Response to above letter from ACEL Fire Chief

Dear editor,

It is truly unfortunate that we as a society only grab a hold of just enough information to support a certain predetermined line of thinking, and not consider all the pertinent information.

This “interview” that the retired Deputy Chief is quoting are sound clips that I believe were pulled from an Emo Council meeting that b93 virtually attended. Emo was not “singled out.” I was in an Emo Council meeting, and Emo Council was discussing with me possible reasons for as to why turn out is low. This is not something that is unique to Emo, or ACEL, or even North Western Ontario. Every sector and company is eager to fill positions for which there is not a person to fill.

I absolutely agree with retired D.C. Vanderaa that as Firefighters, we would rather be called off from an emergency that became a “simple none event” than spend hours working a structure fire, or removing someone from a vehicle. As emergency responders, we walk a fine line between wanting to hear a call for help and immediately wishing that none had ever come.

When we require our members to leave their loved ones at home to attend to “none events” time and time again, it does get draining on our volunteers. This applies to both calls and trainings. Same as if we went to the hockey rink every night for practice but never played a game. This is not unique to “thrill seekers” as I’m sure DC Vanderaa can attest to this with his tenure with the fire department and the number of false alarm calls he attended to in recent years.

Another vastly unfortunate thing about this situation is that I took the position with the ACEL Fire Departments because I hoped that I could be working more directly with members of the Fire Service that I have shared varied experiences with over the years. Retired Chief Vanderaa was one of these members, and I hope that one day he and I can work together to make our communities a safer place.

Thanks for the opportunity to offer a small portion of my side of the story.

Tyrell Griffith
ACEL Fire Chief