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Saskatoon fire chief named National Fire Chief of the Year

Morgan Hackl is shown in a photo provided by the City of Saskatoon. (City of Saskatoon) Morgan Hackl is shown in a photo provided by the City of Saskatoon. (City of Saskatoon)
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Saskatoon’s fire chief has been named National Fire Chief of the Year by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC).

Chief Morgan Hackl received a plaque to mark the recognition from the CAFC on Sept. 19, a City of Saskatoon news release said.

Hackl was recognized for the efforts of the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) to improve public safety through community collaboration and outreach partnerships, the release said.

“Chief Hackl is a true community leader,” city manager Jeff Jorgenson said. “He gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges to the most vulnerable in the community he serves, participating this year in the Sanctum Survivor Challenge, where he spent 36 hours living as if homeless on the streets of Saskatoon.”

Jorgenson said Hackl understands community challenges are a shared responsibility, and that the SFD plays a key role in helping the city deal with challenging issues.

Some of the work that Hackl did included being a mentor to his team, supporting Saskatoon Fire Executive Officers, his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting together an Incident Management structure to help over 50 community agencies that work with the city’s most vulnerable, the city said.

Jorgenson said Hackl also worked to build partnerships, including the effort he made to establish an overdose outreach team comprised of SFD primary care paramedics and Saskatchewan Health Authority counsellors.

“It takes vision and courage to lead the way Chief Hackl does and as an organization we congratulate him on this must deserved recognition,” Jorgenson said.

Hackl has been with the SFD for 35 years. He joined as a firefighter and has also served s battalion chief and assistant chief before taking on the head role in 2015.

The CAFC is an independent, non-profit organization. They represent about 3,500 fire departments across the country, according to the organization website. The CAFC was founded in 1909. 

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