Coaldale’s director of protective services and fire chief will begin a new role as deputy chief of Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services. Kevin McKeown worked in Coaldale for six years and says it has been the greatest honour of his career.
“I started with the Coaldale and District Emergency Services early in my career back in 2007 as volunteer firefighter and full-time primary care paramedic. It was truly a dream come true to have the opportunity to serve as fire chief ten years later. Although I am sad to leave, I am so proud of where the people and this department is today,” he says.
McKeown has been a part of many projects in the town, including the creation of the Kate Andrews Emergency Services Academy, completion of a new firehall, procurement of a new aerial platform truck and the creation of a new firefighter health and wellness program.
“I am privileged to have worked with our incredible fire department staff,” McKeown says. “I was consistently inspired by their dedication, commitment and the daily sacrifices they make to keep Coaldale a safe place to live. What we have accomplished over the last 6 years is nothing short of amazing.”
Coaldale’s deputy fire chief, Clayton Rutberg, will replace McKeown as director of protective services and fire chief.
“Chief McKeown has laid the groundwork to continue advancing the department to meet the needs of our growing community,” Rutberg says. “I’m incredibly honored and excited to lead both the men and women of this department who work hard each and every day to provide outstanding service to our residents. I would like to wish Chief McKeown all the best in his new role.”
Rutberg will officially take over the role on April 17.
“It’s always bitter-sweet when you have to say goodbye to a hardworking, dedicated professional like Kevin,” says Kalen Hastings, chief administrative officer for the Town of Coaldale. “For 6 years, Kevin poured his heart and soul into leading our volunteer fire department and without him it simply wouldn’t be where it is today.”