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Posted: January 28, 2022

Changes in leadership in RDEK Fire Service

Long-time Chief retires, new Chiefs take the helm

Drew Sinclair

After nearly 30 years with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK’s) Rural Fire Service, Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Chief Jim Miller (pictured above) is set to retire next month.

“Thinking back to when I first walked through the doors of the Windermere Fire Department, I could never have imagined the path my career would take. It has been an incredible ride,” said Miller. “While I am excited for this next chapter in my life with my wife and family, I will miss the entire fire service team, my colleagues at the RDEK, and the opportunity to serve the public.”

Miller started with the Windermere Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in 1994. He was later voted in by the firefighters as the Deputy Fire Chief and in 1997 became the Chief. From the Windermere and Fairmont Fire Departments coming together under one Chief and Deputy, to the creation of the Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service that amalgamated Windermere, Fairmont, Panorama and Edgewater into one, a lot has changed over the years and Miller has been there every step of the way.

“There are so many things I’m proud of, but a few big ones are bringing in the first aerial ladder truck to serve our valley, supporting the transition in our training to professional firefighter training, securing the property and subsequent relocation of the Windermere Fire Department, and the addition of the hovercraft to expand our rescue capabilities,” he said.

Miller will retire February 28, and there will be a seamless transition as Deputy Chief Drew Sinclair accepted the Fire Chief position.

Sinclair joined the Windermere Fire Department as a volunteer in April 2003. He also worked for the BC Ambulance Service prior to being named Deputy Chief in 2009. Like Miller, Sinclair has been pivotal in the evolution of the Department. He has been a key part of the new training program for firefighters and is a passionate and dedicated leader.

Michael Hockley

Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire and Rescue Service (EVSC) Chief Dave Boreen accepted a position with the Office of the Fire Commissioner in late 2021.

The RDEK is pleased to announce that Deputy Chief Michael Hockley has formally accepted the position of EVSC Chief. In addition to his many years of experience in the fire service, Hockley served as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, during which time he completed three overseas tours of duty and honed his experience as a manager, trainer and incident commander. Hockley joined the EVSC Service as Deputy Chief in 2015.

The RDEK is actively recruiting for the two Deputy Chief positions. The job description and postings are available on .

Photos courtesy RDEK



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