By Jessica Mathews /

Some promotions and new hires are taking place within the Lyon Township Fire Department.

Various appointments were approved during the recently held virtual meeting of the Lyon Township Board. Fire Chief Ken Van Sparrentak reported the department recently lost four positions at the fire officer rank in paid-on-call, so they’re going through little bit of a restructuring. He said they conducted oral interviews for the new position of assistant chief with candidates first evaluated by two external fire chiefs while second interviews took place at the township hall with two board members. Based on the outcome of both interviews, Van Sparrentak said his recommendation was to promote Reggie Madeline as the new assistant chief.

Van Sparrentak said Madeline is a longtime resident and will be a tremendous asset from both administrative and response perspectives immediately. He noted Madeline will provide immediate resolution with emergency response and departmental organization, adding he’ll be a long-term asset to the department and community and he fully recommends his appointment. Madeline’s official full-time start date will be beginning on Tuesday, February 16th.

Van Sparrentak also announced the promotion of two paid-on-call firefighters that have a combined 20 years of experience with Lyon Township - Kelly Blades and Brian Salenik. He said their commitment was very evident in 2020 and their experience will be very helpful as the department just brought on five new paid-on-call firefighters. Van Sparrentak said they’re building their ranks back up again, noting each will be assigned paid-on-call firefighters to help guide them along in their new careers. He noted that for both to be paid-on-call for that long of a time means they’ve done something right and shows their commitment and both have earned their new positions.

Sergeant badges were pinned on both Blades and Salenik, who is also a sheriff’s deputy in the township. Board members offered congratulations to everyone, saying their hard work and service is very appreciated and they’re pleased to have people like them part of the department.