On December 12, 2014, The City of Calgary announced Steve Dongworth as Calgary’s new fire chief, starting January 1, 2015.
Chief Dongworth has more than 35 years experience in municipal fire and emergency services. He joined the Calgary Fire Department in 1992, and was promoted to deputy chief in 2000.
Previously, Dongworth was the deputy chief of Community Standards, Recruitment and Training. In this role, he oversaw The Calgary Fire Department’s Inspection & Investigation sections, which include fire safety codes officers who enforce the provisions of the Alberta Safety Codes Act, fire investigators and the Accelerant Detection Canine program as well as recruitment, firefighter and recruit training, and the Fire Cadet program. Prior to this, Dongworth served in a variety of deputy chief commands including Operations, Training, Community Services, Administration and Emergency Management. He has led a wide variety of projects from the development of false alarm fees to the creation of the Community Safety section.
Between 2009 and 2014, Dongworth completed two separate terms as commander of Calgary 9-1-1. Calgary 9-1-1 is one of the largest public safety answering points in Canada, and during Dongworth’s time as commander he worked to continually provide better services to citizens through a number of initiatives such as new call evaluation process and becoming one of the first nation-wide safety centres to institute text with 9-1-1. He also led the creation of the Employee Relations Council, accreditation from the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers in the EMS function and the opening of the backup centre that would allow for full continuity of service in an emergency situation.
Beyond his leadership roles, Dongworth has actively been involved in giving back to the fire service in a variety of ways. For six years Steve coached emergency services and emergency management personnel from across Canada at the Canadian Emergency Management College in Ottawa where his focus was on Incident Management and Emergency Operations Centre courses. He has also performed various roles with the Calgary Fire Department Critical Incident Stress Management team over the past 15 years including co-ordinator, trainer, peer member and currently advisory board member. He also continues to run a voluntary Critical Incident Stress Management program for smaller communities in Southern Alberta that assists first responders coping with the aftermath of traumatic events. Dongworth has also been a member of the Calgary Fire Department Honour Guard and actively representing the Calgary Fire Department both nationally and internationally for the past 17 years.
In recognition for his exemplary work, Dongworth has been awarded The City of Calgary Protective Services Medal, the Alberta Emergency Services Medal, the Slave Lake Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He also has been awarded the Chief Fire Officer designation by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
Originally from Plymouth, England, both Dongworth’s parents served in the Royal Navy with his father serving for 27 years and reaching the rank of fleet chief, the highest non-commissioned rank at that time. Dongworth joined the fire service in the United Kingdom in June 1976 and reached the rank of station commander. During this time he became a graduate of the Institute of Fire Engineers. At the end of 1991, he immigrated to Canada with his family.
Dongworth is married, and has two adult children and one grandchild.