WALLINGFORD — A new deputy fire marshal, fire lieutenant and three firefighters were sworn in this week.
Deputy Fire Marshal Shachar “Shock” Baitch and Lt. Joseph Davenport were promoted and have been acting in their new positions since last year, but delayed their swearing-in ceremony until three new firefighters were also ready to start. The ceremony was held Tuesday.
“It’s nice when you make a promotion and see that you made a good choice,” said Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd. “They are both performing extremely well in their new roles.”
Baitch said the aspect of firefighting he enjoys most is interacting with and educating residents.
“If we can educate the public and teach them to keep themselves safe, then we’ve all done our job,” he said.
As deputy fire marshal, Baitch conducts fire code inspections, checks building plans for fire safety compliance and investigates fires.
“He’s working out great and we’re glad to have him on board,” Fire Marshal Michael Gudelski said. “He’s been a huge asset to this department.”
Heidgerd said Davenport has already shown that he can motivate and inspire firefighters on Engine 2 by going beyond his normal responsibilities. On top of his firefighting work, he’s used his construction skills to build podiums and tables for the firehouses and contributed to plans for a department building project.
“He’s a great leader and an example,” Heidgerd said.