Sununu pick to run Division of Fire Safety has support of firefighters unionBy DAVE SOLOMON
State House Bureau
June 06. 2018 8:12PM
CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu’s nomination of Salem Fire Chief Paul Parisi to replace retiring State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan has the support of the union that represents many state firefighters.
Degnan’s reappointment to the post last year was opposed by the same union.
Parisi has served as Salem’s fire chief, emergency management director and fire warden since June 2015. He started his career as a firefighter in Salem in 1989.
Parisi was recommended by Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes, who described him as qualified for the position “by reason of his extensive education and experience in the fire service, as well as his dedication to the mission of public safety and the leadership in his field.”
The Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire endorsed the nomination after spending much of 2016 opposing Degnan’s reappointment.
“Chief Parisi has an extensive career in union leadership and managing the Salem Fire Department. From fostering successful labor-management relationships, to pursuing safe staffing levels with federal SAFER grants, Chief Parisi knows the ins and outs of a successful department and is a firefighter’s firefighter,” said Bill McQuillen, president of the union.
Parisi will complete Degnan’s term, which continues until March 31, 2020. Degnan plans to retire in July, according to the governor’s office.
Degnan has served as fire marshal since 2004 and was renominated by Sununu at his first Executive Council meeting as governor in January 2017.
North Country Executive Councilor Joe Kenney had been pushing for Degnan’s reappointment after his term expired in March 2016. Gov. Maggie Hassan had refused to bring the nomination to a vote.
She never explained why she would not bring the nomination forward, nor did she nominate anyone else, so Degnan continued in what is called “hold-over” status until being renominated by Sununu.
The Executive Council is expected to confirm Parisi’s nomination at its next meeting June 20.