New Director takes the wheel of protective and community services 0
Crowsnest Pass residents may have seen a new face at the municipal office and around town over the past month. Albert Headrick started as Director of Protective and Community Services on April 10 and has been busy getting to know the area, other community members and the municipal staff.
"I love the area," said Headrick. "There's so much potential for growth and prosperity here."
With over 30 years in the fire service industry - federal, provincial and municipal - Headrick has worked in a multitude of capacities across the country.
Originally from east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he was born and raised on a farm, Headrick said he worked in other professions, such as a railroad conductor, personnel safety manager in a hardwood manufacturing division, worked in the pulp and paper industry while dedicating nine years of community service towards being a volunteer fire fighter during the early part of his career. "This was a rewarding experience that I will always cherish," said Headrick.
Later he got into the professional field and gradually moved up through the ranks in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan.
"I worked in other professions, but fire fighting was always my passion," he said. "Not to mention being involved in many non-for-profit organizations in the community our family resided."
His most recent experience was as Fire Marshall, then Deputy Chief of Public Safety, Planning and Prevention for the City of Regina, Fire Chief in Yellowknife NWT, and Deputy Chief Swift Current Fire Department.
Headrick said he always had aspirations to work in Alberta and believes it's a great opportunity to gain exposure and the cultural experience of other provinces. "[Coming to Crowsnest Pass] is a great opportunity to take on a new position and grow with the position and with the community," he said. "The council's proactive vision to move forward will do the community well."
"The new senior management team brings effective leadership attributes, management styles, exposure and experience that will work collectively with our staff and community stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes in relation to our goals and objectives," he said.
With a number of post-graduate degrees in business, municipal and public administration, fire service diplomas and certifications already under his belt, Headrick is currently completing his Bachelor of Applied Business in Emergency Services degree from Lakeland College with a completion date this July. He also sits on two committees with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and has been awarded the Chief Fire Officers designation in 2011.
Some other accomplishments worthy to note is that he received the Ontario Amethyst Award for outstanding services rendered during his role in the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre by the Premier during the 1998 ice storm in eastern Ontario and Quebec; the Ontario Fire Services 25-year Long Service Medal and the Federal Fire Service Exemplary Medal for 30 years service; an Award of Merit by the Association of Municipal Managers Clerks and Treasures of Ontario; co-Authored a history book of the Swift Current Fire Department and worked collectively to erect a fire fighter monument to honor two fallen fire fighters in the City of Yellowknife in 2005.
Now at the helm in Crowsnest Pass, Headrick has been working on several initiatives in the fire services department. He is currently interviewing for the position of Manager of Protective Services/Fire Chief. The interview process should be completed within two weeks.
Headrick praised the fire and rescue membership. "All members are truly dedicated, sincere and hardworking and it is a privilege and honor to work with them," he said.
A contest is currently underway for a new crest design for the fire/rescue department that will be visible on all clothing and equipment used by emergency services. The winning selection will win $500 with a deadline of May 23. Ten entries have been received to date.
Headrick also said they are conducting a master fire plan to identify future direction. "It is imperative that communication strategies reflects the needs and circumstances of internal and external stakeholders," he said. "The most important thing, if change is necessary then the affected stakeholders need to be involved with the process for successful outcomes."
In the Community Services area, Headrick said he is impressed with the opportunities and amenities in the Pass such as the museum, the ski hill, golf course, hospital, parks, recreation facilities, sport fields and programming, trails, agriculture, family community support services, and other business and commercial services.
A history buff, he thinks the Pass offers a great opportunity for marketing not only what it offers in amenities but in its heritage and history. Some present initiatives underway pertain to a Cultural and Recreation feasibility study that will be conducted to look at the needs in relation to programs and the required facilities. This should be completed by late fall.
Other areas being focused on are the beautification initiative, turf management and weed program, peace officer program, enhancement of trails, and parks, and recreation programming.
"These are the essential ingredients to encourage visitors to come and experience our heritage, what we have to offer, explore our amenities and most importantly invest in this beautiful picturesque area of prosperity," he said.
Albert is a father of four and grandfather of 10 with the 11th on the way. He enjoys the arts, history, golf, fishing and landscaping. Albert and Shannon reside in Blairmore and are looking forward to exploring the beauty of the Crowsnest Pass.