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Fire Chief James Fortin Announces Retirement

The fire chief will retire at the end of the year.

James Fortin, Chief of the Marlborough Fire Department, has announced his retirement. Credit: Patch file photo.
James Fortin, Chief of the Marlborough Fire Department, has announced his retirement. Credit: Patch file photo.

Editor's Note: the following was released by the city of Marlborough Tuesday:

Marlborough Fire Department Chief James Fortin has informed Mayor Arthur Vigeant of his intent to retire at the end of the calendar year. 

Chief Fortin will be concluding an exemplary 31 year career with the City of Marlborough Fire Department that began in 1983. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1997 and to Captain in 2006. He was named Acting Fire Chief by Mayor Vigeant on March 22, 2012 and confirmed by the City Council on March 26, 2012. 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the Marlborough Fire Department. I have a strong passion for public safety and the fire services. Educating and instructing future generations of firefighters is something I look forward to doing more of as I move on to pursue new opportunities,” the Chief said, adding, “When I took the job nearly two years ago I informed the Mayor I would provide as much notice as possible when I was prepared to move on.” 

Mayor Arthur Vigeant reluctantly accepted Chief Fortin’s intent to retire. 

“The City of Marlborough is fortunate to have a man like Jim Fortin as our Fire Chief,” offered Mayor Vigeant. “His character and integrity is of the highest caliber and I’m sorry that we are losing him.” 

Chief Fortin’s tenure is characterized by a marked increase in department wide training and education exercises. Programs of note required all command officers to complete courses in incident command, tactics, and strategies. Additional department wide training carried out under Chief Fortin includes confined space rescue and HAZMAT operations training totaling $40,000.00 in educational investments. 

City Council President Trish Pope stated that Chief Fortin built a great relationship with the City Council. 

“Chief Fortin will leave his post with the full confidence and trust of the City Council. He leads by example and will be deeply missed,” she said. 

Chief Fortin will continue to run the department through December 26, 2014. Future succession or transition plans will be developed through the spring and summer months. 

Mayor Vigeant stated that with plenty of notice, he can work with the Chief to identify the strengths and areas of improvement within the Department. The use of an outside audit team is under consideration to work with the Chief on a top to bottom review of the Department’s policies and procedures. 

“A change of leadership offers an ideal time to take a step back and assess our organization. We have more to do and I look forward to continuing to work with the Chief over the coming year,” said Mayor Vigeant. 

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