New fire chief blazes into Whitby with 24 years of experience


Published February 28, 2023 at 5:16 pm

A new fire chief has blazed into office in Whitby, bringing 24 years of firefighting experience to the service’s top job.

Whitby council tapped Michael Hickey as fire chief in a special council meeting on Feb 27.

Hickey first joined the Whitby Fire Service as a volunteer firefighter in 1998. He was then hired on full-time in 2000. In the years since he rose through the ranks to Captain to Acting Platoon Chief to Training Officer.

In 2021, Hickey was promoted again to Deputy Chief. Over the last few months, Hickey has served as the Acting Chief, taking over from Chief Dave Speed who moved over to Clarington earlier this month.

Hickey has also served in senior positions on the Whitby Professional Firefighter’s Association over the past 16 years.

Furthermore, the Town is consolidating its Operations Division, formerly led by Speed, into its Community Services Department. This way most “resident-facing” services will be contained under one roof. Such services include recreational programming, parks planning, road maintenance and more.

The newly expanded Community Services Department will be led by Commissioner John Romano, himself a longtime Whitby employee with 30 years of experience in town. He joined as a par-timer in 1989 and has gone on to lead teams across numerous town divisions.

“On behalf of Town Council, I want to congratulate both Mike and John in their new and expanded roles. We are fortunate to have such strong leaders here at the Town. I would also like to thank Dave Speed for his leadership and dedication over the past ten years as Whitby’s Fire Chief and wish him well in our neighbouring municipality of Clarington,” said Mayor Elizabeth Roy.


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