Dan Callaghan was modest during his appointment as the town’s new fire chief last week.
Instead of focusing on his own achievements, he credited his predecessors – including Steve Goode and John McDougall – for what they have accomplished with the department.
“I just hope to enhance that work,” he said.
Yet Callaghan does bring a wealth of instant command and firefighting experience to the role, which he said happened to be available at the right time.
“I just thought this was an excellent time to give back,” said Callaghan, whose family has lived in Erin for about 28 years. “I knew that I could contribute.”
An active member of the local Optimist Club for at least a decade, Callaghan started as a volunteer firefighter with Brampton in 1975.
One year later, he joined Toronto’s police force and in 1978 he became an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Four years later he returned as a full-time employee with Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, where he now serves as acting district chief.
Callaghan called local volunteer firefighters “a dedicated bunch,” and said his job is really just to help make their jobs easier.
Town manager Lisa Hass announced Callaghan as the successful candidate for the job during the Jan. 19 council meeting.
“It was a difficult decision; we had excellent candidates,” said Hass. “But I think we picked the best one.”
Mayor Rod Finnie said he thinks Callaghan will do a great job for the town.
Councillor John Brennan thanked outgoing chief Goode, now the deputy fire chief in Puslinch, for all he did for the department and the town in his 18 months on the job in?Erin.
Goode replied it was “an honour and a privilege” to serve Erin and to work with such great staff members. He said the recruitment team did an excellent job in selecting Callaghan, whose character, education and experience will serve him well in the job.
“I know Dan will ensure this fire department is running efficiently and keeping people in Erin safe,” Goode said.
Callaghan commended both Goode and McDougall for their dedication to the department and said he’s stepping in with great anticipation.
“I’m looking forward to taking over and assisting you however I can,” Callaghan told council and staff.
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Last week Finnie also recognized the efforts of Chief Fire Prevention Officer Kevin Gallant, who has resigned to pursue an opportunity with another department.
Finnie thanked Gallant for his contributions, which the mayor said raised the bar for fire inspection in the town.
Gallant thanked Finnie for the kind words and replied he has always enjoyed working with firefighters, town staff and council.
Goode noted the town received 15 applications for Gallant’s job – including some “very good candidates,” about whom he would talk with Callaghan.