History - Town of Ajax
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History

Ajax Fire Station 1951-1967

Ajax Volunteer Fire Department 1962

In July, 1941,  a new (1941) International Hose Truck was delivered to Carter-Hall Construction Company who were contracted to build a SHELL filling plant for Defense Industries Ltd. (D.I.L.) The fire truck was housed in a building owned by Carter Hall until the new fire station was completed.  The fire station was located on Hunt Street and was manned by employees of Carter Hall under the direction of Acting Fire Chief Wm. Hale.  It was the Fire Chief's job to first supply and equip all fire hydrant houses with fire hose.

D.I.L. started operation in August, 1941 and in September, 1941 a permanent Fire Department was organized - 15 men on a three platoon system under Fire Chief S. Smith who was "on loan" from the Oshawa Fire Department.  Fire Chief Smith resigned in February, 1942.

In August, 1942 George Allen of the Toronto Fire Department was appointed Fire Chief.

Fire Chief Allen changed the operation of the Fire Department to a two platoon system and the department manpower increased to twenty (20) firefighters, plus two (2) Fire Prevention Inspectors.  Captain C. Winter and Lieutenant E. Beadle were in charge of the two platoon shifts.  These shifts were augmented with an auxiliary crew from the plant.

In August, 1945 Fire Chief Allen resigned and Captain C. Winter was promoted to Fire Chief, assuming command of the Ajax Fire Department. 

George Jennings was promoted to Lieutenant and replaced Captain Winter on shift.

Hose Reel

January, 1946 the University of Toronto took over some of the vacated buildings for Engineering courses to accommodate men returning from active duty.

Captain C. Winter was appointed Fire Chief in 1946.

In 1949, the University moved out of Ajax and the Fire Department was taken over by War Assets and Central Mortgage.  At this time, the Fire Department had only fourteen (14) men, including an Inspector and the Fire Chief.

In 1951, the Government legislated the area as an Improvement District and the Fire Department at this time was termed to be too large, so in 1952 Fire Department full-time manpower was cut to four (4) permanent men, plus the Fire Chief.  Additionally, a volunteer section of twenty (20) men was picked from local industries.  Also added in 1952 was a new pumper truck (1952 La France). This vehicle still sees limited duty for parades, etc.

Old Fire

In February, 1965 Fire Chief C. Winter retired and C.C. Harris was hired as the new Fire Chief.

In l966, a new Dodge Station Wagon was purchased as the Fire Chief's car.  Additionally, this same year, the Ladies Auxiliary presented the Fire Department with a 1956 GMC Curbside Van to be used as a Rescue Truck.  This van was renovated and equipped, in a joint effort, by the permanent and volunteer staff.

In 1967, the Fire Department moved to its new station at 65 Harwood Avenue South.  This new station was located and attached to the north side of the new Town Municipal Building.

In 1970, a new pumper truck was added (1970 Ford Cab and Chassis) with an 840 G.P.M. Thiebault Pump.

In 1971, a new foam pumper truck was added and put into service replacing the 1941 International Truck.

Fire Chief C. Harris resigned his position in 1973, being replaced by Deputy Chief M. R. (Taff) Evans, who was promoted to the position of Fire Chief.

In January, 1974 nine (9) additional permanent firefighters were added to the permanent staff.  Full-time staff now consisted of a Fire Chief, Captain and sixteen 1st Class Firefighters.  The volunteer section was disbanded and new hiring of part-time firefighters was carried out.

January, 1974 was the start of the new Regional Municipality of Durham.  Provincial Legislation banded together the Township of Pickering, Town of Ajax, Town of Whitby, City of Oshawa, and the Township of Uxbridge, to name a few.  New boundaries were set and the Town of Ajax was enlarged to include lands on the west, north and east.  The Village of Pickering and the area known as the Beach were inherited.  Both these areas had their own Fire Station and each was previously manned by volunteers.  These volunteer groups were also disbanded and new hiring was conducted to man the stations with part-time firefighters.

In 1974, Fire Chief Evans created the Fire Prevention Bureau and J. Hunter was transferred from the fire fighting staff to the position of Fire Prevention Officer.  A new firefighter was hired to replace J. Hunter.

In 1974, three (3) new fire fighting trucks were ordered; these trucks were delivered and put into service mid 1977. In 1976, a new aerial ladder truck was ordered.

In 1976, the Ajax Fire Department's staff consisted of a Fire Chief, District Chief, Fire Prevention Officer, four (4) Captains, twelve (12) Firefighters, four (4) Dispatchers, and forty-six (46) part-time Firefighters.

Deputy Chief R. H. Hawkins was appointed in 1978 and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1987.  M. Wadsworth replaced the retiring R. Hawkins as Deputy Chief in 1987.  

The Department continued to grow with the building of a new station - Station #1, and the acquisition of additional fire trucks, equipment and personnel.

In 1992, A. (Tony) Mintoff replaced the retiring M.R. (Taff) Evans as Fire Chief.  Chief Mintoff served as Fire Chief until his resignation in 1996, when he left Ajax to accept the position of Fire Chief with the Town of Markham. 

Replacing Chief Mintoff, R. J. (Randy) Wilson was appointed as Fire Chief in 1996.

Deputy Chief Wadsworth retired in 1996 and was then replaced by R. J. (Rob) Browning, who served as Deputy Chief until 1998 when he left Ajax to accept the position of Fire Chief with the City of Sudbury.  Following Rob's departure, Wayne Stevens was appointed as Deputy Chief.

Deputy Chief Stevens left Ajax in 2001, in order to assume the position of Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Richmond, BC. 

Following the departure of Deputy Chief Stevens, Matt Pegg was recruited as Deputy Fire Chief in 2002. 

A second full-time Deputy Fire Chief position was added in July 2006, with Mark Diotte assuming this newly created position.

In July 2007, the position of Communications Officer was initiated.  Communications Officer Sharon Noble manages the AFES Communications Centre and provides leadership to our professional Alarm Operators, who now handle in excess of 5000 emergency calls each year.  Upon being promoted to the position of Communications Officer, Sharon Noble became the first female Captain in the history of Ajax Fire and Emergency Services.

In July 2008, the position of Training Officer was added, moving our Training Division staffing to two full-time personnel.  The Training Officer plays a key role in the provision of live-fire training and will work closely with on-duty crews in the provision of hands-on training and education. 

In October 2008, Deputy Chief Pegg left Ajax to assume the position of Deputy Fire Chief with the City of Brampton.

In December 2008, Dave Lang was appointed to the position of Deputy Fire Chief replacing Matt Pegg.

On June 30, 2010, Randy Wilson retired as Fire Chief and was replaced by Mark Diotte.

On July 5, 2010, Ajax appointed Michael Gamba as its second Deputy Fire Chief as a result of Mark Diotte assuming the role of Fire Chief on July 1, 2010.

On December 1, 2014, David Sheen was appointed Fire Chief.

On October 10, 2016, Dave Lang assumed the role of Interim Fire Chief, replacing David Sheen, and Aaron Burridge was appointed Deputy Fire Chief, replacing retiring Deputy Chief Michael Gamba.

Click here for a full list of Fire Chiefs and Deputy Fire Chiefs from 1941 to present.

At present, the Department consists of 109 full-time personnel, ten front line fire fighting, two antique pumpers and eleven support vehicles.

The following is the AFES present day approved staffing levels:

  • 1 Fire Chief, 2 Deputy Fire Chiefs, 1 Administrative Coordinator, 3 Administrative Assistants
  • 4 Platoon Chiefs, 16 Captains, 64 Firefighters
  • 1 Chief Communications Officer and 12 Alarm Operators
  • 1 Chief Fire Prevention Officer, 1 Fire Prevention Officer and 4 Fire Prevention Inspectors
  • 1 Chief Training Officer and 1 Training Officer

On July 17, 2008, the new AFES Headquarters fire station, located at 900 Salem Road North, was placed into active service.  This state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility houses one pumper-rescue crew, one aerial ladder crew and the on-duty Platoon Chief.  Additionally, this facility is home to the Fire Prevention and Public Safety Division, Training Division, Communications Division and all Administration personnel.

Fire Headquarters