photo:  Gilman Industries

Wilton Fire Department is going through a transition this summer as it says goodbye to Chief Ron Kanterman this Sunday, June 30, and welcomes an interim fire chief, the former top firefighter of the Danbury Fire Department, Geoffrey Herald.

Fire Commission chairman Casey Healy announced Herald’s appointment as Wilton Fire Department Interim Fire Chief following the commission’s unanimous vote Friday afternoon to approve by the full Fire Commission. Herald’s three-month appointment begins July 1, with options to extend the appointment by mutual agreement of both the town and Herald.

Herald joins the department at a time when not only is the current chief leaving but also shortly after losing its deputy chief. Mark Amatrudo, who served as Deputy Chief and Wilton’s Emergency Management Officer, departed this past spring.

The Interim Chief appointment will be in effect while the Fire Commission completes its search for a new Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief, which is anticipated to conclude in fall 2019.

Wilton’s director of human resources Sarah Taffel issued a press release that described Herald as uniquely qualified to serve as Interim Chief.

“He began his career as a member of the Danbury Fire Department in February of 1979 after having been a volunteer firefighter for five years. During his tenure with the Danbury Fire Department, he rose through the ranks, starting as a firefighter and achieving promotions to Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Fire Chief, and ultimately to Fire Chief. He was Fire Chief for the last seven-plus years prior to his retirement from employment with the Danbury Fire Department. Subsequent to his service with the Danbury Fire Department, he served as Interim fire Chief for the Marlborough Fire Department in Marlborough, MA from January 2015 through July 2015.”

Healy described the responsibility of an interim fire chief as providing “…leadership, stability, and continuity of operations to the Fire Department in its time of transition to a new permanent Fire Chief.” He cited Herald’s “extensive firefighting experience in a Fairfield County city” and years of leadership during his fire service career as making Herald a natural fit to be Interim Chief in Wilton.

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