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Carrier named new fire chief


September 28, 2011
The Board of Fire Engineers named former Deputy Chief Steve Carrier to succeed John Beland as Gilford's fire chief at their meeting Thursday, Sept. 22, leaving the Deputy position vacant.

The decision officially takes effect Sunday, Oct. 2, with Beland's retirement. The board will begin looking for candidates to fill the deputy position in house, and hope to make a decision by Jan. 1, 2012.

With impending budget reductions being pushed from the town administration, the board was required to eliminate two positions in order to promote a new deputy; their full-time executive secretary, Catherine Tokarz, and part-time fire inspector Dana Pendergast.

Town Administer Scott Dunn came to the meeting to discuss the position cuts during the non-public session.

According to Carrier, the cuts are to be introduced in 2012 as "cost-saving measures in the budget," and town-wide cuts are expected.

Carrier explained that the two fire department positions will be eliminated as of Dec. 31. He said that the town administration presented a few scenerios for staffing in the department, and the Fire Engeneers chose this one in the best intrest of the future of the dearment.

Carrier said he was happy to be stepping forward with the deparment after his promotion to Chief, but his announcment was a little subdued because it came following the personnel cuts.

"I am looking forward to leading the department," said Carrier. "It was my goal when I came back to Gilford. It happened a lot sooner than I expected."

Additionally, the board discussed two major projects underway for which they are seeking grants. They are looking to update the department's communication systems with a simulcast radio communication system and a computer automated dispatch system. Carrier figured they could only afford to move ahead with one project at-a-time depending on grant availability.

Carrier announced two major purchases he would like to see through in the remaining 2011 budget. The first purchase would be new tracks for the department's ARGO vehicle at about $2,000. According to Carrier, the old tracks have no tread left after battling forest fires.

The second purchase is an LED light-bar for the new service vehicle, which he estimated at $2,500; Beland reported some issues navigating traffic in the new vehicle when responding to emergencies.

Board members reported on their fire prevention programs, such as the upcomming Belknap Country Public Saftey Day and two of their senior-friendly programs.

Public Saftey Day is Saturday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Meadowbrook Musical Arts Center.

One of their senior preograms is the magnets program. Residnets are given refrigerator magnets on which they can write medical information, such as medication they take, incase they are unable to give an information in an emergacy situation. The second program they particapate in is the lakes-region smoke detector instilation and battery replcement on Saturday, Oct. 29. Lakes Rgion seniors may scedule a free visit by calling 934-2060, ext. 8329.

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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