The Wilton Fire Department held a promotion ceremony on Tuesday, July 5 to name firefighter Kevin Plank as the department’s deputy fire marshal. After having completed five grueling months of fire code training, fire and arson investigation training and hazardous materials code school, he was officially appointed promoted from deputy fire marshal trainee to the rank of deputy fire marshal by the Wilton Fire Commission.
Town clerk Lori Kaback administered the oath of office, as Plank’s wife, Gale, pinned on his new shield. Remarks were made by Wilton’s fire chief Ronald Kanterman, Fire Commission chair Casey Healy, first selectman Lynne Vanderslice and WFD deputy chief Mark Amatrudo.
Plank is a 40 year veteran of the fire service, since starting his career in 1976 as a volunteer with the Independent Hose Company in Danbury. After 29 years of service as a career firefighter and lieutenant with the Danbury Fire Department, he came to Wilton in 2008 as a line firefighter.
Plank holds certifications as a FF I, FFI, FF III, Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II, Safety Officer, HazMat Technician, EMT, Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention and Fire Instructor I. He is also a decorated firefighter, and was awarded several honors by the City of Danbury, including Firefighter of the Year, Award for Bravery, Honorable Service Award, EMS Award and three Unit Citations. Also in Danbury, he performed fire prevention and public fire safety education work and consulted on a children’s fire safety book.
“Going to the Office of the Fire Marshal is surely not his first appearance in this arena,” said Kanterman, who playfully ribbed Plank in paying him a compliment in remarks to attendees at Tuesday’s ceremony, “At his tender age and with 32 years of service, he re-entered the Connecticut Fire Academy as a ‘recruit’ and showed the entire class of young guys how it’s done. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he could.”
Plank attended Naugatuck Community College and majored in fire science.
Kanterman also spoke of Plank’s time outside of work.
“Kevin also has many other talents. He a master carpenter, auto mechanic and can basically fix anything that moves. He’s also a husband, father and grandfather. He also a philanthropic person. He has ties to the Leukemia Society, MDA, the Special Olympics, MADD, the P.A.L., Danbury Hospital and the Danbury Playground Construction Crew.”
Firefighting is family business for Plank: his daughter, Kellie, is a 17-year veteran of the Danbury Fire Department, and his son-in-law, Ken, is a 10-year veteran there too.
Father Reggie Norman from Our Lady of Fatima opened and closed the ceremony.