For Immediate Release / February 4, 2021

Clarifying Fire Leadership Positions

Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Permanent, Temporary, Seconded

The City would like to offer two clarifications on the situation at St. Albert Fire Services and its personnel.

Although we don’t comment on individual staff members or personnel issues, we do want to clarify the status of the Fire Chief position. We are confirming that Bernd Gretzinger is still the Director of Emergency Services (more commonly known as Fire Chief) for the City of St. Albert.

We will not comment further on personnel issues.

The City of St. Albert would also like to confirm the type and number of its fire leadership positions.

As stated in our social media post of February 3, 2021:

The City of St. Albert has learned there is some confusion in the community over the number of Deputy Fire Chiefs in St. Albert Fire Services. In normal times, we have four permanent Chiefs: one Fire Chief and three Deputy Chiefs. During the pandemic, we have added two temporary Deputy Chief positions. We also have one permanent Assistant Chief to conduct quality assurance of emergency medical services, liaise with industry stakeholders and manage inventory of medical supplies and equipment. It is worth noting that this type of structure is not unique to St. Albert and is common in other mid-sized cities in our province.  

To reiterate our social media post, there is one Chief, four active Deputy Chiefs, an Assistant Chief and an inactive Deputy Chief (seconded to the Emergency Operations Centre as stated in the City’s email). One of the active Deputy Chiefs is a temporary position (seconded from Human Resources as stated in the City’s email). This position returns to Human Resources in two weeks. 

Municipalities with a population the size of St. Albert’s typically have deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs in their Fire Services, while smaller municipalities may only have a single chief.  Provided is a summary of Fire Services Management personnel for some comparable municipalities. Please note that these figures are current as of February 4, 2021.

Department Chief Deputy Chief Assistant Chief Total
Leduc 1 3 0 4
Lethbridge 1 4 0 5
Red Deer 1 2 3 6
RMWB 1 2 3 6
Spruce Grove 1 1 2 4
St. Albert 1 3 1 5
Strathcona 1 3 2 6
Average 1.00 2.57 1.57 5.14

The City of St. Albert recognizes this situation has caused confusion among our community and we appreciate the strong support it has shown for our Fire Services before, and through, the ongoing pandemic.

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Last edited: February 4, 2021