After a decade of service to the town, Fire Chief Paul Milositz has announced he will resign from his position effective July 12, 2013. He has served as the fire chief and emergency management director since Jan. 1, 2003.

First Selectman Bill Brennan released a statement Tuesday saying Chief Milositz and his family plan to move to another part of the country to pursue new opportunities outside of the fire service. His career in the fire service has spanned 37 years.

Chief Milositz has served as the town’s fire chief and emergency management director since Jan. 1, 2003.

“It has been an extreme honor and privilege to lead the fire department,” Chief Milositz said on Wednesday. “I am going to miss being chief of such a great fire department.”

“In his tenure with the town, he has capably guided the fire department, both in terms of its traditional firefighting role but also in its ever-growing emergency management function,” Mr. Brennan said of Chief Milositz. “His superb leadership skills helped the town navigate through many challenges, but, in particular, through the trials and tribulations presented by the various severe storms of the last several years.

“Chief Milositz’s knowledge, judgment, and sense of humor, all central to the successful execution of his professional responsibilities as fire chief, will be greatly missed. On a positive note, he leaves a highly professional, well-trained group of career firefighters the town residents can depend upon to provide excellent emergency services on a daily basis.”

Chief Milositz said the issues facing the department over the last 10 years “have run the gamut from retirement of personnel, hiring of personnel, new equipment. There have been plenty of changes and I hope they are all for the better. I think they are all for the better,” he said.

Of his departure, Chief Milositz said he will “be taking advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves in Florida outside the fire service.

“I think its going to be a good thing for my family and me,” he added.

Prior to joining the Wilton Fire Department, Chief Milositz had been fire chief in Cripple Creek, Colo. for five years. A native of Stratford, Conn., he joined the U.S. Air Force at 18 and served for 21 years, retiring as deputy chief of the Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department in 1995.

While in Colorado, he formed a wildland firefighting team that fought large woodland fires in the forest of Teller County.

According to town ordinance, the Wilton Fire Commission has the exclusive power to appoint the officers and members of the Wilton Fire Department.  The fire commission intends to meet shortly to begin planning recruitment of Chief Milositz’s replacement.

He said if the commission asks for his input, “I  will be glad to give them what my thoughts are.”