Kadel becomes permanent fire chief

Homer’s former Assistant Fire Chief Terry Kadel is stepping in to fill former Chief Bob Painter’s shoes for good — he was offered the head position at the Homer Volunteer Fire Department on March 20 after serving as interim chief.

Kadel came to Homer in September 2017 from the Girdwood Fire Department, where he spent 20 years. He started as a volunteer, spent time gaining certifications in emergency medical service and firefighting, and worked in New Mexico to gain experience before returning to Alaska. He was Girdwood’s deputy chief since 2001.

“I’m very excited, and I look forward to working more with my department and with the community,” Kadel said.

One of his goals as chief is to strengthen the fire department’s bond with the Homer community and to make it more visible, he said. Other than a few minor changes, Kadel said the department will remain much the same. A main priority will be to support its many volunteers in addition to the paid staff, he said.

“It’s really rich,” he said of Homer and its residents. “(It’s) a great community, very supportive of our department, and I really appreciate that. It makes my job much easier.”

The city has posted an opening for assistant fire chief at the department in order to fill Kadel’s former position.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.