Our fire command staff

Brian Hutchinson, Fire Chief

Brian was appointed fire chief in January, 2018. He leads 130 members and oversees an operating budget of more than $20 million dollars.

Early career

Brian began his fire career in 1990, spending several years working on initial attack crews in the wildland setting. In 2000, he began his municipal career, joining Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services (VFRS) as a firefighter, and working his way up to captain. His final assignment with VFRS was within the emergency management division.

Work with the DNVFRS

Brian began his service with DNVFRS in 2015 as assistant fire chief – operations.

His philosophy is focused on embracing an inclusive approach to fire and emergency services management, with community stakeholder engagement at the core.

He recognizes that training and education, combined with experience and self-development, comprise essential components of fire service competency.

Education and qualifications

  • Master's Degree in Disaster & Emergency Management
  • Bachelor's Degree in Fire & Life Safety Studies
  • Fire Service Leadership Diploma
  • Fire Executive Management Certificate
  • Certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia

Brian also serves as an adjunct instructor for fire services programs at Dalhousie University and the Justice Institute of BC.

Contact Chief Hutchinson


Wayne Kennedy, Deputy Fire Chief

Deputy fire chief Wayne KennedyWayne has served as deputy fire chief since 2013, assisting the fire chief with daily operations.

Early career

Prior to his service in the District, he served with Coquitlam Fire/Rescue as an auxiliary firefighter.

Work with the DNVFRS

Wayne began his career with DNVFRS in February, 1997. As a firefighter, he developed expertise in technical rescue, providing instruction in both high angle and confined space/trench rescue. He was also involved in emergency vehicle/aerial instruction, including fireboat operations.

In 2009, Wayne was promoted to assistant chief - operations, where he supervised the activities of two platoons, and was responsible for several portfolios and associated budgets. 

Education and qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Human Kinetics
  • Diploma in Liberal Arts & Science
  • Fire Executive Management Certificate
  • Fire Service Leadership Diploma
  • Fire Officer Certificate
  • Executive Chief Fire Officer (ECFO) designation
  • Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) designation
  • Numerous certifications in fire studies

Contact Chief Kennedy


David Dales, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

David was promoted to assistant chief - operations in March, 2018. In addition to being the operations chief for B Platoon and C Platoon, he looks after portfolios ranging from uniforms to emergency management.

Assistant fire chief david dalesEarly career

Previous to his employment with DNVFRS, David spent five years as a paramedic with the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS).

While a paramedic, he also worked across BC in the pulp and paper industry, where, as a member of numerous industrial fire brigades, he was introduced to firefighting and heavy rescue. During this period, he became certified in mine rescue, hazardous materials technician, CBRN (chemical biological radiation nuclear), and advancing driving.

Work with DNVFRS

David began his career with the DNVFRS as a probationary career firefighter in September, 2001. From the start of his career at DNVFRS, he has continued his work in pre-hospital care, providing primary care paramedic, emergency medical responder, and first responder training for several agencies.

Education and qualifications

  • Master's Degree in Emergency Management
  • Emergency Management Certificate
  • Emergency Management Exercise Design Certificate
  • Fire Officer Qualification

He is currently enrolled in the Fire Officer III/IV Certificate program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia

Contact Assistant Chief Dales


Jeremy Duncan, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

Assistant fire chief jeremy duncanJeremy has been the assistant fire chief - operations since joining DNVFRS in May, 2018.

Early career

Jeremy started his firefighting career with Richmond Fire-Rescue in 2000. He credits much of his success to the excellent mentors, leaders, and coaches that invested time and energy in developing him over the years.

Work with DNVFRS

Jeremy believes that everything comes down to people, and he admires and respects the many professionals within this beautiful community including, but not limited to, the tri-municipal fire services on the North Shore, BC Emergency Health Services, North Shore Search and Rescue, North Shore Emergency Management, RCMP and the caring staff at Lions Gate Hospital.

He enjoys learning, taking on new challenges, and empowering others to fulfill their personal and professional goals.

Education and qualifications

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) Degree from Simon Fraser University
  • Fire Officer III Certificate

Jeremy is currently working towards his Fire Officer IV Certificate from the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the Fire Executive Management Diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Contact Assistant Chief Duncan


Haida Fortier, Assistant Fire Chief – Public Safety

Assistant fire chief Haida FortierHaida began her career with the DNVFRS in 2018. As assistant fire chief, she leads a public safety staff of six fire inspectors, investigators, and public educators.

Early career

Haida's career started with the City of North Vancouver in 1997. Her career has spanned multiple divisions in the fire service, including suppression, administration, and dispatch.  She completed her twenty-one year career with the North Vancouver City Fire Department as captain - prevention. 

Work with the DNVFRS

Haida is the primary plan reviewer for new construction projects for the municipality for fire code compliance, and oversees an operating budget of over $850,000. As an Educator II, she has developed and delivered training and education to the public, fire service peers, and special interest groups, and has also authored a research paper on the topic of inter-municipal cooperation, which she presented to the Colleges and Institutes of Canada in 2016.

She is also a sessional instructor for the fire certificate programs at the Justice Institute of BC. 

Education and qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety from the Justice Institute of BC
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist
  • Numerous additional certificates (Fire Officer, Fire Prevention Officer, and Local Government Administration)
  • Certified Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Commander

Haida has also completed a variety of operational and technical programs related to fire ground operations and support, as well as support to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Contact Chief Fortier


Brad Gaudette, Assistant Fire Chief – Professional Development and Training

Assistant fire chief brad gaudetteBrad has been assistant fire chief of professional development and training since August, 2017.

Early career

Previous to his employment with the DNVFRS, Brad spent four years as an auxiliary firefighter/emergency vehicle operator with the White Rock Fire Department, and worked full time as an International Red Seal Certified fire protection system installer and technician.

Work with the DNVFRS

Brad began his career with the DNVFRS as a probationary career firefighter in April, 2003.

Early in his career, he took a keen interest in training, obtaining instructor qualifications in several disciplines. He went on to serve as the lead instructor for the DNVFRS in vehicle extrication, first medical responder, and technical rope rescue. 

In addition to training and professional development, Brad is responsible for administering the DNVFRS ProBoard Accreditation Program and the department’s technical rescue equipment portfolio, acts as the liaison to the medical oversight for the department, and is a member of several department committees.

Education and qualifications

  • Diploma in Business Administration
  • Fire Officer Qualification
  • Advanced level certification in incident command, technical rope rescue, vehicle extrication, emergency medical response, swift water rescue, and confined space rescue 

Contact Assistant Chief Gaudette


Walter Warner, Assistant Fire Chief

Assistant fire chief Walter WarnerWalter joined the DNVFRS in the fall of 1999 and has been proudly serving the community since.

Early career

Walter began his career in the fire service in 1997 with the City of Coquitlam Fire Department, where he served as an auxiliary firefighter.

Work with the DNVFRS

Throughout his career, he has been actively involved as a member of the Local 1183 Honour Guard, and has participated in the department's fire and life safety show, operated the department's fire boat, and taught multiple disciplines.

He was promoted to company officer in 2016 and then to assistant fire chief in 2017. As chief officer, he is responsible for the care and upkeep of all fire department facilities and coordination of apparatus repair and maintenance. He is also an occupational health and safety representative.

Walter is a strong advocate for firefighter mental health, and acts as the management liason for the department's critical incident stress management team. He is an occupational safety representative, and also sits on both the Joint Health & Safety Committee and the Health and Wellness Committee.

Education and qualifications

Walter completed the Fire Officer Certificate at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and is currently working to complete the Fire Executive Management Certificate program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Contact Chief Warner