Saanich Fire Department Chief Michael Burgess has announced his retirement after three decades of service.
“Throughout chief Burgess’ tenure, the Saanich Fire Department has undergone transformative changes that have allowed the team to embrace innovation, modernize practices, expand services, and champion change initiatives that have solidified the department’s reputation as one of the leading fire services in the province,” said Saanich CAO Brent Reems, in a statement. “I’m very fortunate to have worked alongside a leader who is not only extremely dedicated, but also passionate about the safety of our community.”
Burgess will officially retire in January 2024 and a new fire chief is expected to be announced in the coming months, said the district.
“We are so grateful for chief Burgess’ dedication and leadership,” said Mayor Dean Murdock, in a statement. “Our community enjoys a high level of service from Saanich Fire. Chief Burgess has played a major role in forming the foundation of that exceptional service. On behalf of council and the community, we extend our heartfelt thanks to chief Burgess and wish him well as he embarks on a new adventure.”
Reflecting on his time with Saanich, Burgess detailed in a statement the many accomplishments of the entire Saanich Fire Department and friendships made throughout the organization.
“While retiring marks the end of one chapter, it also marks the beginning of another,” said Burgess. “I take great pride in our accomplishments, successes, and the invaluable lessons learned from the many challenges we have faced. None of this would have been achievable without the support of Saanich’s mayors, councillors and CAOs, both past and present, as well as the unwavering dedication and professionalism of all Saanich Fire Department personnel. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as part of this dedicated organization, and I am excited to embrace the opportunities that retirement will bring. The committed team of men and women in Saanich Fire are deeply dedicated to the safety and well-being of the Saanich community, and I know you’ll all be in great hands.”