Hartford’s Acting Assistant Fire Chief steps down

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Hartford’s Assistant Fire Chief is stepping down from his position.

Acting Assistant Fire Chief Terry Waller has asked to be returned to his regular duties as deputy chief.

“I want to be on the front lines and back on the street with the guys as a team,” said Waller.

Waller requested to be removed from the second-highest ranking position in the department. In a news release put out by chief Carlos War-tez…

“Terry Waller has served the Hartford Fire Department for many years,” said Chief Carlos Huertas in a press release. “He is entitled to make decisions regarding his own career. I respect his decision to resume his duties and thank him for his service as Interim Assistant Chief.

It’s important to point out that the Assistant Chief Waller was acting assistant chief at this point, and he can ask to go back down to the rank of deputy chief if he wants. Why did he make this request? The fire department says that is a privileged conversation, but sources close to the investigation say there was a dispute between the chief and Waller about his overtime.

“There was no argument over overtime, all of my overtime was above board and in accordance with my duties,” said Waller.

Recently, Mayor Pedro Segarra formed a task force of former fire chiefs and command staff to review the Hartford Fire Department from top to bottom, looking at everything from disciplinary problems with suspended firefighters to the death of Firefighter Kevin bell. He died in the line of duty during a blaze in October on Blues Hills Avenue. Firefighters say that during that fire, Acting Assistant Chief Waller was on scene for two hours, but never took command.

“I couldn’t take command because it was a union violation for a chief or assistant chief to assume command of fire operations,” said Waller. “It would violate the union contract and I would be grieved.”

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