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City of Vancouver hires first-ever female fire chief

“She brings deep expertise and a record of effective leadership in the fire service and she will be an invaluable addition to our City Leadership Team. "
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Karen Fry brings with her decades of fire service experience and proven leadership in public safety. Photo: City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver has announced that Karen Fry will join Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services as the new Fire Chief, making her the first woman to ever hold the job.

Fry brings with her decades of fire service experience and proven leadership in public safety. She's been serving as Fire Chief for the City of Nanaimo since 2017, where she also held a concurrent appointment as Director of Public Safety managing Emergency Management, Bylaw, and Municipal Employees supporting the RCMP, explains a release from the City. 

Fry also served as a Deputy Chief with Surrey Fire Service. She is also currently the First Vice-President of the BC Fire Chief’s Association, a member of the Canadian Fire Chiefs and has been a strong champion for protecting the health and wellness of firefighters.

“As we continue our ongoing response to COVID-19 and managing the essential services that Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services team provides, we are thrilled to have Karen Fry join us as our new Fire Chief,” said Deputy City Manager Paul Mochrie. “She brings deep expertise and a record of effective leadership in the fire service and she will be an invaluable addition to our City Leadership Team. We have a lot of important work to tackle in 2021 and we look forward to welcoming her.” 

“It is an honour to join the team at Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services,” said Karen Fry. “Vancouver is a complex city. Public safety is my passion and I am keen to build on the already outstanding efforts of the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services team. It has been a difficult year for emergency service workers and there will be challenges ahead, but I am committed to serving this community alongside my new colleagues.” 

The City of Vancouver undertook an extensive nation-wide search to fill the role of Fire Chief following the retirement of former Chief Darrell Reid.  

Fry will officially step into the role on Jan. 4, 2021.