Andrew Zvanitajs promoted to Vaughan Fire Chief
July 2, 2021
City Manager Nick Spensieri is pleased to announce that Vaughan Council has ratified the appointment of Andrew Zvanitajs as the new Chief of Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) after almost 25 years with the service.
Chief Zvanitajs first joined VFRS in 1997 after completing a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a paramedic diploma from Algonquin College. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief in 2015. In this role, he gained valuable experience in all portfolios within the department, including operations, training, fire prevention, communications and the mechanical division.
He holds a range of provincial certifications, from being a qualified CEMC (Community Emergency Management Co-ordinator) to an Incident Commander, and has a certificate in Executive Municipal Leadership. As well, Chief Zvanitajs had concurrent experience with York Regional Paramedic Services, working as a primary care paramedic from 2001 to 2008 throughout the region.
VFRS provides efficient emergency response, fire protection, prevention, safety and education to those who live, work and visit the city. It continues to be recognized in Ontario as a leader in emergency service delivery and has been instrumental in leading the city through its COVID-19 response efforts. Recent highlights for VFRS include the opening of Fire Station 7-4 in Kleinburg and responding to more than 10,000 incidents in 2020.
The City’s commitment to its people -- including the 346 members of VFRS who work together to create an efficient and high-quality level of emergency service -- enables the organization to deliver upon its strategic priorities, which includes ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens. This is integral to creating Active, Safe and Diverse Communities -- a key area of focus in the Council-approved 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan.
With this promotion, Chief Zvanitajs continues his leadership journey with Vaughan, which was named one of the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2021. The winners were evaluated on the following eight criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time-off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.
As an equal opportunity employer and a forward-looking municipality, the City remains committed to fostering a dynamic workplace that is diverse, inclusive and welcoming. This recognition further validates Vaughan as not only a great place to live and play, but also to work.
The City thanks Mike Doyle for serving as Acting Fire Chief during the recruitment process. He now returns to his home position as Deputy Fire Chief with VFRS.
“I am pleased to congratulate Andrew Zvanitajs on his promotion as Vaughan’s new Fire Chief. Chief Zvanitajs has been a valued and respected Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) member since 1997. He has vast and extensive experience in fire prevention and control that I am confident will continue to position VFRS as a leader in emergency service delivery in Ontario. Emergency services are vital to healthy, safe and active communities. We are proud and grateful for the exceptional team of firefighters we have in Vaughan who, every day in every way, demonstrate honour, compassion and humanity. Under Chief Zvanitajs’ leadership, I know these courageous individuals will continue to keep people, neighbourhoods and our entire community safe.”
- Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua
“On behalf of the City of Vaughan’s Senior Leadership Team -- Executive, I want to congratulate Fire Chief Andrew Zvanitajs on this well-deserved promotion. I know the team in Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) will benefit from his continued leadership and commitment. As COVID-19 persists, the ongoing dedication of our first responders has been admirable and reflects the gold standard of the City’s commitment to delivering Service Excellence. I also want to extend my thanks to Mike Doyle for serving as Acting Fire Chief during this recruitment period. I look forward to working with Chief Zvanitajs in his new role and with the entire VFRS team.”
- City Manager Nick Spensieri
“I would like to thank Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Members of Council and City Manager Nick Spensieri for this opportunity to continue building on the already strong foundation and reputation that the Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) enjoys both regionally and provincially. I look forward to helping the VFRS move out of the pandemic framework and transition back into our ‘new normal’ routine. We have an amazing team and I will be there to help them develop, grow and learn as we work together to deliver Service Excellence to our citizens, businesses, visitors and one another. On a personal note, I also want to thank Mike Doyle for his leadership as Acting Fire Chief.”
- Chief Andrew Zvanitajs