Former Winnipeg Fire-Paramedic Chief Reid Douglas has penned a letter to members of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, confirming he did not leave the service on his own accord.
Douglas was fired on Wednesday after a four-decade firefighting career in Winnipeg, North Vancouver, B.C. and Yellowknife, N.W.T.
The city has refused to disclose the reasons for his departure, which comes days or weeks before the release of a review into Winnipeg's contentious fire-paramedic station replacemement program.
In the letter, Douglas tells WFPS members he is proud of them and suggests he will not speak about the fire-paramedic station scandal.
"It is most important that all of council is first to have the opportunity to review and debate this issue in an unfettered manner," Douglas wrote.
The following letter was posted this morning on the website of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg:
September 27, 2013
An Open Letter To the Staff at WFPS
I am aware that over the past few weeks you have been living in an environment of uncertainty and extreme anxiety over the situation that is unfolding not only in the media but within the department. As the scenario has now unfolded to this point you are aware of my departure from WFPS. What is important to me for you to know is that I did not walk away from you. This was something beyond my control.
It is most important also for you to know how very proud I am of each and every one of you. Proud of you for the dedicated and selfless service you provide to the citizens of this great city and for the daily sacrifices you make to ensure the safety and health of our people. Proud of the friendships we have developed and grateful for the invaluable assistance you have provided me over the years. There was never a day that I did not feel humbled to be in your presence and having the privilege to be your Chief.
In countless discussions with many of you, when presented with a situation needing a solution, my advice to you has always been to "Do the Right Thing." As this scenario unfolds further and the impending Fire Paramedic Station Audit moves on to Council and becomes public record, I assure you I am following my own advice by "Doing the Right Thing." It is most important that all of Council is first to have the opportunity to review and debate this issue in an unfettered manner.
In the mean time there are still fires to put out, patients to be attended to and people needing help. I hope the public knows that when they dial 911, they are calling on the services of one of the finest Fire and EMS services in the world.