On Tuesday, November 23rd, Carleton Place Mayor presided in council chambers for the first time in almost 2 years. The reason was to honour 3 members of the Ocean Wave Fire Company for exemplary and long service. First up was Deputy Chief Dave Joy who received his 20 year exemplary service medal from Black. Next, Firefighter Brent Hurdis and Chief Pascal Meunier were given 25 year long service awards. When the format returned to a zoom virtual meeting, one of the last motions of the evening was to authorize the rebranding of the fire service giving it the name, Carleton Place Fire Department.
Before the discussion took place, Black requested the CAO, Diane Smithson read out a statement submitted by the firefighter’s association. It explained that they requested the name change and they pledged to honour its history as well as all members of the local service, past, present, and future. In previous meetings it was explained by Fire Chief Meunier that the name change issue came about after legal advice was received earlier this year indicating that the firefighter’s association required a title that was separately identifiable from the fire service for their group. As most area dispatchers have been referring to the Ocean Wave Fire Company as the Carleton Place Fire Department for years, it seemed like a logical move. However, public reaction opposing the change was substantial, with Councilor Linda Seccaspina stating she heard from over 100 people on one day prior to the vote.
In the end, the motion to make the change passed by a 4 to 2 margin.