Mark Kirko, the new chief of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. (Photo courtesy City of Homer)

Mark Kirko, the new chief of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. (Photo courtesy City of Homer)

City announces new fire chief

The City of Homer announced Tuesday that there’s a new fire chief in town, and his name is Mark Kirko.

Kirko is taking over as chief of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, which has been being run in an interim capacity by former chief Robert Purcell. Kirko replaces former chief Terry Kadel, who the city said was “no longer with” the department in December 2018. Kirko currently serves as the fire chief and CEO for North Whidbey Fire and Rescue in Oak Harbor, Washington. He supervises a crew of six on Whidbey Island, according to a press release from the city.

However, Kirko is no newcomer to Alaska.

“He brings 34 years of experience in fire service to the position, with (25) of those years in Alaska,” the press release states. “Kirko started his fire service working twenty years with the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department.”

After working his way up from a volunteer, he was chief and emergency management director for the Skagway Fire Department for five years.

“The position attracted 46 candidates, but after our lengthy hiring process that includes written responses to questions, two interviews, meetings with career staff, officers, and the volunteer membership, including instructing a section on an emergency service subject, Chief Kirko stood out as a great fit for our fire department and our community,” Purcell said in the release.

City Manager Katie Koester will be the supervisor for the new chief.

“It’s been a pleasure to get to know Chief Kirko during this recruitment process,” she said in the press release. “I’m excited to have him on board, and I’m grateful to Chief Purcell for his dedication and service to the Homer community during this transition time.”

In the release, Kirko said he was impressed with the HVFD facilities on a visit to Homer.

“The (fire department) and (city) staff were friendly, knowledgeable and very professional,” he said in the release. “It is obvious that the residents care deeply for and take great pride in their community. My wife, Jodi, and I cannot wait to get there and establish roots in the community.”

Kirko is scheduled to move to Homer this July.

More in News

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
7 new cases of COVID-19 on Kenai Peninsula

5 of the new cases are on the southern peninsula, and Nikiski has its first case

A member of the Gannet Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew uses a drip torch during a burnout operation at the Swan Lake Fire on June 18, 2019. (Photo courtesy Alaska Division of Forestry)
Burn ban lifted — except on the Kenai

Ban will stay in effect on the peninsula due to recreational traffic associated with fishing season.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy the CDC)
1 new COVID-19 case announced in Bethel area

One new case of COVID-19 was announced Wednesday, bringing the state’s total… Continue reading

The Alaska Grown logo.
Homer Farmers Market: Market opens — with changes

The first Homer Farmers Market is coming up this weekend. This is… Continue reading

COVID-19 impacting local fitness centers

In the small town of Homer, Alaska residents are finding ways to… Continue reading

Graduate Virginia Orth walks back to her car with her parents, April and David Orth, after receiving her diploma during the Connections Homeschool Class of 2020 graduation at Soldotna Elementary School in Soldotna, Alaska on May 21, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Making one last connection

Connections home-school students celebrate graduation together, at a distance

Kelly Cooper kicks off campaign in “Rally on the Bay”

Correction: This story has been corrected to note that Rep. Sarah Vance,… Continue reading

Homer Flex Phoenix award winners

Homer Flex School has announced the most recent winners of the Flex… Continue reading

Most Read