June 5, 2018, Vaughan, Ont. — City manager Daniel Kostopoulos is pleased to announced that following an extensive recruitment process, council has ratified the appointment of Deryn Rizzi as the new chief of Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS). The appointment was effective June 1.
"On behalf of the City of Vaughan, let me extend my sincerest congratulations to Deryn Rizzi on becoming Chief of Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service. Chief Rizzi began her impressive emergency preparedness career in Vaughan. We can all take great pride in her continued dedication to our community. As Vaughan's population continues to grow and as we move forward with exciting new business and residential developments, Council and the rest of our administration have a true partner in Chief Rizzi. Vaughan's firefighters are an impressive team. They are some of the bravest and brightest in our country. I am confident that under the leadership of Chief Rizzi, these courageous men and women will continue to keep people, neighbourhoods and our entire community safe and out of harm's way," said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua in a press statement.
In the City of Vaughan's 2016 Satisfaction Survey VFRS received a 99 per cent satisfaction rating from residents. Chief Rizzi is the first woman to serve as chief of VFRS. She also serves as Aide-de-Camp to Ontario's Lieutenant Governor. Most recently, Chief Rizzi served as deputy fire chief with VFRS, having first joined the service in 2001 as a firefighter. Throughout Chief Rizzi's extensive tenure with VFRS, she has been repeatedly promoted through the ranks, assuming greater leadership roles and responsibilities for fire and life safety in the positions of training officer, acting captain and captain, respectively. Chief Rizzi's proven commitment to service excellence and public safety helped ensure that VFRS became the first fire department in Ontario to have all firefighters trained and tested for the National Fire Protection Association's Standard for Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications. Chief Rizzi's emergency management experience also includes serving as an operations officer with the Office of the Fire Marshal.
Mary Reali, deputy city manager responsible for the community services portfolio, which oversees VFRS, highlighted Chief Rizzi's extensive education, training and professional development experience. Chief Rizzi completed undergraduate studies and a Bachelor of Education from Queen's University. She graduated from York University with both a Masters of Arts, Disaster and Emergency Management and a Disaster and Emergency Certificate. Chief Rizzi also holds a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership from the Schulich School of Business and is completing a PhD at York University.
Beyond her work at Vaughan City Hall and in local fire halls, Chief Rizzi continues to be a trusted, respected and sought after thought leader, committed to mentoring and educating about proven and emerging best practices on emergency preparedness. Chief Rizzi has taught at the Ontario Fire College, Durham College's pre-fire service program, George Brown College School of Emergency Management and Humber College Fire's executive management program, among others.
Chief Rizzi will be a member of the corporation's senior management team and serve on the Emergency Management Program Committee. VFRS has approximately 300 firefighters and nine different fire stations with a new station currently under construction in Kleinburg. Chief Rizzi succeeds former Fire Chief Larry Bentley, who retired from VFRS in May 2018 following 38 years of distinguished public service.