Town Of Vermilion Welcomes New Fire Chief
New Fire Chief Anton Krys. Photo submitted
With over 200 calls last year, and the retirement of Fire Chief Bill Roth, Vermilion needed a Chief who was capable of handling a very busy Fire Department. Fortunately, 24-year veteran and Deputy Chief Anton Krys agreed to step into the role of Chief.
Curiosity began Krys’ volunteer firefighting career. One night three houses under construction near his home were on fire and while watching the fire department work, he was grabbed by a firefighter and asked if he could help fill the self-contained breathing apparatus bottles (SCBA). A spark in Krys was ignited that night, he recognized the need to help in himself and the need for members on the department, and volunteered the next day. He has been an integral part of the Vermilion Fire Crew ever since.
Firefighting and emergency calls have seen some changes over the last two decades, and Krys believes that the department needs to continue to adjust to how emergency services respond in the future.
“My goal is to keep the department moving forward,” says Krys, “we need to keep up with training, and equipment advances. The town is changing and we can’t stand still, we need to change with it.”
One of the ways the department has adapted is using some extra technology to respond to calls. Everyone in the department now uses a phone app called “I Am Responding”, this app allows Krys to see where his members are in relation to a call out, where hydrants are, and keeps a history of calls and fire permits in the area.
Like his predecessor, Krys knows it isn’t him that makes the department strong, it’s the people who work tirelessly as firefighters and those that support it.
“I am very fortunate that every one of my fighters stayed on, they are the reason I look good,” stated Krys.
This doesn’t just mean the firefighters, this includes the Town of Vermilion council and administrators, as well as the people of Vermilion. Krys is thankful for all the businesses in town who let their staff be volunteer firefighters at a moment’s notice. “Without the support of employers, we wouldn’t have a fire department,” states Krys.
Looking at the future of the department, Krys is hoping to also focus on some maintenance and upgrades that the fire hall will need in the near future, as well as planning for a new rescue unit that will need to be purchased in 2026. The planning for that needs to start now, as the unit has to suit and be equipped for the types of emergencies and situations seen in the County. He is also keen to have the insight of the younger generation of firefighters. Krys believes that the younger perspectives are needed to keep up with changes in emergency response techniques. With the continued growth of the community the department will need to grow, and Krys believes that at some point in the next few years, the role of Fire Chief will need to become a full time position. Meanwhile, Krys is going to support his firefighters, the community and the county in his new role as Chief, to the best of his ability. The Vermilion Fire department would like to thank Bill Roth for all his years of service and dedication to the department.