Fire chief Ian Baikie will retire at the end of June, and deputy fire chief Thomas Doherty will take over the leadership of Campbell River’s fire department.
Baikie began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in Campbell River in 1985. He became a full-time firefighter in 1989, was promoted to assistant fire chief in 1997, and to deputy chief in 2006.
“Ian gained experience in managing all aspects of the fire department including fire prevention, 911 fire dispatch and fire suppression operations, and was well prepared to take on the role of fire chief in 2012,” says city manager Deborah Sargent. “Between his long career in the fire department and his extensive volunteer efforts in the Rotary Club, Campbell River has benefited immensely from Ian’s commitment to our community.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the community in which I was born and raised,” Baikie says. “I value the relationships I’ve developed thanks to my work with the city over the years, and I plan to continue serving the community in various ways in retirement – when I’m not busy spending time with my wife Sherry and our children Andrea and Eric.”
Thomas Doherty was born and raised on Vancouver Island and began his career in the fire service in 1989. He has been a deputy fire chief with the City of Campbell River Fire Department since 2013.
“Thomas has extensive experience and all the training and technical requirements to manage a full-service fire department. He also has a background in fire and emergency management,” Sargent says. “As deputy chief in Campbell River, Thomas has been in charge of both fire department operations and the life-saving services of the dispatch centre located in our downtown fire hall, which serves 61 fire departments across seven regional districts from central to northern Vancouver Island and the Peace River region.”
Sargent adds that “as a champion for community engagement and education, Thomas will continue to support the Campbell River Fire Department’s safety-focused connection with local residents and business owners.”
Prior to moving to Campbell River, Doherty was the deputy fire chief with the City of Kelowna, where he gained significant experience in the regional emergency program and emergency operations centre. Doherty also managed the Central Okanagan Regional Rescue Program for hazardous materials response and inland marine, technical high angle, confined space, swift water and ice rescue. He served part-time with the British Columbia Ambulance Service as a primary care paramedic from 2000 to 2010.
Doherty received a chief fire officer designation from the Canadian Association of Fire Chief’s in 2012 and a professional and charter manager designation in 2016. Thomas also holds a certificate from the provincial board of examiners in local government service delivery and has a graduate membership with the Institution of Fire Engineers Canada.