Leadership with the City of Dryden will once again need to fill the Fire Chief position for the Dryden Fire Service, as Rob Grimwood will step down from his duties on January 3, 2021.

Grimwood has accepted a Deputy Fire Chief position with the City of Vaughan’s Fire and Rescue Service, in the York region north of Toronto. He’ll begin in mid-January of 2021.

“We like to extend a heart felt Thank-You to Chief Grimwood for everything he has done for our department. In a few short months he has inspired change and advancement that will influence our department for years to come!” wrote DFS members on social media after the announcement.

Grimwood, a firefighter of over 25 years and former executive with the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, joined the DFS in August of 2019, filling the position of interim chief Cora MacRae. She had been serving since the departure of Chief Ryan Murrell in April of 2019.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Dryden and am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the entire team here. I have witnessed the City of Dryden and Dryden Fire Service move forward in so many ways and know that they are positioned for much future success,” said Grimwood.

“Serving as Chief of the Dryden Fire Service has been my honour and one of the fondest memories of my career. The residents and visitors of the City of Dryden are in excellent hands with a great team of people taking care of them. I am thankful for all of the support that I have received and will truly miss it here.”

Leadership with the City of Dryden say the search is already underway for the city’s new Fire Chief, and they thanked Grimwood for his dedication and efforts throughout his tenure.

“Chief Grimwood’s leadership, experience and dedication has helped the City’s municipal fire service accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. It’s been an absolute pleasure having Chief Grimwood as part of our municipal team,” says the city’s CAO Roger Nesbitt.

“While we are saddened to see Chief Grimwood leaving, we respect his decision and wish him the very best in his future endeavors. He leaves us with a well trained and dedicated fire service team in place. The Dryden Fire Service will continue to provide the excellent level of service that we have come to expect.”

It’s been a tumultuous few years for the service since the departure of longtime Chief Ken Kurz, who retired after 39 years of service in 2017. His replacement Murrell and city councillors scrapped the DFS’ volunteer-based firefighting model, leading to a lengthy work stoppage in 2018.

Despite the tough times, the DFS has since been able to cut their costs, increase efficiencies, have posted improved response times and have increased public education work and inspections through Murrell, MacRae, Grimwood and staff’s efforts.

“The loss of Chief Grimwood is significantly lessened by the legacy he leaves behind which will ensure continued professionalism among the ranks, continuity of operations, a trajectory of excellence in fire prevention and protection for our citizens – and safety for our valued firefighters,” said Mayor Greg Wilson.

The City of Dryden has also been able to add a new Pumper truck for the service in 2020, which will operate out of Fire Hall #2. It will give firefighters scene lighting capabilities, more visible emergency lights, additional seating, a larger volume pump and more.

For more information:
Dryden hires new fire chief
Murrell no longer fire chief