New Fire Chief appointed for Innisfil and Bradford

Brent Thomas to lead joint fire service

courtesy of the Town of Innisfil

The Town of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the recruitment process for the next Fire Chief.  

Effective September 27, 2021, Brent Thomas will take on the new role of Fire Chief of Innisfil Fire & Rescue Services and will also serve as the Joint Fire Chief with Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire & Emergency Services. 

“I’m looking forward to leading the fire services for Innisfil and Bradford and working alongside the dedicated women and men of both fire departments,” Chief Thomas said. 

Thomas has over 34 years of progressive experience in emergency services, beginning as a paramedic before shifting to a career in fire services and progressing through the ranks. Thomas most recently served as Fire Chief with the Orillia Fire Department. Prior to that, he held various positions within Orillia and the Stoney Creek, Hamilton, and West Lincoln fire departments. Thomas has served on a variety of working groups and committees, including the Steering Committee for the County of Simcoe’s Service Delivery Review and the Georgian College Advisory Committee for the Fire Service Program. He has also served as President of the Ontario Association of Fire Training Officers (OAFTO). Thomas possesses an in-depth knowledge of fire protection services, training, public education, and navigating communities through times of crisis and change. 

Thomas will lead and manage the joint fire department’s overall operations, which include fire suppression, staff training, emergency management, fire prevention, public education, and strategic service planning. He will also play a significant role in carrying out the recommendations of the Shared Fire Services Feasibility Assessment, which examines the possibility of further consolidation of fire services between the two municipalities. 

“We are thrilled to have Brent take on the role of Joint Chief and to finalize the integrated services review we initiated earlier this year,” BWG Mayor Rob Keffer said. “We look forward to having Brent lead the staff and volunteers at BWG Fire & Emergency Services.” 

“We are overjoyed to welcome Brent to this critical role. His extensive experience working within the County and with various fire departments throughout Ontario will benefit both of our towns,” Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin said. “We are extremely appreciative to Chief Kay for assuming the Interim Joint Chief role; his guidance and leadership over the last few months have been invaluable.” 

Interim Chief Jim Kay will remain with the service until October 1, 2021, assisting with the transition to Chief Thomas.