SOUTHINGTON — Assistant Fire Chief James Paul Jr. became the town’s fire marshal after his unanimous appointment Wednesday night by the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Paul’s appointment fills the position that’s been vacant since the retirement of the former assistant chief and fire marshal a year ago. Deputy Fire Marshal John Solury had been filling the role.
Paul said he’s ready to take on the new job duties.
“I know the buildings in town. I’ve been here for 27 years,” Paul said. “I have a great team.”
Thomas Wisner served for decades as the town’s assistant fire chief and fire marshal. His retirement came amidst a number of other major personnel changes for the department.
When appointed assistant chief in October, Paul didn’t have the certification to become fire marshal. Earlier this month he completed the necessary months-long fire investigation training for the job. Paul will lead the deputy fire marshal and two fire inspectors. The new responsibilities won’t change Paul’s base pay.
Fire Chief Richard Butler said he was pleased that Paul was appointed. He said the two had similar visions for the department and complemented each other.
“I’m sure he’s going to do a great job,” Butler said. “He’s got a strong work ethic.”
Without a fire marshal, Butler said the fire investigation department had been understaffed. Paul’s appointment would help ease the workload on those in the Fire Marshal’s office.