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January 28. 2013 9:15PM

Hopkinton names new fire chief

HOPKINTON - Though dozens applied for the job of fire chief, the board of selectmen decided to stick close to home and promoted Deputy Chief Doug Mumford.

According to Jim O'Brien, chairman of the board of selectmen, the pool of more than 40 applicants came from all over the country and was narrowed down to just two by a search committee. The committee, which included firefighters and former town fire chiefs as well as chiefs from surrounding communities, recommended the two finalists to the board. After interviews last week, Mumford was selected.

"Both of the finalists were tremendous candidates," said O'Brien, "but we felt Doug was the right fit."

Mumford, 46, started with the Hopkinton Fire Department in 1996 and left to work for the Concord Fire Department in 2001, but returned to Hopkinton in 2008.

"I love that small-town feeling Hopkinton has," said Mumford. "Knowing the people you take care of is kind of cool."

When Mumford returned to the department, he served as deputy chief under chief Rick Schaefer, who died in September after suffering a heart attack while at the fire station in Contoocook.

Mumford said it's been a difficult period for the department, but interim chief Jeff Yale provided great leadership during a trying time, and members of the department stepped up to help.

"The amazing thing about the Hopkinton Fire Department is how they banded together and stayed the course. It was a hard battle, well-fought," said Mumford. "Losing a chief is not an easy thing for a department."

O'Brien said having someone familiar on board as its leader will help the department move forward.

"The department was pretty anxious leading up to this, wondering what was going to happen next," said O'Brien. "Getting this process behind them will really help them move forward and we think it will be a smooth transition for everyone."

nfoster@newstote.com


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