Ontario fire marshal wants to promote safety and diversity

February 25, 2019
Written by
Jon Pegg, Ontario’s newly installed fire marshal, says he’s excited about working to protect firefighters and the public and promoting diversity in the fire service.

“I look forward to working with and hearing from our many stakeholders on the many challenges they face and coming up with collaborative and creative ways to address those problems,” he said in a statement prepared for Fire Fighting in Canada.

“Ultimately, I look forward to finding innovative ways to educate and protect our residents and to a day when fatalities caused by fire are virtually eliminated.”

Pegg took over the helm on Feb. 20, replacing Ross Nichols who retired. He is no stranger to public fire and life safety, as he has been chief of emergency management for the Province of Ontario for the past eight months.

Pegg has a long history in the fire service and started as a firefighter with the Richmond Hill Fire Department in 2000. He has been deputy chief and fire chief for the Innisfil Fire and Rescue Services as well as deputy fire chief for the Town of Georgina.

He said he’s looking forward to the job and challenges.

I think what I am excited about is actually the same as the biggest challenge – the diversity within the fire service across Ontario and recognizing that diversity,” he said, as well as how the Office of the Fire Marshal meets those often different needs.

He said his 23 years in various fire roles, as volunteer, career firefighter and captain, deputy chief and chief will help as he’s been fortunate to have been part of some amazing departments and teams.

“I have worked in the most common types of departments (volunteer, composite and career) we see in Ontario which I believe will be a great asset in this role.”

Pegg said he was drawn to the role of fire marshal because in that role he can help shape the fire service in Ontario.

“I am passionate about fire safety and protecting the residents within Ontario,” he said. “I am passionate about firefighter safety (physical and mental).

“I have greatly enjoyed each rank I have held as my career has progressed and I truly see being in the role of fire marshal as that next step. Being able to work with the municipal fire departments and stakeholders to shape the fire service with things like legislation, education and best practices is very exciting for me.”

He said the fire marshal’s office and office of emergency management are very fortunate to have incredibly intelligent and hardworking people working within the teams.

“I am excited to lead and work with these women and men to enhance fire safety throughout Ontario.”

Pegg said he’s incredibly fortunate to be taking over the role after Nichols, and he saw the incredible way his predecessor interacted and valued his staff.

“Although there are many great things I can say about Ross, this is something that will always stick with me. Ross was a very trusted and respected leader who put his people first 100 per cent of the time and this is something I hope I can continue to bring to the team.”

For the time being, Pegg also remains in his role as chief of emergency management.

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