End of an era: La Crosse fire chief announces resignation

Fire Chief Ken Gilliam's last day will be April 15

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Wednesday night’s La Crosse Police and Fire Commission meeting marked the end of an era for the La Crosse Fire Department. Chief Ken Gilliam is resigning after serving as chief since 2017.

Gilliam was also named acting chief of the Holmen Fire Department as part of an agreement last summer between the La Crosse Fire Department to run the Holmen Area Fire Department. Gilliam was an advocate for collaboration between fire departments to help improve response times in neighboring communities.
Gilliam’s last day at the fire department will be April 15.

“With bittersweet emotion, I submitted my resignation … to pursue a new opportunity,” Gilliam said in a statement Thursday. “It has been an honor to serve the citizens of the City of La Crosse, the Town of Medary, the Town of Holland, the Town of Onalaska, and the Village of Holmen to whom I am sworn to protect.

“I appreciate the advances we have made with many regional and state partnerships during my time in La Crosse. I believe that our organization has made tremendous progress over the past five years despite many unforeseen challenges.

“I sincerely appreciate the community’s ongoing support, and I will miss you all,” Gilliam said. “Stay safe.”

The city of La Crosse will begin a search for a new chief and name an interim chief soon.

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