Blackhawk Fire board fires chief, names new interim leader

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The Blackhawk Fire Department board fires it’s chief Wednesday during a meeting. Trustees say the decision comes after years of issues with former Chief Shane Schiro.

“I move to discharge Chief Schiro from all his department duties,” said Blackhawk Fire Department board of trustees president Lawrence Kite.

Department attorney Louis Bowman says many administrative responsibilities, like maintaining records, weren’t taken care of.

“I’m not saying he [did it] intentionally,” said Bowman. “But he wasn’t able to take the policy as determined by the board and implement it.”

“[There was] lack of training for the guys, safety issues,” said Kite. “The guys not being trained properly. No fault of their own.”

New Milford Deputy Chief Jonathan Trail was named interim chief. He says he has worked with Schiro in the past and just wants to work together with Blackhawk firefighters for his transition into the new role.

“We’re expected to be flawless when we arrive on a scene,” said Trail. “If we have a bad day, someone’s gonna get hurt. We can’t afford that.”

The board says now with a new chief in place, it wants to improve communication between itself, the administration and the entire volunteer staff.

“[Let’s] mend our reputation,” said Kite. “[Let’s] work together with [Trail] the best the board can and to put our department back to where it used to be.”

Trail says he’s ready to get started as head of the department.

“If I fall short, I expect the board to criticize me and let me know,” said Trail. “We’ll come to some sort of a reasonable expectation moving forward to ensure everyone is on the same page.”

Trail will continue his role in New Milford, he says he plans on being at the volunteer department on his days off.

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