PFM Senior Recruiting Associate, Brittany Stanfield (left), VFRS Fire Chief and General Manager, Darrell Reid (centre) and PFM Project Coordinator, Donna Cantrill (right)
PFM Team Members Allison Rzen, Brittany Stansfield and Donna Cantrill were pleased to attend the Change of Command Ceremony, welcoming Darrell Reid as Vancouver’s next Fire Chief. This was a historic event, with Darrell being the only Chief in Vancouver Fire and Rescue’s 131 year history to come from outside the department. In his remarks, Darrell acknowledged this milestone, and also laid out his vision for the VFRS moving forward. We were thrilled to be part of the process of bringing Darrell to Vancouver and we know he will make a significant mark in this city.
It was also an honour to pay tribute to outgoing Chief John McKearney, who leaves the VFRS after 37 years of service, including eight as Chief. John saw the department through the planning and execution of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games; ensured the safety and protection of some of our most vulnerable citizens through the oversight of encampments and improved conditions in social housing; and recently has led his team through the most difficult drug crisis in this country’s history. Thank you John for all you have done for our community!
Outgoing Chief John McKearney (right) with incoming Chief, Darrell Reid (left)
For the first time since the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services was established in 1886, the Department has gone outside the ranks to appoint a new Fire Chief to one of Canada’s largest emergency response organizations.
Darrell Reid has been named Fire Chief and General Manager responsible for VFRS and the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Vancouver. The addition of the Office of Emergency Management to Darrell’s portfolio represents a new alignment for that function within the organization and will take advantage of his training and deep experience in this field.
Darrell’s appointment follows an extensive international recruitment process led by PFM Executive Search. The process was informed by input from many stakeholders, including the leadership of the Vancouver Firefighters Union and over 150 VFRS staff who shared their perspectives on the organization through the facilitated search & selection process led by PFM.
Darrell currently serves as CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He has a well-established career in Fire and Emergency Management Services including three years as a Deputy Chief with Toronto Fire Services plus 21 years with Strathcona County Emergency Services in Alberta. This included five years as Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management, where he was the incident commander appointed by the Province of Alberta for the 2011 Slave Lake fires and 2013 High River flood.
In addition to his background as a firefighter/paramedic, Darrell is the founder of a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing training and equipment to firefighters in developing countries. He also founded Canada’s largest licensed private training academy for firefighters and paramedics.
Darrell is coming to Vancouver with a mandate to support and build on the department’s 131-years of tradition of excellence in fire and rescue services.
PFM Executive Search is a national leader in working with private, public and not-for-profit organizations to identify, recruit and facilitate the appointment of senior leadership using innovative and highly regarded search methodologies for almost 25-years.