Contract ratifies appointment of new Naugatuck fire marshal

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month approved a contract for Edwin Dalton that officially makes him the borough’s new fire marshal.

“I’m excited to lead the marshal’s office for the future,” said Dalton, who added the borough’s firefighters are a good group of people.

Dalton, a 51-year-old Watertown resident, started in the fire marshal’s office in July 2018 as a fire inspector — a position that has since been changed to a second deputy fire marshal position. He worked as deputy fire marshal for four months before being hired as fire marshal.

Dalton is also a deputy fire marshal in Woodbury, a position he’s held for 14 years, and has been a volunteer firefighter in Watertown for 34 years.

Dalton replaces former Fire Marshal David Hardt, who retired from the Naugatuck Fire Department in October. The Board of Fire Commissioners appointed Dalton fire marshal in December. The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on Jan. 5 unanimously approved a two-year contract for Dalton that solidified his appointment.

“We’re pleased to have Ned to take the reins as our next fire marshal,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said.

Hess said Dalton and Deputy Fire Marshal James Gies, who served as acting fire marshal after Hardt retired, will be a great team in the fire marshal’s office.

Fire Chief Paul Russell said Dalton will be a great fit as fire marshal.

“He has great working knowledge in fire investigating and code enforcement,” Russell said. “I think he will be an asset to our department.”

Dalton’s contract covers from Jan. 11 through Jan. 10, 2023. His base salary is $87,500 the first year of the contract. His salary will be reviewed for the second year of the contract.

Under the contract, the borough offers Dalton a high deductible health plan for medical insurance with an annual deductible of $2,000 for an individual plan and $4,000 for a family plan. He is responsible for 100% of the deductible.

Dalton’s premium cost share for health care is 11% this year, 13% in 2022 and 15% in 2023, according to the contract.

Dalton is also eligible to participate in the borough’s defined contribution pension plan. Under the contract, the borough will also provide him with a vehicle to use for work as well as a $1,300 equipment and uniform allowance each year.

Dalton’s appointment as fire marshal, a non-union position, leaves one vacant deputy fire marshal position.

Russell said the department will post the opening for 30 days internally first for members of the firefighters’ union. If there isn’t an interested, qualified candidate within the department, he said, officials will open the job to outside candidates.