• Dawn Riley

Vermilion Fire Chief Has Retired


Bill Roth. Photo submitted

If you have ever had the opportunity to talk to Bill Roth about his role as a firefighter, you know how hard it is to keep him talking about himself.

“The fire department is never about one person,” Roth states repeatedly throughout the interview, “it’s about the organization.”

It is the strengths of the department and his firefighting family that he focuses on, and it takes a great deal of work to get him back to the intended topic, his retirement from the Vermilion Fire Department (VFD) after 35 years of service.

Memories shared about himself as a firefighter are focused on his responsibilities to the department members, keeping them safe during their calls, and making sure they are trained and ready to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, and supporting them in their times of need. As Fire Chief for the last 21 years, Roth stated that he, “has worked with a lot of good people, and it was a tremendous amount of work, but I’ve had tremendous support.”

You can hear the pride in Roth’s voice when he talks about the men and women that he refers to as “his” fighters, that second family that so many in the Emergency Services Field depend on. As an operational chief, Roth believes in all hands on deck, including his own, on every call.

“As Chief, you can’t forget where you came from, you are a firefighter first,” says Roth, “But it’s not just about us either, we depend on the town council, the dispatchers, the RCMP, and the EMS to operate efficiently and successfully. One of our biggest assets as a department is the support we receive from the Town of Vermilion staff in the front office; we couldn’t operate without them as they take care of our administrative needs.”

“It’s our someday,” Roth states, referring to himself and his wife, “we are both retired, we have grandkids to see, and it is time to do things for us.”

Firefighting has been so much a part of Roth’s life, retiring will mean some changes for the entire family.

“If you are going to be part of an organization like a fire department, you have to be ready 24/7, and after 35 years, it is time to step back,” stated Roth.

He has confidence in and believes in the ability of the younger generation of firefighters to take the lead.

“My hope is the VFD continues on with the same service and level of dedication that it has had in the past,” commented Roth.

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