Richmond Fire-Rescue chief bids farewell

08 April 2022

After more than three decades with Richmond Fire-Rescue (RFR), Chief Tim Wilkinson is retiring from his role on April 30.

Wilkinson, who joined RFR in 1986, has been an active member of the community and played a significant role in strengthening the City’s fire rescue capabilities and supporting the safety of residents and businesses.

“Strong, robust and dependable emergency services are an essential part of keeping our community safe,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Chief Wilkinson’s dedication and leadership with Richmond Fire-Rescue leaves a legacy that enables us all to feel safer. On behalf of Council and the community, we extend thanks to Chief Wilkinson for his vision, leadership and integrity.”

After launching his firefighter career in Richmond, the Steveston resident progressed through the Department’s ranks, becoming a Company Officer in 2005. Appointed Fire Captain soon after, Wilkinson went on to become Battalion Chief in 2008, Deputy Chief in 2009 and then Fire Chief in 2018.

As Chief of Richmond Fire-Rescue, Wilkinson oversees the operations of the City’s seven fire halls, their staff and equipment. His dedication and commitment to the community and the safety of residents, businesses and his fire rescue crews earned him recognition within the profession and community.

Along with several nominations throughout his career, Wilkinson has received several 911 awards from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. The awards go to emergency services personnel for their outstanding commitment to the City of Richmond. He has also received a provincial 30-year Federal Bar in recognition of his service.

Wilkinson worked hard to bring diversity and integration into RFR, both through his time as union president of IAFF Local 1286 as well as Chief. Almost 20 per cent of new hires are now women and almost one-third are visible minorities.

Looking back on his career, Wilkinson feels immensely proud of his time at the City and the many colleagues he has worked with over the years. In particular, he thanked his family. “My career could not have been nearly as successful without the support of my wife, Joanne, who not only supported me but encouraged me to take the risks necessary to move forward,” Wilkinson said.

“My children, Zack and Shonna, have also been supportive and understanding that my career choice sometimes had me away from home during family celebrations and holidays,” he added. “I now look forward to making up for some of that lost time knowing Richmond’s Fire-Rescue Department and the people of Richmond are in good hands.”

A new Fire Chief is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.