By Chris Diesch


VFD and EMS Service

Roger Komandt, our new volunteer fire chief, and Josh Seekin, our former fire chief, have been instrumental in reviving our town’s EMS service and increasing the number of firefighters in our town over the past year. We are now up to 24 firefighters (13 of whom are Interior Attack Certified) from the eight we had last June. The department is making great strides. We were certified by the state to perform EMS first responder services as of Jan. 1, 2020.. We have had several calls assisting Delta Ambulance, our transport agency. Palermo Fire Department has four personnel who just completed EMT school and five getting ready to start in August.

Roger is a paramedic (EMT-P) and has been the driving force behind reviving our town’s EMS service. It is a non-transport agency, which means the EMTs can provide emergency medical services while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Services include oxygen, Narcan, defibrillation, fracture splinting, CPR, and severe bleeding control. The department is licensed and trained to respond to all situations.

Several members of the department have spent a lot of their personal time (not being paid) to go to school for one to two nights a week for three months to become certified to help the community. Their dedication to service is why the Palermo Fire Department has been so successful with recruitment and reviving the service. These professionals should be thanked for their time and dedication.

Roger brings 33 years of firefighting experience to his role as chief and 22 years of service as a paramedic. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio, having moved his family here in March 2020. He has worked for several part-time and volunteer departments until landing a full-time firefighter/paramedic job with the Department of Defense as a federal firefighter. He moved to Maine to work for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs at Togus as a firefighter/paramedic.

His wife, Cherie Komandt, is also part of the PVFD as a paramedic. She has eight years of experience and wants to complete Basic Fire School in the near future. Roger’s stepson, Brandon Vining, is an Interior Attack Certified firefighter for PVFD and has just recently finished EMT school, waiting on National Registry testing.

Thanks go out to our past two fire chiefs for their service. Most recently (June 1, 2020, to Dec. 2, 20200, Josh Seekins led the department. He was responsible for increasing the number of volunteer firefighters supporting the town of Palermo and partnering with Roger to revive the EMS service. They both made sure firefighters were properly trained and supported in their roles. Josh has been in the fire service all his life, from age 18 in the Air National Guard to his present job providing fire protection for the National Guard based out of Bangor. Josh Webb served through June 1, 2020, and we thank him for his service as well.