Township of St. Joseph New Fire Chief

Posted: May 28, 2024

Township of St. Joseph Welcomes New Fire Chief

RICHARDS LANDING – The Township of St. Joseph is pleased to welcome Duncan Rydall as the new Chief of the Township of St. Joseph Fire & Rescue, effective June 3, 2024.

On behalf of the residents of the Township of St. Joseph and Fire & Rescue volunteers, Council and Staff want to thank outgoing Chief Fraser Adams for his extraordinary dedication serving as volunteer Chief for the past thirteen years. Fraser has led the department through significant modernization and upgrades to our fire hall, emergency vehicle fleet and equipment. In addition, his leadership has attracted new volunteers, rejuvenated training efforts, and resulted in a closer working relationship with neighbouring municipalities and partners across our district. We are grateful that Fraser will continue to serve with the Township of St. Joseph Fire & Rescue and will assist in Duncan’s transition into his new role.

Due to provincial legislative requirements governing the fire services, as well as reduced training opportunities through the provincially funded Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office over the last number of years, the administrative burden for volunteer fire departments has significantly increased. The time needed to ensure training requirements, legislated reporting, liability, and organizational operations has made it increasingly difficult for a volunteer-only Fire Chief to meet these obligations.

Following many months considering various options, Township Council and senior staff, in consultation with the current Chief and volunteers, determined that the most effective way forward would be to create a full-time position combining the responsibilities of Fire Chief, protective services such as emergency management, by-law enforcement, building department administration and workplace health and safety, as well as building maintenance responsibilities.

We are pleased that Duncan Rydall has accepted the position and brings the skills and experience to fulfill these varied duties. Duncan grew up in Laird Township and is currently a resident of the Township of St. Joseph. He brings a wide variety of skills, organizational and training experience and has an impressive history of both volunteerism and full-time recognition. Duncan has been the Chief Fire Prevention Officer for the Town of The Blue Mountains for the past 14 years and has also served as Deputy Chief (acting) for a portion of that time. Overall, he brings over 25 years of volunteer and professional experience in the fire service.

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