HUDSON — Hudson Fire Chief Jamie Desautels may have been sworn in on Dec. 22, 2023, but serving in a fire department is a role he knows very well.
In fact, being a part of the fire and emergency services runs in the family. Both his father and uncle served as firefighters.
“I knew at a very young age my passion was for the fire services,” said Desautels.
His father was an on-call firefighter in Northborough, and his uncle was a district fire chief in Worcester. At an early age, he got to visit his uncle at the Worcester fire station.
With both of them serving these communities, he became interested in the fire services.
Of his father’s role as an on-call firefighter, he said, “I grew up around it so that was a big influence, and I knew at a very early age that’s what I wanted to do.”
Desautels began his career with the Town of Northborough Fire Department in 1989. For 32 years, he served Northborough and ultimately reached the rank of captain. He left in 2021 to accept the position of deputy chief in Devens – formerly Fort Devens.
Desautels, who began on Dec. 26, said the job is a rewarding one for two reasons: helping those in need and helping to develop the youngest members entering the fire service.
He compared a town’s fire department to a family because of “the camaraderie, teamwork and devotion to the job.” In fact, for him, that is the best part of his job.
“Leading a fire department is an amazing opportunity to share experiences and empower others to grow and become future leaders,” said Desautels.
Desautels has plans for his new role in the town of Hudson. He hoped that he could help to continue “grow and develop the department,” which has dedicated personnel to the town.
“I am very impressed by the members of this department. The Town of Hudson has a great group of highly dedicated firefighters,” he said.
With the fire services changing and adapting very rapidly, Desautels wants to help the Hudson Fire Department develop to meet the new and existing challenges facing it.
His goals are to aid the fire department to be the best it can be as “the demands and responsibilities put on our firefighters continue to expand and change,” he said.
There have been many highlights for Desautels so far, such as getting to know the town leaders and officers.
“It has been a pleasure to meet the department heads throughout town,” Desautels said. “The town is blessed to have such a great team that serves the town.”
That team includes the former Fire Chief Bryan Johannes, with whom Desautels had spent time.
“I was so honored to have spent time with Chief Johannes during the transition. Although we had only a week to work together, he was a great mentor and tried to bring me up to speed on the workings of the department and the town,” he said.
Johannes cared very much about the Hudson Fire Department and the Town of Hudson, he noted. And, the dedication and devotion to the department have “no doubt had a big impact on creating a very successful fire service organization,” Desautels said.
Desautels is thankful for the chance to be the fire chief in Hudson.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Thomas Gregory, executive assistant of Hudson and the members of the Select Board for giving me the opportunity to serve the Town of Hudson,” he said.