(Trois-Rivieres) While the council was preparing to suspend temporary firefighter for the City of Trois-Rivieres for granted, without authorization from his superiors, a radio interview, Mayor Yves Levesque retired in extremis the resolve that Monday night. Yannick Lupien, who had been invited to talk about the firefighter during fires raging in Fort McMurray, had to be suspended without pay for one day, a decision recommended by the Human Resources Committee of the City but was removed from the agenda before the journalists’ questions.
Last May, Yannick Lupien temporary firefighter and former Olympian, was invited to the Mauricie 106.9 morning show to talk as a firefighter that could live the firefighters assigned to fight the fire raging Alberta. During the interview, Yannick Lupien notably spoke of the dangers that were exposed firefighters assigned to Fort McMurray, but also physical and psychological effects they may suffer.
It seems however that this interview has displeased executive of Public Safety. Reportedly, the fireman was even met by disciplinary committee on that. The Human Resources Committee would have come to the recommendation to impose a day of suspension without pay, but this resolution was withdrawn minutes before the start of the council meeting Monday night.
“I’m not comfortable with it,” commented Mayor Yves Levesque, visibly surprised by this recommendation and uncomfortable before the conclusion of the file, in which he confirms that intervening to a firefighter and is met wise, but he suffers no penalty so. We must remember that when firefighters sworn they lend “oath of secrecy” to the Director of Fire.
Yannick Lupien did however not his first experience with the media, who took part in the 2000 Olympics and 2004 in swimming, but also at the world championships in 2005, when he was measured at the famous American swimmer Michael Phelps. Moreover, in March, the former Olympian and fireman gave a lecture to about 600 students in secondary Keranna Institute, a conference on the realization of its aspirations but also the importance of perseverance and well apply in everything we undertake. This public release was widely covered by the media.
Already at that time, Le Nouvelliste was denied access inside the barracks and land in the same barracks boulevard des Chenaux, facing Keranna to take a picture of Mr. Lupien. Le Nouvelliste the photographer was then folded on an outdoor photo, on the edge of the street, to illustrate the article. A photo that was also included in the bulletin of municipal employees to congratulate the firefighter to have given the conference.
Reached by telephone, Yannick Lupien said he was relieved that the resolution was withdrawn, and believes he never broke his code of honor facing the City. “I give a hundred conferences a year throughout Quebec youth. Will I have to ask permission every time because I’m a firefighter? I represent my profession in an exemplary way, I am very proud to be a firefighter and the city is also very happy to have me in the newspapers when I give lectures on motivation and perseverance to young people. My life does not stop at the barracks, I also have an Olympic athlete life that is frequently asked to intervene publicly, and I do not think we need help telling my opinion in these circumstances “says Lupien.
For its part, the union president, Gino Harnois, welcomed the decision to withdraw the resolution, but would not comment on the case further.