New year, new fire chief

Liberated Leslie becomes Vanderhoof fire chief, with plans to make changes already in the work.

Ian Leslie (middle) was officially named Vanderhoof fire chief at the December council meeting

Ian Leslie (middle) was officially named Vanderhoof fire chief at the December council meeting

Liberated Leslie has official been sworn in as Vanderhoof’s new fire chief.

Ian Lesley, Vanderhoof’s fire chief effective Jan. 5 2015, was exalted during the District of Vanderhoof’s December council meeting. Two rows of fire fighter volunteers filled the back of council chambers, including former fire chief, Joe Pacheco, who proudly shook Mr. Lesley’s hand in congratulations. As did the rest of council and all fire crew members.

“It’s an incredibly good decision,” Gerry Thiessen said, mayor of Vanderhoof. “The security the fire department brings to the community is so important. The relationship of fire chief to the community attracts people with an interesting combination of responsibilities and Ian is so well accepted by the community, council and fire department volunteers. It’s an exciting time for council to see him make the decision to carry on with it.”

Starting out as a volunteer, Mr. Lesley has served the Vanderhoof fire department for over 36 years. He worked to fill the role of deputy chief for the last 20 years and progressed to serve as acting fire chief for the last seven months. With the confirmation of his new official title, he looks forward to getting the fire department back to a consistent strength with new procedures and training, Mr. Lesley said.

“The team we have is great, a real strong group of officers. The camaraderie is commendable, we all accept a challenge and it will be a great working relationship moving forward,” Mr. Lesley said. “I’ve held every position over the years and now I’ve made my way up the ranks.”

Moving forward, volunteers can expect changes such as increased training standards taken from the new training ‘playbook’.  A new bush truck is also on it’s way in the new year and Mr. Lesley hopes to start working on the training site at the Vanderhoof airport. A six-year-plan is in the works to bring new buildings and a concrete pad for expatiation training of a burning vehicle.

“In 2015 we hope to get power in the classroom at the airport and we’re looking forward to a new bush truck,” Mr. Lesley said. “The whole fire department will also be doing more community events.”

The Vanderhoof Fire Department has 30 volunteers but Mr. Lesley wants to get the number back up to 35. If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer, please call Ian Lesley at 250-567-7418 or drop by the fire hall.


Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read