The Fire Chief


The first woman to be ap­pointed fire chief in On­tario

Chief Deryn Rizzi’s steady, fo­cused and un­prece­dented climb through the ranks of Vaughan Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (VFRS) is in­spir­ing and a re­minder of the art of the pos­si­ble. There is no short­age of glass ceil­ings that she has smashed through — and she’s only just be­gun.

An ex­cep­tion­ally well-qual­i­fied, pre­pared and dis­ci­plined in­di­vid­ual, Chief Rizzi is rec­og­nized provin­cially, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally for her ad­vo­cacy and lead­er­ship in rais­ing aware­ness of di­ver­sity, and in­clu­sion val­ues and prac­tices, in emer­gency ser­vices. She has an in­cred­i­ble re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­cour­age, men­tor and mo­ti­vate the next gen­er­a­tion of fire­fight­ers who have an­swered the call. As Chief Rizzi can at­test, a ca­reer as a fire­fighter is truly a vo­ca­tion of the high­est ser­vice. It teaches and in­stills the im­por­tance of hard work, team­work and com­mit­ment.

She serves as fire chief in one of the fastest-grow­ing cities in Canada. With growth, come both op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges re­quir­ing ex­pe­ri­enced, trusted and tested lead­er­ship. She is a cham­pion of mod­ern­iza­tion and in­no­va­tion to cul­ti­vate and sus­tain an ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive de­liv­ery of ser­vice. She uti­lizes crit­i­cal think­ing skills, cou­pled with a ca­pac­ity to build and main­tain in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships.

As we con­tinue to plan Vaughan’s promis­ing fu­ture, I know that we have a true city-build­ing part­ner in Chief Rizzi. Her mes­sage is clear and pow­er­ful — that we need to be ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in shap­ing our fu­ture be­cause we all have the power in each of us to make a dif­fer­ence.


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