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New interim chief named for Innisfil, Bradford fire departments

Jim Kay brings almost 40 years of experience to the job, most recently as deputy fire chief in Toronto
Jim Kay (1) (1)
The towns of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury have jointly announce Jim Kay as the new interim Joint Chief of Innisfil Fire & Rescue Services and Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire & Emergency Services.

The towns of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) are pleased to announce Jim Kay as the new interim Joint Chief of Innisfil Fire & Rescue Services and Bradford West Gwillimbury Fire & Emergency Services.

Chief Kay brings more than 39 years of progressive fire service experience, beginning his career as a firefighter and working up the ranks. Most recently, Kay served as Deputy Fire Chief with Toronto Fire Services and prior to that various roles with the fire departments of Chatham-Kent, Hamilton and Burlington.

Kay previously worked as Ontario’s Deputy Fire Marshal and is a senior member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Kay’s experience with managing modern fire services has given him a thorough understanding of fire protection services, training, public education and leading communities through times of crisis — experience that is vital during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to getting to know the communities of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury and working side by side with the dedicated women and men of both fire departments,” said Interim Fire Chief Jim Kay. “Together, we’ll build on the proud history of providing excellent fire protection services while ensuring continued community safety during the pandemic.”

The announcement follows the departure of former Fire Chief Tom Raeburn who dedicated over 25 years to Innisfil Fire & Rescue Services, serving as Fire Chief since 2018 and pioneering the joint agreement between Innisfil and BWG as Joint Chief throughout 2020.

“We are extremely happy to have Chief Kay take on the role of Joint Chief and to continue the important work began by Chief Raeburn since we launched the integrated services review last year,” said BWG Mayor Rob Keffer. “We are looking forward to introducing Jim to our community, and to having him bring his breadth of experience to leading our great team of staff and volunteers at BWG Fire & Emergency Services.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jim and his decades of leadership experience with fire departments across southern Ontario,” said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “We are confident that his skills and knowledge will benefit both Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury fire operations. We are also extremely grateful for the dedication that former Chief Raeburn has provided to our community over the years and wish him all the best.”

As interim Fire Chief, Jim will lead and manage overall operations of both fire departments including fire suppression, staff training, emergency management, fire prevention, public education and strategic service planning. Chief Kay will play a critical role in the Shared Fire Services Feasibility Assessment, which explores the possibility of further consolidation of fire services between the two municipalities.