Ridgefield’s firefighters of the year for 2017 are career Firefighter Steven Kindschi and Lieutenant Ron Napoli of the Volunteer Fire Department.

“It’s not often that we have an opportunity to recognize people who go above and beyond the call of duty,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “And in this case both  these gentlemen have, and we thank them for their services to the community.”

The two firefighters were presented to the Board of Selectmen Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Fire Chief Jerry Myers also announced the honors in an email to both career and volunteer departments.

“Firefighter Kindschi has been employed by the Ridgefield Fire Department for the last four years. During that time he has established himself as a hard-working, conscientious firefighter,” Chief Myers wrote. “Technically proficient, he already demonstrates leadership qualities. He is self-motivated and regularly takes on projects to improve the department.

“Firefighter Kindschi regularly contributes to the training of new firefighters,” the chief said. “Operating as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician he provides medical care as an overall member of our caregiving team.”

Firefighter Kindschi recently took charge of monitoring the department’s Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) program, coordinating service of the SCBA units firefighters wear into smoky environments, and maintaining the inventory of spare cylinders and their maintenance and replacement schedules.

“This has resulted in significant savings for the department as well as decreased down time for SCBA's,” Chief Myers said.  

Lt. Napoli is the volunteer firefighter of the year for 2017.

“[He] has shown a commitment to both the Ridgefield Fire Department and the community over the past year,” Chief Myers wrote. “He has taken on a leadership role as a lieutenant, mentoring others in the department and training newer members. He has put in the extra time needed to train new members, develop training plans and ensure that our firefighters are properly equipped to do their jobs.”

Lt. Napoli has worked as an instructor training firefighters from other towns throughout Fairfield County. He has also helped with community events such as Safety Day and Touch-a-Truck events throughout the year.

Lt. Napoli has also headed up the volunteers’ fund-raiser for the past few years.

“When given a task or assignment Ron works to accomplish the goal in a timely manner and has helped to create a positive experience for the membership,” Chief Myers said.

More recognitions

Both firefighters will be honored locally by the Exchange Club on Oct. 11, from  4 to 6 at the Leir Retreat Center on Branchville Road.

And on Oct. 19, they will be honored at the Statewide Exchange Club recognition dinner at the Aqua-Turf Club in Southington.

“I’d like to thank the Exchange Club for recognizing and honoring the two firefighters this year,” Marconi said.