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City of Sarnia Appoints new Emergency Manager

September 27, 2023/By: Bluewater Association for Safety, Environment, and Sustainability

(Photo courtesy of City of Sarnia)

The City of Sarnia recently announced Dale Gartshore as the second Deputy Fire Chief, also taking on the role of Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC). Gartshore, who started in his new role on August 28, has been with Sarnia Fire Rescue since 1997 and previously held the role of Acting Platoon Chief. The announcement was made recently by the City, signaling a significant step in reinforcing the community’s emergency preparedness. 

Gartshore’s impressive track record in the local emergency response community, including his exemplary service during the Fairwinds Lodge Fire earlier this year, has been recognized as he assumes this crucial position. As the City’s new CEMC, Gartshore will be involved in reviewing and enhancing municipal emergency planning, improving coordination among relevant agencies, and establishing clear procedures to ensure the efficient delivery of emergency services and support. 

Fire Chief Bryan Van Gaver expressed his enthusiasm for Gartshore’s appointment, stating, “I’m excited to welcome Dale to this role. He’s been a central figure at Sarnia Fire Rescue who has consistently stepped up to serve the community. His skills, leadership, and experience will enhance day-to-day operations and provide critical strategic leadership as the Community Emergency Management Coordinator, helping to clearly define roles and responsibilities across City agencies and partnerships, fostering enhanced cooperation and coordination.” 

Gartshore is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Western University, demonstrating his commitment to continuous learning. Furthermore, he holds certifications in Emergency Management, Incident Management System, NFPA 1021 Fire Officer III and IV, as well as certificates in Incident Command, Fire Service Administration, and Fire Service Leadership. 

The decision to entrust emergency management coordination to Sarnia Fire Rescue aligns with the City’s commitment to enhancing its emergency response capabilities. City spokesperson Steve Henschel explained, “Given fire’s mandate as it relates to emergency response, emergency management is a logical fit. The move allows the city to capitalize on pre-existing skills, operational efficiencies, and Sarnia fire rescue’s established relationships with other emergency response organizations.” 

Gartshore’s appointment comes as part of a larger strategy to maintain two Deputy Fire Chiefs within the city, with Ken Dwinnell already serving in this capacity since 2020.  

As he takes on this pivotal role, Gartshore expressed his dedication to the community, saying, “Serving this community has always been a driving factor in my career, and I am looking forward to taking on this next step and continuing that service, ensuring our community is prepared for any challenges in the future.” 

This exciting development represents a significant step forward in Sarnia’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents, with Dale Gartshore leading the way in community emergency management.