The job title and location are different, but Craig Eveson finds plenty to be familiar with as the new deputy chief of the Woolwich Fire Department.
Eveson comes to Woolwich after some 20 years as a volunteer with the King Township department, most recently as a captain.
“They are very similar. Roughly the same geographical area of coverage – King’s a little bit smaller, but not by much. And then as far as staff goes, I believe Woolwich is about 168 and King is 160, so not much of a discrepancy there,” he said. “It’s a very similar makeup, a mix of industrial and residential, a bedroom community sort of thing.”
His stint in Woolwich is the first full-time job as a firefighter. In King – home is in Schomberg – he was employed by the township’s public works department.
“I’ve been a firefighter for about 20 years, an officer for the last 15. I’ve completed all the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) requirements for fire officers in this province, and postsecondary education is Dalhousie [University] fire service administration and now I’ve just completed my fire service executive management [certificate] at Humber College.”
The time was right to start down a new career path, said Eveson, noting it’s a big change for his family. He and his wife Becky have three boys, 10, 5 and 2.
“We also had a daughter. She would have been eight this year, but we lost her to a congenital heart defect three years ago,” he added, noting the couple launched a charity – We Believe In Abby – to raise money for SickKids Hospital.
The family remains in Schomberg for now, with Eveson commuting while he settles into the job and gets to know the community.
Eveson fills the vacancy left when Dennis Aldous was promoted to township fire chief last fall.