Hamilton’s Fire Chief Rob Simonds is the next chief administrative officer of the Municipality of Colchester County in Nova Scotia.
He will start in Nova Scotia on April 4, 2016.
Joe-Anne Priel, general manager of emergency and community services for the City of Hamilton, wrote in an email to City Council:
Dear Mr. Mayor and Members of Council,
Please join me in congratulating Rob Simonds in his appointment as the CAO for the Municipality of Colchester County in Nova Scotia effective April 4th!
I knew as soon as I read Rob’s letter when he applied for the Fire Chief’s position in Hamilton that we would be lucky to have him join our team. I could feel his humility, honour, strong personal values and professional integrity in that letter. He has demonstrated all of these qualities as the Chief of our Fire Service with a strong commitment to his staff and to our community and has instilled his values into the department’s hiring practices and culture.
I have no doubt that Rob will serve the Mayor and Council of Colchester well – he is a strong leader, committed to excellence and public service. I am very sorry to see him leave but I know that this is a great decision for him professionally and personally.
Congratulations Rob – I wish you and your family all the best.
The email was released by the City Manager’s Office in response to a request for comment from The Public Record.
Simonds came to Hamilton with 30 years experience as a firefighter in Saint John, New Brunswick where he was the fire chief.
As Hamilton’s fire chief, he was known for being on scene at the majority of multiple alarm fires.
Simonds earned the respect of firefighters on the job and their admiration off duty. He was known for introducing himself to firefighters off-duty.
One evening, dining at Bronzie’s downtown, a group of off-duty firefighters went to pay their bill to discover the chief had already paid their tab – Simonds had been dining a few tables down from them.
He was on scene for the second largest fire in Hamilton’s modern history, the November 14, 2012 fire at a Dundas tire distribution factory.
Over the course of the battle to contain the fire, every fire truck in Hamilton – with the exception of one stationed in Stoney Creek – were deployed to fight the fire.
The chief, in an unprecedented decision, called in volunteer firefighters to use tankers to shuttle extra water to fight the fire. This was the first time a rural fire resources wer used in fighting a fire within the City’s water distribution area.
The Public Record’s Relationship with Simonds
I wish to thank this opportunity to thank Simonds’ for the professional relationship with The Public Record.
During fires, he always ensured updates flowed to media at the scene and was responsive to questions.
Numerous times, he agreed to live interviews at scenes.
One of his legacies is the decision to make fire dispatch information public on the @HFD_Incidents twitter account.