Our fire command staff

Brian Hutchinson, Fire Chief

Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson

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

Michael Danks, Deputy Fire Chief

Deputy Fire Chief Michael DanksMike has served as a Deputy Fire Chief since June 2023, overseeing Emergency Operations.

Early career

Mike began his fire service career in 1999 with the Ministry of Forests, followed by a year with Metro Vancouver Watershed Fire Protection. 

In 2001, Mike joined the North Vancouver City Fire Department and soon became a technical rope rescue and fire behaviour instructor. He was also a safety committee member, serving as the co-chair for several years. 

In 2020, Mike was promoted to assistant fire chief, focusing primarily on operations and critical incident stress management. 

He has also volunteered with North Shore Rescue since 1996, serving in various leadership roles, including a team leader, search manager, and air operations coordinator.

A board member since 2006, he has also provided vital leadership in implementing high-tech rescue technology and planning and building several SAR Stations on the North Shore.

Education and qualifications

Mike is completing Fire Officer IV through the Justice Institute of BC and working through the Fire Executive Management Certificate with BCIT. Previously, he completed his associate certificate in leadership with distinction through BCIT. Mike has also completed his search and rescue management certificate and search and rescue leadership certificate.

Contact Chief Danks

Monty Armstrong, Assistant Fire Chief – Public Safety

Assistant Fire Chief – Public Safety, Monty Armstrong

Monty re-joined DNVFRS in 2021 as an Assistant Chief to lead the Public Safety Division and efforts to maintain International Accreditation status as the Accreditation Manager.

Early career

Monty began in the fire service in 1989 working as a Paid-Call firefighter and as a Fire Technical Specialist in the Forestry and Mineral exploration industries.

Work with the DNVFRS

Monty joined DNVFRS in 2006 as a Fire Inspector and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2009. Monty left DNVFRS in 2014 to work as a Chief Officer at other fire departments in BC, Alberta and Ontario. During this time, Monty developed his competency in Labour Relations, Fire Operations, and all aspects of Fire Administration. Monty is also an instructor with the Justice Institute of BC in the Fire Officer Programs, and has delivered industry specific training across North America. As a Peer Assessor, Monty works with other fire departments in the CFAI Accreditation Program achieving and maintaining International Accredited Status. 

Education and qualifications

  • Master of Arts Degree in Leadership and Training – Royal Roads University
  • Labour Management Relations Certificate – University of Saskatoon
  • Executive Management Program – Simon Fraser University
  • Applied Science Technologist (AScT) – ASTTBC
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) – NFPA
  • Executive Chief Fire Officer (ECFO) – Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Member Institution of Fire Engineers (MIFireE)
  • Registered Fire Protection Technician (RFPT) – ASTTBC
  • Safety Codes Officer (FIRE SCO) – Safety Codes Council of Alberta

Contact Chief Armstrong

Chris Byrom, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

Assistant Fire Chief – Operations, Chris Byrom

Chris was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief – Operations in December 2021.  In addition to being Operations Chief for A Platoon and B Platoon, he also looks after Uniform, our Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) program, and oversees Emergency Medical Services.

Early career

Previous to his employment with DNVFRS, Chris worked for the British Columbia Wildfire Service (BCWS).  He was also a member of Coquitlam Fire/Rescue before joining the District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue Services (DNVFRS). 

Work with the DNVFRS

Chris began his career with DNVFRS as a probationary career firefighter in April 2000.   With his BCWS background, Chief Byrom assisted in teaching the wildland program in its early stages.  Chris was a confirmed Captain with the DNVFRS for 2 years before being promoted to Assistant Chief Operations. Chris has been on numerous deployments as a member of the Structure Protection Crew supporting BCWS and protecting communities across the Province from wildfire. 

Education and qualifications

  • Bachelors in Business Administration
  • Fire Officer-II Qualification
  • Certified Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Commander
  • Currently completing Fire Officer III/IV with the Justice Institute of British Columbia

Contact Chief Byrom

Mark Dear, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

Assistant Fire Chief – Operations, Mark DearMark was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief Operations in July 2022. He currently oversees operations for C Platoon. Mark’s portfolio includes firefighting personal protective equipment, and Emergency Management.

Early career

Mark worked as a certified electrician in the construction industry for a decade. He also spent several years as the Marine Safety Officer in the recreational fishing industry in Haida Gwaii.

Work with the DNVFRS

Mark began his career with the DNVFRS in September of 2002. Mark was one of the original 10 members of the newly formed Honour Guard in 2003, which he spent 20 years with up to his promotion to a Chief Officer. Mark was heavily involved throughout his tenure as an internal instructor in Swiftwater Rescue, and Emergency Vehicle Operator. Mark was promoted to Captain Training and Professional Development in 2021.

Education and qualifications

  • Fire Officer III Qualification
  • Certified Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Commander
  • Associate Certificate in Leadership
  • Currently completing Fire Officer IV with the Justice Institute of British Columbia

Contact Chief Dear

Dwayne Derban, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

Assistant Fire Chief – Operations, Dwayne DerbanDwayne has served as Assistant Fire Chief since February 2023 supporting operations for B Platoon.

Early career

Dwayne worked for a decade as a mechanical engineer and spent two seasons playing professional football for the BC Lions.

Work with the DNVFRS

Dwayne began his career with the DNVFRS in February 1997 and became an officer in 2008. As a Captain, Dwayne was stationed at the Montroyal and Norgate Fire Stations for over ten years. Dwayne was involved with developing the North Shore Fire Services Major Emergency Operations Plan (MEOP) along with the Rope Rescue, Blue Card Incident Command and Critical Incident Stress teams. Dwayne is committed to serving the community of the District of North Vancouver and the employees of the DNVFRS.

Education and qualifications

  • Fire Officer-II
  • BASc in Mechanical Engineering, UBC

Contact Chief Derban

Scott Ferguson, Assistant Fire Chief – Operations

Assistant Fire Chief – Operations, Scott Ferguson

Scott was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief – Operations as of March 2022.  He currently oversees operations on C and D Platoons.

Early career

Previously worked as a Paid-on-Call Firefighter for Surrey Fire Rescue Services from 1996-2000.

Work with the DNVFRS

Scott started as a probationary Firefighter with the District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue Services in July of 2000. After completing ongoing in-house training and operating all DNVFRS apparatus, Chief Ferguson completed the Fire Officer-II program in 2012. He became a confirmed Captain in 2017 and was eventually stationed at Fire Station #3 (Montroyal). Scott was very involved with the District of North Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society from 2018-2021. His main focus was communications and social media in that role.

Education and qualifications

  • Fire Officer-II Qualification
  • Certified Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Commander
  • Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) programs
  • Numerous additional certificates (Rescue and Swift Water Tech, Sprinkler Protection, Hazmat, Marine Firefighting)
  • Currently completing Fire Officer III/IV with the Justice Institute of British Columbia

Contact Chief Ferguson

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