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Surrey’s Fire Chief Elected to Top B.C. Post

June 08, 2011

Surrey – Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis has been elected by his fellow fire chiefs as the new president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia. He was elected by acclamation yesterday at the association’s annual conference in Abbotsford.

“Chief Garis and his team have made significant and enduring contributions to the well-being and safety of the residents and businesses in Surrey,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “He has introduced innovative initiatives, such as Surrey’s Electrical Fire Safety Initiative, that are serving as leadership models in other fire departments in B.C. and across Canada.”

Several of Garis’ initiatives have garnered awards and recognition for the City of Surrey in the past decade, including the Union of B.C. Municipalities Community Excellence Awards, for three different programs, a Flame Award from the Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., a Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Award for Public Safety, and recognition from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“For over thirty years, Chief Garis has demonstrated continued commitment to our province and his leadership will be a great asset to the provincial fire service as they work towards a safer and more efficient means of service delivery,” says Watts. “I congratulate him on his new position, which will give the Surrey Fire Service an even stronger voice as our members continue to develop and deliver effective services.”

Chief Garis has worked in the fire service and related fields since 1980, joining the Surrey Fire Service in 1998 and currently leads a team of 380 career firefighters and 100 volunteer firefighters. In 2010, he was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research. He has also been a member of the FIREfighting in Canada editorial advisory board since 2005 and previously served on the board of directors of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

The Fire Chiefs' Association of British Columbia is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1931 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and educational information relative to the Fire Service of British Columbia.

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Media Contact:

Jon Caviglia
Deputy Chief
Surrey Fire Service

Tom Desorcy
Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C.
Communications Chair

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor