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New Westport Fire Chief Takes Command Friday

Assistant Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, a 24-year veteran of the department, will soon be known as "the chief." On Friday afternoon, Kingsbury, 47, will take over as the department's new fire chief, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced Tuesday.

"I am delighted to appoint Andy to head one of our nation's finest fire departments ," Joseloff said in a statement. "He has demonstrated the technical knowledge, leadership and people skills that will make him a worthy successor to a man who has led this department so well for the past six years."

Kingsbury will be sworn in Friday at 3 p.m. at the Westport Fire Department. He takes over for current Fire Chief Chris Ackley , who was appointed chief in April 2005. On June 1, 2010, Ackley officially retired after 32 years of service but was rehired to serve as chief on a contract basis. Deputy Chief Jonathan Gottfried, who also retired last summer and was subsequently rehired on a two-year contract basis, will continue in his position, Joseloff said.

Kingsbury, a graduate of Trumbull High School and Southern Connecticut State University, joined the department in 1986 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2003. He became the department's training officer as an assistant chief in 2007.

During his career, Kingsbury has been awarded two Captain Duffy citations for his lifesaving efforts and an Argenio Award for his service to the department. A father or three, Kingsbury and his wife Michele recently celebrated 20 years of marriage.

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