Two hires put fire department at full staffing
Two new firefighters — one an emergency medical technician (EMT) and one a paramedic — are joining the Ridgefield Fire Department.
Seth Kellogg is a firefighter/EMT and Ryan Underwood is a firefighter/medic.
“Both are very good candidates, very strong candidates,” said Fire Chief Jerry Myers. “...Ryan is currently a city of New Haven firefighter who’s transferring to us, and Seth is volunteering in the Harwinton Fire Department, and has been since he was 14 years old.
“They’ll serve us well.”
Both candidates have already been to the state fire academy.
“We hired them on a probationary period,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said, “pending a possible outcome of their physical, and background checks.”
Marconi said the two new firefighters were hired to fill opening left after Dave McDevitt retired and John Pomponio, who resigned to work as a firefighter in Stamford. Pomponio had started with the town in 2016.
The state fire academy costs about $10,000 per candidates, and it’s in firefighters’ contracts that if they go through training at town expense and leave before three years, they have to reimburse the town on a sliding scale, based on how long they worked, returning $9,000 if they worked less than a year, $6,000 if they worked between one and two years, and $3,000 if they worked between two and three years. If they work three or more years, there is no reimbursement called for.
They’ll start the first week of February, and work as part of the fire department’s day shift.
“When at full staffing the fire department has 37 members.
“These two will bring us to full staffing,” Myers said.