Danvers' Town Manager announced the appointment of Kevin Farrell as a permanent replacement for retired fire Chief James Tutko yesterday.
A Danvers resident, Farrell, 47, began his career with the Fire Department as a civilian dispatcher in 1985, he said in a telephone interview this morning. He joined the department as a firefighter in 1988.
"It actually was my goal when i got into the Fire Department," Farrell said. "I wanted to be chief one day."
Farrell, who has served as the department's acting chief since Tutko's retirement last March, received the promotion over three other officers in the department, said Town Manager Wayne Marquis.
"They were all great candidates," Marquis said in a telephone interview this morning. "We're very pleased with Kevin, he has a very strong record in the department... [and is] very focused with leading the fire department into the future."
Farrell mentioned coming up with ways to modernize the department as a goal.
"We have some policies and programs that have been here since I started in 1988, and it's time to update them," Farrell said. "We have new areas where the Fire Department has ventured into."
Farrell recently sent one of his lieutenants to a symposium on physical fitness designed for fire departments, in hopes the training could combat on the job injuries, he said. The lieutenant came back knowing how to incorporate firefighting equipment into exercise routines, creating an exercise program more relevant to firefighters.
"We now have members of the dept coming back at 4 in the afternoon to do a workout," Farrell said.
Last year, as acting chief, Farrell also negotiated to get a 24-hour shift option, which allows members of the department to combine several shifts into one. The shift, he said, cut down on overtime paid to the department in the current fiscal year.
Farrell holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science from Ana Maria College and an associates degree in fire science from North Shore Community College, according to an emailed statement from Marquis. He has been a certified Hazardous Materials Technician since 1990, the statement said.