Changes to Fire Department approved

HUDSON – The Board of Selectmen overwhelmingly approved re-organizing the upper echelon of the Fire Department on Tuesday.

Under the new arrangement, there will be a captain of training and safety and two deputy chiefs serving under Fire Chief Shawn Murray. There was a fire chief and a deputy chief and an assistant chief previously.

Murray proposed the changes at a workshop with the board last week. The changes were approved with minimal discussion Tuesday night.

Under the new arrangement, the captain of training and safety would oversee al the training for new firefighters and call and full-time firefighters.

Those duties fell to a captain, who had to juggle them with the responsibilities of overseeing a shift.

“It’s something we have been asking for and needed for a long time,” Deputy Fire Chief Gary Rodgers said. “It’s an extreme time consumer to make sure everyone’s trained consistently and to the same level.”

Under the new structure, Rodgers is the deputy fire chief of operations and Fire Marshal Charles Chalk is now the deputy fire chief of support services.

Chalk’s duties will include overseeing the fire prevention bureau and communications.

“I appreciate the support of the Board of Selectmen in the re-organization proposal,” Murray said.

“Fortunately we have a good group of professionals that allows us to place them in positions of responsibility that benefit the organization as whole.”

The captain’s position will be posted internally and advertised. Selectmen also promoted Chalk to the deputy chief position Tuesday.

“I just appreciate the opportunity to work with the community in my new role,” Chalk said.

The board also voted that all new fire department uniforms should not have the firefighter’s union logo on them. The firefighter’s shirts currently have the name of the local union on them.

Anne Lundregan can be reached at 594-6449 or