May 4, 2016, Toronto – Hunstville Fire Chief Steve Hernen was elected president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Wednesday. Essex Chief Rick Arnel was voted executive vice president.
Minto Chief Chris Harrow, Brantford Chief Jeff McCormick, Warren Brinkman with Longbow Lake, and Clarington Deputy Chief Mark Berney won vice-president positions.
Changes to legislation for not-for-profit entities require elections for executive positions and, for the first time in years, there was considerable buzz around the vote.
Voting for 12 members of the OAFC board closed Monday afternoon; there were 15 candidates and high voter turnout. OAFC members choose a president, executive vice president and four vice presidents from among the elected board members.
After ballots were counted for board positions on Tuesday, vote results were posted publicly – a policy change instituted in 2015: Arnel (127), Hernen (125), Harrow (118), Ottawa Deputy Chief Kim Ayotte (111), Hamilton Township Chief Kelly Serson (97), Essa Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin (96), Berney (87), McCormick (81), Richmond Hill Deputy Chief Bryan Burbidge (80), Thunder Bay Chief John Hay (72), Ocean Wave Chief Les Reynolds (69).
Hernen, who was previously first vice-president, had been presumed to succeed outgoing Toronto Deputy Chief Matt Pegg, who finished his third year as president this week and said months ago he would not seek a fourth term.
Until Wednesday, it appeared that Hernen would run uncontested; some last-minute politicking and chatter about potential opponents turned out to be moot.
The new board meets Thursday.
The OAFC's awards gala this evening wraps up the five-day conference in Toronto.
Hernen elected OAFC president
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