COCHRANE— The Town of Cochrane announced on Monday (Dec. 14) deputy fire chief Shawn Polley would be stepping into a new role as the fire chief of Cochrane Fire Services.
Polley, a long-time resident of Cochrane, started as deputy fire chief with the Town in 2017, although his experience in emergency services goes back nearly 30 years.
Over three decades, Polley has gained experience in emergency service leadership, emergency management and response experience he now brings to his new role.
As deputy chief with the Town of Cochrane, Polley was assigned the responsibility to lead the day-to-day operations of Cochrane Fire Services.
He noted his time in that position has given him insight into his new role as chief, and prepared him for the challenges he will face in his new role.
"Building relationships here with the professional firefighters day-to-day, it's always very important to understand what their challenges are here in the station or on the fire ground. I think, being the deputy fire chief certainly provided that really strong insight into those day-to-day challenges or successes," he said.
Over his three years as deputy fire chief, “He has championed the importance of open, trustworthy communication and consistently modelled leadership through understanding and accountability,” said a press release issued by Town communications advisor, Jason Fydirchuk.
Polley said the application process was competitive, and he was very excited to be selected by the Town.
He added he accepted the role with “great joy an exuberance.”
“The chief position here in the town of Cochrane, in my mind, is very sought after. We haven’t been to market very often for this role, specifically as fire chief,” he said. “There’s a great level of pride to be chosen against the competition and know that you are the number one candidate. I’m very excited to be here in this new seat.”
Polley said he plans to focus on working "more on a self-awareness, self-leadership type of role with the members, building their confidence, and showing their growth as not only technically competent, but also on the leadership competence scale."
Polly is taking over from the previous chief, David Humphrey, who put in nearly 35 years of service with emergency services, five of them with Cochrane Fire Services.
"Certainly, as a coach and a mentor, he is an excellent person and a great leader. I'm looking forward to filling his shoes as the new fire chief here in town, and of course taking it to a different level," he said.