Former Halton Region Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Brent Marshall has been named the new Town of Halton Hills Fire Chief and Director of Fire Protection and Prevention Services. Marshall replaces Bob Meads, who resigned last fall to pursue a public sector job. Marshall, a lifelong Acton resident, had resigned his job as the longtime Halton Region Chief Administrative Officer in September to run for the Halton Chair's job in the fall 2006 municipal election. "I am very pleased and appreciative of the support that council has shown me," Marshall told The Independent & Free Press Tuesday. He starts his new job on February 19. Marshall, who will celebrate his 35th year as a firefighter this year, rose through the part-time ranks to the level of District Fire Chief for Acton. He says he has all the qualifications of a full-time professional fire chief including being a graduate of both the Ontario Fire College and the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College, not to mention his managerial training during his service with Halton Region. He said the fire service has always been "a love of mine" and this position was just the "next logical step" to continue his contributions to his other love-- his hometown community. Marshall said he would follow in the footsteps of his three predecessors, Mick Holmes, Bill Cunningham and Meads (all of whom also came through the Halton Hills firefighter ranks), in maintaining the tradition of a fine composite (full and part-time) firefighting force. He looks forwards to the building of the new fire station headquarters on Maple Ave. and the satellite station in Georgetown South.
"There's a lot to do ...and I have a great team of firefighters to do it with," he said. His promotion is the result of "an open competition involving qualified internal and external candidates," stated a Town press release Monday night. "The Town is extremely fortunate to be able to continue the Town's tradition of proven leadership in the fire chief position," said Town CAO Dennis Perlin, pointing to Marshall's previous experience in the fire service as well as his extensive municipal career in pubic works and administration. Councillor Clark Somerville, chair of the Corporate Affairs Committee said he pleased with the appointment of Chief Marshall and was impressed with the qualifications of all the internal and external applicants for the fire chief position. Mayor Rick Bonnette said he is looking forward to working with Marshall in both his capacity as a Director of the Fire Protection and Prevention Services and as a member of the senior management team.