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Essex Fire Chief Announces Retirement

Thursday July 24th, 2014, 1:00pm


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With over 45 years of fire service, Essex Fire Chief Ed Pillon has announced that he will retire at the end of December. He is currently the longest serving member of Essex Fire and Rescue Services.

“I have decided it’s time to start my retirement and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, children, and beautiful grandchildren,” says Pillon. “I am very proud of the work we’ve done to enhance fire service in our municipality and I’m confident that a new Fire Chief, when hired, will be equally proud of our fire and rescue service and the dedicated volunteers and families that make up our team.”

Pillon started his lifelong career in the fire service in 1968, serving alongside his father in Malden Township. He moved to Harrow in 1974 and joined the Harrow-Colchester South Fire Department, where he was promoted to Captain in 1992 and Deputy Chief in 1994.

After municipal amalgamation in 1999, Pillon served as District Chief of Essex Station 3 in Harrow until he was named Acting Fire Chief in 2003, assuming the role on a permanent basis in April 2004 and adding the position of Emergency Management Coordinator to his responsibilities.

Outside his work in fire and rescue, Pillon worked for General Chemical in Amherstburg for 37 years. He is a Certified Engineering Technologist with extensive experience in industrial and mechanical operations and was in senior management for several years prior to leaving General Chemical.

Deputy Fire Chief Rick Malott calls Pillon “by far one of the most progressive fire chiefs in Ontario.”

“His leadership has resulted in many technological and operational improvements, including the addition of mobile laptops in all vehicles and widespread access to mapping and information resources for fighting increasingly more complicated fires,” says Malott. “Plus, he’s a master of putting the proper people in place, giving them the tools they need to do the job, and supporting them to get results.”

“Ed Pillon’s commitment to community safety has been invaluable to the Town of Essex,” says Mayor Ron McDermott. “As a leader and mentor to hundreds of local firefighters, Ed has seen his department and our community through some very difficult times. We thank him for his commitment and wish him and his family all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

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