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Letter: Experience key for fire chief

To the editor:

On the ballot you will see three candidates for New Ipswich Fire Chief. This brings to mind a phrase from a well known commercial “ I have never... But I stayed in a Holiday Inn last night!” You laugh but are you aware that there is only one requirement to run for Fire Chief? You must be breathing! You do not need any training. You do not need experience. You don’t even have to be a member of the fire department. Sorry, but in an emergency, I want someone who is more than “just breathing!” Don’t you?

To determine who should be Fire Chief, here are some questions to ask:

Is he already a member of the department? If not, why not?

Is he a New Hampshire certified firefighter? A New Hampshire certification means that he meets a national standard that is more stringent than many other states.

Does he have training in inspections and Life Safety codes?

Does he understand the relationship between the fire department, ambulance and police so that we minimize the duplication of resources and save tax dollars? Certification of personnel is costly and time consuming. Three strong agencies working together is an efficient and cost effective way to address emergency response.

Does he understand the time commitment? The job is more than responding to calls. Budgets, meetings, paperwork, inspections, personnel and equipment must all be handled.

Does he have experience as a chief officer? On a scene, decisions must be made quickly and decisively and are based on past experience. Are you willing to let your life or property be used for “On the job training?”

The decision for Fire Chief is yours. Please vote for the most qualified candidate. We cannot afford to put the safety of this community in inexperienced hands.

Meredith D Lund

New Ipswich Fire
Department, Deputy Chief

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