Published April 12 2016
Responding to emergencies and putting out fires has been a decades-long passion for firefighter Mike Iles who will become fire chief for Dysart et al as of July 1.
The service manager at Curry Motors started with the local volunteer service in 1993 becoming a captain about six years ago.
When current fire chief Miles Maughan announced he would be retiring at the end of June Iles decided to apply for the position.
“I had always thought it’d be a wonderful challenge but it’s also difficult to leave a business that I worked so hard at over a span of 29 years” he says.
Iles started working at Curry Motors shortly after finishing university. He was living in Toronto and looking for a way to come back to Haliburton where he grew up.
“Ideally I wanted to come back and that’s when I approached Dad and Curry’s about working here” he says. Iles’s father Joe was a part owner of Curry’s at the time.
Iles worked at various jobs around the dealership eventually becoming service manager. He and his wife Wendy had two kids Chris and Tessa who are now both adults.
Firefighting is a common vocation in the Iles household. Mike’s father Joe was fire chief with the department in the 1970s and a firefighter from 1946 to 1989. His son Chris is a volunteer firefighter with the department and at one time Wendy was also a firefighter with the Minden department.
Iles will be managing the day to day operations of the department which includes a team of 26 volunteer firefighters.
“I’m not needing or wanting to make changes there” he says complimenting the job done by Maughan and the team of volunteers.
He will be job shadowing Maughan in May and June and taking over after that.
It’s a challenge Iles relishes.
“It’s to do something new and different and something I’ve always loved and enjoyed” he says.