Updated at 6:05 p.m. March 15

Tiller Tabbed Acting Fire Chief

WESTFIELD, NJ – He started as a volunteer with the Westfield Fire Department in 1988, joined the paid fire service two years after and later rose to the rank of chief.

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After 26 years with the paid fire service, Chief David Kelly is retiring. Friday was his last day with the department, Kelly said.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve the town of Westfield,” Kelly said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have a dedicated group of firefighters, who have served under my command. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Kelly had served as a deputy chief starting in 2005 and was made the department's chief in 2015. He filled the spot left vacant by former Chief Dan Kelly, his brother, who died of cancer at the age of 54 in 2015.

Kelly said he will be relocating to Vermont at the end of the academic year after his daughter graduates Westfield High School and his son completes the eighth grade.

“I’m going to miss my friends in Westfield, but my wife and I have decided its time to try something different,” Kelly said.


On Friday afternoon, Mayor Shelley Brindle swore Deputy Chief Anthony Tiller into the role of acting chief, the town announced.

Tiller joined the Fire Department in 1997, following four years of service with the Westfield Department of Public Works, the announcement said.

“Chief Tiller has been an excellent second in command,” Kelly said. “I couldn’t ask for a better assistant.”

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

Watch David Kelly's speech as he is made chief in 2015: