One of the former members of the Edgewater Volunteer Fire Hall says she supports the two members who were let go from the hall last month by the Regional District of East Kootenay.
Elke Petersen feels the RDEK parted ways with the two members without proper justification.
“There was never any issues, nothing was ever brought to the table that there was a problem, nothing was discussed with them,” says Petersen. She adds they were called in and told “we (RDEK) no longer need you.”
Their dismissal led to Petersen and five other members deciding to leave the hall as well, leaving only four members intact.
Petersen feels the RDEK did not support its members in their decision.
She says volunteers should be treated fairly and doesn’t feel that happened in this instance.
“It’s just not how a volunteer should be treated. We’re losing volunteers all across the country, and people are short volunteers. How do you expect to get more volunteers when this is how your long-term volunteers are treated?”
She says she’s been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years and has never come across a situation like this.
The RDEK has declined to comment on the circumstances which led to them parting ways with the two members.
They say they’re proud of all who serve at the Edgewater hall and want them to feel secure and valued.
They add the hall is fully operational.
– Elke Petersen – Former member, Edgewater Fire Department