Niagara’s Largest City has New Fire Chief

Dave Upper named St. Catharines fire chief

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario’s new Fire Chief, Dave Upper

With a proven track record of leadership and decades of service to the community under his belt, Dave Upper has been named as the new leader of St. Catharines Fire Services.

Upper will permanently take the reigns as Fire Chief following the departure of Jeff McCormick from the position in late October. Upper has been serving as acting chief since that time and brings with him decades of experience with St. Catharines Fire Services.

Upper first joined the service as a firefighter in 1991, working his way up through the ranks to deputy chief, a position he has served in since 2017. Beyond his familiarity with the community, and extensive leadership successes, he currently acts as the City’s backup Community Emergency Management Coordinator and has served as a board member with Community Care and as a volunteer hockey coach.

“Dave is the ideal person to fill to role of fire chief, he has shown leadership in driving change and improvements across his three decades with St. Catharines Fire Services and is a dedicated member of our community,” said Chief Administrative Officer David Oakes. “He has a diverse skill set that will continue to strengthen the service as we continue to grow as a city.”

Upper’s past successes include spearheading the department’s new, award-winning, health and wellness Mental Health Journey program and contributions to the recent Fire Master Plan.

“Chief Upper has shown great leadership for the City of St. Catharines. His deep expertise and his strong relationships with our firefighters, City staff and council, paired with his vision, passion and commitment to the fire service and the community, will be invaluable,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik.

“I am confident under his progressive leadership and guidance, St. Catharines Fire Services will continue to deliver high-quality fire protection and emergency response services to our community.”

Upper said he is excited to take on the new role – “This city has always been home, it’s where I started as a firefighter and there is no community I would rather serve,” said Upper.

 “I’m looking forward to continuing the work I started three decades ago with an eye toward the future and the continued provision of exemplary fire services our department has become known for.”

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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