AFD Fills Command Spot

Fire Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. announced at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday that he has promoted Captain Glenn Johnson to the rank of Assistant Chief.

The department has been without a clearly defined second in command since Chief Coleman was promoted to Chief in May of 2011. Coleman previously held the rank of Deputy Chief before the position was not backfilled and eliminated from the budget.

“The Assistant Chief position was created to give the department that clearly defined second in command that we have been lacking for several years” Coleman said. “This gives me the opportunity to begin to train someone in some of the administrative functions or duties that would need to be done in my absence, such as the budget, BOS meetings, finance meetings, interactions with the Town Manager etc. Also, to assume command and control of large-scale incidents in my absence”.

The Deputy Chief was a non-union, confidential employee that was a salaried position and had complete authority over the day-to-day operations of the department Monday through Friday. Coleman says that is not what this new position is, and does not carry some of the same responsibilities of the previous Deputy Chief. As the Assistant Chief, Johnson will still be a member of the firefighters union, will still be working his normal assignment as a Shift Commander, and is not a confidential employee.

Assistant Chief Johnson has been with the department for 20 years and has done an outstanding job as a Captain, and Chief Coleman is confident he will perform equally well in his new role.

Chief Coleman advised the Selectmen as a point of information that the position is budget neutral, does not add to the overall compliment of the department and does not add to the overall compliment of supervisors within the department.

Assistant Chief Johnson, who began his new duties last week, informed the Board that he looks forward to working with them in the future on various projects.