Smithers Fire Rescue’s Fire Chief Keith Stecko is retiring from his longtime leadership role.
Chief Stecko originally joined the Town of Smithers as the airport manager and deputy fire chief in 2000.
He became fire chief in 2004. His last day with the Town will be Nov. 30, 2021.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community in my capacity. I deeply appreciate working for The Town of Smithers and being a part of an outstanding team of people within Smithers Fire Rescue, whom I am very proud to have served with,” said Stecko.
“I would also like to congratulate Deputy Chief Zacharias on his appointment as Fire Chief. He is a proven leader and I wish him all the success in the future.”
“On behalf of all of us at the town offices, we wish Chief Stecko all the best in his retirement and sincerely thank him for his years of service in the protection of our community,” said Dianna Plouffe, chief administrative officer.
In regards to filling the position, Plouffe went on to say “the Town is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly Zacharias to the role of fire chief as of December 1, 2021.”
Zacharias began his career with the Town of Smithers, as Stecko had, as airport manager and deputy fire chief in 2004, and became the full-time deputy fire chief in 2010.
“I would like to thank Chief Stecko for his many years of service to Smithers Fire Rescue and The Town of Smithers. The department would not be what it is today without his forward-thinking, leadership, and mentorship. I want to congratulate him on his retirement and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” Zacharias commented.
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to be the next Fire Chief for the Town of Smithers and look forward to continuing working with the amazingly dedicated group of firefighters at Smithers Fire Rescue.”
“On behalf of the town council and the citizens of Smithers, I offer a big thank you to Chief Stecko for his many years of dedication to our community and to the volunteers of the Smithers Fire Department and extend best wishes to him and his family,” said Mayor Gladys Atrill, “and we are delighted to welcome Kelly Zacharias as the incoming Chief and very much look forward to working with him.”