News / Halifax

A hot job opening: Halifax looking for new fire chief

Current chief Doug Trussler’s contract expired at the end of December, but he agreed to extend it for six months while HRM looks for his replacement.

Halifax fire chief Doug Trussler.

Metro file

Halifax fire chief Doug Trussler.

Halifax is on the hunt for a new fire chief.

The municipality put out a request for proposals on Monday looking for a recruitment agency to work with CAO Jacques Dubé to come up with job requirements and a recommended salary, advertise and seek out potential candidates for a new Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency chief.

Current chief Doug Trussler’s five-year contract was supposed to expire at the end of December. He agreed to extend it for six months on the existing terms “as a courtesy to the CAO,” to ensure a smooth transition, and to tie up a significant loose end: Trussler is set to deliver a report on new fire service standards to council early in 2017, advising council whether to change response times or staffing of fire stations in the municipality.

“I think that the current fire chief has set an excellent example of what we would be looking for,” said municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliott.

“This particular chief has had an extensive time in front of regional council providing his best advice on how to proceed in certain ways to improve the fire department, and we’d be looking for much of the same from whoever replaces him.”

Trussler was at times at odds with council, especially when it came to his recommendations to close fire stations and change staffing, but Elliott doesn’t think that meant he wasn’t respected by council.

“I don’t think there was ever a concern from council that he didn’t know what he was doing or that he wasn’t doing a good job,” Elliott said. “They just felt that they would like to go in a different direction than what his advice was, and the chief was OK with that.”

The RFP closes on Dec. 20, and the new fire chief will start at the end of June.

The municipality is also looking to replace retiring EMO coordinator Barry Manuel, who retires at the end of April. The successful recruiter will be filling both positions.

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