Vancouver fire chief leaving post for job in Alberta

Darrell Reid is Strathcona County’s new chief commissioner

Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid announced Wednesday that he is leaving his post and taking a job in Alberta.

Reid made the announcement via Twitter, saying he was honoured to serve as chief of Vancouver and Fire Rescue Services and head of the Vancouver Emergency Management Agency.

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“I’m very excited for the next step in my life and career,” he said.

That next step is as chief commissioner of Strathcona County, which is near Edmonton and home to his family, which he frequently visited while chief in Vancouver. His position is effective July 13.

A news release from Strathcona County said Reid will lead the development, implementation and administration of all policies and programs established and approved by council.

He will guide and advise council on legislation and municipal operations and provide information to support council in making informed decisions, said the release, which also quoted Reid.

“I am excited to return to serve the community I have lived and worked in for most of my adult life, and the place my family considers home,” he said.

“Strathcona County faces unprecedented opportunities and challenges as we navigate the impacts of issues and events, including COVID-19 and the oil industry.”

Reid’s departure comes after only three years on the job, having been hired in 2017 to replace retiring chief John McKearney. The news was met with surprise but well wishes on Twitter from residents, politicians and firefighters, including Gord Ditchburn of the B.C. Professional Firefighters’ Association.

“Thanks Chief,” Ditchburn wrote, “you reinvigorated a tired department, put some swagger back in our step and we owe you. Good luck on the next phase and in being back home with your family.”

From Coun. Christine Boyle: “Thank you for the incredible leadership you have provided the City of Vancouver. We’ve been lucky to have you.”

From former councillor Andrea Reimer, who served on council when Reid was appointed: “Wow! Big news Darrell. Good luck with the next steps and thank you for your service to the residents of Vancouver.”

Glacier Media requested an interview with Reid Wednesday but had not heard back from the department at the posting of this story.

mhowell@vancourier.com

@Howellings

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