Oxford names new fire chief

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OXFORD — The Board of Selectmen on Thursday approved Gary Sacco of Auburn as the new fire chief.

Sacco retired from the New Gloucester Fire Department in October 2015 after serving 12 years. He supervised 45 fire/rescue personnel and auxiliary personnel, including training, field operations, public education and community services.

He was also responsible for the budget, reviewing the department’s capital needs, implementing policies and procedures and other duties. He was hired as New Gloucester’s first full-time chief in 2007 after being paid a stipend as chief since 2003.

“I’m more than happy to be here,” Sacco said. “I’m looking forward to continued service in the town of Oxford.”

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Sacco, who will be paid $43,000 annually. He began his duties this week.

He holds an EMT license with Maine, a requirement that was added to the job description at the last moment. He also holds other certifications, including fire instructor II, incident command, hazardous materials and fire investigation.

His fire and EMS service dates back to the mid-1970s.

Town Manager Rebekah Lippincott said she was pleased the town has a permanent fire chief in place to lead the department. She gave special thanks to Deputy Chief Paul Hewey, who helped lead the department while the interim chief was ill.

Lippincott said earlier there were 25 applicants and the hiring committee selected three finalists for her to interview.

The committee members included David Heidrich, interim fire chief; Jay Goforth, a former selectmen and member of the Fire Department; Selectmen Scott Hunter, also the Paris fire chief and a battalion chief for the Auburn Fire Department; Selectman Pete Laverdiere; and Oxford Police Lt. Mike Ward.

Heidrich was named interim chief when Wayne Jones unexpectedly submitted his letter of resignation Dec. 6, 2016, in a one-line memo to department members after he was handed a letter of no-confidence signed by an unknown number of members. Jones had served as chief since June 2015.

In other action, selectmen:

• Said goodbye to fellow Selectman Roger Jackson, who is leaving the board after 10 years;

• Voted to ask engineer Myron Petrosky to develop specifications that will allow the board to go out to bid on the Welchville Dam project;

• Accepted, with regret, Highway Department Foreman Steve Brown’s resignation because he is  retiring;

•  Heard concerns from residents about the implications of the proposed fiscal 2018 budget on taxes;

• Agreed to seek additional grant money to clear the Historical Society’s Kay House of asbestos; estimates ranged from $3,500 to $6,500;

• Were advised by Donna Landry that a cleanup of Greeley Brook will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8. Any resident who would like to participate should meet at the site off Yeaton Swamp Road. The town of Otisfield will be cleaning up dump sites in that section of the brook at the same time.

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Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco of Auburn takes the oath of office with Town Clerk Beth Olsen during the selectmen meeting Thursday and the Municipal Building. Sacco is the former fire chief of New Gloucester.
Oxford Fire Chief Gary Sacco of Auburn takes the oath of office with Town Clerk Beth Olsen during the selectmen meeting Thursday and the Municipal Building. Sacco is the former fire chief of New Gloucester.

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