, 2022-09-20 14:02:53,
PORTSMOUTH — Close to three weeks into the start of his new role, Fire Chief Bill McQuillen’s contract has been approved by the City Council.
A unanimous vote from the nine-member council on Monday made it official for McQuillen, whose career within the city’s firefighting force dates back to 1990.
McQuillen, previously the department’s assistant chief, has served as a firefighter, lieutenant and captain within the department and has worked at all three of the city’s fire stations during his 32-year career. McQuillen was nominated by the Portsmouth Fire Commission this summer to replace Chief Todd Germain, who retired from firefighting at the start of September after working for 28 years with the department.
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Mayor Deaglan McEachern praised McQuillen and thanked the chief’s wife, Molly, for “lending you all the time to the city of Portsmouth.”
“I very much look forward to the job that you’re going to do on behalf of our residents to keep our families safe,” the mayor said on Monday.
Per the terms of his three-year contract with the city, McQuillen will be paid $141,832.11 annually. Cost-of-living adjustments will be available to McQuillen on July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2024 due to the city’s collective bargaining agreement with the Portsmouth Professional Management Association, according to his contract.
“We’re very excited to have Chief McQuillen lead our fire department. I’m sad to see Chief Germain go, but I have faith that we’re continuing in a positive direction. We’re very lucky to have the chief,” said Councilor Rich Blalock.
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Councilor Beth Moreau recalled her experience previously sitting on the board for Haven, a violence prevention and social services organization, with McQuillen.
“He’s really thoughtful, thinks through everything and I think he’s going to make a great fire chief,” she said.
Councilor John Tabor stated he was “heartened” to see McQuillen continue residing in Portsmouth.
“I think that’s really important for our fire leadership to be on the scene as quickly as possible,” he said.
McQuillen, the former president of the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire, was succeeded as assistant chief by Jason Gionet, who spent the previous five years as a captain within the Portsmouth Fire Department.
One portion of McQuillen’s…
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