Petrolia’s fire chief retiring

Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Jay Arns (center) will retire at the end of 2023.

Petrolia’s fire chief is retiring.

Petrolia North Enniskillen Fire Chief Jay Arns, who is also the town’s director of protective services, is stepping down at the end of the year.

Arns made the announcement Monday at the year-end swearing in ceremony for new recruits at the fire hall where “things got a little emotional” according to a social media post.

Arns says it was an “incredibly hard decision to say the least, but it was time.”

Arns says he’s “leaving with lots of great memories and the residents of Petrolia have been nothing but fantastic.” And he’s proud of the team he’s built at the department.

“We’ve developed a good training program, a good all-around inspection program and built a good team,” he says adding he’s leaving the department in good hands.

And while Arns says it is time to retire he’s going to miss the work. “It’s who I’ve been – who I am,” he says of answering fire calls.

The chief is also proud of the new JH Fairbank Fire Training Centre in Petrolia. It came to life in a repurposed building at the waste water treatment plant last year and has offered training to departments in rural Lambton County.

Arns is looking forward to spending time with his family after his Dec. 31st retirement.
The search for the new fire chief will begin with an internal search.

Arns is the second senior executive to retire in the last three months. Dave Menzies, the director of parks, recreation and facilities also retired in late October, it was revealed during budget deliberations last week. Julie Bullock, a 17-year employee of the town with experience in recreation, has been named as Menzies’ replacement.