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.