Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Prevention & Education
Debbie Higgins is a Deputy Fire Chief with Toronto Fire Services, with the portfolio of Fire Prevention and Public Education. In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring the public are educated about emergencies, fire regulations, home inspections and the Alarmed for Life campaign regarding smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detection. Debbie previously held the portfolio of Staff Services and Communications, following her promotion to Deputy Chief in 2010.
Prior to this position, Debbie spent eleven years as an Executive Officer for Toronto Fire Services, with responsibility for Special Projects. In this capacity, she was involved in a number of varying initiatives, including Master Planning and Strategic Planning, budgeting and performance measurement, organizational planning, records management, and financial controls for Toronto’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team.
She previously worked with the City of Mississauga as a Business Planner, where her work included various strategic projects for the fire department, involvement in the feasibility plan for Mississauga’s award winning Hershey Centre Arena, and the construction of a $12 million dollar community centre and public library development in partnership with a catholic high school.
Before joining the municipal sector, Debbie spent five years working as a consultant undertaking social planning studies, including feasibility studies, master plans, emergency response plans, marketing plans and organizational reviews.
Debbie has a degree in Applied Geography from Ryerson University, and a certificate in Business from McMaster University. She is also currently working on completing her Diploma in Public Administration through the University of Western Ontario.
Debbie is very involved in the future development of the fire service in Ontario. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and the Treasurer of Fire Service Women Ontario.