Kendra Baker photos
After successfully completing five months of fire code training, fire and arson investigation training and hazardous materials code school, Kevin Plank was officially sworn in as Wilton Fire Department’s new deputy fire marshal on Tuesday, July 5.

“Kevin’s a 40-year veteran of the fire service, who started his career in 1976 as a volunteer with the Independent Hose Company in Danbury,” Fire Chief Ronald Kanterman said during the Tuesday morning ceremony, attended by members of Plank’s family, fellow firefighters and community members.

After 29 years as a firefighter and lieutenant in Danbury, Kanterman said, Plank joined the Wilton Fire Department as a line firefighter in 2008.

Deputy Chief Mark Amatrudo said Plank “distinguished himself very early in his career” at the Wilton Fire Department.

“Coming in, the word was ‘How is this old guy going to survive fire training?’,” said Amatrudo. “Well, the old guy became the platoon leader and interestingly enough, the young guys had trouble keeping up with him.”

Three years after joining the Wilton Fire Department, Plank re-entered the Connecticut Fire Academy as a recruit, said Kanterman, “and he kicked butt.”

Amatrudo said Plank expressed an interest in the marshal’s office “very early on” and was “a natural candidate.”

Plank was sworn in as deputy fire marshal trainee in February.

Plank holds a number of firefighter certifications, including — but not limited to — Fire Fighter I, II and III, Fire Officer I and II, Fire Instructor I, Safety Officer, HazMat Technician, and EMT.

Kanterman said Plank is also a decorated firefighter.

“He held honors from the City of Danbury as the Firefighter of the Year, Award for Bravery, Honorable Service Award, EMS Award and three Unit Citations,” said Kanterman.

“Also while in Danbury, he performed some fire prevention and public fire safety education work and also 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.”

In addition to being “a master carpenter and auto mechanic,” who can “basically fix anything that moves,” said Kanterman, Plank is also a husband, father and grandfather. One of his daughters is a 17-year veteran of the Danbury Fire Department.

“Kevin is the kind of guy who goes quietly about doing his job, and does an excellent job,” said Amatrudo. “On behalf of the Wilton Fire Department, congratulations.”