After a nearly six-month search, Vancouver Fire and Rescue has named its next chief and the appointment breaks new ground within the nearly 1,000 member department.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue opted to reach across the Georgia Strait to Vancouver Island in order to fill the position, selecting Nanaimo’s fire chief, Karen Fry.
A statement from the city says Karen Fry – who has been fire chief in Nanaimo since 2017 – is the first woman to lead the department and she fills the vacancy created by the retirement of former chief Darryl Reid.
During her time as chief in Nanaimo, she also held a concurrent appointment as Director of Public Safety managing Emergency Management, Bylaw, and Municipal Employees supporting the RCMP.
“It is an honour to join the team at Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services,” said Karen Fry. “Vancouver is a complex city. Public safety is my passion and I am keen to build on the already outstanding efforts of the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services team. It has been a difficult year for emergency service workers and there will be challenges ahead, but I am committed to serving this community alongside my new colleagues.”
Fry began her career as a Nanaimo fire dispatcher in 1999 and she’ll begin her new role on January 4, 2021.
“As we continue our ongoing response to COVID-19 and managing the essential services that Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services team provides, we are thrilled to have Karen Fry join us as our new Fire Chief,” said Deputy City Manager Paul Mochrie. “She brings deep expertise and a record of effective leadership in the fire service and she will be an invaluable addition to our City Leadership Team. We have a lot of important work to tackle in 2021 and we look forward to welcoming her.”
Meanwhile, Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica will have its first female chief financial officer starting Monday as Meghan Frank – formerly the yoga wear company’s senior vice-president of financial planning and analysis and interim co-CFO, starts her new job.
With files to Canadian Press.