City-Volunteer Firefighter Stalemate Continues

Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 09:01 AM

Still no headway in the ongoing and emotional dispute involving the City of Dryden and the Dryden Fire Fighters Association.

The issue was brought up at Monday's Council meeting, even though there was nothing scheduled on the agenda.

Roger Valley presented a pair of options at the meeting.

One was hosting a Town Hall meeting to discuss concerns.

A second suggestion was leasing the Fire Hall Club room to the Association.

Martin MacKinnon and John Carlucci were quick to pour cold water on the leasing option.

MacKinnon says the fact is that they can no longer go back to what they had with the room, noting it's all about cultural change, and keeping the community safe 24-hours a day, 7-days of week.

The Acting Deputy Mayor says he still wants to keep the lines of communication open, but stresses that the City won't negotiate with volunteer firefighters through social media.

MacKinnon says any talks have to be face-to-face.

He adds that they don't know who to talk to, indicating three Councillors recently sat down with the Association, only to be passed off to someone else.

MacKinnon says the City has huge trust issues, noting they don't know who they are negotiating with.

Association Spokesperson Darren Trist says MacKinnon and Carlucci are "for a lack of a better term, spineless", stressing all they had to do is allow open debate.

Trist says the fact that they aren't talking right now puts further red tape in front of any decision and any kind of reconciliation.

Trist says discussing the leasing of the room openly and honestly in the first place, would have alleviated all of the current problems and walk-out's.

He notes they made that request back in January.

Some members of the Association have stated on social media, that the dispute involves a lack in confidence in Fire Chief Ryan Murrell.

Monday's meeting was disrupted on a couple of occasions by concerned citizens and firefighters who filled Council chambers.

Norm Bush, Nick Beyak and Greg Wilson weren't in attendance

To hear more from Martin MacKinnon and Darren Trist, visit the Audio link below.