Kamloops firefighter fired for driving while prohibited
A career Kamloops firefighter who was under investigation for driving to 911 calls with a suspended drivers license has now been fired.
The city would not release the firefighter's name, but it has been learned he is Cole Kitchen. Calls to his home were not returned.
Kitchen is a member of the department's hazardous-materials team, has travelled to Central America with Kamloops Fire Rescue on aid missions and is featured in the 2011 Kamloops Firefighters Calendar.
A statement released by the city today (March 17) said it has concluded its investigation into the actions of the firefighter and determined he responded to multiple 911 calls and failed to disclose his suspended driving privileges.
The city said the situation is a serious breach of the its strict operational policies and a significant breach of the employment relationship.
As a result, the city has taken immediate steps to terminate his employment.
Len Hrycan, the city's director of community and corporate affairs, said he couldn't reveal more information about the investigation, indicating the probe is still in the disciplinary process, even though the firefighter was fired.
"To respect that process, we can't share any further information than what we released to date," he said.
Hrycan said he couldn't speculate on what would have happened to the firefighter had he mentioned the suspension at the time, but Hrycan suggested work-operational policies don't overlap into employees' personal situations.
"Our issues are with respect to the working arrangement and the requirements we have for firefighters to hold a valid licence to drive emergency vehicles and to disclose, if in fact, the status of their licence is suspended," he said.
The fired firefighter could also face a charge of driving while prohibited under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said Mounties are investigating the allegation.
"When we receive a complaint of someone who is alleged to be committing an offence, it's our responsibility to follow up on it," he said.
"There has been direction to initiate a follow-up investigation into the allegations."