First Female Fire Chief in Oxford County
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Deanna Kirwin is making history as the very first female Fire Chief in Oxford County. She took over Zorra Fire and Emergency Services last week.

ZORRA TOWNSHIP - The Township of Zorra has a new Fire Chief. 

Deanna Kirwin started her new role as the Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Coordinator last week. She is breaking down barriers in the process and is the first female Fire Chief in Oxford County.

Kirwin says she understand the significance of this, but also hopes it won't be a big deal in the future. 

"I certainly can't ignore the part of what is news worthy about me being a Chief, for the fact that I am female. I hope that at some point it becomes less notable and more normal. I am certainly excited to apply my skills and do my part, contribute to the community and I am already seeing positive messages, people who are proud to see a female firefighter and a female chief." 

Kirwin has been a volunteer firefighter with Zorra Fire and Emergency Services for six years now at the Embro Station, previously serving as the training officer. She talks about her path to the role of Chief.

"Everyone in the station has a diverse skill set and mine happened to be teaching, so what better way then as a training officer. I was able to work in the Embro station and then with all three stations in Zorra to organize some multi station training and bring all three departments for some water shuttle work and live fire evolution."

Kirwin held many hats at Zorra Fire before becoming Chief, she holds several certificates related to firefighting and was a teacher at Fanshawe College. 

Kirwin has taken over for John McFarlan, who retired earlier this month after being with Zorra Fire since 1981 and he has served as Chief for the past nine years. She was able to work with him a bit, to help get settled into the new role.

"I'm really excited to work on the forward momentum that Chief McFarlan started with Zorra, with his tenure with the department but bringing my own different strengths and skills to it. I know that he united the three stations as one department as a whole, now when we arrive on the scene, it is Zorra Fire, as opposed to three different stations."

Kirwin didn't have much time to get settled into her role, responding to an all station fire on day 3 in her new role. 

Mayor Marcus Ryan says they are really excited to have Kirwin in a leadership position.

"Deanna has been a star of ZF&ES since she started. Zorra is excited and fortunate to have Chief Kirwin start her new role in Zorra. She brings local knowledge, firefighting experience, formal education, and teaching experience to the job. Most importantly she brings a new potential to innovate ZF&ES to deliver the best service for residents in the future."


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