New Estevan fire chief announced

After calling on applicants from across the country to find a new fire chief for the City of Estevan, it was announced last week that Shane Code will be holding the top post at the Estevan Fire Rescue Service.

Former Chief Ron Tocker made the decision to retire earlier this year, and that put the City in search mode for his replacement. Tocker officially finished his term as chief in September. Deputy Chief Dale Feser has been acting chief at the fire service since the summer.

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Code will begin his tenure as chief on Nov. 17, coming to Estevan via Coldstream, B.C. where he has been fire chief at the department in that municipality in the southeast area of the province.

Code has been the Superintendent of B.C. Ambulance where he managed the service, as well as instructed First Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic programs.

He was also an instructor for both the Vernon Fire Training Centre and the Justice Institute of B.C. and vice-chair of the North Okanagan Regional Fire Chiefs’ Association.

He holds a Master of Arts in leadership and training and has 13 years of experience in paid-on-call fire service, along with 15 years of EMS management.

City Manager Amber Smale expects bringing in a new chief will provide an opportunity to review the management side of fire operations and make sure they are up to standard across the fire service.

“A fresh perspective is going to bring that. What are we doing? What could we be doing? What should we do differently? Shane has a lot of experience in that and in paid-on-call fire departments in particular,” said Smale.

The Coldstream department is similar to Estevan as a paid-on-call service, so he is familiar with how that part of the operation works.

“He stood out as a lead candidate because of his knowledge and experience in what we’re dealing with already here,” she added.

“He has a solid foundation in labour relations, project management and the setting of performance metrics relative to fire services. Shane operates from a position of engagement: engagement with firefighters, the community, allied agencies and elected council. He’s a hands-on leader who has built a reputation for results and organizational change,” said Smale.

Code has achieved training and certification in various fire programs, including fire officer (1 and 2) hazardous material, suppression and rescue, emergency operations, incident safety and command, forestry firefighting, and strategy and tactics among others.

“I believe Shane will be a great asset to the City and help to build upon our current success in fire services,” said Smale.

In Coldstream, Code was also involved in a department that required a lot of regional co-operation, similar to how Estevan services the region.

“We have many agreements with the surrounding area and we’re responding often times to bigger fires in those areas,” noted Smale. 

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