Connaught community members banded together to support the volunteer fire department at the Hoyle Community Centre.

The centre was filled with people expressing their concerns over Last Wednesday’s post where the volunteer department said it’s chief was terminated unjustly and all the volunteers resigned to show their support.

City CAO Dave Landers confirmed that there were some staffing changes, but couldn’t comment further because it is a human resources matter.

District Deputy Chief for the station Maria Pellarin says she has met with the City of Timmins to go over some ongoing concerns at the department including recruitment freezes, community events being cancelled and a few unjust terminations. Pellarin says the recruitment freeze was put in place in January which has had an impact on the department since there are currently eight volunteers in Connaught. She adds that the community and fundraising events that had happened for years getting cancelled has been hard for the families of volunteers to handle. “It all culminated with the termination of three gentlemen. We give a lot of hours of our time for nominal pay and the dedication that these gentlemen have given, we stand behind them 100 per cent.”

At a community meeting held Monday night, Pellarin stated the eight volunteers are back servicing the area on all calls. She says there are some stipulations on this including the city meeting with the volunteer departments.

CAO Dave Landers says he will be meeting with all six of the volunteer departments in the community to go over their concerns with the volunteer system. Landers says he will use this time to “talk about some of the changes that have happened and see how that is affecting their ability to offer emergency coverage across the community and work towards improving moral across the entire system.”

Landers adds that there is an appeal process currently in place for the recent termination. He says this process will take a couple of weeks.