Port Alberni hires new fire chief

City of Langley deputy fire Chief Kelly Gilday will take over the PAFD helm on Nov. 28

Kelly Gilday

Kelly Gilday

The City of Port Alberni has hired a new fire chief. Kelly Gilday, currently deputy chief with the City of Langley, will take over as fire chief for the Port Alberni Fire Department (PAFD) on Nov. 28.

Gilday has served for 21 years in fire service leadership and emergency planning and has experience working in various municipalities, including the cities of Langley, Grande Prairie and Prince George. He has served as deputy fire commissioner for the Province of BC, and has been a sessional instructor with the Justice Institute of BC—Fire Safety Division for the past 15 years.

“We are very excited to welcome Chief Gilday to our organization and community,” said Port Alberni CAO Tim Pley. “With his skills and experience, I know he will make a significant contribution to our city by bringing his unique vision and expertise in continuing to deliver high-quality emergency response services to the citizens of Port Alberni.”

The fire chief’s position became available in July when Pley was formally hired as the city’s chief administrative officer. He had been the acting CAO since January while still maintaining his duties as fire chief.

Gilday’s post-secondary education, according to a city press release, includes a diploma in Fire Service Leadership, Fire Officer Level IV, ICS Level 400, and certificates in Business Management and Emergency Management. He has also received the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.

Gilday comes from Langley City Fire Rescue Service, a paid fire department.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be selected as the new fire chief for the City of Port Alberni,” Gilday said in a press release.

“My wife and I have spent a great deal of time in and around Port Alberni over the last five years and are excited to join the community on a permanent basis.”