New fire chief to be hired in Qualicum Beach, department to return to being separate from Parksville

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The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach will return to having two separate and distinct fire departments, according to a joint statement from both mayors.

Once Qualicum Beach fills the position of fire chief, the Fire Chief Secondment agreement between Parksville and Qualicum Beach will end. Marc Norris will no longer serve as chief in both communities and will return to Parksville full time, according to the release.

“We thank Chief Norris for his dedication, demonstrated leadership and excellence in service to our residents. We also thank the members of both departments for their ongoing support and commitment as we examined this opportunity,”  reads a joint statement from Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne and Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese.

The two communities carried out a comprehensive fire service review (FSR) to assess each department’s operations and administration and identify governance structure options for possible amalgamation and joint operations of the two fire departments.

The review was completed in December by Behr Integrated Solutions and the findings were presented to the municipalities before deciding to return to two separate departments.

Once a new chief assumes the role in Qualicum Beach, the two fire chiefs will work together to identify opportunities for shared implementation of elements of the FSR.

“We look forward to building on the collaboration between our two organizations to benefit the fire departments and our communities. Both the Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville are fortunate to have a working relationship which supports this innovative arrangement,” reads the mayors’ statement.

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