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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Appointed Savoy Fire Chief Ordyna : "Wait And See"

By Jen Thomas
04:00AM / Thursday, June 21, 2007

Savoy - Town volunteer firefighters threatened to leave the fire department at Tuesday night’s Selectmen meeting following a Selectmen's decision earlier this month against reappointment of town fire chief Kevin Krutiak.

According to Selectman Scott Koczela, the decision to appoint Lawrence Ordyna came after several complaints about Krutiak’s job performance.

"Issues have been brought up in the past and the board felt it was best to appoint someone else," said Koczela.

Scheduled to assume fire chief duties on July 1, Ordyna would not acknowledge that he intends to accept the appointment.

"I guess we’ll just have to wait until July 1st," Ordyna said during a June 20 interview. He declined further comment.

Koczela said the board did not want to specify the complaints about Krutiak during meetings to preserve Krutiak’s integrity.

"We didn’t want to divulge the issues in public and we didn’t want to ruin Mr. Krutiak’s reputation," said Koczela. "It’s very difficult to defend our situation without seeming like we’re attacking Mr. Krutiak."

Though many local volunteer fire departments elect their own fire chiefs, Koczela said the Savoy town charter has a bylaw that gives the Selectmen the authority to select the fire chief. Ordyna was appointed to serve a one-year term.

Selectmen's Chairman John Tynan refused to comment on the issue.

At the Tuesday meeting, members of the fire department reportedly questioned the board’s decision to appoint Ordyna, who has only served in the department for about 2 months. He formerly served in the Adams Alert Hose Company for 12 years and as an Adams police department detective.

"The board felt as though [Ordyna] was a good choice. He did a lot of great work for us on securing the $50,000 grant for a new fire truck. That aggressiveness and assertiveness really worked for him," Koczela said.

Koczela said there was no conspiracy to have Krutiak replaced.

"There was no outside collaboration to have Ordyna replace him," said Koczela. Koczela said that Assistant Chief Peter "P.J." Miner recommended Ordyna for the job after turning it down himself.

Koczela said several firefighters have threatened to quit over the appointment. According to Koczela, the situation was worsened when a fire chief from a neighboring community extended an invitation to the dissenting firefighters to join that volunteer fire department.

"It really is a sad situation," said Koczela.

Krutiak was unable to be reached for comment. According to Koczela, Krutiak declined to remain as part of the fire department.

Town resident James Sadlow, Sr., a retired town firefighter, attended the Selectmen's meeting and said he was concerned about the way the town handled the appointment and the resulting aftermath.

His son, James Sadlow Jr., a current lieutenant in the volunteer department, expressed dissatisfaction with the board‘s decision but refused further comment for this story.

"[Selectmen] just weren’t willing to change; that’s no way to be," said James Sadlow Sr. "You can’t run a town like that. There are too many repercussions."

Koczela said he has confidence the situation will "be OK in the long run."

"We didn’t want to cause any dissention in the ranks, and if he still wants it, we have all the confidence in the world that Ordyna will do a great job in the position," Koczela said.

Jen Thomas may be reached via e-mail at jthomas@iberkshires.com or at 1-413-663-3384 ext. 29.
Your Comments
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POLITICS AT WORK AGAIN. fIRE FIGHTERS KNOW THEIR JOBS WELL AND A POLITICIAN REPLACES THEIR EXPERTISE WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT MUTUAL AID DEPARTMENTS TO CALL.gOOD LUCK TO ALL AND i HOPE THIS GETS RESOLVED BEFORE A MAJOR DISASTER.
from: CHIEF RICHARD GOZINYA NMSFDon: 07-04 00:00:00-2007

What is really sad is that a town cannot let a fire department run on its own.Who knows the service better or the "right" person for the job better than the brothers they work with.
from: Local Firefighteron: 06-26 00:00:00-2007


 
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