Normand Beauchamp, fire chief of Smiths Falls since 2013, has announced that he will be resigning to move to a larger community.
Beauchamp, who informed town council of his decision at a meeting on Sept. 18, said that his new employer will have to remain confidential for now.
“I want to thank each member of council for your support,” said Beauchamp. “We accomplished a lot, and I hope that continues.”
The fire chief said the biggest improvement in local fire service in the past 30 years took place after council endorsed his decision to implement a new organizational structure, delegating authority to three lieutenants.
He added that he respects the fact that the town is interested in long-term planning rather than just day-to-day management. The chief also singled out Chief Administrative Officer Malcolm Morris for particular praise.
“CAO Morris is a great CAO,” said Beauchamp. “He is a great asset to the town.”
Praising the chief’s “high level of professionalism,” Mayor Shawn Pankow said, “In the back of our minds we always knew you had higher aspirations. We wish you all the best.”
Commenting that he had never seen Beauchamp so “emotional” before, Councillor Chris Cummings said, “You’ve certainly modernized the service.”
Another innovation brought in by the chief was quarterly reports to council on the department’s firefighting, prevention and training activities.
Prior to moving to Smiths Falls in 2013, Beauchamp was fire chief in Swift Current, SK, for three years. He has been a full-time firefighter for 1993, and originally hails from Quebec.