Whistler gets new fire chief 

Assistant fire chief Sheila Kirkwood earns top job

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - NEW CHIEF Sheila Kirkwood, a 25-year veteran of the Whistler Fire Service, is the community's next Fire Chief.
  • Photo submitted
  • NEW CHIEF Sheila Kirkwood, a 25-year veteran of the Whistler Fire Service, is the community's next Fire Chief.

A new fire chief was announced today to replace Whistler's outgoing chief. Sheila Kirkwood is taking on the role, replacing current chief Rob Whitton.

Kirkwood started with the Whistler Fire Service 25 years ago as a career firefighter and for the last 15 years she has served as Whistler's assistant fire chief.

Through a news release announcing the appointment Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden thanked Whitton for his years of service.

"I am also proud of the fact that Sheila was the first female assistant fire chief in B.C. and is now one of the first, if not the first, female fire chief in the province," said Wilhelm-Morden.

Mike Furey, the RMOW's chief administrative officer said he was pleased to make the announcement.

"Sheila brings extensive experience in firefighting work in Whistler and has been a core team member and leader over many years," said Furey.

Kirkwood will report to Norm McPhail, Whistler's new general manager of corporate and community services.

"I have spent many years working with Sheila on public safety and emergency services matters and look forward to her continued leadership, and the experience she will bring as fire chief," said McPhail.

Whitton announced in July that he intended to retire and move to Nanaimo with his wife. Kirkwood will take the helm of the fire department at the end of December.

Whitton came to Whistler in 2002 when he was hired as an assistant fire chief. He was promoted in 2007 to the position of fire chief.

Check back on Thursday for more details on Kirkwood's promotion.

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