Hudson appoints fire chief

HUDSON – Acting Fire Chief Shawn Murray is now heading up the department permanently.

Murray, who was assistant chief, was appointed by the Board of Selectmen in a nonpublic meeting last Wednesday. His appointment is now in effect, selectmen said at their meeting Tuesday.

Murray, 42, was a captain and EMS coordinator in Goffstown before becoming the assistant fire chief in May 2001.

He will earn $75,500 as chief.

He has an associate’s degree and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics.

The town worked with New Hampshire Municipal Association in its search for a replacement for Fire Chief Frank Carpentino. About 12 people applied for the position and the selectmen interviewed four.

The vote to appoint Murray to the position was 4-1 with Selectman Shawn Jasper voting against it.

“On the balance, I think he will be the best person for the job in today’s environment,” Selectman Ken Massey said outside the meeting Tuesday.

It was an interesting decision, Massey said, noting that there were several well-qualified individuals.

Weighing all the pluses, Massey said, Murray came out higher than the other candidates.

“It was not a unanimous decision,” Jasper said. “I voted no . . . I did so for several reasons.”

He’s concerned about the call firefighter force, whose active membership has dropped, Jasper said. Two of the candidates had innovative ideas about the call force and how to energize it, he said.

“I think he’s a qualified chief and will do a good job,” Jasper said.