Clark named city’s fire chief
Clark named city’s fire chief 
The Oshawa Express
March 31, 2017
Article by Joel Wittnebel
 

Long-time deputy chief takes over as Oshawa's top firefighter 

Derrick Clark, formerly the city’s deputy fire chief, has been named as the city’s new fire chief. Having twice served as an interim fire chief, Clark says his top priority is to continue to ensure Oshawa residents’ safety.

 
Oshawa has found its newest fire chief, and it’s a very familiar face.
 
Derrick Clark, who has been with Oshawa Fire Services for over 30 years, was officially appointed to the position of chief during council’s regular meeting on March 20.
 
The role is not a new one for Clark, having twice served as interim chief. He says he’s honoured to be placed in the role on a full-time basis.
 
“It’s a tremendous honour and a privilege to be able to lead this fire service,” he says. “We have some of the greatest members of the fire service working right here in Oshawa, so I’m very proud.”
 
Now in his 31st year with Oshawa’s fire department, Clark started his career in the city’s alarm room and dispatch before moving on to become a firefighter. From there, he moved his way up the ranks, obtaining the roles of acting captain, training officer and chief training officer before becoming the city’s deputy fire chief. Clark also holds a master’s certificate in municipal leadership from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and is working towards a certificate in Harvard Business School
 
Executive Education’s Manage Mentor program for management and leadership development.
 
With his long history in the department, Clark says he’s looking forward to the future, despite the challenges that may come.
 
“We’ve got some challenges in the city, we’ve got some capital expenditures happening this year,” he says, noting that hiring a new deputy chief will be top of mind in order to get a firm management team in place.
 
“Moving toward the future, the fire service is rapidly changing. The world of the fire service 10 years ago is different than it is today, so we’re going to have to be fiscally responsible and we’re going to have to be very motivated to moving the department forward.”
 
Despite these financial challenges, Clark says the safety of the city’s residents remains priority number one.
 
“Making Oshawa a fire-safe community is going to be first and foremost and protecting our citizens is paramount for a fire service,” he says.
 
The position of fire chief has seen a bit of change since the fall of 2016 following the retirement of former long-time chief Steve Meringer. Following a brief stint as interim chief, Clark moved aside after the city hired from the outside to fill the role.
 
However, the replacement, Shane Caskanette, hired in September, resigned ahead of council’s final meeting of the year in December, pushing Clark into the interim role once again.
 
Despite his experience, Clark admits he was still surprised to be hired for the position, something he never envisioned happening when he started his career.
 
“Things happen for a reason, I’ve always believed that,” he says. “I’m a lifelong resident of the city of Oshawa, born and raised here, I’ve worked at the city of Oshawa and fire services my entire career and they’re a great bunch of people.”