BERLIN - The Kensington Volunteer Fire Department will have a new chief in the new year.
Current Chief Mark Lewandowski will be stepping down Dec. 31 after over 20 years on the job.
“I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s time to move on,” said Lewandowski, who has been chief for 24 years.
He is also the fire captain for the Connecticut Airport Authority, which oversees Bradley International Airport and the five state-owned general aviation airports.
Lewandowski said the near completion of the Kensington 9/11 memorial is one reason that lead to his retiring.
The memorial features parts of wreckage from the former World Trade Center buildings that were hit by terrorists, a tribute to the Pentagon attack, lighting and updated landscaping.
“It’s about timing,” he said, adding that he will remain as a member of the department.
Replacing him will be current Assistant Chief Jeff Pajor, who has been with the department for 20 years.
“It was a logical progression,” said Pajor, who works with Consulting Engineering Services, of Middletown, by day. “It’s a love of the fire service.”
Pajor said his goals include maintenance of the department’s two-story, six-bay headquarters at 880 Farmington Ave. and securing up to date equipment.
“We’ll continue great things,” said Pajor. He said finding a replacement for him as assistant chief is still being worked out.
The Kensington Volunteer Fire Department was founded on Oct. 13, 1938 and is one of four volunteer fire departments serving the town of Berlin, along with the Berlin, East Berlin and South Kensington Volunteer Fire Departments. The town has no paid firefighters.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.