New Kelowna Fire Chief named

The City of Kelowna has a new fire chief. 

Travis Whiting is taking over the top spot, after serving as Deputy Fire Chief for the past two years.

He says it's a proud day for him.

"It's an honour - the Kelowna Fire Department is an amazing organization, and to have an opportunity to provide leadership and support our crews out on the ground and in the field, it's an amazing feeling," he said.

"It's a very positive work environment and a very positive leadership group, and to have an opportunity to step up on that is a great challenge and a great honour."

The news comes after former Chief Jeff Carlisle retiremed back in March.

Whiting says Carlisle was someone he learned a lot from.

"I've been very fortunate to have great mentors through my career over the years, and most recently of course, Chief Carlisle," he said.

"He was a strong mentor and a very positive influence that really showed the positive nature of leadership, and how we can support our crews. And just create a positive work environment that supports and brings out the best in each of those members."

Whiting has been with the Kelowna Fire Department since 2015, after spending eight years as the Senior Manager for Protective Servces in Victoria.

He says being a firefighter has been a lifelong job for him.

"You never get too old to play with big trucks, and sirens and lights, and all those fun things, and certainly that's always been something since I was young," he said.

"I was fortunate many years ago when I was living in Williams Lake, where I'd grown up, to have the opportunity to join the volunteer fire department in that community with a couple of friends. And there's a number of us that started together, that have all gone on to become career firefighters, and to make a living out doing something that we're passionate about."

Whiting has been recognized by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs with the Chief Fire Officer Designation.

He's also earned a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management from Royal Roads University and is in the process of completing his Local Government Administration Certificate through Capilano University.