Interim fire chief to become permanent

Ronald Kanterman, hired a year ago to fill the vacant position of chief of the Wilton Fire Department, will stay on permanently. Last week, the Wilton Fire Commission voted to extend Kanterman’s position for at least another three years.
“We did post the position and we received some applications and we interviewed the top candidates,” Fire Commission member Casey Healy said at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, June 1, “and the commission selected Ronald Kanterman as the best ... for the job.”
Last June, Kanterman entered a one-year agreement with the town as interim fire chief. His interim agreement expired May 31, and as a result, the fire commission filed a motion to extend his interim position so it has time to reach negotiated terms.
The commission had to appear before the selectmen to request an extension to Kanterman’s current employment agreement for two more months, which was granted.
Selectman James Saxe said Kanterman is “a great guy” and he would “love to see [him] here for another three years.”
“We really appreciate all your help in serving our town,” he told Kanterman.
Kanterman thanked the board for “having faith and confidence” in him to continue his work as head of the fire department.
“I spent my first Memorial Day in Wilton this year,” said Kanterman. “It was very special.”
Kanterman told the board how he spotted a family of four standing at the very end of the May 25 parade as they were “watching everyone come out of the parking lot and onto the street.”
“I asked them if they were late and they said, ‘Yeah, we couldn’t get the kids out,’ and I said, ‘I think you’d do well if you rode in the fire chief’s car,” said Kanterman.
“I took the family — dad sat in front with me, put a fire helmet on, waved to the crowd. It was one of the best Memorial Days I had, personally, in a long time.”
Kanterman said he then took the family back to the firehouse, where the two children, ages 2 and 4, spent about 30 minutes “climbing around the trucks.”
When the family asked him why he had done all this for them, Kanterman said he replied, “It’s your car. This is your firehouse. These are your fire trucks.”
“I wanted to share that story because I think that’s what our fire department is all about,” Kanterman told the board. “They’re all about being ingrained in the community. It was a memorable day for me.”