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Kamloops's new fire chief brings decades of experience to the job

Ken Uzeloc has been hired as the new fire chief in Kamloops.
Ken Uzeloc has been hired as the new fire chief in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kamloops

A highly-accomplished firefighter with 30 years of experience in the field said he is honoured to be taking the lead at Kamloops Fire Rescue this summer.

Ken Uzeloc spent the past 15 years working as the deputy chief for the Calgary Fire Department, according to a City of Kamloops media release issued today, June 22, and brings with him a wealth of educational and professional certifications.

These include a Bachelor of Applied Business in Emergency Service with Distinction, Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership and Strategic Management Certificate, along with the completion of the Executive Fire Officer Program through the United States Fire Administration.

He completed the Executive Fire Officer Program through the United States Fire Administration.

"The City is fortunate to secure an experienced and accomplished professional to join our growing management team and to lead and mentor our firefighters,” community and protective services director Byron McCorkell said in the release. “Ken possesses a unique balance of a rich educational background, strong leadership, and proven dedication to the fire service, which will benefit the management team, firefighters, and the community as a whole."

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Uzeloc holds professional designations as an Executive Fire Officer, Executive Chief Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer.

"I am extremely honoured to be joining the dedicated team at Kamloops Fire Rescue and the City of Kamloops,” Uzeloc said in the release. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with Kamloops Fire Rescue and to build on the tremendous service they provide every day to the citizens of Kamloops and the community.”

Among his other distinctions, Chief Uzeloc is a published author on various fire service topics and has spoken at national and international fire conferences on his word, the city said.

Uzeloc began his career in the fire service industry as a volunteer firefighter for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in 1986 and became a professional firefighter for the City of Calgary fire department in 1990.

In 2000, he became the Hazardous Materials Officer for the Calgary Fire Department where he helped build the department’s capabilities to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives incidents and tourism events.

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He was promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief for Calgary Fire Department in 2007 and promoted again the following year to the Deputy Chief.

During his time in fire service leadership Uzeloc worked as the Interim Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management with 1,400 employees under his direction in Calgary.

Uzeloc’s official start date is Aug. 2.

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