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1983 to 2018 celebrating 35 years of service to the London and area Community


Tuesday, July 10, 2018 SECTION B

Different leader for tumultuous times

Mike Hensen/The London Free Press

Video at Lori Hamer lands top job as London Fire Department seeks stability after firestorm of harassment claims
Megan Stacey serious blazes. chief as the fire department be- ees, by “going out and actually lis- only a few female fire chiefs in
The London Free Press “They’re an extremely highly came embroiled in workplace tening and speaking and hearing Ontario.
skilled group of people with a lot of harassment allegations, and after from them.” For Hamer, her experience, in-
The first woman fire chief in Lon- knowledge and a lot of experience former chief John Kobarda’s retire- “Like every person, she has a dif- cluding two decades in fire com-
don’s history, who cut her teeth in that I want to draw on to help us ment was suddenly announced. ferent leadership style. It’s been munications and management
a different end of the profession, build the strong department that Acting deputy chief Jack Burt very refreshing,” Timlick said. roles at the Kitchener and Lon-
says she can lead differently. we know we can be,“ she added. called it “a new frontier,” describ- As much as she’s already made don fire departments, is much
Newly minted chief Lori Hamer Hamer, who’s been with the Lon- ing Hamer as a well-rounded and her mark as the first woman to lead more relevant.
is taking over the top job at a tu- don Fire Department since 2016, open leader. the city’s fire department, Hamer See chief | A5
multuous time, as the London fire when she was hired as a depu- Union boss Jason Timlick said said she doesn’t want her legacy to
department looks to stabilize after ty chief of communications, has Hamer’s style is “refreshing.” be about gender. About Chief Hamer
harassment allegations and claims made it a central goal to meet with “I’ve seen a change under her The city spent more than three Age: 47
of a “toxic” workplace prompted fire crews and hear directly from leadership as fire chief,” Timlick, months recruiting for a new fire
Born: Port Elgin
city hall to launch an investigation employees about concerns since president of the London Profes- chief. City hall officials said the
and culture review in March. she took over as acting chief in sional Fire Fighters Association, process was competitive, though Lives: London
“I’m humbled and honoured, ob- March. said. they wouldn’t release the number Family: Married 24 years with two
viously, to be working alongside all Her career in firefighting has “What she’s been able to achieve of applicants or interviews. sons, 18 and 20 years old
the men and women at the Lon- been spent not on the front lines over the past couple months as act- It’s hard to deny that Hamer is Career: 22 years in communications
don fire department,” Hamer told fighting fires, but in communica- ing fire chief is amazing.” something of a pioneer. and management, 20 with Kitchener
The Free Press on Monday, after a tions and management. He pointed to Hamer’s efforts She’s the first woman to lead the fire department
weekend where crews battled two Hamer was appointed acting to meet each one of her employ- city’s fire department, and one of

Holder could reshape mayor’s race, pundits say INSIDE we asked you...
Norman De Bono The response Holder offers change for those
The London Free Press has been over- looking for a different municipal Which team will win the World Cup?
whelmingly voice, but is familiar as a former
Former MP Ed Holder’s loom- supportive, and London West MP who served in England 54%
ing entry into the London mayor- he will make it Stephen Harper’s government. His Belgium 19%
al race could drastically alter the official Thurs- name recognition extends to years
fall civic election, political pun- day, say politi- spent actively supporting commu- France 15%
dits say. cal insiders. nity events, including the Business Croatia 12%
Holder, 63, began messaging “He is a seri- Holder Cares Food Drive he co-chaired for
some Londoners Monday, saying ous contender,” many years. Total votes cast: 1, 139
he will make an announcement said Martin Horak, a political sci- Like mayoral hopefuls Paul Today’s question: Have you ever
Thursday at Innovation Works. ence professor at Western Univer- Paolatto and Paul Cheng, Holder
One of the city’s worst kept secrets sity and associate director of the will be seen as a fiscal conserva- Powered by 37 aces, Canadi- walked a picket line?
is that the two-term former Con- school’s Centre for Urban Policy tive, attractive to those who op- an Milos Raonic advances
servative MP has been beating the and Local Governance. “He has pose council’s “city building agen- to quarterfinals at Wimble-
bushes in recent months, meeting made significant contributions to da” that’s seen it go for ambitious
don for third straight year.
$ 1.43
businesspeople to gauge feedback the community. I think a lot of peo- projects like bus rapid transit. (plus gst)
on a mayoral run. ple think positively of him.” See mayor | A5 sports

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