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Oshawa fire chief set to retire, deputy promoted

May 29, 2023 
By FFIC Staff

May 29, 2023, Oshawa, Ont. – Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark, currently the longest-standing member of Oshawa Fire Services, is set to retire at the end of July after a career spanning nearly four decades with the department.

Clark’s work ethic, commitment and leadership skills were key to his success in rising through the ranks with Oshawa Fire Services. He began leading as fire chief in December 2016, but held a variety of other roles within the organization since his hiring in 1986. The chief began his career as an alarm room operator/dispatch and then moved on to become a firefighter. He was promoted through the ranks and held the positions of acting captain, training officer, chief training officer and deputy fire chief before being appointed fire chief.

Throughout his career, Clark has been awarded the:

  • Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada in 2022;
  • Fire Chief of the Year award by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs in 2022;
  • Champion of Mental Health award by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment in 2021; and
  • Firefighter of the Year award by Oshawa Fire Services in 2002.

Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Barkwell will succeed Clark as the new fire chief in August.


Barkwell joined Oshawa Fire Services as a firefighter in 1999 and rose through the ranks in various positions including qualified training officer and acting captain. He was active with the Oshawa Professional Fire Fighters Association, I.A.F.F. Local 465 including as vice-president and president. In January 2018, he was appointed as Oshawa Fire Services deputy fire chief.

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