Oliver Fire Department suspended

The Oliver Fire Department has been suspended.

The department as a whole will be facing consequences, including suspension, following the theft of several kegs of beer from a fire scene in May.

Following a fire that destroyed the Mesa Hotel in Oliver, several kegs of beer were removed from the scene and taken to the Oliver Fire Hall, where two of the kegs were tapped by fire department staff.

The incident was first reported to the municipal offices over a week later and the information was relayed to the Oliver RCMP.

In addition, a brief internal investigation resulted in suspension of two fire department members and planned suspension of a third.

Since the initial review of the matter, it has become apparent that involvement was not limited to three individuals.

Rather, several fire fighters were involved in varying degrees.

Because this incident resulted from a general lapse in judgment on the part of the department rather than the isolated actions of two or three individuals, the initial suspensions have now been repealed.

Instead, the Fire Department will collectively face the following consequences:
  • Public letter of apology that was placed in the May 23 edition of the Oliver Chronicle
  • A two-week suspension for each fire fighter, to be administered on a rotating basis and
  • Removal of all unlicensed alcohol from the fire hall property.

    “The Oliver Fire Department does a great job, and deserves the ongoing support and trust of the community,” says Mayor Pat Hampson.

    “I am absolutely convinced that the above measures imposed in response to the beer removal incident will ensure that such an unfortunate, collective lapse of judgment will not recur.”

    Acting Fire Chief Dan Skaros says they have worked with Town council and administration to arrive at discipline measures that will have their desired effect, while still allowing them to provide reliable fire suppression services to Oliver area residents and businesses.

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