EDMONTON, Canada — The community of Thorsby is currently without its own fire department. On Tuesday night, nearly 20 volunteer firefighters stepped down from their positions in a show of unity after their fire chief, Norm Osness, was let go.
Osness started working as a firefighter in the village 18 years ago. Twelve of them have been spent as fire chief. “I don’t get what’s going on, I just don’t understand…and my guys don’t either,” Osness said of the abrupt dismissal. Kevin Robins, the outgoing interim Chief Administrative Officer, calls Osness’ firing “an internal matter.” He admits, though, that it had nothing to do with his abilities or his performance as a fire chief. “It was a management issue, and it was an issue relative to his role as part of his management team,” Robins said.
Community members are angry that Robins pulled the trigger on his last day on the job, before handing the reigns over to new administrator, Jason Gariepy.