The Topsfield Fire Department has spent the last six months going through a promotional process with the intent of filling the critical company officer positions of Captain and Lieutenant. The test and job descriptions were posted on August 12, 2019 with an application deadline on September 15, 2019. In order to have a completely objective and independent process, Chief Fred Mitchell of the Georgetown Fire Department graciously agreed to take the lead. It was important that this process was seamless and objective, while thoroughly evaluating the training, experience, and leadership qualities of each candidate. Chief Collins-Brown notes, “In the end it is the Chief’s responsibility to make the promotions, but we wanted them based on the group’s objective recommendation.”
Four applications were received, subsequently, one of the candidates withdrew their application. A written test was administered on Wednesday January 15th and was proctored by Administrative Assistant Susan Lemiesz. The tests were mailed by Sue to Industrial Organizational Solutions (IOS) in Illinois, who used a comprehensive process to produce an exam tailored to the Topsfield Fire Department and specific hazards likely to be encountered in the jurisdiction. This exam was then scored early the following week at IOS with the results sent to the chief and subsequently, the respective candidates. Interviews/Oral assessments were held on Wednesday the 5th of February by a panel of experts in the fire and human resource field. This panel included Chief Fred Mitchell, Mr. Al Wallace, and Attorney Scott Moore.
Late in the promotional process, one of the department’s current company officers, Lt. Wood shared that he is likely to have upcoming knee surgery and is unsure of his capabilities after that point. With that knowledge, the committee believed it in the best interest of the Department, that we build a succession plan. If and when Lt. Wood planned to retire, it would leave another hole in the leadership. The committee recognized the need for transition planning and mentor-ship that Lt. Wood could bring to the table with the new officer. It is my pleasure to carry out the recommendations of the group and announce following promotions.
Captain: Conor P. Brown
Lieutenant: John M. Boyle
Acting Lieutenant: Scott E. Winfrey
These positions will be in effect beginning on Tuesday February 25th at 0001. We will hold a pinning ceremony on the 24th at the Select Board Meeting.
“I am so proud of this department and the way the group handled this process. Each member was supportive of the other and encourage all along the way. I look forward to the continued growth of the department and the developing the management team with the support of the Select Board and Finance Committee to include more positions.” Says Chief Collins-Brown.
Chief Collins-Brown extends her sincere thanks to everyone that assisted in this process. Any questions regarding the process or promotions can be asked directly to Chief Collins-Brown by stopping in the station at 27 High Street during the day Monday-Friday, calling the station at 978-887-5148, or email: [email protected]