Kingsville names Quennell fire chief

Kingsville Fire Chief John Quennell, January 22, 2021. Photo provided by Town of Kingsville.

The town of Kingsville did not look far to find its new fire chief.

John Quennell, who was the deputy fire chief for Kingsville, was announced as the service’s new top firefighter by the town Friday afternoon. Quennell succeeds Chuck Parsons, who was let go earlier this week.

“The town of Kingsville is fortunate to secure John Quennell along with his emergency response expertise, team building skillset, and overall professionalism to lead as fire chief during these critical times,” said Mayor Nelson Santos in a media release. “The chief is well-respected and is a strong and capable leader.”

Quennell began his firefighting career in 1978 with the Windsor Fire Service, working his way up to assistant chief before retiring in 2010. The following year he joined the town of Lakeshore as the deputy chief before being brought over to Kingsville in 2019 to fill the same position.

The naming of Quennell as chief is the latest in a series of events affecting the Kingsville fire service. He is the third chief in the last four years, dating back to 2017 when Bob Kissner retired after facing a series of sex-related charges.

A change in leadership was recommended following a department review. Kingsville Chief Administrative Officer John Norton said Quennell has the emergency leadership skills needed to help guide the town’s COVID-19 response plan.

“We have recruited a highly competent chief officer who has years of experience in emergency operations,” said Norton. “The town of Kingsville has a highly regarded fire department and we are proud to move forward with Chief Quennell as its leader.”

Quennell’s first official day as chief is Monday.