RUMFORD — A 15-year Rumford firefighter will take over
as chief of the department Thursday, Aug. 13, Town Manager Carlo Puiia
said Tuesday afternoon.

Bob Chase of Rumford, who was hired at Thursday’s Board
of Selectmen meeting after Puiia got unanimous approval from selectmen,
replaces Mexico
and Rumford fire Chief Gary Wentzell.

Chase, who is the son of retired firefighter Peter Chase,
was on vacation this week and unavailable for comment.

Puiia said Bob Chase was one of 12 who applied for the
position, which has an advertised annual pay rate of $50,000 to $55,200.

Selectmen have yet to decide on Chase’s salary, but, like all newly-appointed
town officials and according to the charter, Chase will have a probationary
one-year contract.

Puiia said Chase began serving Rumford as a junior
firefighter while still in high school from 1994-96. He then served on the call
force from 1996-98 before becoming a volunteer firefighter, and resumed call
force duties from 2004-08.

In 2008, he was hired as a full-time Rumford
firefighter and became a member of the International Association of Fire
Fighters Local 1601. He is also a member of the department ski team.

Puiia said that because Chase was a union
firefighter, he had to finish serving his shift as such, which includes the
short vacation.

When he returns Thursday from vacation, he will be
sworn in as fire chief, a nonunion position.

[email protected]



Wearing a No. 24 black helmet, Rumford full-time firefighter Bob Chase at far right in this photograph of the department’s 2009 ski team taken at Sunday River Ski Resort, was hired as Rumford’s new fire chief. He starts the job on Thursday, Aug. 13.

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