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LFD to Hire New Assistant Chief to Focus on Training

Fire Chief John Wilson went before the Board of Selectmen last week to explain his plan to hire a new Assistant Fire Chief to aid in training.

 

Lexington Fire Chief John Wilson went before the Board of Selectmen last week to explain why he was using funds granted to his department in the 2012 budget to hire a new Assistant Fire Chief.

Wilson stated that out of an “organizational study from a private firm” to establish Lexington Fire Department's priorities came the recommendation to hire three new personnel to focus on new 21st Century fire fighting training.

Wilson explained he “knew it wasn't a reality” that more money would be granted to him to hire all three recommended assets, but declared that now was the time to bring in an Assistant Chief to focus primarily on cutting edge EMS and fire training to ensure his peers' safety, as well as that of the residents of Lexington.

Wilson didn't come to this decision lightly in a tight fiscal year, claiming he “questioned it [him]self,” but realized the need during this past year, and the study confirmed it.

Wilson explained that the new training was needed in order for his crews to learn more about fighting fires in modern homes with newer materials that tend to burn quicker and react differently. This and other “technical training issues” are the main reasons behind the hiring.

However, when and how to accomplish this training could be tricky, according to Wilson. “Because of our schedule and call volume, we don't get adequate training time,” the chief said.

Wilson later added that the new Assistant Fire Chief will be responsible for re-working scheduling for more training which “may involve bringing in fire fighters during off-duty hours.”

The Sept. 10 selectmen’s meeting wasn’t the first time we’ve heard Wilson talk about training and development since he was sworn in as chief this spring.

In fact, the hiring criteria that eventually elevated the 27-year veteran to the top of the LFD sought someone who would build a strong management team, establish a mentoring program and focus on developing a strong training program.  

In an interview with Patch earlier this year, Wilson vowed to iron out issues with the training program, which have caused problems in the past, and build up the management staff by giving members more responsibilities. 

“My replacement’s going to come from here,” said Wilson, a former fire captain tapped to lead the LFD after two searches, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"town-manager-s-tuesday-3b483838"} -->. “There won’t even be a question. … I want to leave [the

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