RaCERS Affiliated Faculty Wins Research Award

Len Garis, a RaCERS collaborator and speaker, was awarded the Fire Chief Researcher of the Year by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. Len Garis served as Chief of the Surrey Fire Service for 18 years and recently retired from the role in June. The Fire Chief Researcher of the Year award recognizes the contributions Len Garis made in elevating the Surrey Fire Service through evidence-based decision making to further improve service to the community.

“The Surrey Fire Service has become a premier firefighting department that is often emulated nationwide, and this is largely due to the leadership of Len Garis,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Surrey has been fortunate to have a Fire Chief that has played such a significant role in advancing the safety of those who live and work in in our city. I want to congratulate Len for this well-deserved award.”

Under Len Garis’ guidance, the Surrey Fire Service has evolved into a modern, efficient and effective fire department that leverages data and technology to enhance the safety, health and well being of both citizens and those in the fire service. His pioneering work include research into illegal marijuana grow operations and more recently, the opioid and fentanyl abuse problem.

“This special award highlights a unique aspect of Len Garis’ tenure as Surrey’s Fire Chief,” said Vincent Lalonde, City Manager of Surrey. “His ability to harness data and technology to advance the level of service of our fire department delivered safety improvements to our citizens that are unparalleled. As a result, Surrey has benefited from Len’s work with several innovate programs such as the Working Smoke Alarm campaign to his use of data to help stem opioid overdoses.”

Len Garis’ career in the fire service spanned almost four decades. Len’s combination of front-line experience, research and academics have produced programs that have generated remarkable results and more importantly have saved lives.

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