Wilfuer has 32 years with department
By Scott Bellile
Mark Wilfuer was sworn in as the city of New London’s newest fire chief on Friday, Jan. 22.
Wilfuer, a 32-year veteran with New London Fire Department, most recently served as lieutenant and fire inspector. He succeeds Bart Roloff, who resigned on Sept. 10 for reasons he did not disclose publicly.
Three veteran members of New London Fire Department interviewed for the position on Jan. 14 at a special New London Police and Fire Commission meeting. Police and Fire Commission President Joel Kable wouldn’t disclose who the interviewees were but said it was a strong candidate pool.
“It was a very tough decision,” Kable said. “All three of them are very good candidates. All three of them could have had the chief’s job.
Kable said Wilfuer displayed a passion for the fire department and a strong knowledge in the field.
Dick Muskevitsch, who had served as interim fire chief during the candidate search, said he expects a “flawless” transition in leadership from him to Wilfuer. He commended Wilfuer’s past work as fire inspector.
“He does very detailed work in every inspection that he does,” Muskevitsch said. “He stands out highly.”
Wilfuer said he looks forward to the challenges that the new role will bring. Some issues he expects to tackle are recruiting firefighters amid a personnel shortage and obtaining more equipment.
“I want to see the fire department progress in a positive manner,” Wilfuer said. “Not that it hasn’t progressed, but just keep it going in the right direction.”
Muskevitsch had considered retiring in the near future after 42 years with New London Fire Department. He now plans to stay on board through the transition and possibly longer.
Wilfuer is a second-generation chief. His father Wayne served as chief from 1972 to 2008.