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Fire Chief

Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department (GVFD) Chief Job Description


The Fire Chief is responsible for the overall management of all GVFD operations and functions. These include but are not limited to fire suppression, inspections, training, rescue, medical response, and public education. The Fire Chief—or his/her designate—carries out all tasks as required to maintain and operate the GVFD ensuring compliance with the Fire Services Act, British Columbia Fire Code regulations, and the By-Laws, Policies, Procedures, and Operational Guidelines of the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District (GFPID), and the directions of the GFPID Board of Trustees.

The Fire Chief’s principal residence is on Gabriola island, and the Chief is on duty during the period from Monday morning through Friday, including administration and operational response.



  • Direct the day-to-day operations of the GVFD in accordance with its policies, plans andprocedures, including the functions of fire suppression, fire prevention, public education,and medical aid and rescue services.
  • Prepare and maintain Operational Guidelines in accord with the Fire Services Act, BC Fire Code Regulations, and the By-Laws and policies of the GFPID.
  • Ensure that records are maintained on incidents of fire, injuries and loss of property.
  • Prepare reports on all areas of GVFD operations upon the GFPID’s request.
  • Advise and make recommendations to the GFPID on all matters relating to fire fighting and fire prevention in accord with Provincial legislation, Work Safe BC OHS regulations, and GFPID By-Laws and policies.
  • Develop plans and implementing goals and objectives in support of the GFPID’s strategy.
  • Work with the Nanaimo Regional District (RDN) and Emergency Social Services (ESS) in the event of a disaster, coordinate assistance with all required outside agencies.
  • Monitor expenditures within the budget parameters as established by the GFPID and reporting on material variances.
  • Coordinate with other agencies with respect to the operational duties outlined in this document. Agencies include but are not limited to: Office of Fire Commissioner, BC Fire Chief’s Association, BC Training Officers’ Association, Fire Prevention Officers of BC, BC Ambulance Service, Search and Rescue, Nanaimo Port Authority, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Volunteer Firefighters’ Association.
  • Forecast funding needs for acquisition and replacement of capital equipment.
  • Ensure that press releases and general statements are released for public information, e.g. GVFD website, local newspapers, social media, etc.


  • Respond to fires and other emergency incidents, including first response to medical emergencies, and direct activities as necessary.
  • Liaise with representatives from the BC Forest Service to ensure adequate arrangements are made for controlling major fires.
  • Ensure all firefighters follow pertinent Operational Guidelines.

Fire Prevention

  • Enforce the BC Fire Services Act, BC Fire Code and regulations, and the GFPID’s By-Laws and fire standards.
  • Inspect places of business and public buildings to ensure compliance with the BC Fire Services Act and the BC Fire Code and its regulations.
  • Prepare and document property pre-plans to allow safe emergency operations.
  • Develop and administer fire defence plans for the GFPID by conducting continuing analysis of fire risks and identifying means of preventing fire and mitigating the loss when fire occurs.
  • Prepare, implement, and support public education programs to promote fire safety, prevention and awareness in the community.

Staff and Training

  • Oversee the recruitment, selection, and orientation of new fire fighters.
  • Ensure appropriate training and development is provided to all fire fighters.
  • Promote a high level of morale among fire fighters.
  • Ensure that performance reviews of all firefighters and officers are conducted and documented annually.
  • Define duties to be undertaken by officers, and enact policies to appoint appropriately experienced firefighters to officer positions and, if necessary, to remove and replace them.
  • Correct, discipline and/or dismiss operational personnel, if required.
  • Conduct exit interviews for departing staff.
  • Attend training sessions throughout the year.
  • Ensure that full and accurate records relating to operational staff and training are maintained.

Maintenance of Capital Assets

  • Develop and maintain an acquisition and preventative maintenance plan to ensure that fire equipment and apparatus is acquired, monitored and maintained in good working order.
  • Ensure fire equipment and apparatus is regularly inspected and maintained.
  • Ensure that required servicing for apparatus is performed in a timely manner to ensure emergency readiness.
  • Maintain records and documentation to support mandatory certifications of equipment and apparatus.
  • Make recommendation on the replacement and/or repair of equipment and apparatus.
  • Ensure that the GVFD’s buildings are kept in good repair and condition.
  • Report to the GFPID on the status of capital assets.

Peripheral Duties

  • Establish rules, regulations, policies and committees necessary for the proper organization and administration of the GVFD including but not limited to: (a) use, care and protection of GVFD property, (b) the conduct and discipline of Officers and members of the GVFD, and (c) efficient operations of the GVFD.
  • Attend conferences and meetings to keep abreast of current trends in the Fire Service and represent the GVFD in a variety of local, Provincial, and other meetings.
  • Liaise with officials of other public safety and emergency response agencies, and the public on operational aspects of fire and rescue operations.


The requirements as listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities and minimum qualifications necessary to perform the essential functions, duties and responsibilities of the position. The incumbent shall hold, or obtain within a time period acceptable to the board, the listed qualifications. The outline is a guide, and should not be construed as complete.

Minimum qualifications

  • NFPA 1021 (Fire Officer - Level 2)
  • NFPA 1031 (Fire Inspector Level 1)
  • First Responder III
  • Class 3 driver’s license with air brake endorsement
  • Five or more years of experience in command positions including supervisory and administrative duties


The Fire Chief must have proficient knowledge of the following areas:

  • provincial laws, local ordinances, and other regulations
  • principles, practices and techniques of modern fire services to establish and maintain effective fire protection suppression services
  • principles, practices and techniques of modern fire services to ensure safe and effective fire ground operations
  • command and control techniques
  • investigation and evidence gathering techniques
  • building construction, fire behaviour and hazardous materials
  • firefighting training and development programs
  • training techniques and methods
  • public education and awareness programs concerning protective services
  • public safety theories and methods
  • emergency response techniques
  • crowd control techniques
  • first responder emergency procedures


The Fire Chief shall possess these skills:

  • take full command of an emergency scene
  • assess critical situations, solve problems, work effectively under stress within deadlines and in emergency situations
  • lead and command fire fighters effectively in standard and emergency conditions
  • maintain discipline while supervising a large staff through the Chain of Command
  • establish effective working relationships and use good judgement, initiative and resourcefulness when dealing with the media, the public, GFPID employees and civic officials
  • professional public management techniques in budgeting, personnel administration, labour relations and operations management
  • effective verbal and written communication with the public, including public relations and public speaking
  • deal effectively with people in contentious or confrontational situations
  • analytical and problem-solving skills, including assessing information, analyzing data, preparing comprehensive and accurate reports, and formulating policy and service recommendations
  • time-management of self and staff
  • stress management
  • demonstrated leadership experience
  • an effective communicator in writing and in person with an ability to liaise with trustees, employees, and volunteers
  • sufficient mechanical aptitude and understanding of equipment to minimize use of outside agencies when possible.

Salary range: $60 - 68,000.

Application deadline: midnight on Sunday, June 30th, 2019.

To apply: Please see our apply page if you wish to apply for this position.