Deltana Volunteer Fire Department Stops Operations

Deltana Volunteer Department Unable To Pay Insurance Due To Financial "Mismanagement"  Fortunately, Delta Has Two Other Fire Depar...

Deltana Volunteer Department Unable To Pay Insurance Due To Financial "Mismanagement" 

Fortunately, Delta Has Two Other Fire Departments 
Sign in Rural Delta Junction (Photo, Journal Archives) 

The little community of Delta Junction, north of the Copper Valley on the Richardson, is in turmoil. The Deltana Volunteer Fire Department didn't pay insurance bills. 

Michael Paschall, Chief of the Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department was "relieved of duty" on January 8th, 2024. 

The local paper told the story. According to a January 18th story the Delta Wind entitled "Fire department suspends operations amid allegations of wrongdoing"... 

Upon a cursory review, [fire department] board members discovered that funds, as well as multiple other essential business matters, have been mismanaged for an unknown period of time. Upon this discovery, the board took immediate action to remove the board secretary from his position, an appointment of an interim fire chief was made, and a new secretary voted into the Board of Directors.
                                                                                                   Delta Wind 


The Delta Wind said that law enforcement has been contacted, and an investigation has been opened. 

The Delta Wind also said:

"One of the discoveries the board made was that the fire department’s worker’s compensation, vehicle, and building insurance has lapsed, so the board directed the department not to respond to calls. The department’s two fire stations – one on Clearwater Road and one on the Richardson Highway and Tanana Loop – are locked down, and no apparatus are to be moved." according to the paper.


Fortunately, the fire department which is now out of service has a mutual aid agreement with the Fort Greely Fire Department. There's also another City of Delta volunteer fire department that the sidelined volunteers can work with, according to the Delta Wind. 

Delta Junction is a rural town which has huge surrounding farms. It is also home to Fort Greely army base. 


Michael Paschall, the former fire chief (and former board secretary of the Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department)  declined to be interviewed, and "sources say he's left the state," said Alaska Public Media, which also wrote a story. 

Awkwardly, Michael Paschall has run the Delta Wind newspaper for many years. A search of his name on the web version of the Delta Wind shows 613 results for his byline in the newspaper archive. 

(The January 18th story in the Delta newspaper about Paschall's ouster from the fire department was written by someone else at the Delta Wind named Denise Wilhelm. Although the newspaper wrote of the fire department issue, it has not addressed Paschall's role as the major journalist for the Delta Wind.)

Michael Paschall had another newspaper, too.

Paschall's company, TriDelta, Inc  published a weekly newspaper in the Kenai Peninsula in Seward from January 2017 to November 27th, 2023, too. It was called the "Seward Journal." The Seward Journal announced its demise only a few weeks ago. 

Although no overt claims are apparently being made against Paschall, and formal charges about the fire department allegations have not apparently been made, small-town Alaskan issues like this are increasingly common.

On January 3rd, 2024, Trista Jennings, who had been city clerk of the tiny town of Anderson, north of Denali and south of Nenana, was sentenced to 3 years for embezzling over $141,000 from the City of Anderson while working there. Anderson is near the Clear military base, and suffers from a poor economy. 

And, a federal grand jury in Anchorage indicted Jess George Adams, City Treasurer of the little city of Houston for embezzlement, wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion in April, 2023 – also this past year. The grand jury said the Treasurer took over a million dollars from the City of Houston and from an equipment company he worked for in Wasilla, from 2015 to 2022. Houston lies in a cluster of old glacial lakes north of Wasilla on the Parks Highway. 


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