NORTH KINGSTOWN – North Kingstown has a new Fire Department Chief. His name? Chief Fenwick Gardiner.
Gardiner, 52, became the department's 11th chief after his swearing-in ceremony Monday at the North Kingstown Town Council meeting. He replaces former Chief Patrick Campion who retired in December.
“We’re pleased and honored to accept this position tonight that Fenwick will be staying on with us and not retiring to somewhere sunny,” Council President Liz Dolan said. “We’re grateful that’s he’s willing to take the lead of this fine fire department.”
Gardiner’s wife Coreen and his mother, Arlene, pinned Fenwick with his the same badge his father Fenwick G. Gardiner Sr. wore when he was chief of the department from 1984 to 1987. Gardiner's two children, daughter Mykahla and son Fenwick, were also on hand.
Gardiner, who has been in the department since March 2, 1976, grew up in North Kingstown on Wamponoag Circle, the same location where six of the department's previous chiefs–current Fire Marshal Gordon Walsh's grandfather, Roger W Rodman, Francis Walsh (Gordon’s father), Roger Walsh (Gordon’s brother), former chief David Murray and Gardiner himself–have lived.
"The Circle" is also home to two other firefighters: Fire Marshal Walsh and Fenwick’s younger brother, Craig, who is a Lieutenant on Engine 2 and has been on the force for 20 years.
“In speaking with Gordon Monday night, he told me that his brother Roger Walsh calculated that collectively the ‘boys from the circle’ make up over 300 years of membership in the North Kingstown Fire Department,” Coreen said.
“I appreciate the support of my family," Gardiner said. "This is a job I’ve always loved and I enjoy coming to work each and everyday. It was a proud moment for me, to see the great turnout of my fellow North Kingstown firefighters Monday night.”