Helena fire chief retires

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Helena’s fire chief has retired and the city is in the process of hiring a new one.

Fire Chief Ken Wood retired after over two decades with the department, with Assistant Chief Jon Campbell stepping in as the interim chief starting Friday, according to City Manager Rachel Harlow-Schalk. Wood received a plaque in recognition of his service at the Sept. 20 meeting of the city commission.

“It’s been an absolute honor to serve the city of Helena, the public, the community I grew up in and raised my family in,” Wood said to the commission. “Not much of my life has really been planned. I’ve just done my best and pushed forward and looked for opportunities.”

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The city issued a proclamation making his last day as chief, Sept. 30, 2021, Fire Chief Ken Wood Day. Wood could not immediately be reached for this story.

Wood started at the Helena Fire Department in 2000 and worked his way up to lieutenant in 2010 and assistant chief in 2013, according to the city website. He was appointed interim fire chief in 2019, which became permanent later that year.

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