Saskatoon’s new fire chief discusses evolution of the city’s fire department

Saskatoon Fire Chief Doug Wegren took the time to discuss his new role as fire chief and what changes could be coming for the fire department.

saskatoon’s new fire chief discusses evolution of the city’s fire department

Wegren was announced as the new fire chief in mid-May after former fire chief Morgan Hackl retired in March.

Wegren has 25 years of experience with the fire department under his belt as a firefighter and EMT.

saskatoon’s new fire chief discusses evolution of the city’s fire department
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He said despite that experience there are still some understandings you don’t get until you’re in the role of fire chief.

“From the outside looking in, when you look at it you think you have an understanding. But once you step into it, and you’re living it you realize how special it is,” Wegren said.

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He said his years with the fire department have allowed him to gain some perspective, which he says he’ll be using to shape the future moving forward.

Wegren said Hackl sent the fire department on a good path, which he said he’ll continue with some changes.

He said firefighting has changed with the times, saying the Saskatoon Fire Department has been taking a proactive approach when it comes to issues around encampments and homelessness.

saskatoon’s new fire chief discusses evolution of the city’s fire department
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“We’re fortunate in the city that fire and police, we work very well together, we have a close relationship.”

He said they’ve built strong community partnerships through the fire department’s community risk reduction team and the emergency management organization.

The Saskatoon Fire Department aims to have a four-minute response time in the city, with Wegren saying they are creating two new fire stations in the west side to accommodate the city’s growth.

“We’re working with the city through concept plans to get some more fire stations in the east side.”

He said these costs have been going up, adding that inflation hasn’t been a friend to anyone.

“We have to manage and do what we can.”

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