New St. Thomas fire chief vows stability after turnover in top job

·1 min read

The City of St. Thomas has tapped a 28-year fire department veteran as its third new fire chief in five years.

Deputy Chief David Gregory, who was named interim fire chief in May, assumes the top job permanently on Monday.

“I was the acting fire chief since the middle of May, and it’s been great morale at the fire hall. It is the best it’s been in many years,” Gregory said in an interview.

“Having come up through the ranks, it’s a great feeling.”

The 28-year St. Thomas fire department veteran was appointed deputy chief in January after an “extensive” recruitment process, the city said.

As interim chief, Gregory has overseen all fire services and supervised senior staff in fire suppression and prevention, training and administration, a city statement said. He also acted as liaison with the St. Thomas Professional Fire Fighters Association and led community emergency management activities.

Gregory becomes the service's third new chief since former chief Rob Broadbent died at age 56 in 2017.

The last chief, Kevin Welsh, who was named to the job last October, departed abruptly in May. He had replaced Robert Davidson, who was appointed in 2018 and retired suddenly last July.

Gregory said he hopes to bring more stability to the role.

“We’ve created some great chiefs, in my time, from promoting within, and the leadership was always good," he said. "That created great morale on the floor, so I want to continue that and hopefully in the future, that trend continues.”

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press