Interim fire chief John Chisholm appointed to permanent position

  • John Chisholm, who has served as Concord's interim fire chief for the last eight months, was appointed to the permanent position of chief on Wednesday. Public Information Officer Stefanie Breton—x-default

Monitor staff
Published: 11/16/2022 5:31:13 PM

John Chisholm was named the new chief of the Concord Fire Department Wednesday following eight months serving as interim chief.

Chisholm joined the Concord Fire Department in 2016 as a captain and EMS officer after spending 12 years with the Merrimack Fire Department. In Concord, he went on to serve as deputy chief until his appointment as interim fire chief earlier this year.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as fire chief of the Concord Fire Department and remain dedicated to our commitment to providing high-quality public safety services to the Concord community,” Chief Chisholm said in a statement. 

He replaced former chief Sean Brown, who stepped down to take a job on Cape Cod after more than a quarter of a century working for the department. 

As interim chief, Chisholm brought Manor Station back to full strength with the addition of a fourth city ambulance in October after a six-month absence. 

In March, around the time Chisholm was named interim chief, the Manor Station ambulance was sent to serve Central Station when call volumes increased – a move that drew complaints from residents in the northern part of the city. 

Because of the increased call volume, the department was not meeting their goals, Chisholm said in an interview last month. The relocation of the Manor Station ambulance to Central Station served to reduce EMS response time which, at times, was more than 12 minutes. 

The decision to add a fourth ambulance to the fire department was a costly one. In addition to purchasing the vehicle, a new emergency crew needed to be hired and trained. 

As part of the city’s $123.6 million budget, city taxes rose 4.8%, and one third of that increase went to the fire department for the ambulance crew, purchasing a new tower truck, paying for overtime costs and upgrading the certifications of 14 emergency  medical technicians to Advanced EMTs. 

The money spent was the largest increase in the city’s emergency services in a generation, City Manager Tom Aspell wrote in a letter to the council in May. 

Aspell said he is pleased to see Chisholm continue as chief. 

“Chief Chisholm did an excellent job stepping into the role of Interim Fire Chief,” Aspell said in a statement. “We are fortunate to be able to utilize his leadership and experience here in the City of Concord, and know this will continue under his permanent appointment.”

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