Horizon County Fire Case Study Assignment | Online Homework Help
Part 1 – (PART 1 IS ALREADY COMPLETE) COMPLETE PART 2 ONLY Part 2 – (PLEASE USE INFO I PROVIDED, ARTICLES AND PART 1) Imagine that the same incident happened in your fire department, how would your recommendations change or remain the same? Once again defend your recommendations with reference to relevant assigned readings. For this part please include, that educating the crew with policy is extremely important (please have 2 direct quotes in part 2) Please also include how each member should be included in conversation and how its important to find out the needs and concerns of each member and to make sure they feel a sense of belonging and important
The Town of East Gwillimbury is committed to providing and maintaining a work environment that is based on respect for the dignity and rights of everyone in the organization. It is the Corporation’s goal to provide a healthy and safe work environment that is free of any form of harassment, violence or discrimination.
The Corporation is committed to a workplace strategy of preventing and eliminating all forms of harassment, violence and discrimination. The strategy includes a policy, training, education, and a complaint resolutions process. Staff are encouraged to provide feedback to the Human Resources branch on ways to improve the policies and procedures regarding workplace violence, harassment, and discrimination.
Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Town of East Gwillimbury to take all reasonable precautions to protect employees from workplace violence and workplace harassment from all sources, adopting a “zero tolerance” policy. Workplace violence and harassment is unacceptable from anyone. Workplace violence and harassment may arise from a variety of sources including customers, contractors, employers, supervisors, workers, members of the public and domestic/intimate partners.
No form of discrimination, workplace violence or workplace harassment will be tolerated by the Corporation. Any employee who is found to have engaged in conduct, which constitutes discrimination, workplace violence or workplace harassment, will be subject to responsive and appropriate action that may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
No form of reprisal, whether actual or threatened, against a person who initiates or contemplates initiating a complaint of discrimination, workplace violence, or workplace harassment will be tolerated by the Corporation. An employee who participates in, or is involved in a reprisal whether actual or threatened, against a complainant, potential complainant, witness, adviser, investigator or decision-maker will be subject to responsive
2 | P a g e
and appropriate action that may include disciplinary action up to and including possible termination of employment.
This policy applies to all activities that occur while on the Town’s premises or while employees are engaging in work-related activities. Each department has the responsibility to implement measures and procedures specific to that workplace to mitigate discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment. Each workplace offers unique challenges and should take into consideration the workplace circumstances and type of work done. While the Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Workplace Violence Policy and Procedure applies to all departments, each department is encouraged to develop new approaches and to inform Human Resources of methods that may improve workplace safety
Freedom from violence, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace is a fundamental right of all employees.
The efficient handling of all complaints and other actions taken to resolve, prevent or address violence, discrimination and harassment are necessary to ensure that the rights of individuals are not prejudiced or jeopardized. A spirit of fairness to all parties involved is essential. All information, evidence and circumstances will be carefully considered when deciding upon a course of action.
All investigations will be conducted in a private manner, going to the furthest extent possible to keep information confidential.
This policy conforms to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Workplace is defined under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act as: “any land, premise, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works. His includes but is not limited to:
All Town buildings, owned or leased
Work related travel
Construction sites, residents homes
Telephone, email or other communications
Any work-related social event, whether or not it is
3 | P a g e
Restaurants, hotels or meeting facilities that are being used for business purposes
Workplace discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion or preference based on the protected grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code, which nullifies or impairs equality of opportunity in employment, or equality in the terms and conditions of employment. The protected grounds of discrimination are:
Race, colour, ancestry, citizenship, ethnic origin or place of origin
Disability or perceived disability
Family, marital status (includes same-sex partnerships)
Sex (including pregnancy)
Sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity
A record of offences for which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.
Workplace Harassment is defined under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Harassment is defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code as: “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably be known to be unwelcome. Some examples of workplace harassment are:
Verbally abusive behaviour such as yelling, insults, ridicule and name calling including remarks, jokes or innuendos that demean, ridicule, intimidate or offend
Workplace pranks, vandalism, bullying and hazing
Gossiping or spreading malicious rumours
Excluding or ignoring someone, including persistent exclusion of a particular person from workplace-related social gatherings
Sabotaging someone else’s work, displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials
Offensive or intimidating phone calls or emails
Impeding an individual’s efforts at promotions or transfers for reasons that are not legitimate
4 | P a g e
Making false allegations about someone in memos or other work related documents
Workplace harassment should not be confused with legitimate, reasonable management actions that are part of the normal work function, including:
Measures to correct performance deficiencies, such as placing someone on a performance improvement plan
Harassment does not include: differences of opinion, minor disagreements between employees and isolated incidents of rudeness
One form of workplace harassment is sexual harassment, which includes conduct or comments of a sexual nature that the recipient does not welcome or that offend him or her. The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines sexual harassment as: engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. Some examples of sexual harassment are:
Sexual advances or demands that the recipient does not welcome or want
Threats, punishment or denial of a benefit for refusing a sexual advance
Offering a benefit in exchange for a sexual favour
Leering (persistent sexual staring)
Displaying sexually offensive material such as posters, pictures, calendars, cartoons, screen savers, pornographic or erotic web sites or other electronic material
Distributing sexually explicit e-mail messages or attachments such as pictures or video files
Sexually suggestive or obscene comments or gestures
Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, propositions or taunting about a person’s body, clothing or sex
Persistent, unwanted attention after a consensual relationship ends
5 | P a g e
Physical contact of a sexual nature, such as touching or caressing
Another form of workplace harassment is discriminatory harassment, which includes comments or conduct based on the protected grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code, which the recipient does not welcome or that offends him or her. Some examples of discriminatory harassment include:
Offensive comments, jokes or behaviour that disparage or ridicule a person’s membership in one of the protected grounds, such as race or religion
Imitating a person’s accent, speech or mannerisms in a demeaning or offensive manner
Persistent or inappropriate questions about whether a person is pregnant, has children or plans to have children
Inappropriate comments or jokes about an individual’s age, sexual orientation, personal appearance or weight
Poisoned Work Environment
Harassing and/or discriminatory comments or conduct can poison someone’s working environment, making it a hostile or uncomfortable place to work, even if the person is not being directly targeted. This is commonly referred to as a poisoned working environment and it is also a form of workplace harassment. Some examples of actions that can create a poisoned work environment include:
Displaying offensive or sexual materials such as posters, pictures, calendars, web sites or screen savers
Distributing offensive e-mail messages, or attachments such as pictures or video files
Practical jokes that embarrass or insult someone
Jokes or insults that are offensive, racist or discriminatory in nature
Workplace Violence is defined under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act as:
The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace that causes physical injury to the worker;
An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or,
A statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against
6 | P a g e
the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
Some examples of Workplace Violence include:
Verbal or written threats to physically attack a worker
Leaving threatening notes at or sending threatening emails to a workplace
Physically threatening behaviour such as shaking a fist at someone, finger pointing, destroying property or throwing objects
Leaving threatening notes or sending threatening emails
Wielding a weapon at work
Physically aggressive behaviour including hitting, shoving, standing excessively close to someone in an aggressive manner, pushing, kicking, throwing objects at someone, physically restraining someone or any other form of physical or sexual assault
Domestic Violence is defined in the Ministry of Labour Guideline entitled “Workplace Violence and Harassment: Understanding the Law” as: “A person who has personal relationship with a worker – such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner or a family member – may physically harm, or attempt or threaten to physically harm, that worker at work. In these situations, domestic violence is considered workplace violence.” Should the Town become aware or ought reasonably to be aware of an incident of Domestic Violence, the Town will provide support to the victim.
Workplace Risk Assessment
The thorough investigation of the workplace to identify those things, situations, processes, and environments that may cause harm.
Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator
Person designated to coordinate investigations regarding workplace harassment and violence as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This responsibility is held by the Director of Human Resources or his or her designate.
Refers to an employee that has raised a concern, complaint, or incident of harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
Refers to an employee or group of employees who is the alleged harasser.
7 | P a g e
For the purpose of this policy/procedure Supervisor refers to an employee who directly supervises the complainant or respondent.
A person of average care, skill, judgement.
Unless otherwise required by statute or court order, Timely Manner for the purposes of this policy shall mean within 90 days unless extenuating circumstances warrant a longer investigation.
The HR Department shall:
Develop, post and review annually the Health and Safety Policy that includes the Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence Policy and Procedure
Maintain measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the workplace violence risk assessment
Provide staff with measures and procedures for summoning immediate help when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur
Provide a system in which employees can report incidents of workplace harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence
Maintain and provide procedures to investigate incidents of workplace harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence
Provide appropriate information and instruction to employees regarding workplace harassment, discrimination and workplace violence
Inform employees of their right to refuse unsafe work (if applicable) in situations where the employee has reason to believe that workplace violence may endanger an employee, subject to applicable legislation
Provide information about a person with a history of violent behaviour to employees who can be expected to encounter them at work and where the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the employee to physical injury.
The CAO/General Managers shall:
Take all reasonable steps to provide employees with a safe work environment, free from workplace violence, threats of violence, workplace harassment and other disruptive behaviour;
Ensure that discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment are not tolerated, ignored or condoned;
Ensure this policy and the supporting program is implemented and maintained.
8 | P a g e
The Director/Manager/Supervisor shall:
Report workplace violence or domestic violence that occurs or that is likely to occur to the Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator;
Provide information and instruction to employees on the Respect in the Workplace Policy and Procedure;
Take appropriate action to mitigate circumstances surrounding violence and harassment in the workplace in accordance with the Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Workplace Violence Policy;
Investigate and manage all incidents and complaints of workplace violence and harassment in a fair and timely manner;
Approach an employee if violence or the threat of violence is suspected because some employees may be embarrassed or reluctant to report a violent incident or threat of violence. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for management staff to report incidents of violence if the employee who is the victim of violence is reluctant, too frightened or otherwise unable to do so;
Provide employees who have been subjected to workplace violence or harassment and their co-workers who witnessed the incident, with appropriate supports (EAP or other resources as appropriate) in consultation with Human Resources;
Notify the police, as warranted, depending on the nature of the actual or potential violent incident;
Conspicuously post copies of this policy endorsed by Senior Management and the Joint Health and Safety Co-Chairs at all facilities and annually review it;
Ensure that all employee information related to workplace violence and harassment complaints or incidents are handled confidentially respecting the privacy of all parties to the extent we are able to do so;
Provide information about a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour , if an employee can be expected to encounter that person during the course of his or her work and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the employee to physical injury;
Assess the risk of workplace violence as often as is necessary that may arise from the nature of the workplace, type of work or conditions of work and report findings to the Joint Health and Safety Committee;
Develop measures and procedures to control identified risks that are likely to expose a worker to physical injury.
The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator shall:
Ensure that discrimination, workplace violence and harassment is not tolerated, ignored or condoned;
Collaborate with Directors, Managers, Supervisors and the Joint Health and Safety Committee on workplace violence risk assessments, the development and maintenance of a Workplace Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence Policy and
9 | P a g e
Procedure and other preventative measure with respect to discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment;
Investigate and manage all incidents and complaints of workplace violence and workplace harassment in a non-biased, procedurally fair and timely manner;
Notify the Ministry of Labour and the Joint Health and Safety Committee within four days (immediately by phone when a person is killed or critically injured) if there is an incident of workplace violence and a worker is disabled from performing his or her regular work or requires medical attention.
Within four days (48 hours where a person is killed or critically injured) give written notice of occurrence to the Ministry of Labour with any information that may be prescribed.
Provide employees who have been subjected to workplace violence or workplace harassment and their co-workers who witnessed the incident, with appropriate supports (EAP or other resources as appropriate)
Ensure that all employee information related to complaints or incidents of discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment are handled confidentially respecting the privacy of all parties to the extent we are able to do so.
Ensure prior to any investigation that the individuals involved in the investigation understand and are aware of the provisions of this policy.
The Employee shall:
Foster a work environment based on respect that is free from discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment;
Ensure that discrimination, workplace violence and workplace harassment are not tolerated, ignored or condoned;
Report to your manager and/or supervisor workplace violence, domestic violence and workplace harassment that occurs or that is likely to occur;
Attend education and information training sessions on discrimination, workplace violence, and workplace harassment prevention and conflict resolution provided by the Town.
Cooperate fully in any investigation.
The Joint Health & Safety Committee shall:
Collaborate with Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator to conduct and provide feedback on the Workplace Violence Risk Assessment as well as assist in the development and maintenance of workplace violence and workplace harassment programs and other preventative measures;
Promote the principles of this program to employees;
Participate in the work refusal investigation process as required.
10 | P a g e
WORKPLACE RISK ASSESSMENT:
After identification is made, an evaluation is done to assess how likely and severe the identified risks are and then decide what measures should be in place to effectively prevent or control the harm from happening. These Workplace Risk Assessments will be performed with a Member of Health and Safety as well as with the appropriate Supervisor and General Manager for the given work environment. Refer to Appendix B for the Workplace Risk Assessment forms that shall be used for the purpose of assessing Workplace Risks and Hazards.
Upon recognizing the need to effectively prevent or control a potential harmful situation, Senior Management and Staff will receive appropriate training necessary to address that concern.
The Corporation will ensure that complaints are investigated and handled in a manner so that the identities of the persons involved are kept confidential to the furthest extent possible.
The Town will go to the furthest extent possible to ensure that the confidentiality of both the complainant and alleged harasser remain anonymous, both during and following an investigation.
While an investigation is on-going, the worker who has allegedly experienced harassment, alleged harasser(s) and any witnesses involved in the investigation are not to discuss the complaint, incident, or investigation with other workers or witnesses unless necessary to obtain advice about their rights. Any individual(s) who are confided in regarding an investigation are required to adhere to the confidentiality requirements set out in this policy. Failure to maintain the confidentiality of an investigation may result in disciplinary action.
It must be recognized that, to the extent that the complainant chooses to initiate proceedings or make comments outside the Town’s internal complaint procedures, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. It must also be recognized that information collected and retained is subject to release under the Ontario Human Rights Code or the rules governing court proceedings.
All aspects of this policy are subject to the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Personal Privacy Act.
11 | P a g e
Reporting an Incident
There are three ways that an incident, complaint or concern can be resolved or addressed internally under this program:
The complainant can:
Deal directly with the respondent in a private manner to resolve the issue on their own.
Request internal support and resolution from either a supervisor or member of Human Resources.
File a formal written complaint to seek resolution.
** Refer to Appendix A for an illustration of these options.
The Town recommends that employees, where possible, utilize Option A prior to making a complaint under Option B or Option C. This does not prohibit an employee going directly to option B or option C.
Should an employee find themselves in a situation that requires immediate assistance, an employee should call 9-1-1 or request assistance from a fellow employee on the matter. Additionally, panic buttons are located throughout the buildings and staff will be made aware of these locations during their orientation.
In the event the complainant chooses Option A, and the employer becomes aware of the incident, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination, and Harassment Coordinator may still be required to conduct an investigation. If the complainant chooses Option B or C, an incident should be reported immediately (in writing or in combination of both a written and verbal complaint) to either:
Immediate or another supervisor
Manager, Director or General Manager
Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator
A Coordinator, Health and Safety/Human Resources
In the event that a complaint is being made against a supervisor, the complainant should report their incident to the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator. Reporting a complaint using any of these options does not preclude an employee from
12 | P a g e
filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission or pursuing any other available avenues.
Option A: Dealing Directly With the Respondent
An employee who experiences harassment or discrimination is encouraged to make it known to the employee(s) responsible that the behaviour is offensive and unwelcome, contrary to the Town’s policy and request that it stop. The respondent(s) may not realize that the behaviour is unwelcome and offensive. In many instances this may stop the offensive behaviour.
The Town recognizes that in some incidents dealing with the respondent may be difficult or inappropriate, or the employee may have told the respondent to stop but the offensive behaviour continues. In this case, the employee is advised to take immediate action as outlined in Option B.
However, when a supervisor becomes aware of a concern, he/she must ensure that the concerns are addressed and resolved in a prompt and confidential manner.
Option B: Handling a Concern in an Informal Manner
An employee who experiences workplace harassment/discrimination and has unsuccessfully tried to deal directly with the respondent may choose to have the matter dealt with on an informal basis with the assistance of management or Human Resources. In the event an employee does not feel a matter can be dealt with directly (Option A) they may proceed directly to handling the concern in the manner described here (Option B).
The incident should be reported immediately (either verbally or in writing) to either:
Immediate or another supervisor
Manager, Director or General Manager
Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator
A Coordinator, Health and Safety/Human Resources
Once a supervisor (Director, General Manager or Coordinator) has been informed of a concern about an incident of workplace harassment or discrimination and the employee wishes to handle the concern informally, the supervisor (Director, General Manager or Coordinator) is obligated to review the matter and assist in arriving at a resolution as soon as possible. It is important to clarify the concern that is being raised and take notes to record the particular information pertinent to the concern and if it is determined that there is reasonable cause to proceed, may also involve asking the complainant what remedies they believe might address the incident from their perspective.
13 | P a g e
The supervisor will have a conversation separately with the respondent to communicate the concern and clarify the issue from their perspective. Once the supervisor (Director, General Manager or Coordinator) has all the relevant information, the supervisor (Director, General Manager or Coordinator) can attempt to resolve the matter in a mutually agreeable fashion. Proceeding informally in this manner may produce a quick and simple solution without having to engage in a full investigation.
The supervisor will document the situation and ensure that the General Manager and the Workplace Violence, Discrimination and Harassment Coordinator are notified. All documentation will go into a separate file with the Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator.
Where attempts to achieve a resolution at this stage are unsuccessful or unsuitable, a formal written complaint may be filed as outlined in Option C.
Option C: Initiating a Formal Written Complaint
Formal complaints must be filed in writing with the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator and the formal complaint must include:
Name(s) of the complainant(s) and contact information
Name of the alleged harasser(s), position and contact information (if known)
Names of the witness(es) (if any) or other person(s) with relevant information to provide about the incident (if any) and contact information (if known)
Details of what happened including date(s), frequency and location(s) of the alleged incident(s)
i. Any supporting documents the complainant may have in his/her possession that are relevant to the complaint
ii. List any documents a witness, another person or the alleged harasser may have in their possession that are relevant to the complaint.
Steps, if any, already taken to date.
Where an employee is unable, or under the circumstances it is unreasonable to request a written complaint, assistance will be made available to ensure that the complaint is documented on their behalf.
Formal complaints will be investigated by the Workplace Violence & Harassment Coordinator, designate or a third party depending on the circumstances.
The respondent will be notified of the complaint.
The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the respondent to discuss and clarify the incident and identify steps they
14 | P a g e
have taken to date. The respondent may request the support of another employee. The respondent(s) will have the opportunity to respond to the complaint(s).
The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator or designate will conduct an investigation as outlined in the next section.
Absence of the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator:
In the event that the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator is absent from the workplace at the time the complainant wishes to file a formal written complaint, the Town Solicitor shall bear the responsibility of the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator on an interim basis. In the event that the individual designated as the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator ceases to be employed by the Town of East Gwillimbury, the Town Solicitor shall act as the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator on an interim basis until such time as a new Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator can be designated.
Investigation of Complaint:
Where a formal complaint is received it shall be documented and a file will be opened by the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator.
Where it is determined that reasonable cause exists, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator or Human Resources Coordinator will investigate complaints in a timely manner or will arrange to have the investigation carried out by a neutral third party. The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator may request additional resources to assist with an investigation.
The Violence & Harassment Investigation Report form (Appendix C) will be filled out after the investigation is complete. The intention of this form is that it will be used as both a guide for the investigator to ensure all relevant steps were taken, and as a summary of the investigation should the file ever need to be reviewed.
The Investigative Process involves three primary steps:
1. Fact finding,
2. Preliminary findings, and
3. Further investigations as outlined below.
15 | P a g e
Step 1 – Fact Finding
The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator or designate will conduct confidential and unbiased interviews with relevant parties to obtain information and clarify the details of the reported incident. All parties interviewed will be required to make an oath of confidentiality. The complainant and the respondent will have an opportunity to identify relevant documents, witnesses or others to be interviewed. All interviews will be conducted in an unbiased, confidential manner that respects the nature of the work environment. The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator will inform the respondent of their right to request the support of another employee at the beginning of each interview.
Step 2 – Preliminary Assessment and Attempted Resolution
Where the information revealed in the investigation suggests a reasonable possibility of resolution, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator may make resolution recommendations. In these instances, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator will meet with the complainant and the respondent involved discussing findings of the investigation and informing participants of the possibility and nature of a resolution.
Where mutual agreement is reached to the satisfaction of all parties, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator will prepare a summary report for the appropriate General Manager, CAO, complainant and the respondent.
Step 3 – Further Investigations
Where, as a result of findings and attempted resolution a more intensive review is warranted, a resolution cannot be reasonably proposed or achieved, or where the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator determines that file closure at this point would not be appropriate, further investigations will be conducted.
Upon completion of further investigation and mutual agreement for resolution of the incident is reached to the satisfaction of all parties, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator shall prepare a summary of the complaint and results of the investigation will be provided to the General Manager and the parties affected by the outcome, with a copy to the CAO within 10 days of the investigation closing. This summary will remain strictly confidential and will not be shared with any employees outside of those listed above. With exception to providing the Joint Health and Safety Committee with an indication as to the number of complaints received annually, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator will not provide details of any investigation to the Joint Health and Safety Committee, a health
16 | P a g e
and safety representative or employees, unlike other investigations conducted under the OHSA.
Results of Investigations/Mediation
Where the results of the investigation support a specific complaint of workplace harassment or discrimination, or where the results suggest the existence of systemic problem(s) in the work environment which caused or contributed to the incident, the following, without limitation, may be recommended forms of remedial action:
Education and Training
Review and modification of policies, procedures, and practices
Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal
Documentation on employee’s personnel file, as appropriate
Where deemed reasonable and appropriate, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator in consultation with the parties involved in the complaint, may propose and develop a more comprehensive strategy for the elimination and/or prevention of workplace harassment and discrimination to improve the culture of the overall workplace. In an effort to ensure that the incident has been addressed, the investigation file will remain open for a reasonable period of time to allow for the monitoring of actions to be taken and subsequent updates, as appropriate, to be placed on the file.
Where the results of the investigation do not support the allegations of the workplace harassment or discrimination made by the complainant, the complaint shall not proceed and there will be no notations in the respondent employee’s file.
Complaint Unsupported: Recommend Systemic Investigation
Where the results of the investigation do not support the specific complaint, but where the investigation suggests the existence of systemic problems in the work environment which may cause, contribute to, or encourage workplace harassment, including poor management practices which are directly related to the harassment, the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator may make recommendations for change or further investigation of a systemic nature.
17 | P a g e
Where as a result of an investigation, it is determined that the complaint was made maliciously – with a specific and directed intent to harm – or made in bad faith with reasonable knowledge of and intent to harm, formal disciplinary actions may be taken against the complainant up to and including dismissal. Documentation regarding this disciplinary action will be placed in the employee’s file.
The complainant (now respondent to allegation of malicious complaint) has the right to be notified in writing of this decision including the reasons and grounds, to prepare and submit a response and to be represented at all proceedings.
File Retention and Disposal
Upon determination and notification of a support or non-support decision, the file will be closed and retained in Human Resources for a period not less than one year from the date of closing. Closed investigative files will be disposed of in an appropriate manner in accordance with the Town’s retention schedule.
Reopening of Files
A request for reopening of a closed file may be made upon written request to the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator under the following circumstances:
New and relevant information regarding a closed case
A new incident of workplace harassment post-closure by the same respondent
A reprisal is alleged to have occurred.
Pursuing Other Remedies Post-investigation
Employees have the right to pursue other remedies provided in law following, or any time during, the investigation. Where an alternate means is chosen during the course of an internal investigation, the internal investigation may be postponed or terminated and the file closed upon agreement of the parties involved.
Unless the complaint has been dismissed, once a resolution of the complaint has occurred, the appropriate supervisor will monitor the incident. Follow-up is a critical component of effective complaint resolution. In most cases, follow-up should occur periodically over a minimum six month period from the date of resolution. All follow-up
18 | P a g e
interviews which are not conducted by the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator must be documented, and the documentation forwarded to the Human Resources files. To ensure that monitoring is effective, it is advisable for the supervisor to develop, in consultation with the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator, a monitoring plan which sets out the steps or activities to be taken to ensure the implementation has been successful, how it will be done, progress measures, as well as when and who is responsible for the actual monitoring.
Implementation and Execution of Resolutions
Where, as a result of the monitoring process, or through other means, it is determined that there are difficulties in implementing or executing the solutions recommended from the investigation, or where actions have been taken but are deemed ineffective, inappropriate or untimely: the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator, in consultation with the General Manager and/or CAO, shall determine what further actions and/or support can be provided to ensure that the policy objectives and terms of resolution can be met more effectively and efficiently.
Anonymous complaints do not carry an immediate right of investigation. Such complaints make it difficult if not impossible for the Town to adequately investigate and take appropriate action. The Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator, in conjunction with the CAO, has the discretion whether to act based on the information provided and extent to which a respondent would have an opportunity to reasonably respond to the allegation.
Information and Instruction
Information and instruction on the Respect in the Workplace Policy and Procedure regarding workplace harassment and discrimination will be communicated to all employees.
General Managers, Managers and Supervisors will receive training in the following:
Intent and content of the Respect in the Workplace Policy and Procedure.
Investigation procedures related to harassment and discrimination incidents and/or complaints.
Employees will receive training in the following:
Intent and content of the Respect in the Workplace Policy and Procedure.
Reporting an incident of workplace harassment or discrimination to the employer or supervisor.
19 | P a g e
Information on how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents and/or complaints.
Information on how to carry out any other procedures referenced in this program.
Complaints Involving the Chief Administrative Officer
Where the complaint involves the Chief Administrative Officer, the complaint will be referred by the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator, in consultation with the Mayor to an outside third party to investigate the matter. The results of the investigation and recommendations of the investigator will be submitted to Council for their consideration and further action. A copy of the report will be maintained in the file opened for that purpose.
In order to satisfy the Town’s obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, if the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved by Council, the matter may be referred to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Complaints Involving the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator
Where the complaint involves the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator, the complainant will be referred by the Town Solicitor, in consultation with the CAO to an outside party to investigate the matter. The results of the investigation and recommendations of the investigator will be submitted to the CAO for their consideration and further action. A copy of the report will be maintained in the file opened for that purpose.
Complaints Involving a Resident or Visitor
Where the complaint involves a Resident or Visitor (being an individual who is not an Elected Official, employee of the Town, or associated with one of its boards or committees) staff are encouraged to make it known to the individual that their behaviour is offensive or unwelcome. The complaint should be referred to the Workplace Violence, Discrimination & Harassment Coordinator who, in consultation with the CAO, will secure an outside third party to investigate the matter. The results of the investigation and recommendations of the investigator will be submitted to the complainant and to the CAO for information. A copy of the report will be maintained in the file opened for that purpose.
In order to satisfy the Town’s obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, if the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved the matter may be referred to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
20 | P a g e
Town of East Gwillimbury
RESPECT IN THE WORKPLACE
HR; JHSC; LCSS
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS IN HORIZON COUNTY
Ames, on the other hand, is ambivalent about being chief. He had the job in the halcyon days
of the ‘70s (chief 1969-1979). During his tenure, his budget submissions to council were
never questioned. He would raise each request just enough to cover inflation. Ratepayers
were in an expansive mood and the Province was paying proportionately more then.
Unfortunately, he has a major temper and the belief that the fire chief is like a regimental
colonel in the army.1 This temper led him into conflict with fire officers and firefighters, so
much so that Griffiths was asked to stand for election in 1979. Griffiths won handily.
Ever since then Ames has felt that he has been “put out to pasture” by being the officer on the
ladder truck. The truck rarely contributes more than personnel for ventilation at the
occasional fire and sometimes a ground ladder or two. He doesn’t like this role and the only
reason he hasn’t resigned yet is because, now that he is retired, he doesn’t want to go home
and face his wife all the time. Hanging around with his old buddies in the station is a genuine
satisfaction. Here he can drink a beer without being nagged by his wife.
Ames resents the upstarts in the department, like Phillips and Cline. In his day, when there
was a waiting list to get into the department, Ames had to wait 19 years to get elected as a
fire officer. These younger “kids” became officers in half the time. But what did they know
about putting out fires?
Gilles Arsenault, Fire Chief, Aurora Fire Department
Gilles Arsenault, age forty-five, has been the Chief of the Aurora Fire Department for three
years now. Arsenault knows very well that being in charge of a composite fire department is
not an easy job. One constantly walks a tightrope as there is always friction between the
volunteer and career firefighters. Cautious to not appear to favour one group over the other,
Arsenault prefers to have both groups angry at him. Thus, while he is not well-liked by those
under his command, at least he is respected for not showing any favouritism.
To date, Arsenault’s leadership of the AFD has been competent enough; although, he is not a
detail-oriented person, and is therefore a little bit lax in the areas of finance and budgeting.
He also has a tendency to avoid issues unless really pressed to contend with them. He is more
of a reactive rather than proactive Fire Chief, one who initiates new policies and practices
only when forced to do so by the powers that be in the Town.
Arsenault is a man very worried about losing his job as Fire Chief. He knows if
amalgamation comes to pass in Horizon County, it is unlikely he will receive the appointment
of Chief of the new combined fire department. As he is well aware, Chief Arsenault of the
1 Ames was the batman to Captain MacDonald when both were wounded and captured on the beaches at
Dieppe in 1942. Both endured the same prison camp until 1945. When MacDonald stepped down as chief in
1969, the mantle was passed on to Ames. Election was a mere rubber stamp.
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 180 Dalhousie University
ZFD has a lot more political supporters than he does. The best Arsenault can hope for is an
appointment as a Deputy Chief. Nevertheless, at this point in time, utmost in his mind is this
amalgamation business dividing his department along volunteer and career lines. Each group
believes amalgamation will lead to being replaced by the other. Not only does this situation
create more tension than usual in the AFD, making it difficult for Arsenault to oversee the
department, it also poses a threat to his future career. Arsenault knows the firefighters in the
AFD are in a mood to fight for their respective rights. This labour unrest will not reflect well
on him with town officials!
Sam Chambers, Lieutenant and President of IAFF Local 2572, Aurora Fire Department
Sam Chambers, age thirty-five, has been with the Aurora Fire Department for fifteen years.
He is currently a lieutenant, and is also serving his first term as President of IAFF Local
2572. Chambers is well-liked by his fellow career firefighters in the department as he does
appear to have their bests interests at heart. The only criticism one hears of him is that ever
the optimist, he frequently slips into denials of reality.
Chambers has always been concerned about career firefighters in the AFD receiving less pay
than their counterparts in the City of Zenith. He views provincial plans for amalgamation in
Horizon County as a win-win situation for all firefighters in the AFD. He believes the
creation of one large fire department in the County will result in wage parity and more
opportunities for promotion for career firefighters, as well as lead to more openings for
volunteers as a result of those promotions. Consequently, Chambers attempts to convince his
fellow firefighters it is much better to go with the flow, rather than against the tide.
Cline’s life is his job as a volunteer fire officer. He has no social life except when he goes to
Zenith. Cline is single and there are no eligible single women near his age in Neverland. At his
paid job at International Harvester, he keeps the books for the business, spending the entire
day with an adding machine and piles of journal entries.
Cline would like to rise in the Neverland Volunteer Fire Department, but he knows that his
superior — although not his direct supervisor — at work, Phillips, is more likely to be elected
chief. It does give Cline some satisfaction that the tables are turned on the Neverland
Volunteer Fire Department. Since Cline has two years seniority over Phillips, he is higher in
the chain of command according to the bylaws of the Neverland Volunteer Fire Department.
Cline resents Phillips’ success outside the department but he is wise enough not to contest
Phillips in election for chief once Griffiths retires. All Cline wants is to improve his standing
by becoming the officer of the pumper tanker which might ultimately be ordered.
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 181
Norm Crosby, Firefighter, Zenith Fire Department
At six foot two and with 250 pounds of muscle, Norm Crosby is a physically intimidating
man. However, he is actually a reserved and quiet individual whose personality is not in the
least bit intimidating. Fifty-three years of age, Crosby is an old hand at firefighting, having
been with the Zenith Fire Department for thirty years. He likes firefighting and is committed
to doing a good job. He is also known to be helpful and considerate towards his fellow
firefighters. Over the years, he has earned the respect and trust of both his co-workers and
Yet, Crosby does harbour some bitterness as it pertains to his lack of advancement in the
ZFD. While he indicates to others verbally that it does not bother him, everyone knows that it
is in fact a sore point with him. He joined the ZFD through a family connectionhis father
worked for the Mayor of the City of Zenith at the time. However, his chances for moving up
were nixed when the rules were suddenly changed in 1976. The administering of competitive
tests by the City’s Personnel Department witnessed Crosby narrowly missing out on a
lieutenant position, and all due to that “dumb” general question, he notes. To this day, he has
been unable to forget what he perceives as a humiliating and unfair experience.
The days of firefighting will soon be over for Norm Crosby. He can collect his pension in two
years, and thus, early retirement is around the corner. In his mind he frets over what he feels
were missed opportunities caused by others, but he tells his co-workers otherwise. Yes,
Crosby puts on a front and says he wants to devote his full-time efforts to a construction
business he started on the side a number of years ago.
Laura Deschesne, Mayor, City of Zenith
Popular with the electorate, Laura Deschesne is serving her second consecutive term as
Mayor of the City of Zenith. Blessed with both political and social graces, she can fit in with
the crowd, whatever crowd that happens to be at any given moment. Deschesne can just as
easily relate to the common folk as she can to other politicians, intellectuals, members of high
society, and senior professional employees of the City.
Forty-two years of age and married with two teenage sons, Deschesne leads a busy life both
personally and professionally. She thoroughly enjoys the job of an elected official as she likes
to be the center of attention, but only in a positive way! While she does not have a formal
education beyond the level of highschool, Deschesne is a voracious reader who is selfeducated
in politics, the economy and public finance. She is a very competent Mayor from
both theoretical and operational perspectives. She makes it a point to familiarize herself with
all aspects of running a city since she does not like to be caught in the dark on anything.
However, there are a number of appointed officials in the City who criticize her for
intervening too much in their day-to-day administration.
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 182 Dalhousie University
Always the shrewd politician, Deschesne keeps a close eye on developments at the federal
and provincial levels of government. These days municipal officials have to be prepared to
contend with ever-declining grants from the Province, as the latter passes on reductions in
federal transfers to the municipalities. While not a supporter of the Province’s plans for
amalgamation in Horizon County, Deschesne realizes that in an era of fiscal debt this is a
reality a local politician has to accept. She does not think amalgamation in Horizon County
poses any threat to her future. She believes her popularity among the electorate in the City of
Zenith, along with the City’s larger share of the votes, will guarantee her the job of Mayor of
an amalgamated county. She is already priming herself to run in another mayoral race again
in the event of amalgamation.
Alvin Emerson, Deputy Chief, Administration, Zenith Fire Department
Alvin Emerson, Deputy Chief, Administration of the Zenith Fire Department is a very good
administrator indeed. He does have quite the penchant for paperwork, to the degree that
others in the ZFD often shake their heads in exasperation, in addition to poking fun at him.
Yet, no one can deny the fact that Emerson is good with numbers, and his expertise with
budgeting is relied on quite heavily by Chief Martin. Nothing gets by “old eagle eyes”
Emerson in the area of finance.
Forty-four years of age, Emerson has been with the ZFD for twenty years. He likes having a
desk job, and he is more concerned with hard cold facts than with philosophical and political
matters. He consciously avoids the politics in the department, and to some surprise, he has
been relatively successful at it. Emerson is a conscientious worker who takes his job
seriously, but he has no desire to move ahead to the level of Chief. He prefers to continue on
in the ZFD in the same job he has now until the day he retires. However, Emerson, an
intelligent man, is well aware of the fact that the possible amalgamation of Horizon County
could very well change everything.
Charlie Fitch, Lieutenant, Aurora Fire Department
A man filled with bravado and a sense of self-importance, Charlie Fitch, age thirty-one,
joined the Aurora Fire Department ten years ago. Charlie had thought at the time that the life
of a career firefighter would be characterized by excitement and heroic efforts, along with
public acclaim for said efforts. However, he soon discovered that fires were too few and far
between for his liking, and the attention he craved for feats of bravery sadly lacking.
At six foot one and two hundred and ten pounds, Charlie loves to throw his height and weight
around. In his spare time, he plays hockey in a local men’s league, where he is known more
for his tendency to scrap on the ice than for his ability to shoot and score. As well, he has
quite the reputation in local bars for excessive drinking and picking fights with those least
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 183
In terms of his job as a lieutenant in the AFD, Charlie feels very threatened, although, not
physically, by the volunteer firefighters in the department. While he does not like his job
anymore, as he finds it too boring most of the time, it is a job after all! He constantly worries
about volunteer firefighters replacing career firefighters in the AFD, especially now with the
possibility of amalgamation in Horizon County. Unfortunately for the volunteers, in Charlie’s
mind, this is something to take out them.
Lamont Frenette, Mayor, Town of Aurora
Practiced in the art of deception, in another time and place, Lamont Frenette would have been
rightly considered a disciple of Machiavelli. A cold, calculating and ruthless individual, he
believes in the philosophy of obtaining and maintaining power at all costs. Just recently in his
first term as Mayor of the Town of Aurora, Frenette does not observe any moral and ethical
boundaries whatsoever in his political ambitions. However, he is popular with the voters in
Aurora, as he has been successful in hiding his true character, or lack thereof, from the
populace. In addition, he has the talent to seize upon issues which garner wide public appeal.
Yet, political life these days has not been too kind to Frenette. He mutters to himself “that
darn amalgamation proposal is going to mess up everything for me!” He knows very well he
has little chance of beating Laura Deschesne, the Mayor of the City of Zenith, in any future
mayoral race which would come with amalgamation in Horizon County. Deschesne is a
popular Mayor as well, and with more voters in Zenith, Frenette believes she is a shoe-in for
the top elected job. So, Frenette, ever the shrewd political animal, plots his strategy to the
lowest level possible. Forget the fact that he campaigned to fire the Chief Administrative
Officer, Morris Grant, alleging that Grant’s high salary was directly related to favouring
former Mayor Shannon O’Brien’s business dealings! Morris is now a man whom Frenette
eyes as a partner in an unholy alliance of mutual benefit.
Morris Grant, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Aurora
Morris Grant, forty-five years of age, has been the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town
of Aurora for six years. He is a very capable CAO, and is known to have quite the aptitude
for both budgeting and putting together council agendas. Yet, Grant often asks himself “how
did I ever get into this mess?” While he is not a schemer by nature, he frequently finds
himself a willing participant in questionable schemes and deals devised by others. The fear of
losing his job, along with a defeatist attitude of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” act
together to push him over those boundaries.
Unfortunately, as of late, Grant has found himself paying a high price for not taking the
higher road. In the recent election, the new Mayor, Lamont Frenette made a campaign
promise to fire him, publicly accusing him of facilitating former Mayor Shannon O’Brien’s
business dealings in exchange for salary increases. Grant is still quite bitter towards Frenette
for this “public outing.” However, ever more fearful of losing his position, what with this
proposed amalgamation in Horizon County, he is quite susceptible to joining Frenette in the
latter’s sudden about face.
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 184 Dalhousie University
Griffiths has always been a cautious chief. His experience as General Manager in
MacDonald’s General Store would make caution a byword. When profit and loss in a general
store can depend on the errors made at the cash register, then having an exact and exacting
manager is critical. Such attention to detail is Griffiths’ strength.
Unfortunately, Griffiths is not very imaginative. He has difficulty imagining how things in
the Neverland Volunteer Fire Department could be better. Consequently, he resists change.
Partly because he had been accountable to old man Vincent MacDonald, ever fearful of being
fired, Griffiths is always fearful of making a mistake.
He also fears two threats from his officers. He fears the past, represented by Ames, because
Ames has always been a more decisive fireground commander. Delegating the role of
fireground commander to Ames while retaining the remaining considerable duties of chief
would never occur to Griffiths. The chief also fears Phillips because he represents the future.
This he realizes is a greater threat because Ames will eventually retire (or die). The old guard
of firefighters will be replaced, but the new firefighters look up to Phillips, especially the
rookies who will be eligible to vote next year. Besides, Phillips has the largest company since
he is captain of the pumper. That may be a considerable block of votes.
You might wonder why Griffiths should care so much about remaining chief. Part of the
answer is because he is so used to hanging in there, just as he does with old man Vince
MacDonald and now even with Sally Shaw, the mayor. Part of it is because being chief gives
him the self-respect he could never get under MacDonald’s thumb. His wife, Rowena, hopes
he will retire soon. He just says, “Wait ‘till I’m 60”.
In the meantime, ten years as chief has given Griffiths some political savvy. He is almost
consciously realizing that playing Ames off against Phillips will keep his rivals in check.
Roger Hand, Volunteer Firefighter, Aurora Fire Department
Twenty-nine year old Roger Hand has devoted ten years of his available time as a volunteer
firefighter in the Aurora Fire Department. He has also been the elected President of the AFD
volunteer firefighters for the past three years. Employed full-time as an Engineer in the Public
Works department of the Town of Aurora, Hand is familiar with both firefighting and town
politics. He is known to be a diplomatic and tactful individual who avoids confrontation and
conflict like the plague. However, he is still very responsive to the demands of the volunteers
he represents, and hence, he will go along with them; although, he will do it in his own
manner of style.
Hand often finds himself playing the role of keeper of the peace in the AFD, calming down
the volunteer firefighters, especially the hotheaded James Salmon. Personally, Hand likes
Chief Arsenault, and he does not want to create any disturbances for the Chief. He is also
very aware that Arsenault is in a particularly difficult situation right now, what with the
possibility of having to look for a new job if this amalgamation business goes through. Thus,
Hand, bound be duty to represent the volunteers, and on the other hand, genuinely concerned
about Chief Arsenault, is a man of divided loyalties.
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 185
Bill Hanson, Lieutenant, Zenith Fire Department
Lieutenant Bill Hanson, age thirty-four, has been with the Zenith Fire Department for ten
years. Since becoming an officer four years ago, Hanson has come to dislike his job. He hates
the paperwork, and he has grown very disillusioned over the system of “sucking up” to
receive promotions. He misses the satisfying fatigue that follows the strenuous exertions of
“humping hose on the fireground;” although, he is still haunted by the life of a child he was
unable to save four years ago. Political games are not something at which Hanson is good at
playing, nor has he ever had any strong desire to play them. Yet, it appears to him that once
you enter the realm of administration there is no escaping it.
The City’s Employment Equity Program, which has led to the hiring of fourteen women as
firefighters in the ZED in the last few years, has created a real dilemma for Hanson. He has a
young female firefighter, Kelly Sleamon, under his command, and he is just never sure how
to act around her. He is afraid if he comes down too hard or too soft on her, either way he
could be accused of gender discrimination. While he is a relatively young man, Hanson is
still not quite comfortable with female firefighters in the department. He worries about any
appearance of impropriety. Since he is divorced (although dating), he is overly-concerned
about what others may imagine or think, even in the absence of anything concrete. This
Employment Equity Program is just another headache as far as he is concerned, along with
the usual tensions and friction among personnel under his command, and that never-ending
pile of paperwork.
Sherman Hebert, City Manager, City of Zenith
Sherman Hebert is married to his job. A hard-working and competent individual, he puts in
long hours for the City of Zenith where he has been the City Manager for ten years now. At
fifty-two years of age, Hebert, an ambitious man, aspires to move on to even greater things,
namely, a position with a larger municipal unit and “bigger bucks!” Educated at the
University of Zenith, he has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and has recently completed a
diploma program in public administration through the University’s continuing education
Hebert looks out for both the City and himself. He is always trying to cut costs, and his
affinity for slashing departmental budgets is legendary. While many department heads feel he
places unreasonable and unrealistic demands on them financially, the local politicians support
him one hundred percent in his cost-cutting zeal. Reducing the price of government is very
popular with the electorate these days. In addition to his ability to do his job well, Herbert is
skilled in navigating the political waters, and he is known to be a diplomatic and smooth
While he is motivated by self-interest, Hebert is not without a heart. He does not like to see
anyone lose a job, unless it is for just cause or they are guilty of incompetence. He knows that
the prospect of amalgamation in Horizon County will have serious repercussions for city
employees. Yet, amalgamation also brings with it an opportunity for Hebert to obtain a more
rewarding position as a City Manager of a larger municipality. This was something he had
thought before he could only accomplish by moving to another city and/or province.
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 186 Dalhousie University
Stan Kowalski, Driver, Zenith Fire Department
A young, single and attractive twenty-eight year old, Stan Kowalski has been with the Zenith
Fire Department for four years as a Driver. He is also a reluctantly trained Emergency
Medical Technician. Along with firefighter Kelly Sleamon, Kowalski has to handle all the
EMT calls out of station three, a reflection of his low place on the seniority list in the
department. This situation does not please Kowalski one bit. He would rather just do his time
in the ZFD, without having to devote any special time and effort to activities he feels fall
outside the scope and range of the job he was hired to do.
A loner by choice, Kowalski keeps to himself in the ZFD, preferring not to socialize with his
co-workers, either on or off the job. He has a tendency to think he is above the other
firefighters in the department because he has a university degree. That piece of paper means a
lot to Kowalski, although, in a labour market with a large number of over-educated
individuals, it does not carry much weight. Just as when he graduated, there is still not much
of a demand for people with English degrees, particularly those with a major in English
Firefighting is not an occupation of choice for Kowalski, but a decision he made out of
economic necessity. After graduating from the University of Zenith, he realized his chances
for a good job were very poor. Loath to relocate elsewhere, Kowalski jumped at the
opportunity to apply to the ZFD when there was a recruitment drive a few years back. He
thought to himself at the time that the pay and benefits were good, and it sure beat the
alternative of “flipping burgers” for a living. However, Kowalski does not plan to make a
career for himself in the ZFD. He is just biding his time until he sees something better on the
horizon. … if not in Horizon County.
Jim Lawrence, Captain, Zenith Fire Department
Jim Lawrence, age thirty-three, joined the Zenith Fire Department nine years ago. He is
currently a Captain in charge of overseeing Station 3. Lawrence takes his job in the ZFD with
a grain of salt, in terms of the administrative side of things. Sarcastic, but in a humourous
way, he is prone to make scathing remarks about his superiors, and often resorts to
Lawrence knows very well there is no getting around the politics in the department. He is
also well aware of the desire of those at the top to have those “good reports” on fires, which
underscore the vital necessity of the ZFD and its current staffing levels, especially at budget
time. He thus deals with situations in a humourous but realistic fashion. Lawrence is wellliked
and respected by those under his command, as they are appreciative of both his honesty
and his ability to relieve tensions in the station.
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 187
Harold Lawson, Lieutenant and President of IAFF Local 768, Zenith Fire Department
Harold Lawson takes his job seriously, both as a lieutenant in the Zenith Fire Department and
as President of IAFF Local 768. In the latter role, in which he has served three consecutive
terms, Lawson has earned a reputation as being tough but fair, on the part of both labour and
management. He will fight hard on serious issues and quickly settle frivolous ones. Job
security in the ZFD is one area of major concern to Lawson, and it is not one on which he
will easily back down.
Forty-five years of age, Lawson has been with the ZFD since he was twenty-one. He has
twenty-four years of experience in firefighting, and has also taken numerous courses on
negotiation, mediation and conflict management at the University of Zenith. Divorced for ten
years and without any dependants, Lawson devotes a lot of time, effort and energy to his two
roles in the ZFD. While his relationship with Chief Martin can be said to be one of mutual
respect and trust, it does not extend to the City’s administrators and politicians, whom he
knows have an impact on the Chief.
Lawson is very worried about the future for firefighters in the ZFD. He sees the prospect of
amalgamation in Horizon County, and the current climate of fiscal restraint in the Province as
a recipe for replacing career firefighters with volunteers. He knows a long rocky road lies
Charles MacDonald, Platoon Chief, Zenith Fire Department
A self-effacing individual who is prone to bouts of insecurity, Charles MacDonald, age fortyeight,
has been with the Zenith Fire Department for twenty-four years now. Currently a
Platoon Chief, MacDonald is not quite comfortable being around higher-ups, especially City
Administrators and elected officials. Thorough and serious in his job as Platoon Chief, he
makes it a point to find out what is going on in the department, and keeps on top of
developments in the City which impact on the department. He is quite concerned over the
future of the ZFD, what with so many changes going on outside the control of the
Alphonse Martin, Chief, Zenith Fire Department
Alphonse Martin is a forward-looking and innovative Fire Chief. Never one to fear change,
he has always made it a point to stay abreast of trends in both firefighting and in the political
arena. He firmly believes in being prepared for the future!
To date, Martin’s leadership of the Zenith Fire Department has been proactive rather than
reactive. He ensures that his department has up-to-date training, and he finalized the previous
Chief’s initiative for the use of firefighters as Emergency Medical Service First Responders.
He also stresses the importance of harmonious labour/management relations to prevent
problems from arising in the first place. Politically astute, Martin is careful to establish a
good rapport with local politicians and members of the senior administration of the City of
Zenith, in order to protect his staffing levels and budget. New ideas come easily to him, and
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 188 Dalhousie University
he is well-versed in the art of selling them to the powers that be who control the purse strings
in the City.
Twenty-eight years ago, Martin joined the ZFD as a firefighter. An ambitious man, he
worked his way up to the top, attaining the position of Fire Chief, five years ago, at the age of
forty-seven. On the personal side, married for twenty-five years, and with two grown children
who are self-supporting and living away from home, life has been quite comfortable for
Martin in recent years.
Yet, from a professional perspective, life has become more complicated and uncertain for
him. Since becoming Chief, Martin often silently muses to himself how the life of
firefighting was so much easier and rewarding. His career of the past five years has been a
never-ending saga of petty politics, and often futile attempts to hold at bay an overzealous
budget-slashing City Manager. Armed with political savvy, Martin is quite adept at
“schmoozing” with the local politicians and city administrators, but he knows better than to
trust any of them. Additionally, as of recently, the amalgamation craze has hit the Province
and Horizon County. Martin knows amalgamation brings with it the gloom and doom of
layoffs in the ZFD, and he has a genuine concern for the firefighters under his command.
However, ever the careerist, Martin obviously sees an opportunity awaiting himthe
opportunity to be Fire Chief of an even larger department and with more pay. He knows the
only major competition for the top job will come from Chief Arsenault of Aurora, and
Martin’s own chances appear to be better at the moment. But, he will still have to set the
greasy political wheels in motion.
Royce McMurdo, Finance Director, City of Zenith
Royce McMurdo, age fifty-five, has been an employee of the City of Zenith for twenty-six
years, obtaining the position of Finance Director thirteen years ago. He is a man of many
secrets, including one that is extremely damaging. A close friend of the former Mayor of
Aurora, Shannon O’Brien, he provided some assistance to his friend a few years back when
O’Brien was still a Mayor. McMurdo is worried that a particular transaction he approved on
behalf of O’Brien will come back to haunt him. Recently, it came to his attention that Lamont
Frenette, the current Mayor of the Town of Aurora, was poking around Zenith’s Finance
Department, asking certain questions of his subordinates. It is not that McMurdo has a
problem with doing anything wrong, it is just that he has a big problem with getting caught.
Robert Norval, Captain, Training, Zenith Fire Department
Thirty-seven year old Robert Norval is currently Captain, Training in the Zenith Fire
Department. He has been with the ZFD for fifteen years now. An individual with strong
people skills, Norval gets along well with both his superiors and subordinates. He is also
thought of as an intelligent and ambitious person, the next in line for a promotion to
Lieutenant. Hence, Norval is often called upon by Chief Martin to sit on various management
committees, including the recent Fee for Service Committee.
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 189
Herb Phillips has ambition to be chief. It is not always clear whether he seeks power to
implement his plans or he develops plans to seek power. Probably both processes are going
on. Herb is the service manager at International Harvester. This is a fairly demanding job
because it requires a knowledge of complex farm machinery as well as management skills.
His interest in fire apparatus initially attracted him to the Neverland Volunteer Fire
Department. Because he was a superb pump operator, as well as a manager, he was a sensible
choice as an officer on the pumper. Griffiths encouraged him to stand for election to this post
five years ago. He was voted in by acclamation.
Herb has reached a plateau in his job with International Harvester. In order to be promoted to
general manager he would have to accept a transfer out of Neverland. However, having
grown up in Neverland (his father was a CNR labourer) he doesn’t want to leave. Besides his
wife has a well-paid teaching job at Neverland Consolidated School. Perhaps the fact that he
is resigned to remaining service manager is one reason why he wants to become chief of the
Neverland Volunteer Fire Department.
Herb has definitely moved up in the world compared to his parents. He feels it is because of
hard work on his part and looks down upon anyone who won’t improve himself or drive
himself (or herself). His attitude leads him to maintain high standards for both his volunteer
crew and the mechanics at International Harvester. To his credit, his subordinates are
generally happy to work for him.
Herb’s weakness is his intolerance for the failings of others, particularly his fellow officers.
Herb does not respect the experience of Griffiths or Ames. He will acknowledge that they
have experienced more working fires, but he feels that changes in the technology of
firefighting (e.g., more interior attack using BA, the use of 1¾” rather than 2½” hose) have
invalidated many of the lessons they learned from these experiences. Certainly Herb Phillips
has no respect for Ames’ managerial talents and only a limited respect for Griffiths’. He feels
that Cline has done a good enough job with the tanker, but that Cline’s experiences are too
narrow to be effective on the fireground.
An armchair psychologist might think that Phillips has a basic insecurity which drives him to
seek recognition from others. He is always trying to impress others with what he has read or
whom he has talked to at such-and-such a distant convention. (Herb often pays his own way,
a practice which Griffiths does not discourage.) Herb doesn’t seem to realize that this need to
impress threatens his superiors and disgusts his peers. If he were told this, he would just say
that others are envious. This may very well be true, but it doesn’t help at election time. Some
members of the department will vote for the best man (probably Phillips), but others will vote
for the most friendly (certainly not Phillips).
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 190 Dalhousie University
Herman Roberts, Platoon Chief, Zenith Fire Department
Employed by the Zenith Fire Department for twenty-one years, Platoon Chief Roberts, age
forty-two, has no regrets. He is happy in his current position, overseeing eleven stations,
including station three. Roberts is committed to ensuring that he does his job well, as do
those who are his subordinates. He follows orders very well, without ever questioning them,
and is thus held in high regard by his superiors Deputy Chief Sloan and Chief Martin. He is
especially stern with Lieutenants in his stations with respect to their completion of
performance appraisals on their firefighters, and doing it properly!
Robin Rousseau, Firefighter, Zenith Fire Department
Robin Rousseau, age twenty-nine, has seven years of service as a firefighter in the Zenith Fire
Department. A quiet and easy-going individual, Rousseau, for the most part, stays out of the
fray in Station 3 where he is deployed. He just does his job and minds his own business.
While he is not unaware of the climate of fiscal restraint and possible amalgamation in
Horizon County, Rousseau just takes an attitude of whatever will happen will happen, and
there is no use losing sleep over it.
James Salmon, Volunteer Firefighter, Aurora Fire Department
James Salmon, age twenty-four, is currently an unemployed welder who has been a volunteer
firefighter with the AFD for the past four years. Recently laid-off from his full-time job at
Humble Chemical in the nearby City of Zenith, Salmon is quite an angry young man these
days. He is not very trusting of individuals in positions of power as he believes they are
always out to get the little guy.
An intense individual, Salmon says what he means and means what he says. He is not one bit
afraid of confrontation. He believes if you don’t stand up and fight for your rights, you will
end up receiving the short end of the stick. Salmon is not very happy with President Roger
Hand’s representation of the volunteer firefighters in the AFD. He feels Hand gives in too
easily to Chief Arsenault. As well, he thinks he would make a better President, and he was
planning on running against Hand in the next election. In the meanwhile, Salmon is on a
mission to organize all the volunteer firefighters in Horizon County to ensure a place for
volunteers if amalgamation is realized.
James Shanahan, Driver, Zenith Fire Department
James Shanahan has spent just two years with the Zenith Fire Department, where he is
employed as a Driver. Twenty-five years old, and supporting a wife and two year old
daughter, Shanahan is feeling the stress of possible job loss associated with being a low
person on the totem pole. Budget cuts and the possibility of amalgamation in Horizon County
do not bode well for his future!
Fire Management Certificate Programs Page 191
An intelligent young man, Shanahan believes the route to protect his short tenure with the
ZFD lies in making himself indispensable to the organization. Thus, he is quite willing to
enlist in EMT training as he feels the general public places great value on Emergency
Medical Services. However, as an individual who also has a sense of what is fair and equal,
he is not impressed that those with low pay and seniority in the ZFD have to do all the “dirty
Kelly Sleamon, Firefighter, Zenith Fire Department
Kelly Sleamon, like many new recruits to a fire department, approaches her job as a
firefighter in the Zenith Fire Department with zest and zeal. Hard-working, physically fit and
energetic, Sleamon has found her career so far to be exciting and challenging, at least in
terms of the job. She particularly likes the excitement of EMT calls. However, to date, the
work environment has been very uncomfortable for her, and it does not look like it will ever
get any better!
Sleamon, an attractive and single twenty-four year old, was one of fourteen women hired in
the ZFD as a result of the City’s Employment Equity Program. She was recruited from the
University of Zenith’s recreation program shortly before she completed her Bachelor of
Recreation degree. She became a full-fledged member of the ZFD two years ago. Sleamon
has noticed that the male firefighters in the department are cool towards her and act very
uncomfortable around her, particularly Lieutenant Hanson and Stan Kowalski. She has grown
tired of walking into a room and witnessing the abrupt end of conversations, replaced by
those awkward silences. She just wants to be taken seriously as a firefighter, and accepted as
a member of the group. However, Sleamon is also cautious in her own behaviour in the
department, ever mindful of how easily rumours start.
While she enjoys EMT calls, it does bother her that it is just herself and Kowalski taking care
of all the calls out of station three, including many that are not life-threatening. The business
of seniority irks her in this regard. The firefighters with more seniority not only do not have
to make the calls, they do not even have to take the training. The system strikes her as being
blatantly unfair, but at the same time, Sleamon worries about “rocking the boat.”
Fred Sloan, Deputy Chief, Operations, Zenith Fire Department
Fred Sloan, forty-seven years old, has been with the Zenith Fire Department for twenty-five
years. He has held the position of Deputy Chief, Operations for the past seven years. To say
that Sloan is not well-liked in the ZFD would be an understatement. He is absolutely
detested, and those feelings seem to be shared among personnel in the city administration as
well. He has established quite the reputation as a dishonest individual who is a back-stabber
and two-faced. A nervous and defensive type, Sloan gives the impression of trying to hide
something, and quite often he is doing just that!
Horizon County Fire Service Case Study
Page 192 Dalhousie University
Career-wise, Sloan is not quite where he wants to be, and he is a very ambitious man.
However, the concept of achievement on the basis of merit and qualifications is foreign to
him, and thus, he envisions the attainment of his goals by methods less than pure. Resentful
at being passed over for the Chief’s position five years ago, Sloan has kept a close eye on
Alphonse Martin, hoping to find something on him that would give cause for concern on the
part of the elected and senior appointed officials in the City. On the other hand, to Martin’s
face, Sloan is careful to “suck up” to him in the hopes that the Chief will put in a good word
for him if he (Martin) ever decides to retire early.
However, with amalgamation in Horizon County becoming more of a reality every day, Sloan
has new concerns now. In addition to lessening his chances of ever becoming Chief,
amalgamation poses a threat to his existing position as a Deputy Chief. Married, and
supporting two daughters in high school and a son in university, he is quite concerned about
his future financial security. He knows he has to quickly devise a strategy to prevent losing
what he has already.
Andy Stemkowcki, Volunteer Firefighter, Aurora Fire Department
Andy Stemkowcki, age twenty-five, is a recent volunteer recruit to the Aurora Fire
Department. A relatively laid-back and good-natured individual, Andy became a volunteer
firefighter in order to make a worthwhile contribution to his community. Employed full-time
as a machinist at Aiken Paper Company, where he earns a good living, he does not have any
desire or need at the moment to obtain a career position in the AFD. Unfortunately, some of
the career firefighters, particularly, Charlie Fitch, seem to think he has designs on their jobs.
Perhaps it is because Aiken Paper Company has recently run into some serious financial
difficulties. For the time being, Andy just wants to help out at the AFD when he can, without
causing any trouble or experiencing any problems. However, he is not a push-over, and he
will rise to the occasion if anyone makes life difficult for him or challenges him.
Herbert Thibodeau, Firefighter, Zenith Fire Department
Forty-five year old Herbert Thibodeau has been a firefighter with the Zenith Fire Department
for twenty-two years. A conscientious and committed firefighter, he made up his mind as a
child that firefighting was the career for him. Helping and serving others in need is inherent
in his nature.
Fluently bilingual, in terms of both spoken English and French, Thibodeau is an asset to the
ZFD. However, his written English is not very good. This, combined with his belief that he is
too old to learn new things, makes him nervous when the subject of EMT courses comes up
in the department. He thinks that EMT training would be best left to the younger ones in the
ZFD. Thibodeau prefers to continue on in his role as a firefighter, same as it always was.