In February 1987, Southington Fire Inspector and Deputy Fire Marshal Hal Ballard officially joined the as a full-time paid firefighter. It was right then that Ballard knew he’d found the right job.
Ballard, an experienced inspector with the department, said he’s grateful for the new opportunity and added challenges that will come with the title of “captain inspector.”
“I don’t see it as a major change. It’s the same job, but now I have more responsibilities,” he said. “I expect to adjust quickly.”
For Ballard, a 33-year Southington resident who worked several years as a volunteer with before becoming a paid member of the department, work as a firefighter and particular as a fire inspector is something that he has enjoyed.
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Growing up in Cheshire, Ballard said his friend Richard “Paul” Berry would talk about working for the department and being a firefighter. He said hearing Berry’s stories piqued his interest and he never looked back.
Ballard joined Engine Co. 3 shortly after moving to Southington and soon after earned his license to serve the community as an EMT. He continued volunteering in town and got a job with Hunter’s Ambulance in Meriden, working nights and weekends.
But when a position opened up with the Southington Fire Department, one that would offer better hours for his family – he has been happily married for 33 years and has a 26-year-old son – he didn’t hesitate to apply. And as they say, the rest is history.
Ballard was quickly promoted to inspector and has been serving as the primary contact point for building and safety inspections, as well as assisting in determining cause and origin of fires throughout the community.
“He’s good at what he does. He does the job and he gets it done right,” said Fire Commissioner Dolores Longo. “He’s the right man for the job."
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