A member of the Thorsby fire department has been appointed interim fire chief --  replacing Norm Osness whose dismissal sparked a walkout by the entire volunteer force.

Village chief administrative officer Jason Gariepy announced in a press release on Monday that Nicholas Maryka will take the job for six months.

After that period is up, Maryka’s performance will be reviewed by the Gariepy, Leduc County and members of the volunteer fire department.

After firefighters walked off the job, the village initially relied on a crew from Leduc County to provide fire services .

However, the daily $4,000 cost proved prohibitive, so the village decided instead to go with an contingency response plan where surrounding municipalities would be called on in the case of fire.

Despite the new announcement, the village says it will continue to rely on those neighbouring areas for fire protection.