By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Coaldale’s Director of Protective Services has transitioned into the role since former Director Kevin McKeown moved into a new role in Lethbridge earlier this year.
“The transition has been fairly smooth. I was fortunate enough to be one of the Deputy Chiefs under Kevin since 2018, which provided me with a good working knowledge of the department,” Rutberg explained.
The department was well-equipped for McKeown’s departure, and Rutberg said he was able to use the time after the announcement to prepare for the transition.
“There was also a month of time where we knew Kevin was going to be going back to the City, and that I was going to be taking over as Chief so this allowed us to touch base on things that may have been outside of my portfolio before.”
Rutberg added the leadership team in place was instrumental in making the transition as seamless as it has been.
“We have a training officer, five Captains and four Lieutenants that have provided a great deal of support as I have stepped into the new role.”
Rutberg said this year’s theme of Fire Prevention Week for students will have a partial focus on safety tips in the kitchen. Throughout the school year, classes book in for a tour of the local fire hall where they receive standard fire safety, education based on age.
Rutberg noted recruiting volunteer firefighters will remain a top priority as steady increases in call volume, year over year across the region, continue to put strain on crews.
The Coaldale Fire Department is also gearing up for their annual open house, which will take place on Oct. 11, at 6 p.m. at 1507 20 Avenue in Coaldale. The open house will include a BBQ and various fire safety-related activities. Members of the public are welcome to attend to learn more about emergency and fire services in Coaldale.