New Fire Chief hopes to put out fires

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cartoon - 6.26.15Marlborough – After Fire Chief James Fortin resigned in December 2014, the fourth chief to do so since 2005, Geoffrey Herald took over as interim chief. On July 1, Herald will hand over the reins of the department to a new chief, Kevin J. Breen.

Breen brings a wealth of experience to the position, having served as a firefighter for nearly 30 years, including 9 years as a fire chief in Salem, N.H.

Part of Breen’s job will be addressing some significant concerns highlighted in a recent study done by a consultant contracted by the city. In that report, Municipal Resources, Inc. found that strife between management and union authorities had resulted in prior fire chiefs acting as “an island with absolutely no support staff or team” which significantly hampered their ability to lead and manage the department.

Other improvements the consultants recommended were adding a formal training program and a performance improvement system, correcting an inadequate fire prevention program and improving response times to the west part of the city.