North Huron fire chief announces medical leave

BELGRAVE – The fire chief of the 44-member volunteer fire department in North Huron announced he is taking a medical leave of absence recently.

Fire chief John Black’s duties will be divided between the two deputy chiefs. It is expected council will appoint deputy chief Keith Hodgkinson as the interim fire chief, responsible for day-to-day operations of the fire department, managing current projects and priorities. Deputy chief David Sparling will assume more responsibility for the Emergency Services Training Centre in Blyth and continue to implement the expanded business plan and marketing strategy for the regional training centre, according to a press release issued by the Township of North Huron today.

“Over the past three years, John has worked tirelessly to establish the FDNH, secure service contracts with neighbouring municipalities, expand the ESTC, and build a legally compliant fire department.  A team is in place to manage the FDNH and continue with the important work John has started,” said Neil Vincent, who is reeve of the Township of North Huron.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with John and his family. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him rejoin us,” he said.

Black began as fire chief in North Huron in June 2009. He served 24 years on the Gravenhurst Fire Department, ending his career there as deputy chief. He was also a qualified instructor with the Ontario Fire College and instructed at the Blyth Emergency Safety Training Centre before joining the local fire department.

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