Wilton fire taps former Danbury chief as interim

The Wilton Fire Commission has named former Danbury Fire Chief Geoffrey R. Herald as interim fire chief. He will replace former Chief Ron Kanterman, whose last day on the job was Friday, June 28. The commission unanimously approved hiring Herald to serve for three months, beginning Monday, July 1.

The commission met in a special session on June 28, with chairman Casey Healy in town hall and commissioners Ross Tartell and Chris Weldon attending by phone.

In response to concerns of firefighters who attended the meeting, Healy said Herald was not being hired to make changes, but to offer “leadership, continuity, and stability.”

Healy told The Bulletin the personnel search committee, consisting of the commission members and Sarah Taffel, head of human resources, hopes to name a permanent chief by the end of Herald’s interim term, but a press release issued by the commission said “extensions of the appointment may be made by mutual agreement” between the fire commission and Herald.

The committee is also searching for a deputy chief.

“Geoff’s extensive firefighting experience in a Fairfield County city combined with his many years of career fire service in a leadership capacity make him a natural fit for the position of interim chief for the Wilton Fire Department,” Healy said in the press release.

According to the commission, Herald began his career as a member of the Danbury Fire Department in 1979 after having been a volunteer firefighter for five years. During his tenure in Danbury, he rose through the ranks, starting as a firefighter and achieving promotions to lieutenant, captain, assistant fire chief, and ultimately to fire chief. He led the department for seven years before retiring.

After leaving Danbury, he served as interim fire chief for the Marlborough Fire Department in Marlborough, Mass. for seven months in 2015.