On Monday May 8, 2017 the Auburn Fire Rescue Department held a ceremony in Town Hall to promote two veteran fire officers. Asst. Chief Glenn Johnson and Lt. Justin Brigham were promoted to Deputy Chief and Captain. Deputy Chief Johnson has been with the department for 22 years and has served as a Lieutenant, Captain and Asst. Chief before starting his new role on Monday. Deputy Johnson fills a vacancy that has existed within the department since May of 2011 when Chief Stephen M. Coleman Jr. was promoted to Chief of Department.
The Deputy Chief of Operations oversees the day to day activities and operation of the emergency response of the department. In addition, Deputy Johnson will serve as the department’s EMS Coordinator overseeing the administrative oversight of the Ambulance operation including billing.
Chief Coleman is thrilled to have the Deputy Chief position back in the ranks of the department. “The vacancy of the Deputy Chief position left a huge void in our operation. The restoration of this position will ensure additional administrative support to the Chief and will strengthen the day to day consistency of the department by being the constant with four working groups who rotate on 24 hour shifts. Without administrative leadership in place to ensure the day to day consistency of the emergency operations, the potential exists for the 4 separate working groups to drift away from procedure, then the next thing you know you have 4 separate fire departments operating under one roof.” Coleman said.
The Chief went on to say that we are extremely lucky to have strong and talented Captains who serve as shift commanders to oversee their groups. However, he is relieved that they will not have the additional burden of managing all of the other daily activities within the department. “The role of a shift commander is to manage their shift to ensure the safety of their people and the public. They are responsible to make sure that emergency calls are being executed in a manner that is consistent with the high standards of our department. They can’t do that if they are also worrying about answering business phone calls, public that comes to the window, and making sure trucks are delivered to the DPW for preventative maintenance. That is not there job, and when they have to focus on those types of administrative functions something suffers.” Coleman said.
Chief Coleman credits the hard work of many to see this position restored within the department. The Town Manager, Asst. Town Manager and CFO, The Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee, all who unanimously supported bringing the Deputy Chief position back and have been trying to accomplish it for the past several years. “I am happy that all of the elected and appointed officials heard our concerns and recognized the need. I am very thankful that we had the full support of all of these folks who made it happen.”
Captain Justin Brigham will serve as the new Shift Commander of Group 3 filling the vacancy left by Deputy Johnson. Captain Brigham has been with the department for 10 years and has over 20 years of fire service experience. Captain Brigham serves on the District 7 Technical Rescue Team and will now serve as the Team Leader for the newly created Motorcycle Unit that will provide Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services to the Central Mass Law Enforcement Council. Captain Brigham will also continue to coordinate equipment repair issues and preventative maintenance along with Captain David Tefft.
On June 29, 2017 the department will be promoting two additional Lieutenants to fill vacancies created by a retirement and the promotion of Captain Brigham. Chief Coleman said, “I am so blessed to have such a strong, talented group of officers in my command staff. All of these promotions will only work to strengthen that”.