T.O.’s Most Inspirational Women: Deryn Rizzi

A look at 12 incredible Torontonians who conquered 2018 by making a difference through their work and inspiring people all across our city and country

The Fire Chief

The first woman to be appointed fire chief in Ontario


Chief Deryn Rizzi’s steady, focused and unprecedented climb through the ranks of Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) is inspiring and a reminder of the art of the possible. There is no shortage of glass ceilings that she has smashed through — and she’s only just begun.

An exceptionally well-qualified, prepared and disciplined individual, Chief Rizzi is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for her advocacy and leadership in raising awareness of diversity, and inclusion values and practices, in emergency services. She has an incredible responsibility to encourage, mentor and motivate the next generation of firefighters who have answered the call. As Chief Rizzi can attest, a career as a firefighter is truly a vocation of the highest service. It teaches and instills the importance of hard work, teamwork and commitment.

She serves as fire chief in one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada. With growth, comes both opportunities and challenges requiring experienced, trusted and tested leadership. She is a champion of modernization and innovation to cultivate and sustain an efficient and effective delivery of service.

She utilizes critical thinking skills, coupled with a capacity to build and maintain interpersonal relationships.

As we continue to plan Vaughan’s promising future, I know that we have a true city-building partner in Chief Rizzi. Her message is clear and powerful — that we need to be active participants in shaping our future because we all have the power in each of us to make a difference.

Next on the list: Elizabeth Caley

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO