Oshawa celebrates Fire Chief crowned Ontario Chief of the Year

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Published February 3, 2022 at 12:02 pm

The Ontario Association of Fire Chief have crowned Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark as Chief of the Year in their annual award for outstanding leadership.

Clark is a 36 year veteran of Oshawa Fire Services rising to Chief in 2017. “Clark’s tremendous work ethic, and commitment and leadership skills enabled him to rise through the ranks,” read an Oshawa release congratulating him.

During Clark’s tenure as Chief, the City has invested $177.7 million into Oshawa Fire Services, while Clark “always advocated for significant investment in Fire Services to ensure both public safety and firefighter safety.”

These investments have led to more staff with three frontline firefighters, a communications officer, an assistant deputy fire chief, and two fire prevention inspectors.

The funding has also allowed enhancements in bunker gear and health & safety equipment, a new state of the art fire training facility, replacement of eight fire suppression vehicles, various small vehicle and equipment replacements, and additional rapid response rescue apparatus.

Hicks Morley, a Toronto labour law firm, sponsors the award, presented to Clark at 2022 Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs/Labour Management Conference virtual meeting in January.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of City Council to congratulate Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark on this significant achievement,”  Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said.

“Chief Clark is someone who always leads by example both within Oshawa Fire Services and among emergency personnel across the province. We are extremely proud to celebrate this achievement with Derrick and we thank him for his service to our city,” he concluded.

This isn’t the only award for Clark has one recently either. In December Clark was recognized as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment.

Clark was chosen out of 200 nominees from across Canada based on his contributions to the mental health in his organization and community.

His work in mental health created connections for Oshawa’s firefighters to Durham Region Critical Incident Stress Support Team and Wounded Warriors. Oshawa Fire staff can get one-on-one peer support, defuses and debriefs, workshops, retreats and to counselling services as a result of his efforts.

“Our focus at Oshawa Fire Services is to promote openness and make sure staff know they don’t have to struggle in silence (and to) look after their mental health and wellness,” said Clark.

More information about Oshawa Fire Services can be found by visiting Oshawa.ca/Fire, or following “OshawaCity” on Facebook and @OshawaFire on Twitter.

Photo by Colin Williamson.

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