Fire chief steps down for 'personal reasons'

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WILMINGTON — Ken March's last day as fire chief will be June 2.

March said he submitted his letter of resignation on Monday for "personal reasons."

"It was kind of confusing," Select Board Chairman Tom Fitzgerald said at a meeting Wednesday. "It was [a surprise] to me."

March "figured it was time to move on so he could do his own thing," Fitzgerald said. "He doesn't appear to have any other employment at this point."

Asked about his plans for the future in an interview the day after the meeting where his resignation was announced, March said, "Nothing I'm willing to share at this moment."

March had led the fire department through the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, having seen floodwaters destroy approximately $200,000 worth of gear in the firehouse in August 2011. He was involved in developing the fire agreement between the town and the Hermitage Club as the company plans to build a hotel and residences near its private ski resort at Haystack Mountain. He also has been active in encouraging more residents to participate in the department while recognizing that some members are aging, volunteerism is on the decline all around the United States and development continues in the Deerfield Valley.

March, a Wilmington resident, said he probably will not remain on the department. He said his decision to resign has nothing to do with the resignation of Scott Murphy, former town manager who's last day on the job was March 30.

March has served as fire chief since January 2009. Previously, he had been fire department captain and public works director in Boxborough, Mass.

Scott Moore was appointed assistant chief in Wilmington after Richard Covey recently suffered a stroke. A crowdfunding effort is underway to help Covey with some of his medical expenses. The webpage — gofundme.com/richard-covey-medical-expenses — was created about one month ago.

The next fire chief, which is a full-time position in Wilmington, will eventually be appointed by the Select Board.

"I don't believe that they are going to do it that quickly," Gretchen Havreluk, interim town manager, said in an interview Thursday. "We haven't really met with the officers or the assistant chief yet."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.

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