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New joint fire chief announced for Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury departments

Tom Raeburn takes over leadership of both fire departments
Town of Innisfil Photo - Chief Raeburn
Tom Raeburn file photo

INNISFIL - The Towns of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) are pleased to announce that Tom Raeburn will be interim Joint Chief of Innisfil Fire and Rescue Services and Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire and Emergency Services (BWGFES).

The announcement follows the retirement of BWGFES Chief Kevin Gallant who will be retiring at the end of May after 10 years of dedicated leadership.

Raeburn, who has been with Innisfil Fire and Rescue since 1995, and Fire Chief as of 2018, will be sworn into this position at a later date.

A review will be conducted to see if a shared fire services could benefit both communities. In the meantime, both fire departments will continue to operate as separate services and support each other under Raeburn’s leadership.

“Going forward we will have the advantage of pooling more of our resources together with the common goal of delivering an even better service to residents of Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil,” said Chief Tom Raeburn. “Already, our two fire services work very closely together and jointly respond to a wide variety of calls, so this really makes sense.”

Raeburn said he looks forward to examining how the two fire services can produce an even better response model, potentially redeploy equipment and getting to personally know the dedicated members of the BWG Fire and Emergency Service.

“In the midst of COVID-19, the need for collaboration is more urgent now than ever before,” said Raeburn. “I look forward to joining forces with the BWG team and for the opportunity to spend the next few weeks collaborating with Chief Gallant before he retires.”

“We know that the Province has asked all municipalities to take a close look at finding ways to provide more efficient services to our residents and this is an excellent example of how our two neighbouring Towns can do just that,” said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “We look forward to Chief Raeburn’s continued leadership as he takes on this new opportunity to share and collaborate with our neighbours and municipal partners.”

“It’s a win-win as this is a tremendous opportunity to work more closely with our neighbours to deliver a better service while providing better value to our taxpayers,” said BWG Mayor Rob Keffer. “We welcome Chief Raeburn and look forward to exploring this opportunity together, which will ensure we continue to deliver critically-important fire and rescue services.”