Volunteer Firefighters Vindicated in Sudbury
In September 2017, eleven Local 920 volunteer firefighters were disciplined — three of whom were terminated — for voicing their concerns back in March 2017 regarding the City of Greater Sudbury’s proposed Fire and Paramedic Services Optimization Plan. That plan would have seen a significant reduction in the number of volunteer firefighters, along with a significant increase in taxes to the residents of the city. The citizens of Sudbury rallied against the plan, and it was turned down by city council in April 2017.
But that wasn’t the end of the story, as a number of volunteers found out when they were issued discipline notices more than five months later.
In the weeks following the disciplinary action, the volunteers received an outpouring of support on social media, and the issue was followed closely by local media outlets.
“The discipline issued to these volunteer firefighters was excessive and egregious,” says Gord O’Coin, CLAC Sudbury regional director.
Less than one month following their termination, all three volunteer firefighters were reinstated and back serving their community. In the midst of this, fire chief Trevor Bain’s employment with the City of Greater Sudbury came to an abrupt end and former deputy chief Graham Campbell accepted the role of interim fire chief.