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Upton Begins Recruiting a New Fire Chief

During a May 1 meeting, Police Chief Michael Bradley and Assistant Fire Chief Michael Marchand provided an update to the Board of Selectmen concerning the latest information on the management of the Fire Department.

According to Town Manager Derek Brindisi, Fire Chief Aaron "Ron" Goodale's contract was bought out; Goodale had served as Upton's Fire Chief since 2010. Per Goodale's contract, the town owed the former Chief six month's severance.

Until a new Fire Chief is hired, Bradley will serve as the Acting Public Safety Director in charge of administration of the Fire/EMS Department and Marchand will serve as Acting Fire Chief overseeing operations of the Department.

Bradley explained to the Selectmen that on April 23, he met with members of the Department to "keep everyone updated on where we are and where we're going on the short term," he said. Topics discussed included retention of staff, scheduling, equipment needs, performance evaluations, and goals over the next year.

The town expects to hire a firm to help with recruitment efforts with the hopes a new chief will be hired in the next four to six months. The firm will initially hold interviews to determine the needs of the Department and the community. The Selectmen also plan to appoint a Screening Committee consisting of one member from the Fire/EMS Advisory Committee, the Finance Committee, the Board of Selectmen, the Personnel Board, two members of the community, and Executive Assistant Sandy Hakala.

The Screening Committee and recruitment firm will work together to review resumes and recommend a number of candidates to move forward. Those candidates will submit essay responses to questions to also be reviewed by the Committee and firm with the top candidates moving on.

The search firm will conduct the next round of interviews and will recommend the top finalists who will eventually be interviewed by the Town Manager, one Selectman, and one member of the Screening Committee and the search firm, who will recommend the top candidate.

According to Marchand, the Fire Department continues to run smoothly. "Things are working out well. We're addressing the issues we need to and

we're handling the calls." He continued

on saying Bradley, "Brings in discipline and has been a tremendous asset and

our members welcome him with great gratitude for helping us at this time." The Selectmen thanked Bradley and Marchand for stepping up. Residents interested in volunteering for the Screening Committee should fill out a volunteer application which can be found on the town's Web site.




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