Central Saanich Fire Chief takes province job

After 16 years, Ron French has accepted a new position with the B.C. Fore Commissioners Office.

Central Saanich Fire Chief Ron French has taken a new job with the B.C. Fire Commissioner’s office.

After 16 years as the Fire Chief for the Central Saanich Volunteer Fire Department, Ron French is bidding farewell as he moves onto work with the province.

Guests and council members at Monday night’s council meeting stood for a loud round of applause, thanking French for his time.

“I think that you’re an individual who will be remembered for a long time in this community for your ability to guide the volunteer fire department as well as you have. I want to extend my thanks as the current mayor …” said Mayor Ryan Windsor.

French’s career began in Kelowna where he was a volunteer firefighter. He later moved to North Saanich and was at their fire department for 12 years, serving as their deputy chief. He went on to work for the Victoria airport’s fire department full time for a year, before moving into his role as Fire Chief of the Central Saanich Volunteer Fire Department.

After a long career, French thought it was time to retire, but a job offer came in from the province to become the deputy fire commissioner — a job he just couldn’t turn down.

“(I’m) retired for a day,” he joked.

“This is my 33rd year with a pager and responding to calls 24/7 and running the department and I looked at the department, where it’s at right now with their capabilities, and I brought the department, I think, as far as I could bring it right now,” he told the PNR.

There are quite a few things the department was able to achieve during French’s stint as Chief.

They’ve improved their equipment to state of the art quality for the volunteers to be able to perform their jobs and a replacement plan is in place to keep them on track for what new equipment they need.

“Probably the major thing is the new station that we’ve built, the post disaster station for the volunteers to operate out of and have an emergency operation centre for the municipality that’s going to be standing in a sizeable earthquake event,” he said.

He said recruitment and retention of their volunteers has also been strong over the years.

“We always have a waiting list of people that want to join our department,” he said, adding that it’s a strong office with a good officer pool and a good bunch of volunteers.

French won’t be moving far.

His new office will still be in Central Saanich at Emergency Management B.C (EMBC) where the office of the fire commissioner is.

No replacement has been named yet as the municipality is looking at starting a hiring process for a new fire chief.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supreme Court determines bext phase of Victoria’s plastic bag ban on Thursday

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether or not it will hear the appeal

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Victoria’s reconciliation dialogue on newcomers, Indigenous peoples takes place Monday

The third of six discussions on reconciliation will take place at the Crystal Garden

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read