Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Former Georgina Fire Chief Bill O’Neill dies

By CFF Staff   

Headlines News fire chief

Feb. 16, 2024, Georgina, Ont. – Ret. Fire Chief Bill O’Neill has died at Soldier’s Memorial Hospital in Orillia, Ont. on Feb. 14 at the age of 71.

He spent more than 32 years in the fire service, joining the Georgina Fire Department in 1980 and becoming a career firefighter in 1987. He was promoted to fire prevention officer in 1990 and became the department’s deputy chief in 1998.

O’Neill was appointed to fire chief in 2001 and remained at the helm of Georgina Fire until his retirement in 2012. He also spent time as the assistant to the Ontario fire marshal in 2001.

Chief O’Neill served the community with pride and dedication, the town said in a press release. Under his leadership, the department was recognized for exemplary service and community initiatives several times, including the Bernard A. Moyle Public Education Award, his obituary states.


He was known as a kind and gentle man who cared deeply for his family, his fire service colleagues and his friends. He enjoyed curling, golf and hunting and spent many hours with friends and family around the pool, on his deck with a cold beer.

A celebration of life is expected to be held at the Pefferlaw Lions Hall in Georgina on Feb. 24 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

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