Ken Palamarek Steps Down as Fire Chief
The Town of Elk Point accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Ken Palamarek late last week. Town Chief Administrative Officer Ken Gwozdz says following the resignation, there may be some change ups to the way the Fire Department is ran.
Throughout the week meetings will be held in the Town of Elk Point and the Town & County of St. Paul to determine is there should be a shared Fire Chief position.”We had a fire board meeting, which consisted of the County and the Town,” explains Gwozdz, “they decided that the County is going to initiate a meeting with the Fire Chief. They are going to invite the Fire Cheif, in our case the Deputy Cheif. They are going to talk to the Chiefs and see how they feel about a paid Regional Chief and paid Deputy Chief.”
“The Town of St. Paul has a paid Chief, who also works for the County to assist with the fire departments in Ashmont and Mallaig,” Gwozdz says the idea would be to expand the Chief’s responsibilities to cover the entire County region, in regards to paper work only; as well as another person to assist in the paperwork, in the capacity of Deputy Chief*. Unlike other communities the Fire Cheif position in Elk Point was volunteer, “everyone on the Fire Department is a Town employee; even if it’s volunteer and they are not paid,” explains Gwozdz.
At tonight’s Council Meeting, the Town of Elk Point was expected to offer the position of acting chief to deputy chief, Mark Gormley. However, it was brought to their attention that Gormley may not be able to accept the position. They have asked the Fire Department to meet and come back with an alternative.
Palamarek had served over 40 years with the department, many of those were as Chief. The Town of Elk Point & County of St. Paul have agree to assist the Fire Department in planning a farewell event for Palamarek, should the department decide to host one.
*an earlier version of this article did not specify that the regional chief position would be in the capacity of paperwork only. The article has been updated and corrected to reflect this. LCN apologizes for this mistake.