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John Lane named new fire chief

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Winnipeg has a new fire chief.

City hall announced this afternoon that John A. Lane, formerly chief of the Prince George, B.C. Fire Rescue Service, will assume command of Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service effective April 14.

Lane had been chief in Prince George, a community of about 72,000 people, for two years before he quit in August.

Lane succeeds Reid Douglas, who was let go by the city in the fall.

Alex Forrest, president of the Winnipeg firefighters union, said his members are looking forward to working with Lane.

"We look forward to working with Chief Lane and we’re going to do everything we can to work with him to build this as a bigger and better department."

Forrest said Lane’s extensive background as a paramedic within the Toronto fire department will prove beneficial to the WFPS, adding he’s not concerned Lane is moving from such a small community to one of the country’s largest cities.

"He came out of the Toronto system, the biggest (fire) department in Canada," Forrest said. "He’s more than capable of dealing with a large department such as ours.

"I have nothing but confidence that he will be very successful."

Deepak Joshi, acting chief administrative officer, made the announcement in an email to city hall staff and members of council earlier this afternoon.

Lane, with more than 32 years of experience as a firefighter and paramedic, had been with Prince George Fire Rescue since 2005, where he was hired as the deputy chief of administration. Before that, he had been an EMS district chief with the Toronto Fire Services.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM CDT: Adds quotes from Alex Forrest.

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