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Hopkinton chooses Mumford to fill fire chief post

Hopkinton selectmen have chosen Doug Mumford, one of the town’s full-time firefighters and paramedics, to fill the vacancy created last fall by the sudden death of longtime fire Chief Rick Schaefer.

The appointment, which was announced to the department Wednesday and will be made effective Monday, follows what selectmen Chairman Jim O’Brien described as an “emotional” last five months. Schaefer, who was widely known and admired by the community, died Sept. 2 from a heart attack.

“These transitions are always difficult, but they’re even more so when they’re forced upon you,” he said. “But we’re proud and honored to be able to hire from within the department. To hire someone who’s already worked in the community and knows it is a great thing to say.”

Mumford, 46, trained to become a firefighter in Hopkinton in 1997 and worked for their department for four years before moving to the Concord fleet in 2001 and serving there for the next seven years. In 2008 he decided to return to the town that gave him his start, and has been there ever since.

Following Schaefer’s death, selectmen appointed a committee to recruit applicants for the position, which has been temporarily filled by Deputy Chief Jeff Yale. O’Brien said the committee screened between 40 and 50 resumes, chose six or seven candidates to interview and then sent selectmen two finalists for consideration.

“The candidates we got were highly qualified and it was a difficult decision to make,” O’Brien said.

Mumford, who lives in Hopkinton, said in the coming years he intends to help the town move forward with its vision to build a new fire station, and he will continue to ensure the department meets new emergency rules and regulations.

But other than that, he said he plans on steering the town’s crew of six full-time firefighters and 33 volunteers in much the same fashion that his predecessors have for years.

“I’m just humbled and proud at the same time to carry on the traditions of the chiefs before me,” he said.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319.)

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