After working with the department since 1989, Saanich Fire Chief Michael Burgess will be retiring at the beginning of next year.
Burgess has spent the past 13 years of his career as chief of the department.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as part of this dedicated organization, and I am excited to embrace the opportunities that retirement will bring,” Burgess said in a news release. “The committed team of men and women in Saanich Fire are deeply dedicated to the safety and well-being of the Saanich community, and I know you’ll all be in great hands.”
He says he has come a long way since first coming to the department.
“While retiring marks the end of one chapter, it also marks the beginning of another,” said Burgess.
“I take great pride in our accomplishments, successes, and the invaluable lessons learned from the many challenges we have faced. None of this would have been achievable without the support of Saanich’s Mayors, Councillors and CAOs, both past and present, as well as the unwavering dedication and professionalism of all Saanich Fire Department personnel.”
Saanich’s CAO says the fire department has gone through a number of changes under the watch of Burgess.
“Throughout Chief Burgess’ tenure, the Saanich Fire Department has undergone transformative changes that have allowed the team to embrace innovation, modernize practices, expand services, and champion change initiatives that have solidified the department’s reputation as one of the leading fire services in the province,” said Saanich CAO Brent Reems.
“I’m very fortunate to have worked alongside a leader who is not only extremely dedicated, but also passionate about the safety of our community.”
Burgess will officially retire in January 2024, and Saanich says the announcement of the new fire chief will be made in the coming months.