Page 14 - Southington Magazine Issue 46 Autumn 2021
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Southington Magazine — Autumn 2021
by Roger Dietz
Southington houses one of the most skilled and prestigious fire departments in Connecticut. The Southington Fire Department is a unique fire de- partment led by Chief James Paul, Jr., a resident of Southington, who’s been with the department since 1993.
Chief Paul assumed the new position in March, 2021 after holding many leadership roles includ- ing lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief/fire marshal, and interim fire chief. Chief Paul has quickly showcased his excellence in leadership while battling through the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles it brought. Chief Paul managed to lead an effective force focused on positive relationships, training, strategic planning, incident responses and community outreach.
With 34 full-time career and 50 volunteer fire- fighters, three volunteer fire police and two full-time office assistants, the department is a unique combi- nation fire service organization. Two of the four sta- tions are staffed on a 24/7 basis: Fire Headquarters at 310 North Main Street and Station 5 at 72 River
Street. Fire headquarters houses career members and Company 1’s volunteer members, Station 2 and 3 house volunteer members and Station 5 houses career members. Both career and volunteer mem- bers bring a lot of experience in handling complex fire and emergency services from large scale fires to chemical leaks to innovative emergency services like the trail marking systems.
Within just six months under Chief Paul’s lead- ership the department continues down a positive path. Chief Paul made it a priority to appoint Eric Heath his Assistant Chief and fire marshal, as well as other leadership roles in an effort to build a dy- namic team of experts to help him enhance the de- partment.
As the department continues to build for the future Chief Paul is looking forward to receiving the final report from Emergency Services Consulting In- ternational. The report will include a final Master Plan and a foundation to develop a Strategic Plan.
This will help build the department for the next three to five years; and is a road map of the depart- ment for the next 15 years. These plans were sourced out to Emergency Services Consulting International

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