NORTON — Chief Shawn Simmons announces that Deputy Chief Benton Keene III will retire from the Norton Fire Department at the end of the month.
After nearly half a century with the Norton Fire Department, Deputy Chief Keene will retire from the Norton Fire Department on Sept. 10, 2022.
Those wishing to bid Deputy Chief Keene a farewell and a happy retirement are invited to attend his retirement open house celebration on Thursday, Aug. 25 between the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Norton Fire Department, 70 East Main St. Light food and refreshments will be served at the event.
Deputy Chief Keene began his career in fire services when he joined the Norton Fire Department in 1975. He rose to the rank of lieutenant in 1990 before becoming a captain in 2006. Most recently, he was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2019.
Deputy Chief Keene was one of the first certified EMTs in the department, having become certified in 1977. Throughout his career, he worked in Code Enforcement and Fire Prevention for most of the major companies and businesses throughout Norton. In this position, Deputy Chief Keene assisted businesses from the beginning blueprint stages to their opening with approving fire alarms and sprinkler systems.
Deputy Chief Keene is also credited with updating and authoring all of the department’s Standard Operating Guidelines and Policies and overseeing its transfer from paper to an electronic format. Additionally, he wrote and administered the SAFER Grant which funded the hiring of four new firefighters.
Over the years, Deputy Chief Keene also served as the Incident Commander during several major incidents within the town.
Upon his retirement, Deputy Chief Keene plans to spend time with his wife Michelle, whom he has been married to for 41 years, along with his 4 daughters and 15
“On behalf of the Norton Fire Department, we would like to thank Deputy Chief Keene for his dedicated service to the Norton community and wish him the very best in his retirement,” Chief Simmons said. “Throughout the past 47 years, he has been a staple within this department, serving as a leader and mentor to many. His expertise and experiences will be greatly missed.”