By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express/LJI Reporter
Oshawa Fire Services has welcomed eight new recruits.
The eight new firefighters include Nick Zottl, Connor Hale, Rylee McKinnon, Adam Maccarone, Josh Kiatipis, Liam Donnelly, Chris Brabin, and Zachary Carrie.
While five of the new recruits are to replace retirements, three are added positions that were acquired with council support, according Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark.
Clark says the department has deep roots and traditions in the community dating back more than 150 years.
“Our core values are authenticity, courage, trust, dedication, excellence, and to provide the highest level of public safety to the City of Oshawa,” says Clark. “We have put in a lot of time and effort to select the right candidates and ensure you are the right fit.
According to the Oshawa Professional Firefighters Association President Peter Dyson, the new members are looking forward to serving the community as a firefighter and making Oshawa a safer place to live.
“These new recruits are a welcome addition and will help ensure public safety in Oshawa,” says Dyson. “They are enthusiastic to get to work and make a difference in our community.”
Oshawa city council approved the investment into Oshawa Fire Services during its 2020 budget deliberations in December 2019.
The approved 2020 operating budget for fire services is $27.4 million, which represents 14.5 per cent of the total city operating budget. An additional $1.775 million was approved for Next Generation 911 networks upgrades and fire vehicle replacements.
“We are thankful for Oshawa City Council listening to the concerns about staffing. These three net new positions are a good first step in the right direction,” says Dyson, adding they will help reduce the need for overtime.
In addition to the new firefighters, Clark says Communications Officer Sandra Mackey also recently joined the department.
“In a short period of time, Sandra has already made a huge impact to our communications division and our department. I have tremendous support from our mayor and council, and I appreciate that,” says Clark.
“As chief, my primary concern is the health and safety of all our staff. My wish for everyone at OFS is nothing less than a successful, healthy, exultant and an exemplary career. I welcome you and congratulations on joining the greatest department in the country.”