DIDSBURY — The town finally has a new fire chief after nearly two years of working with two acting fire chiefs.
The new chief is Curtis Mousseau, a member of the department with 15 years of experience, the town announced today (July 24). During his time with the department, he worked his way up from firefighter to deputy chief.
Mousseau begins his new position Aug. 1, taking over from acting fire chiefs Deron Reimer who served in that role from September 2018 to December 2019, and Kyle Leeson who served in that capacity from December 2019 until now.
They replaced former chief Craig Martin who stepped down on Sept. 24, 2018, following the resignation of at least eight Didsbury Fire Department members and two separate audits into the department.
As chief, Mousseau will provide day-to-day leadership to the 31-member fire department, through situation command, budgeting, training plans and other administrative duties.
“Coupled with his collaborative approach to leadership and focus on team success, Mousseau will bring a great combination of experience, training and leadership skills to his new role,” a town news release says.
“I am humbled and honoured,” Mousseau said. “This is an important role and I saw a need that I felt I could fill.”
The town and the fire department took a new approach to filling this role, utilizing a joint committee made up of two fire members, two fire officers, the acting fire chief and two senior administrative team members from the town.
“This allowed for a collaborative decision that involved direct input and decision making from the fire department. Two strong applications were received, which made for a difficult decision for the selection committee,” the release says.
Mousseau likes that collaborative approach because he says it showed that the fire department believed in his abilities.
“It means a lot to have the support of the membership,” he said.
Mayor Rhonda Hunter offered congratulations to Mousseau on behalf of the town.
“Curtis has been a dedicated and valued volunteer to the Didsbury Fire Department for many years,” she said.
“His years of experience, training and commitment to the department and the members will definitely be a great asset to the fire chief position.
“Having known Curtis for many years, I am confident that Curtis will bring valuable leadership and direction for the department and its members, continuing to achieve and exceed the excellence the department is known for.”
Town officials said they grateful to Reimer and Leeson for stepping up to fill the role on an interim basis while the search was on for a permanent fire chief.