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Beland named Gilford's new fire chief



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Soon-to-be chief John Beland has helped organize the Lakes Region’s St. Baldrick’s fundraising event for years. File photo. (click for larger version)
March 31, 2010
Deputy Chief John Beland has been promoted to fire chief, stepping in as Chief James Hayes prepares to retire after 30 years of service.

Although Beland was no longer present at the meeting last Wednesday when the announcement was made, the selectmen stated they would like to send Hayes a letter of thanks, and send Beland a letter welcoming and congratulating him on his newly appointed position.

In the days following, the Gilford Board of Fire Engineers, who appointed Beland as chief, made an official announcement. With 29 years of experience under his belt, they said Beland is well qualified to take on these duties come May 1.

Beland said his hard work at Gilford Fire Rescue and his experience in safety training, emergency medical services, and technical rescue has paid off. He said he is looking forward to taking on his newly promoted position.

"This is something I have had my eyes on, and I have been working hard to prepare myself for it. I am happy and proud that the Board of Fire Engineers decided to pick me," said Beland.

Although Beland finds that procedures run just fine at GFR, he said he plans to bring his own perspective to the job.

"I have my own ideas and goals I want to accomplish," said Beland. "We have a well run fire department. The people here and their hard work and dedication make the job a pleasure. It makes it easier on the administration."

Beland said he wants to continue to "do everything in his power" to make sure his staff receives the education and tools they need to not only succeed in their professional life, but to meet their goals and ensure optimal safety on the job with the support of GFR administration.

Beland began his career with GFR in 1981 as a student intern while he attended New Hampshire Technical College in Laconia, studying for an associate's degree in the Fire Science program. He has also completed various National Fire Academy programs.

Beland is certified as a Fire Officer II, Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire Instructor III, and as an Emergency Medical Technician. Beland is an instructor for the New Hampshire Fire Academy and has received several awards for fire instruction.

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