pagers to the Gold River Fire Department in protest after Fire Chief Lisa Illes was terminated on Friday, Jan. 8.
Mayor Brad Unger confirmed the council’s decision to conclude the appointment of Illes as fire chief.
“Council unanimously made the decision to end the relationship with the fire chief. This decision was not taken lightly. As this is a human resources matter, we are unable to disclose the details surrounding the matter,” said Unger.
Illes held the position of fire chief in Gold River for the past four years. She declined Black Press’ request for a comment.
Stating that the fire chief is a paid position, Unger said council will move forward to find a new fire chief over the next few weeks.
“In the meantime, we have been assured that we have coverage both locally, and with support from the Campbell River Fire Department,” he said and added that one of the fire captains is heading the team until a new chief is appointed.
Following Illes’ dismissal, a number of volunteer firefighters took to social media to express their solidarity with Illes saying that it was a wrongful termination.
|A screenshot of the post that members of Gold River Volunteer Fire & Rescue put up on Facebook after fire chief Lisa Illes was terminated on Jan.8.The post has been removed from the page since.|
The sudden dismissal of Illes from her position has also raised questions among Gold River community members, many of whom have taken to social media asking council to provide an explanation for Illes’ termination.
The BC Fire Commissioner visited Gold River on Saturday and was present for a meeting between the village council and Gold River volunteer firefighters.