Rumford fire chief sworn into office

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Incoming Rumford Fire Chief Chris A. Reed takes the oath of office from Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs during a pinning ceremony Thursday evening at the fire station. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Luke Reed pins the fire chief”s badge on his father, Chris A. Reed, at the Rumford fire station Thursday night. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

New Rumford Fire Chief Chris A. Reed addresses the audience following a pinning ceremony Thursday evening at the fire station. Behind him, from left, are Mexico Fire Chief Richard Jones, Dixfield Fire Chief Scott Dennett, Peru Fire Chief Bill Hussey, Oxford County Sheriff James Theriault and Rumford Police Chief Stacy Carter. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Rumford firefighters, from left, Lt. Mike Arsenault, Lt. Keith Bickford and Pvt. Ray Crockett replace the American flag outside the fire station Thursday evening. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

RUMFORD — Incoming Fire Chief Chris A. Reed was honored with a pinning ceremony Thursday evening, surrounded by family, elected officials and firefighters.

“It is a great honor to have this opportunity to swear in Chief Chris Reed as the chief of the Rumford Fire Department,” said Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs, who swore in Reed. Luke Reed pinned the chief’s badge on his father.

“It’s really a great honor,” Luke said. “He pinned the badge on me when I became a police officer in Texas.”

Chief Reed’s first action was to ask for a report from Deputy Chief Rob Dixon.

“All present and accounted for. The department is yours, sir,” Dixon said.

The chief instructed the American flag outside the station to be lowered and retired, with a new American flag to be raised.

He thanked selectmen and the town manager for their support, as well as Chief Bob Chase.

“There are big shoes to fill and I hope I can do that,” Reed said. “He has done a phenomenal job and I wish he was here so I could thank him personally.”

Chase resigned in December to become deputy chief of the Auburn Fire Department. He had been chief since 2009.

Reed said the department will present Chase with his badge and his flag, which are going to be retired.

“No fire chief is any good without his firefighters,” Reed said. “They are the backbone in this community. If the chief doesn’t show up, guess what? The job will get done. These guys are highly skilled, trained and we’re all very fortunate to have them.”

Reed said he wants to build the relationship with mutual aid partners. “Nobody is an island. Everybody needs everybody here to make it work,” he said.

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