Thursday, 21 January 2016

Spaniard's Bay responds to scandal.

Photo courtesy of Support the Spaniard's Bay Fire Department Facebook group

Cory Mahaney lived for firefighting.

You can hear it in his voice when he tells you one of his many stories.  And, after almost 10 years of volunteer firefighting, he has a great number of stories to tell.

It was Mahaney’s love for firefighting which made it so difficult for him to hand over his pager this past Tuesday night.  Mahaney resigned.

But he was not alone.  This past Tuesday night, Jan. 19, at least 20 members of the 33 members, including chief Victor Hiscock, as well as town counselor and liaison Sheri  Collins, also resigned.

In the wake of the mass resignations, which crippled the station’s ability to operate effectively, fire stations in neighbouring communities Bay Robert’s and Upper Island Cove have pledged their assistance in filling the void.

But, during winter months when the roads are icy and storms often come unexpectedly, making travel difficult one wonders, is it enough to depend upon neighbouring stations?

At the heart of the scandal is a series of allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment made by Brenda Seymour, both a level II firefighter and a town counsellor.

Seymour, speaking with the CBC earlier this week, claimed that a brief clip of a pornographic film was shown during an instructional class.

She spoke of another incident where a fellow firefighter made a joke about several male firefighters’ masturbating onto one of her belongs, among other complaints of harassment and misconduct.

At a Nov. 16 council meeting this past year, Seymour called for the suspension of fire Chief Victor Hiscock.   
The motion was defeated.

The mass resignations has left residents of Spaniard’s Bay bewildered, shocked, and uncertain.

Many in the town have rallied to show their support of the firefighters.

Kate Davis, the daughter of Randy Davis, assistant chief, created the Facebook group ‘Support the Spaniard’s Bay Fire Department’ Tuesday night, at 11:43 pm.  At the current time of writing, the group has 884 members.

“We as a town need to come together and support our loyal and dedicated members!!” reads the group’s description, written by Davis.

“It’s making me mad and upset that these men (including my father) are being accused for sexual harassment.  I grew up with these men and they are a bunch of awesome guys who are dedicated to our community, and to see them getting the bad end of this is horrible,” said Davis via Messenger.

 “No one knows how personally it’s affecting the family members”

On the Facebook page, one finds various shared photos of the firefighters and their families, comments offering love and support, as well as memes promoting volunteer firefighting.

Mahaney, one of the firefighter who resigned, has written a public rebuttal to Seymour’s story.  The write up, which has been submitted to several news outlets and is available on the Facebook page, states that Seymour is using ‘this porn video issue to her advantage and making believe she’s being provoked.... trying to convince council that she should be the next chief...”

“My only concern now is the residents,” said Mahaney via a telephone interview.

There will be a rally tonight at the Spaniard's Bay town hall.

Seymour could not be reached for comment.


  1. Consider how it feels to be a victim. This woman was harassed, and gained up on by a group of men like I was. No one said, hey that's not fair, that's not right. Jeremy Hall outright lies and even documents lies. I too have had a bad experience with him as Fire Chief and his team ~ going along with what he says. I have proof and will join the fight for the community if need be.

    1. Jeremy Hall is a notorious slime bag. A true piece of human garbage.

  2. Actually, the name of the group is "Support the Spaniards Bay Fire Departmet."
    No apostrophe and department is spelled wrong.

  3. I am embarrassed by the behaviour of these Canadian men. That they would act so grossly unprofessional (I understand that in these kinds of places people have a more relaxed attitude but their actions...I don't care how small or close your community is), when they are supposed to be brave and noble and examples to the community. If these allegations about your department are false, then an investigation will prove that. To leave your community unprotected as protest is disgusting. Question, do these men make jokes about jizz in front of one another's daughters? Because Seymour is someone's daughter. Do they show pornographic videos after class/tutoring to the daughters of the community? Is that provincial curricula? Seymour, if you're reading this, keep fighting them. You have a right to your community, you ARE right in whistle blowing, and while the wives and daughters of these fool's keep their heads under sand, this fight is progress for generations of young women doing the job that inspires them and not the one gender assigns them.