As the first turban wearing Sikh in the fire service, Division Chief Ravjot Singh Chhatwal was an incredible leader who worked tirelessly to build an inclusive and diverse fire service. He wore his uniform with pride and was a role model to many in the Sikh community. He showed exceptional leadership by actively promoting and cultivating diversity in his workplace, community and personal life.
Chief Ravjot Singh Chhatwal played a key role in creating outreach opportunities and building trusted relationships with several under-represented communities. He was a trailblazer in advocating for gender parity. His chief officer colleague named him as her biggest supporter in her nomination, saying he never shied away from advocating and advancing women's rights and empowering them to join the Fire Service. He led numerous career information sessions for women and underrepresented groups, nurturing the next generation of women leaders and igniting a spirit of change. He made significant contributions, from organizing workshops and seminars to promoting education. He actively served as a role model and mentor to empower others to challenge the status quo.
Championed by then Fire Chief Bill Boyes, and led by Division Chief Ravjot Singh Chhatwal, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services created a strategic action plan to support enhancements to diversity, equity and inclusion. The plan consulted with multiple community stakeholders, increased cultural awareness and understanding within the fire department and included a recruitment strategy to build a fire department more reflective of the residents of the City of Brampton. This work was acknowledged in 2021 with the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Award by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. The award is a testament to this Chief's inexhaustible efforts to create an environment where differences are celebrated.
Division Chief Ravjot Singh Chhatwal's mentorship and impact not only changed lives individually but also set a shining example for others to follow.
This Chief tragically passed away on March 23, 2023. He is mourned by everyone who had the joy of experiencing his warm friendship and kindness. Recognizing his hard work and dedication will not only honor his achievements but also honor his memory.
FSWO is pleased to present the Diversity and Inclusion Award to the Late Division Chief Ravjot Singh Chhatwal.