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Wallingford Fire Chief Peter J. Struble talks about the mayor's proposal to split the fire department into two divisions: the Fire Rescue Division and the Emergency Medical Service Transport Division Tuesday April 3, 2012. (Dave Zajac/Record-Journal)
Lt. Timothy Massey tolls the bell to remember those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, while Chief Peter Struble salutes during the Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony at Town Hall in Wallingford, Sept 11, 2013. | (Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal) Chief Peter J. Struble of the Wallingford Fire Department shows off some of the turkeys donated by Walmart to students at the Wallingford Community Daycare Thursday morning, Nov. 19, 2010. The the fire department delievers the turkeys to the daycare center and then they will distribute them to the families of the children at the daycare center. (Christopher Zajac/Record-Journal) Fire Chief Peter Struble, at left, speaks after Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., at right, announced that the longtime fire chief will be retiring after 14 years in the position, and 35 total years with the department | Andrew Ragali/Record-Journal Staff

Wallingford fire chief announces retirement

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WALLINGFORD— After 14 years as the town’s fire chief and 27 years of employment with the Wallingford Fire Department, Fire Chief Peter Struble is retiring to take a full-time teaching job at the University of New Haven.

The announcement came at a press conference held at Town Hall on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a great day in some sense and a difficult day in another sense,” Mayor William W. Dickinson said. The mayor was visibly emotional as he relayed the news to a group of fire department officers who gathered at Town Hall for the announcement.

Struble, 51, was also emotional as he spoke, explaining that his retirement would be effective Dec. 19. His last work day will be Dec. 12. He has accepted a faculty position at UNH within the Fire Science Department “to oversee and develop a new program in para-medicine.”

“I have been blessed to be Wallingford’s fire chief for the last 14 years,” he said. “The opportunity to work in public service for my hometown is truly one of life’s gifts. My love of the fire department is only surpassed by my love for my family. The men and women of the Wallingford Fire Department are the best in the country and I am certain I am leaving the department in capable hands.”

In total, Struble has worked as a career and volunteer firefighter for 35 years. Once Struble retires, Deputy Chief Rich Heidgerd will serve as acting-chief, Dickinson said. The department will go through a selection process to find the next fire chief.

“The example set by Chief Struble is going to dominate the landscape,” Dickinson said.

aragali@record-journal.com (203) 317-2224 Twitter: @Andyragz



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