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Fire Chiefs


Ben VanRhyn

In September 1957, Ben was appointed as a Commissioner to organize the Fire Department for the Village of Houston under Bylaw #5. Upon completion of VanRhyn’s duties, Town Council then appointed John Veenstra as Fire Chief. The inception date for the Fire Department was September 21, 1957.

John Veenstra

John served as Fire Chief from 1957 to March 1969. John retired from the Fire Department in June 1987 after 30 years of active service. He received the Governor General’s Award for Meritorious Service. As late as 1998, 41 years after becoming a charter member of the Fire Department, John still volunteered his time to man the radio room as often as he could.

Bert Woelders

Bert led the Fire Department as Chief from March 1969 to March 1971, when he moved to Chilliwack. During Bert’s time, the community saw the arrival of a new Ambulance and a new Fire Truck.

Bob Dickson

Bob’s short time as Fire Chief lasted from March 1971 to June 1973. During this time the Fire Department built a new fire truck and Bob requested that a house numbering system be initiated in Houston. Bob introduced the sounding of the six o’clock siren and it included a fireman being on duty overnight.

Rick VanRhyn

Rick’s time as Fire Chief, from June 1973 to March 1977, saw him complete a ‘grand slam’ of service to the Fire Department. In his time with the Fire Department, Rick served in every position.

Ken Thomson

Ken is, so far, the longest serving Fire Chief. He was first elected to the position in March 1977 and celebrated 30 years as Chief on March 31, 2007. Ken became the first full time Fire Chief on September 11, 2000. Ken retired from the department in November 2011.

Jim Daigneault

Jim started with the fire department in the fall of 2002 as a dispatcher, started fire fighter duties in 2004 and then moved into an officer position as a Lieutenant in 2009 and then into the Fire Chief/Emergency Program Coordinator position in October 2011.

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