Change atop Roseville Fire Department becomes official Oct. 28

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 15, 2021

 A change of command at the Roseville Fire Department will be made official with a ceremony on Oct. 28. Battalion Chief Keith Jacobs, left, will step into the role held by outgoing Fire Chief Brian Kanigowski, right, since June 2020.

A change of command at the Roseville Fire Department will be made official with a ceremony on Oct. 28. Battalion Chief Keith Jacobs, left, will step into the role held by outgoing Fire Chief Brian Kanigowski, right, since June 2020.

Photo by Brian Louwers

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ROSEVILLE — The Roseville Fire Department will say goodbye to one chief and welcome his replacement on Oct. 28.

During a meeting of the City Council last month, officials unanimously approved a change of command with a new employment agreement, bringing Battalion Chief Keith Jacobs into the role held by Roseville Fire Chief Brian Kanigowski since June 2020. 

Kanigowski, a 25-year veteran of the department, cited a family decision as the reason for his departure.

“It’s been a true honor being the fire chief here, an absolute honor,” Kanigowski said Oct. 8. He added, “I’ve got a replacement coming up that’s outstanding.”

Jacobs will mark 30 years with the Roseville Fire Department in May. Prior to that, he said he spent time as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic in both Fraser and Richmond/Lenox, putting his experience on the job at more than 33 years. 

“I’m very excited about it. I’ve been doing this a long time,” Jacobs said. “I’m looking for a different change. I’m ready to see what I can do.”

The Roseville Fire Department responds to close to 9,000 calls for service a year and Jacobs said it is running at optimal efficiency under Kanigowski’s leadership. That’s something he vowed to continue. 

“I think the department’s running fantastic right now. I think it’s the best it has run, efficiency-wise, in a long time,” Jacobs said. “I have no complaints, nothing major that needs to change. I want to keep the same setup that we have, being fiscally responsible, but still providing a good service to the citizens.”

Kanigowski said a “great working relationship” between the department, city administrators and Roseville’s elected officials, and the department’s use of federal grant funding, have kept equipment needs fulfilled. He said recruiting is always “a big challenge” for every department, but that the firefighter-paramedics now working in Roseville have been “amazing.”

“Going through COVID, what they did in the last year was incredible,” Kanigowski said. “We never skipped a beat. They came in, with a virus we had no idea what it was about, but they showed up every day and they did their job. I couldn’t be prouder to manage such heroes. 

“Being the fire chief, you are the fire chief 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Kanigowski added. “You are the fire chief no matter where you go. I don’t care if you’re on vacation. I don’t care if you have a day off. There’s no such thing as a day off. You are always the fire chief and it’s a huge responsibility, and if I could pick one guy to take on that responsibility, it would have been Keith, for sure.”

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