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Fire chief sails off to sunset — thoughts on why?

March 1st, 2009 · 7 Comments

This Tuesday email from city manager Penny Ballem about the retirement of Fire Chief Ray Holdgate is slowly filtering out to the public. Any thoughts, public or private, on this move? Planned retirement or something else going on? You can always email me at francesbula@gmail.com

From: Ballem, Penny
To: Robertson, G; Anton, Suzanne; Cadman, David; Chow, George; Deal, Heather; Jang, Kerry; Louie, Raymond; Meggs, Geoff; Reimer, Andrea; Stevenson, Tim; Woodsworth, Ellen
Cc: Corporate Management Team (COV) – DL; Au, Wendy; Coulson, Marg; Fast, Roger; Hui, Tony; Kay, Monica; CMT Admin Assts – DL
Sent: Tue Feb 24 17:21:39 2009
Subject: Retirement of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Sevices General Manager, Ray Holdgate

After 35 years of service, the General Manager of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, Fire Chief Ray Holdgate, has announced his retirement effective May 1, 2009.

Chief Holdgate has held the position since 1998.  He worked his way up through the organization from a firefighter to a training officer, Assistant Fire Chief and then Fire Chief.

Among other accomplishments, Chief Holdgate was involved in the development of  Vancouver’s Emergency Salt Water Pumping System for earthquake preparedness, and E-Comm, the City of Vancouver Emergency Operations Centre and Emergency Services dispatch facility.

Retirement plans include spending time with his grandchildren and sailing in the Gulf Islands.  (Yahoo!!)

I want to thank Ray for his tremendous contribution to the City and VFRS over the last 35 years, and I know everyone will join me in wishing him a happy, healthy retirement.

I also want to thank Deputy Chief John McKearney for agreeing to take on the Acting Chief position while we complete a search.

Penny Ballem, MD, FRCP
City Manager

Categories: City Hall Talk