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Article Published July 8, 2019
Wayne Vetre, Retired Guilford Assistant Fire Chief, Dies at 57
Zoe Roos, Staff Writer

The holiday weekend came to a close with sad news: Retired Guilford assistant fire chief Wayne Vetre passed away on July 5 at the age of 57 following a battle with cancer.

The Guilford Fire Department (GFD) shared the news of his passing on Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of retired assistant chief Wayne Vetre. Chief Vetre retired from the GFD in 2016 and became the chief of Wells Maine FD. Wayne was a founding member of IAFF Local 4177 and was instrumental in making the GFD into what it has become today. Our deepest condolences to his entire family during this difficult time.”

Vetre started with GFD as a teenage junior volunteer in 1975 and retired as assistant chief with a combined 41 years of service. According to a 2016 profile of Vetre in the Courier, Vetre continued volunteering with GFD while going on to join East Haven Fire Department (EHFD) as a career firefighter/EMT. During his 10 years with EHFD, Vetre was hired for a part-time position with GFD, working in his hometown on days off from his full-time job with EHFD. Five years later, he retired from EHFD to take a full-time position with GFD.

Within his 16-year full-time career at GFD, Vetre rocketed up the career ladder, rising to his current position of second in command under Guilford Fire Chief Charles Herrschaft, Jr.

During his time in town, Vetre served Guilford as flood plain administrator and deputy fire marshal and on GFD’s Rapid Intervention Team at fire scenes. He was also instrumental in securing several grants for the department and in helping the town bring about the new Fire Department Headquarters at 320 Church Street, which opened in 2004.

He retired from his Guilford post in 2016, taking the chief position in Wells, Maine. Following services in Maine, a wake will be held Monday, July 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church Street, Guilford. His funeral will be on Tuesday, July 16 at 10 a.m. in St. George’s Church, 33 Whitfield Street, Guilford. More information on services can be found at www.guilfordfire.com.

Pam Johnson contributed to this article.