Ryan Murrell is no longer the fire chief for the Dryden Fire Service, as he and the City of Dryden parted ways earlier this morning. Deputy Fire Chief Cora MacRae has been named as the interim fire chief for the city until the position is filled on a permanent basis.

During Murrell’s tenure, the Dryden Fire Service underwent significant change. The former volunteer-based firefighting model was scrapped after a work stoppage – dividing community members and councillors – in favour of a new work experience program.

Murrell endured residents and some former volunteer firefighters calling for his termination throughout the dispute, but stayed on with the city to work towards cutting costs, increasing efficiency, improving response times and improving public education and inspections.

In the Dryden Fire Service’s most recent quarterly report to council members, the DFS reported a 155 per cent increase in inspections, an upcoming expansion to their smoke alarm program, and members were well-above response time targets. The DFS also increased their community outreach and fund-raising initiatives.

Murrell was named as the city’s fire chief in August of 2017, taking over Ken Kurz’ role after 39 years of service. Murrell has been with the Dryden Fire Service since 2003, eventually becoming a volunteer fire captain before being named deputy chief in October, 2016.

MacRae joined the Dryden Fire Service in April of 2017, coming on as a fire prevention officer. She was previously the fire chief for the Municipality of Machin, and had been serving Machin as a volunteer firefighter since 2003.

Cora MacRae has been named the City of Dryden's interim Fire Chief. Photo courtesy of the City of Dryden.
For more information:
Murrell presents strong numbers for DFS
Deadlock in Dryden