The town’s fire department is moving into a new era with new leadership.
Fire Chief Paul Schleicher is retiring the end of the month, and Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Simmons has been appointed as his successor, becoming just the fifth fire chief for the town.
Capt. Benton W. Keene III has been appointed to replace Simmons as deputy chief.
Town Manager Michael Yunits made the appointment of Simmons, and selectmen confirmed it, along with other promotions in the fire department at their meeting last week, which was attended by family and fellow firefighters.
As Schleicher remarked, “it’s the changing of the guard.”
Schleicher took over from Richard Gomes as head of the fire department in August 2011 and has moved it forward in a number of ways, town officials say, from improving equipment and technology to enhancing personnel.
He has also served as the town’s emergency management director.