Ken McMullen, new Red Deer fire chief (third from right), during the Fort McMurray fires with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Rachel Notley. Photo supplied

New fire chief excited to come to Red Deer

Sparky the fire dog and all the city firefighters will have a new commander starting next month when the City of Red Deer’s new fire chief Ken McMullen takes over.

McMullen is moving into the new role leaving the Calgary Emergency Management Agency assistant chief position behind.

“For me, it’s a fantastic opportunity to come to a growing progressive city and take on this opportunity,” said McMullen.

Although, McMullen has never worked in Red Deer, he’s familiar with the city, often stopping at Peter’s Drive-In with his family.

These days he is shopping for houses in the city. Until he finds proper accommodations, he will be driving to work from the City of Airdrie, where he currently resides.

McMullen will bring his wife and two of his four children to Red Deer.

The 43-year-old is looking forward to meeting his new team and is excited to work in an integrated fire-EMS emergency department.

Along with his enthusiasm, McMullen brings 21 years’ of fire service experience to Red Deer.

Along his career path, he has managed to make many connections. He serves as a board member for the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) – an independent, non-profit organization that represents three major types of fire departments in Canada.

As a commander of the Canada Task Force 2, an all-hazards disaster response team, he has provided his leadership in Slave Lake fires in 2011, Calgary and High River floods in 2013 and Fort McMurray fires in 2016.

His first order of business would be learning the day-to-day life of Red Deer Emergency Service crew and getting to know everyone by starting at the ground level.

Brian Makey, left his position in Red Deer in September, according to a city release. Makey held the Emergency Services’ top job since October 2014.

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