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Minto, Wellington North to share fire department management team

Palmerston Fire Hall

Current Minto Fire Chief Chris Harrow appointed as new Director of Fire Services, effective June 1

By Chris Daponte

Wellington Advertiser

MINTO – Wellington North and Minto have agreed to share a fire department management team led by a new Director of Fire Services.

Chris Harrow

Chris Harrow, Minto’s current fire chief, was appointed to the position by both municipalities in separate council meetings on Tuesday night (May 19).

“Sharing the cost of a management team will allow our fire services to explore many different avenues that will make both fire services more efficient and effective,” stated Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox in a joint press release.

Minto Mayor George Bridge said he too fully supports the agreement, which will take effect on June 1 and run for the remainder of the 2020.

Officials say they will use that time “to review a management structure moving forward.”

“This new partnership allows each fire service to keep their own identity, but share an administration team that will work together to enhance the capabilities of both departments,” stated Bridge.

Dave Guilbault

The shared position was prompted by the pending retirement of current Wellington North Fire Chief Dave Guilbault.

“The Township of Wellington North extends sincere appreciation to Dave for his leadership over the past six years and wishes him well in his well-deserved retirement,” states the press release, noting Guilbault has more than 45 years of fire service experience.

Officials say no other full-time positions are currently being added to either fire department. Deputy chief Marco Guidotti and assistant chief Callise Loos will form the rest of the administration team.

The partnership is similar to a recent economic development agreement between Mapleton, Minto and Wellington North that was first introduced in January, officials say.

“The recommendation to explore such partnerships came from the recent efficiencies study completed by KPMG on the County of Wellington and it’s seven member municipalities,” states the press release.