The Portage la Prairie Fire Department officially has a new chief now. Brad Bailey has been with the department for 23 years and talks about how this was always his endgame.

"Through my career, I set this as a goal," says Bailey. "It's something we work for and work toward throughout our careers, and eventually we get to this spot."

Bailey describes the process for selecting a chief.

"The city started a succession program in around 2019," continues Bailey. "At that time, I was selected to be part of that succession program. Throughout this program, we did some extra training through Dalhousie University taking leadership courses, and such. We also shadowed the current deputy chief and chief at the time (Phil Carpenter) to learn what it takes and what's involved with running a department."

He notes that program led him to be hired on as deputy chief, working hand-in-hand with former chief Phil Carpenter. 

"I was then hired on as chief, and in the last two months, we've had a wonderful transition," continues Bailey. "We've been able to experience a lot of things that normally could take years to experience. It's been very busy, but a very good way to transition into the role."

Bailey assumed the position officially on May 1.

Portage Hotel fire 2006 - Brad Bailey is pictured laying on curb after hard workPortage Hotel fire 2006 - Brad Bailey is pictured laying on curb after hard work