Squamish’s former fire chief says it’s unfair of that town’s mayor to say he did not have a good working relationship with firefighters because any attrition was caused by his attempt to ban booze from firehalls.
Ray Saurette claimed he was fired on Tuesday without cause after volunteer firefighters and some retirees allegedly banded together against him over on-the-job alcohol consumption.
“Knowing that those individuals could be going across the doorway, getting out a piece of fire apparatus, and going out there not being at the top of their game is concerning to me,” he said.
But Squamish Mayor Greg Gardner told media Saurette, who was chief for nine years, was dismissed because of his working relationship with those under him.
Gardner did acknowledge that alcohol is consumed at the town’s firehalls.
Saurette said he is devastated about his termination, but he is happy about the attention the issue is receiving.
“It’s shedding light on a problem that has existed in the department for some time,” said Saurette.
• The Squamish fire department has five paid staff and 60 volunteers.
• It responds to about 480 incidents per year.