Fairfield Fire Chief Will Step Down In 2015 After 55 Years With Department

  • Comments (1)
After 55 years of service in the Fairfield Fire Department, Fire Chief Richard Felner asked that the Fire Commission not renew his contract and plans to retire in July 2015.
After 55 years of service in the Fairfield Fire Department, Fire Chief Richard Felner asked that the Fire Commission not renew his contract and plans to retire in July 2015. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

FAIRFIELD, Conn.  – After 55 years with the Fairfield Fire Department, Chief Richard Felner has set his last day on the job.  

At Thursday night’s Fire Commission meeting, Felner asked that his contract not be renewed when it ends in July 2015.

“I would do it over in a heartbeat,” Felner said after the meeting of his long career. He said he enjoyed every moment of the last 55 years as a member of the town's fire department.

There were many reasons why he decided to make the announcement at Thursday’s meeting, Felner said, but he declined to talk about them.

In a letter to the commission, he said it was time for a change in the leadership of the Fire Department. With First Selectman Michael Tetreau, he presented a timeline for the commission to hire a new deputy chief, because Deputy Chief Art Reid’s contract ends this December.

Under the timeline, the fire department will look for and hire a candidate by January 2015, giving the new deputy chief six months before Felner’s contract ends.

Although he hopes that the town hires from within the department, Felner said he wants the best candidate to take the position.

“I have had a long, fulfilling career as a member of this department, serving in every capacity from the bottom to the top,” he said in his letter. “It is time for the department to move forward.”

Handing in the letter to the commission was difficult he said, but he said he had support from his wife, son and other members of the community there.

  • 1
    Comments

Comments (1)

Dick Felner will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget that in July, 1975, while my house was fully engulfed in flames, Dick risked his life by going into the inferno looking for me. (I was at a Lions Club officers meeting at the time.) I have been told that the temperature was probably 3,000 degrees in there. WHAT A MAN!!
Tom Collimore
(former Fairfield Selectman)
Valley Center, California