Sunday, February 2, 2014

John Lockwood: Candidate For Westfield Fire Commission Member

Reader submitted. The Eye publishes letters to the editor without any implication of endorsement. We welcome all signed submissions. 
Hello fellow Westfield residents! As you can see from some previous posts, there are a number of people running for the 4 open positions on the Westfield Fire Board of Commissioners this coming Tuesday evening. I too am running for Commissioner and would like to share with you the ways that I am uniquely qualified to represent the best interests of residents of the District.

Born in Middletown and a life-long resident in the Westfield District, I followed in my father’s footsteps and became a volunteer firefighter in 1988. 2013 was my 25th year of continuous service to the District and Westfield Fire Department. In 2000 I started my career as an officer and in 2006 was appointed Chief – a position I held through 2013. During my tenure as an officer and as Chief, I provided command leadership at thousands of smaller-scale incidents as well as a number of large-scale structure fires, motor vehicle accidents and other emergencies. With mutual aid and interoperability critical to the success of all fire departments, I made it a key mission of my tenure to build and enhance relationships with our surrounding fire departments in East Berlin, Cromwell, Middlefield, Portland, Middletown and South Fire District as well as agencies within the City of Middletown including the Mayor’s office, Middletown Police Department, Public Works, and the Building and Water Departments. Building and managing to a budget, my leadership team drove the Department purchase of a new Engine, a new EMS vehicle, a new brush attack 6x6, upgraded gas meters, upgraded thermal imagers, and new turnout gear. In several instances, and with an eye toward fiscal responsibility, the Department leveraged FEMA Assistance to Firefighter grants for these high-dollar acquisitions as a way to lessen the burden on taxpayers in the District.

The experience detailed above was achieved through many hours of volunteer service to the District, which, in of itself is evidence of my extremely strong desire to ensure the best possible management of the District’s resources. By running for election at this time, it shows a conviction that this District is best served by a Board of Commissioners that is comprised of contemporary leaders who thoroughly understand the workings of the fire service, the relationships that we have to adjacent agencies and ultimately, the needs of the residents of the District and the public at large.

I encourage all legal voting residents of the Westfield Fire District to come to the Fire Department at 653 East Street at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday to exercise their right to elect the best possible leadership for their community.

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