New fire chief appointed
New fire chief appointed
July 31, 2017
Sault Star
By: Elaine Della-Mattia
Link to Article: New fire cheif appointed
Sault Ste. Marie has a new fire chief.

Peter Johnson was appointed the city's newest fire chief at a special council meeting Monday.

He begins his duties immediately.

Johnson, who has 23 years of fire services experience, was most recently the deputy fire chief (suppression) for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

He's served in leadership, project management, incident command, firefighting, fire prevention, public education and emergency medical services.

Johnson said his experience with several areas within the local fire service and the trust he has developed over the years with firefighters will help improve relationships, set goals and move fire services forward.

“Our goal is to work with the stakeholders and our objective is to look forward, set some goals for the service and the end result will be to create a safe, efficient and effective fire service and EMS service,” he told The Sault Star just after being appointed to the job.

CAO Al Horsman said the review committee, which included himself, Mayor Christian Provenzano, Coun. Paul Christian and two members of the city's HR services, chose Johnson as the successful candidate, and he scored extremely high during the process.

Provenzano said, “I have complete confidence in you. I think you'll do a tremendous job.”

Johnson is expected to bring his vision back to city council in the fall.

In the meantime, he said he has a few ideas about creating efficiencies and will meet with senior staff to ensure decisions are correct.

“Part of the vision, the important thing we have to keep in mind, is communication,” he said. “Communicating with all of our staff is important right now.”

He said he believes outstanding reports will play a direction in how the service will move forward.

Johnson has spent spare time coaching local junior football and hockey.

He replaces Mike Figliolia who “parted ways” with the City of Sault Ste. Marie in early May after two years of service.

At that time, a brief press release said the two parties “ended their employment relationship” May 8.

No other reason was formally given for the sudden departure and Horsman identified the issue as a personnel matter and one he would not comment further on.

During Figliola's leadership, relations between management and the Sault Ste. Marie Firefighters' Association became strained as a result of decisions to cut back the service through attrition.

Posting for the most recent chief's job was conducted internally and externally.

In the meantime, the city is proceeding with the comprehensive risk assessment process.

A city realignment plan drafted under Figliola's leadership has been put on hold until the comprehensive risk assessment is completed.

Paul Milosovich was thanked for serving as interim chief during the hiring process.

Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services includes fire suppression, emergency medical services, fire prevention and public education, support services and community emergency management.