Ferndale fire chief retires, city to post job for replacement

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 30, 2019

 After Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan submitted his letter of retirement, the city of Ferndale will have to hire a replacement.

After Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan submitted his letter of retirement, the city of Ferndale will have to hire a replacement.

Photo provided by the city of Ferndale

Advertisement

FERNDALE — The Ferndale Fire Department is in a transitional period right now, as the city will soon need to hire a new fire chief.

In early April, former Chief Kevin Sullivan officially submitted his letter of retirement to the city after nine years as head of the Fire Department and more than 30 years of service.

Sullivan had been on a leave of absence since early December with health-related issues.

Taking over in the interim is Fire Marshal Jack Pesha, who also was acting chief when Sullivan took his leave in late 2018.

“Jack’s been doing a great job,” interim City Manager Joseph Gacioch said. “We received great feedback from the community and those within the Fire Department.”

Pesha said Sullivan is a great guy and leader, and that he’ll be missed on the job.

“He’s going to be a historical consultant for the city for the next year, so that’ll be a good role to transition the new administration in the Fire Department,” he said. “He’ll have some historical facts and data to pass along to the next oncoming chief and admin. We wish him well in his retirement and wish him good health.”

Pesha said that he plans to apply for the permanent fire chief position once the application process starts.

Police Chief Vincent Palazzolo has known Sullivan for all of Palazzolo’s 23 and a half years in Ferndale.

“He’s somebody that leads from the front if there’s a fire,” he said. “He’ll be out there in the front yard, directing his troops where to go and when to go. He was well-respected and he’ll be sorely missed. He’s taking a lot of institutional knowledge with him, but we wish him all the best. He’s still lives around here, so we can call him if we need to talk to him.”

Gacioch said the city c is doing an internal review right now, and the hope and intent is to post the job in May.  

“We require all executive-leadership-level positions to be posted,” he said. “The job will be posted competitively for a national search. … We look for, obviously, experience. We look for leadership and the ability to drive culture lined with the community’s values.”

Advertisement