The City of St. John’s has appointed a new fire chief — Sherry Colford, the first woman to hold the position.
Colford is a trained firefighter, has worked with the fire department for 15 years and has overseen large projects such as the provincial 911 implementation, the city said in a news release.
Colford applied for the job when outgoing Chief Jerry Peach announced his retirement two months ago.
“Council is very pleased by this selection and proud that Ms. Colford will be the city’s first female fire chief,” Coun. Sandy Hickman, co-chairman of the regional fire services committee, said in a statement sent out Monday.
Sonia Williams was the first woman to be named fire chief in 2006. She stepped down from the Harbour Grace Fire Department in 2012 and is currently the town’s deputy mayor.
Williams told The Telegram Monday she was delighted to hear Colford was named fire chief.
“I was honoured to serve as fire chief. I enjoyed it immensely. I think it’s awesome for (Colford) to be appointed as chief. She deserves that position and I wish her well,” Williams said. “There is a job to be done and she is quite capable. I hope she enjoys every moment as she serves.”
Williams’ advice to Colford would be to always support and respect her membership.
“It is a very important position with much responsibility, but you’re only as strong as your membership… ,” Williams said. “Respect her members and her members will respect her.”
Jen Jenkins is the fire chief in Corner Brook, the province’s third city.
The St. John’s department provides fire protection services for all of metro.