Karen Roche

Fire Chief, City of Burlington

Karen Roche is the Fire Chief for the City of Burlington Fire Department. With over 25 years of experience in the fire service, Chief Roche has served in a variety of progressive ranks in two very distinct fire and emergency services (Burlington Fire and Hamilton Fire). This has afforded Karen a thorough understanding of the challenges of managing modern fire services during times of economic, demographic and community risk-based issues, including her role in the Emergency Control Group (ECG) as the alternate Community Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Burlington.

Chief Roche has found success as a fire service leader by demonstrating skills and experiences in Disaster Response and Recovery, Fire Management, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Intensive Care Nursing. This broad and unique background has afforded Chief Roche the ability to be successful in managing a wide range of complex challenges in uncertain environments.

More recently, Chief Roche is representing the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) on the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Bullying Prevention Task Force that will explore the causes and consequences of bullying, identify promising practices that will reduce incidences of bullying, and craft training opportunities for the fire service to effectively address bullying.
Noting that the City of Burlington is already at the forefront of promoting access, equality, diversity and human rights through innovative policy, programs and services. Karen is committed to contribute in a meaningful way due to her appointments to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); International Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP) whereby diversity, inclusion and equity is a significant priority that will significantly improve culture and acceptance within the fire service.

Karen is married to her partner of 20 plus years and is the mother of three (3) adopted siblings (brothers) since they came into our care in 2012.

Sarah HodgsonKaren Roche