Whitehorse Daily Star

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Kevin Lyslo

Ex-fire chief declines to talk about his departure from job

The city is without a fire chief.

By Stephanie Waddell on November 6, 2017

The city is without a fire chief.

City officials confirmed today that Kevin Lyslo “has stepped down as fire chief” after three years in the role – and a total of 23 years with the fire department.

“He has served as a volunteer firefighter, career firefighter, captain, platoon chief, deputy fire chief, and became the city’s fire chief in 2014,” city spokesman Myles Dolphin said in an emailed statement.

Search for new chief

“The city will begin the recruitment process to find a new fire chief, and we have an interim strategy to ensure service continuity within the department.”

Mayor Dan Curtis was not available for comment to the Star before press time this afternoon.

Reached this morning, Lyslo confirmed he is no longer in the role of fire chief, but declined to comment further on it.

Lyslo was serving as the city’s deputy chief when he was hired to take on the position in 2014 following the retirement of then-fire chief Clive Sparks.

Both Sparks and Curtis praised Lyslo for his skills and experience at that time, with Lyslo highlighting his excitement in taking on the position.

“Kevin Lyslo brings many skills to this position, including an excellent understanding of the city’s operations,” Curtis said at that time.

“This will allow for a smooth transition.”

Sparks, meanwhile, had described Lyslo as a “good, well-qualified” firefighter who had worked his way up the ranks through the years.

Lyslo had already been in the role of acting fire chief from May 2013 to January of 2014 while Sparks served as the city’s acting director of infrastructure.

He said the stint as acting chief confirmed his interest in the position, allowing him to take on the role while still having Sparks nearby when he had questions.

Lyslo joined the department as a volunteer in 1994, wanting to get involved with emergency services.

He became a full-time firefighter after five years as a volunteer.

Lyslo began taking on more leadership roles in the department in 2008, including captain, platoon chief, deputy chief and finally chief before stepping down.

Comments (12)

Up 13 Down 7

Memoirs on Nov 11, 2017 at 9:02 am

I remember Mr Lyslo as a man full of integrity way back when he was a manager at a local grocery store. The owner was being very unreasonable over some issue where my daughter worked. There was no union but Mr. Lyslo laid himself on the line to stand up for her. Things you don't forget.

Up 29 Down 12

anon on Nov 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Thank you for your service, not an easy job on the best of days.

Up 40 Down 5

Guncache on Nov 7, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Zeezee, I and many others resent your remark, a bunch of goofy community firefighters. I have been a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years. We all take continuous training in order to ensure our safety and the safety of others.
As for the City, I do know that administration, in the past, has tried to rule a department they know nothing about. With the stroke of a pen the city manager can release a non union employee. Some years ago a city manager fired a qualified fire chief. That city manager only stayed a year himself. There is no accountability.

Up 55 Down 12

BobM on Nov 7, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Kevin is a good man and I imagine this wasn’t a decision he made in haste. Always known him to do the right thing even when it wasn’t easy for him or his family. Thanks for your service to the citizens of Whitehorse for the past 24 years.

Up 27 Down 12

ralpH on Nov 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm

I should also point out the Department I served on for over 30 years now has a Chief that constantly complains about the interference he gets from the marshals office. Not that it is not productive but more than he has the resources to fund. And that is causing conflict with his employers.

Up 26 Down 13

ralpH on Nov 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Facts are straight folks. Was there, seen it and experienced it. Fire marshals office does not fund incorporated communities for trucks or anything else. And they do pull the strings of all communities. Just look at the legislation. Also I do know what I am talking about they interfere and cause rifts between fire chiefs and The entity that employs them. Unless you have been a fire chief, municipal administration, or on council you really do not have a clue. Research it before commenting please.

Up 22 Down 9

bill on Nov 7, 2017 at 11:53 am

Ralph, you should get your facts before commenting. The City of Whitehorse has nothing to do with the Fire Marshal office (thank god). Whitehorse has a full time staff. The Marshals office funds the communities with lots of money for their volunteer fd. If it was not for them you would not have brand new fire trucks and new fire halls in your small community. Also the scenarios from Dawson and Watson are completely different. (Again get your facts before commenting).

Up 26 Down 6

MarkD on Nov 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

RalpH you seem to have forgotten that Whitehorse fire is not in any connection with the fire Marshall. They are the only professional department in the Yukon.

Up 21 Down 10

zeezee on Nov 6, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Ralph, what are you even talking about. The fire marshal office has nothing to do with the city fire chief, or the city fire department. There is no interference with operations from the marshals office. Also if you know anything about the fire service here, the city is a full time staff not a bunch of goofy community firefighters, the inspections you brag about the fmo has the right to do inspections in those communities. The fmo does the education in the communities because the community firefighters do not have the proper training like you said.

Up 27 Down 13

Josey Wales on Nov 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm

Hmmmm....seems more “secret” but funded by all CoW staffing/management problems?
Not reflecting on Kevin as much as the redefinition of arrogance in the castle of nobles. Maybe we need to put all CoW managers jobs up for competition, call an election and purge the arrogance outta “our” hall!
This place is run by fools, staffed heavily on the fool side...with zero accountability...absolutely f/a.
Just like a banana republic.
Maybe even the staff are fed up with the epic eppiiiic bulls**t that comes with our civic arrogance and progressive personel...yes personal agendas?
I know I am, many years ago.
Bad ideas are not haircuts that do not grow out, far too many bad idea managers and specialists on our public dime...they must go.

Up 20 Down 5

Al Atlintino on Nov 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm

More bullying?

Up 55 Down 38

ralpH on Nov 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

Classic case of Fire butting heads with administration. Same scenarios in Dawson City and Watson Lake. Fire Marshall's office interference in the day to day operations of local Departments with unrealistic expectations of the Volunteers that serve. On top of that the expectation that the municipality should pony up and pay, for Marshall's dreams leaving the Chief in a very uncomfortable place. AYC needs to be the happy medium and make The Marshall's office and The chiefs understand they need to be more realistic about what the communities and taxpayers can afford. I remember when I served in a small community we were a Defensive department wet stuff on the hot stuff and at minimum risk. That is all we can realistically afford. We are not Toronto or Vancouver. Oh and the Marshall's office do what you were meant to do!! Inspections and education, plus leave communities alone!

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