Sarnia fire chief leaving to return to Cambridge

Sarnia Fire Chief Brian Arnold Oct. 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of City of Sarnia)

Sarnia’s fire chief says it’s with mixed emotions that he announces he’s leaving Sarnia to return to Cambridge.

Brian Arnold, who took over for the retired John Kingyens in June of 2019, said he’s going back to Cambridge to become the chief there.

He said he’s enjoyed his time in Sarnia and wasn’t looking to leave, but was offered an opportunity he couldn’t refuse.

“It’s best for me and for my family, so I had to give it some serious consideration,” said Arnold. “It wasn’t an easy decision because I’m very happy here in the City of Sarnia, with the city, with my employer, but this was just an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.”

Arnold came to Sarnia from Cambridge where he served four years as deputy fire chief so he said there’s certainly a comfort level returning there.

He said he’s learned a lot during his relatively short time in Sarnia and mentions the petrochemical industry specifically.

“That has provided me the biggest learning curve, I’ve enjoyed meeting members of industry, and having conversations with them and learning from them and understanding their unique and complex situation and how Sarnia fire can best serve them,” he said.

Chief Arnold said he managed some changes and modifications within the fire service while here and is proud of the relationship he forged with the firefighter association executive to improve labour relations.

He said Sarnia has a capable, dedicated and compassionate firefighting force and he commends Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley and CAO Chris Carter for having a vision for the future.

Arnold said his last day on the job will be Wednesday, October 21.

Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Van Gaver has accepted the promotion to the role of chief.