KAMLOOPS – With the threat of local flooding, the City of Kamloops' new fire chief Mike Adams took command at an incredibly busy time.
Between the potential flooding, his new roles as chief, balancing his old roles as deputy chief, and his responsibilities as a husband and father of three, it’s safe to say Adams has his hands full.
On a typical day, he checks in with administrative staff, replies to emails, attends meetings, tries to have lunch with staff, attends more meetings and by the time his day wraps up around 4:30 p.m., the work day has flown by and it’s family time. Adams is married and has three kids ages 11, 13 and 15.
“It’s always a balancing act with anyone who’s working. There are work obligations, but I also have three kids who are very active and need to be here, there and everywhere,” Adams says with a laugh. “As much as my wife is very accommodating and supportive, there are times she needs me to help out and I need to do my part. It can make for long days, but it’s all worth it.”
Adams was confirmed as Kamloops’ newest fire chief on April 24, 2017 after his stint as acting chief when former chief Dale McLean retired in December 2016.
Shortly after taking the reigns at Kamloops Fire Rescue, local flooding snatched up a lot of his time and attention.
“We have been planning for the worst and hoping for the best. That’s been keeping us quite busy,” Adams says.
In times of potential flooding, Kamloops Fire Rescue works closely with other City departments and the Emergency Operations Centre. A large amount of foresight and planning is needed so crews can spring to action when, and if, the time comes. Adams says the fire department has been keeping an eye on potential problem areas and how those areas will access emergency services should routes become cut off by flooding.
“There are a lot of contingency plans. Thankfully we haven’t had to enact any them so far,” Adams says.
Adams has worked in the fire service for 28 years and moved to Kamloops in 2011 to serve as assistant chief. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2014 and now, three years later, has climbed to the top of the ladder. He says meetings and planning take up a large portion of his days and one of his goals is to stay connected to his front line staff, making sure needs are met.
“We have so many priorities and are being pulled in so many different ways sometimes getting out to see everyone in the department is hard. Doing that is showing support for what they do, because I think they are doing a fantastic job,” Adams says.
From his office, Adams has a clear view of the parking bay were the fire engines take off with sirens blaring. Sometimes he misses being in the middle of it all.
“As a chief officer that’s one thing that I miss. I see the big red trucks roll out with men and women heading out to do the good work that they do. That part of the job I tend to miss. At the same time, I know that my job is different and I need to support them,” Adams says.
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