LIVERMORE FALLS – Selectmen voted unanimously to appoint Mark Chretien of Livermore as the new fire chief until June 30, 2011. The board also endorsed Ron Leclerc of Jay, as assistant chief, who will be appointed by Chretien to that position.

Chretien, an assistant chief at the time, and Leclerc, a captain, were elected by fellow firefighters in April to become fire chief and assistant chief, respectively. They were expected to take over after official board appointment as of July 1.

However, Chief Marvin Parker stepped down in mid-April citing lack of support from selectmen.

Selectmen appointed Chretien as interim chief at the time until his training record was reviewed to see if he met the certifications and qualifications required by state and federal government.

Town Manager James Chaousis told the board Monday that he interviewed both men and they had the proper credentials. He recommended the board appoint Chretien as fire chief to finish out this fiscal year and a two-year term following. He said the department’s bylaws say nothing about selectmen appointing the assistant chief. The past practice of the board is to appoint an assistant chief and if selectmen want to continue that way it is fine. Otherwise, the chief should appoint the assistant chief, he said.

Chaousis supported both men serving in the positions.

Chaousis gave a written report to selectmen on each one.

Chretien has 20 years of fire and rescue experience in Livermore Falls.

He has been a department officer for 14 years and has the classification of Firefighter I. Chretien also has hazardous materials operation and incident command certifications.

He has adequate administration skills, and good oral communication and leadership skills, Chaousis reported.

Some of the highlights of that interview, Chaousis said, were that Chretien believes the department is coming together and that there is more awareness of training requirements. Chretien also plans to work on increasing morale more and make sure there is firm and fair discipline, Chaousis said.

Chretien would also like to work on developing the role of full-time fire chief, continue working with other municipal fire departments to benefit Livermore Falls and would like to revisit the bylaws to fine-tune them to the department policies.

Leclerc has 35 years of fire and experience in Livermore Falls. He has been a department officer for 28 years and served as assistant chief from 1981 to 1990, and 1995 to 2004. He served as fire chief from 1990 to 1995.

Leclerc has the classification of Firefighter I and has hazardous material operations and incident command certifications. He, too, has adequate communication and leadership skills and good oral communication.

Some of the highlights from that interview, Chaousis said, were that Leclerc believes that training records are very nearly complete and he would like to be part of the process to bring these records to perfect condition.

He is “very passionate” about the department and would like work on implementing policy on issues that have been performed on past practice, Chaousis said.

Leclerc believes that he is very qualified for this position, and the best man for the job, Chaousis said.

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