Kaleden volunteer fire chief retiring

A group portrait of the Kaleden Fire Department. After almost 50 years of service, Fire Chief Darlene Bailey is retiring this month.

After almost a half century of service to her community, Darlene Bailey is stepping down as chief of the Kaleden Volunteer Fire Department.

Bailey worked for 27 years as a firefighter before moving into the lead role.

“The community of Kaleden and the surrounding areas have been incredibly fortunate to have had the leadership, commitment and dedication to community, that Chief Bailey has brought over the many years,” said Tom Siddon, Electoral Area “D” director for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in a prepared statement. “Chief Bailey exemplifies the truly dedicated volunteer. The business of fighting fires has changed tremendously over the years and Chief Bailey has done a great job of managing the ever-changing standards of the day while maintaining a community- based volunteer spirit within her department.”

Bailey is credited with being instrumental in establishing operational procedures, creating pre-fire response plans and a robust records management system.

“On behalf of the RDOS, we wish to thank Chief Bailey for her many years of dedication towards the protection of residents and their properties, throughout the region,” said Karla Kozakevich, chair of the RDOS board of directors.

Chief Bailey’s last day with the Fire Department will be on June 16.

Longtime fire department member and current deputy fire chief Denis Gaudry will take on the role of interim fire chief while a permanent replacement is selected.