Update Dicks replaced as Norfolk fire chief

Norfolk County has “parted ways” with Fire Chief Terry Dicks.“This council was elected on a strong platform of change, and that means making some difficult decisions,” Mayor Kristal Chopp said Thursday in a news release. “Today, we begin taking Norfolk County’s Fire Department in a new direction.”Where that direction leads remains to be seen. The mayor says the destination will come into focus once the county consults with the 250-plus members of the volunteer contingent.“The Norfolk County Fire Department prides itself on being a volunteer-driven group, tightly woven into the fabric of the community,” Chopp said in an email to the Reformer.“At the end of the day, the volunteers will be the ones who tell us what direction to take the department in. They’re the experts in the field who do such great work to keep us all safe.“From thinking about training to how we celebrate the unique identities of our individual stations, I think it will be really important to hear from them as we move forward – to recognize that we have a great deal of wisdom collected in the more than 250 men and women of the Norfolk County Fire Department.”Chopp did not reply to an email asking her to elaborate on the manner in which Dicks and the county “parted ways.” At the municipal level, personnel matters are treated as private and confidential and are not discussed in a public forum.Dicks has served as the head of the local fire service for nearly 13 years. He replaced the new Norfolk County’s inaugural fire chief Denys Prevost when the latter moved on to the City of Welland in 2006.A call to Dicks’ private number in Norfolk Thursday was unanswered.According to Ontario’s most recent disclosure of public sector employees earning $100,000 or more, Dicks drew a salary of $123,080 in 2018.Dicks’ accomplishments include overseeing the installation of numerous dry hydrants across Norfolk to facilitate the recharging of tanker trucks on short notice. The certification of Norfolk’s Superior Water Shuttle Program has resulted in reduced insurance rates for homeowners in select areas across the county.Dicks also oversaw the design and replacement of numerous fire vehicles.Norfolk’s Deputy Chief Gord Stilwell will serve as acting chief, effective immediately.Norfolk’s 250-plus volunteers serve at 11 stations across the county.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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