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Dysart et al fire chief passes away

The flags at the A.J. LaRue Arena, Haliburton Fire Station, and Haliburton Cenotaph are flying at half-mast to honour Dysart et al’s Fire Chief Mike Iles.

Tamara Wilbee, CAO, wrote on the municipality’s Facebook page that Iles recently passed away. He served as fire chief since July 1, 2016.

“We are all deeply saddened about the loss of Chief Iles,” she said in a statement sent to the newsroom. “Mike was extremely liked and well respected by his peers, coworkers, and fire crew.”

Wilbee says Iles’s legacy will be the positive changes he made to the fire department even as training, equipment requirements, and liabilities have been a more complex issue to navigate. “Mike is known for being a strong, yet fair leader,” she continues. “He was an excellent coach and role model and exuded a sense of calmness in tough situations which always helped keep others focussed on the job at hand.”

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She credits Iles for helping lead the municipality through the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Municipal Control Group. Wilbee says his “calming energy” was so helpful to the other members of the group, town staff, and the community.

“During his illness, Iles continued to maintain his positive attitude, keeping in touch and coming in for regular visits to the office and fire hall,” she continues. “He even participated in a Halloween day budget meeting, as he knew how much we relied on his guidance and expertise, and he was happy to help where he could at any given time.”

“Chief Iles served his family and community with a great deal of pride and touched the hearts of so many people,” says Wilbee.

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