Edmonton fire chief Joe Zatylny resigns effective May 10

Edmonton's fire chief Joe Zatylny speaks to the media Friday, June 26, 2020. Global News

After nearly four years as Edmonton’s fire chief, Joe Zatylny has resigned.

The City of Edmonton confirmed his departure, effective May 10, in a statement on Wednesday.

“I have been honoured to serve in the role, and am proud of what this fire service has accomplished for Edmontonians,” Zatylny said in a statement. “I want to thank the 1,300 members of the fire service for their commitment to each other and their service to the community.”

Zatylny took on the role at the helm of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services in June 2020.

Before that, he was a deputy chief with the Calgary Fire Department.

Zatylny replaced former chief Ken Block, who announced his resignation in December 2019 after 10 years as Edmonton’s fire chief.

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In his statement, Zatylny commended members of the fire department for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid epidemic and derelict properties.

“Increased awareness of firefighting careers, changed recruitment practices and regional collaborations have helped make the service more reflective of our community.”

David Lazenby will step into the role as acting fire chief, and a national recruitment process to find a replacement will begin, the city said. Lazenby is currently the deputy fire chief of community safety and risk.

The city said resources continue to be in place to support both wildfire and emergency response in the city.

“On behalf of the entire executive leadership team, we express our appreciation for chief Zatylny’s work to make our community safer and more welcoming,” said interim city manager Eddie Robar.

Zatylny did not release the reason behind his departure.

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