Buckland Fire and Rescue officially announced their new chief this week.
Veteran firefighter and former Melfort Fire Department Chief Paul See will head up the department after taking over for the retiring Garry Schrader.
See said he was happy to take on the new position.
“I think it was just the timing was right with my family and my personal situation,” he explained. “It was just all about timing.”
Previously, See served as Waskesiu fire chief before going to Melfort in 2017. He left that position in 2018 and was replaced by former Prince Albert fire chief Jason Everitt.
See said family concerns are what led to the move.
“I was away from the kids, so obviously that’s the one thing that Buckland could provide me with,” he explained. “I can still have my family time and then Buckland is right next door here to Prince Albert so that was a big deciding factor.”
See explained that retiring chief Schrader left the department in good shape for him to take over.
“Chief Schrader has left me a good department in good hands. With his leadership that department has grown heaps in the last number of years, so that was also appealing to me. I knew I was taking over a great department.”
See officially signed his contract with Buckland on Monday, Jan. 10 for a three-year term.
See has a diverse background as a firefighter. He started in the fire service in hometown in New Brunswick. He then went to fire school in California, and from there to Lake Louise, Alta.
“I went from there to Australia. I worked fire rescue for BHP and I made my way back here to Saskatchewan,” he explained
He has also worked in Kamsack and Regina before coming to the Prince Albert region. He has been in Prince Albert since 2010.
“This is actually my second go with Buckland Fire,” See explained. “I was a firefighter with them from 2010 to 2012 and then I took over as chief in Waskesiu and then went to Melfort and back to Prince Albert.”
See began working on the job a few weeks before the official announcement, so he’s already had time to get acclimated to his new role.
“I’m blessed I have a very good crew at Buckland,” he said. “It’s a busy department, so it is just getting my feet wet again and it’s that time of year. Today I have been working all day on budgets, operational budget and capital budgets and just planning for the future.
“We are still doing our training and there are some new standards that we are starting to meet there. It has been busy…. Technically it has only been a few weeks here but it has been very busy.”
Schrader is remaining with the department after stepping down last fall.