He’s already served in the role for the past six months and now the City of Regina has officially named Layne Jackson as the new fire chief.
Jackson has been acting fire chief since early March, after it was revealed former chief Ernie Polsom and the city had parted ways.
“It’s definitely a chance to make it my own. When acting, there’s always the stigma with acting, you never know, you never have the certainty,” said Jackson.
Being in the role on a permanent basis will allow him to establish his vision for the department, he said, adding that will take some time as he evaluates Regina Fire and Protective Services. Part of that evaluation involves training improvements for staff.
“We can always continue to improve and do better in our training. It’s key and it’s fundamental to our firefighters providing a good quality service and being safe out in the community when they respond,” he said.
Jackson grew up in Ogema, Sask., and is a 20-year veteran of fire services, including having served as deputy chief in the Regina fire department for the last eight years. Jackson has also helped the city receive international accreditation, one of only seven Canadian cities with the distinction. Jackson described that accreditation as third-party validation about the quality of service firefighters in Regina provide.
It was this experience that helped set him apart from other candidates in the eyes of City Manager Chris Holden.
“He has a reputation and he has experience that will set him up to be successful in the position,” he said.
Holden said they hired an executive search firm who brought the city 18 qualified candidates. That was narrowed down to five candidates, including two from within the department.