EASTON — Chief Kevin Partridge announces that he will be retiring this fall after a 36-year career in fire service, 22 years of which he served as a fire chief.
Chief Partridge served as Easton’s fire chief and emergency management director for the past eight years. Prior to this role, he had an extensive career in fire service that spanned for over two decades. Throughout his career, Chief Partridge brought his vast knowledge and experience to multiple communities and a state agency within the Commonwealth.
“It is with a mixture of gratitude and sadness to share the news of Chief Kevin Partridge’s planned retirement from the Easton Fire Department. During his tenure, Kevin has brought about tremendous capital and operating improvements to help elevate the department to its fullest potential,” Town Administrator Connor Read said. “It is difficult to put into words every aspect of a fire chief’s work, especially Kevin’s, but during his time in Easton he has served as a critical member of Easton’s leadership team. I am personally indebted to him as a confidant and leader from whom I have had the great fortune to learn so much. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Chief Partridge started his career at the age of 18 as a volunteer firefighter for the Swansea Fire Department in 1984. He was named a full-time firefighter when he joined the Berkley Fire & Rescue Department in 1986.
Over the years, Chief Partridge climbed the ranks within Berkley Fire & Rescue, serving in multiple roles and eventually serving as the fire chief/emergency manager at the age of 27, seven years after joining the department. While at Berkley Fire & Rescue, he was a part of numerous initiatives in the department, including bringing Advanced Life Support ambulances to the department, as well as working as the chairman of the Berkley Public Safety Building Committee and leading the development of a new public safety building.
Following his tenure at Berkley Fire & Rescue, Chief Partridge served as the fire chief/ emergency manager at the Avon Fire Department from November 2003 to July 2006, and as the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Response for the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS) from July 2006 to January 2012.
As the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Response, Chief Partridge was responsible for the oversight of the divisions of Hazardous Materials Response, Fire Training, Fire Safety and Special Operations. He also worked with other state agencies on homeland security grants, worked with the Bomb Squad and Hazardous Materials teams and responded to major fire incidents to provide additional support to local fire departments.
After leaving the DFS, Chief Partridge became the Easton fire chief in 2012. During his time with the Easton Fire Department, he increased personnel numbers, created professional development opportunities, expanded Easton’s ambulance services and capabilities and oversaw capital improvements in safety, technology, fleet and buildings.
Additionally, Chief Partridge has also performed the vital role of Easton’s emergency management director during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank all of the members of the Easton Fire Department who I have worked with over the past eight and a half years. It was a privilege of mine to watch them grow professionally and I’m proud to have been their chief,” Chief Partridge said. “It was also a pleasure to work with Easton’s leadership team, especially Town Administrator Read, Police Chief Gary Sullivan, Deputy Chief Keith Boone, DPW Director David Field, Building Commissioner Kevin Greiner and Health and Community Service Director Kristin Kennedy. Each and every one of them has been awesome to work with, no matter what kind of emergency we faced. I’d also like to thank the other department heads who make the town run as smoothly as it does, as well as the Select Board. I can’t thank them enough for their true professionalism and friendship over the years.”
Throughout his many years of service, Chief Partridge has served on multiple boards and associations:
- He has been a member of the Southeast Homeland Security Council from 2012 to present and is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
- He is the founding member of the Bristol/Norfolk Critical Incident Stress Team.
- He serves on the Executive Board of the Southeastern MA EMS Council and the Board of Directors for the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts. He previously held the position of president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts (FCAM) from 2001 to 2003, taking over following 9/11. During his time as FCAM president, he was the youngest fire chief to serve in the position.
- He served as a Massachusetts Fire Academy instructor for 10 years and twice served as president of the Bristol County Fire Chiefs.
Throughout his career Chief Partridge has also been involved in the community as a member of the Lions Club from 1984 to 2012 and volunteering as a community baseball coach from 2000 to 2013. Once he retires, Chief Partridge plans to spend more time with his wife, Janet, and sons, John and Nicholas, as well as travel in the future.
“I owe many thanks to several members of the Berkley Board of Selectmen who had the fortitude to appoint a 27-year-old as their fire chief. Their confidence in me was the beginning of my wonderful career,” Chief Partridge said. “Lastly, I’d like to thank my lovely wife, Janet, and my sons, John and Nick, for their unwavering support. I love them very much and am extremely thankful for their understanding during my time as fire chief. There were many times when I couldn’t be somewhere with you due to my work obligations. The job wasn’t always easy, but coming to work every day and working with amazing people truly made my job worth it. It was a pleasure to serve this community and work with you all. I wish the Easton Fire Department and all those who I’ve had the opportunity to interact with throughout my tenure as chief the best.”
Chief Partridge will officially retire on Oct. 21 and will stay with the Town of Easton as the interim fire chief until a new chief is selected.