Neepawa hires new fire chief


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

The Town of Neepawa has hired a new fire chief. Yves Guillas has taken over the position from Scott Gibson, effective immediately. Guillas has over 20 years of accumulated experience as the deputy chief and has also previously served as the interim fire chief back in 2005. His earliest work with the Neepawa Fire Department began in the late ‘70s, when his father, Alban Guillas was chief.

Neepawa mayor Adrian de Groot said having someone with the amount of expertise that Guillas has stepping  into the position should ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible.

“[Guillas] has a vast amount of experience. He has been a big part of the department for several years. He has also had the responsibility of doing some of the training. [The town administration] is very confident that he has the capacity to do the job and make the transition as smooth as possible. My understanding, as well, is that he’s quite excited about this opportunity. He has a vision for the future of the department and some of the ideas he brings in are exciting,” stated de Groot.

Guillas noted that he’s looking forward to the challenge and putting his stamp on the department.

“This is not only an opportunity to continue the great work that Scott [Gibson] has started, but also a chance to build off of it,” noted Guillas. “Considering what is going on with the department this year with new fire truck and the planning for the new firehall, there are many opportunities that we can build from. There’s also such a great bunch of people connected to the department who put themselves on the line to protect this community. I’m very proud to be associated with them.”

Gibson, who has been chief for the past 12 years, recently decided to step down to focus on priorities outside of the job. He will, however, remain with the department as a volunteer. Gibson said he has enjoyed his time as chief and looks forward to continuing to serve the community on the fire department, only in an altered capacity.

This transition follows closely on the heels of another recent change as leisure services manager Amanda Novak informed the Town that she would be stepping down and moving on to a position with the Manitoba division of the MS Society of Canada. Town administration has indicated to the Banner that Novak will assist them through the transition period as the search for a new individual to step into the role takes place.