ORONO — Auburn Fire Chief Geoff Low has been named chief of the Orono Fire Department, starting April 30, Town Manager Sophie Wilson said.

Low, of Minot, has been a member of the Auburn department for about 24 years, starting as a paramedic. He was appointed chief nearly two years ago.

Wilson said Low brings a wealth of skill and knowledge gained from decades of experience and degrees in fire science and a master’s degree of business administration. He also earned distinction from the National Fire Academy as an Executive Fire Officer and from the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer.

“Please join me in welcoming Geoff to Orono — we look forward to his thoughtful, progressive and team-oriented leadership!” Wilson said in announcing Low’s selection.

Low said this week that he decided to leave Auburn in search of new challenges and opportunities.

“Reaching the decision to leave was not easy, Low said. “Auburn is full of truly talented people who have become a family to me and I have developed a considerable level of comfort here. I know, however, that growth doesn’t occur in your comfort zone and it feels like it is time to grow,” he said.

“What attracted me to Orono was the small-town appeal, the makeup of the community and the challenges the community has in relation to fire protection and community risk reduction,” he said. “What really convinced me that Orono was the place to be was the spirit of inclusiveness, collaboration and dedication to public service that extends from the council, though the leadership team and beyond.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected to take on such an important post,” Low said. “I will do my best to serve the Town of Orono and am anxious to become a member of the community.”

Low described his managerial style as handling problems with an open dialogue, involving all stakeholders, and exploring an issue to reach a resolution.

“I believe in empowering those that I supervise because it makes them and the department stronger,” Low said. “I also believe in fostering good relationships across all segments of the community, taking the time to explain who we are, what we do and why. This ultimately helps in maintaining trust in the organization.”

Low will succeed Chief Rob St. Louis, who will become the town’s life safety inspector to enable the town to have a more formal approach in dealing with rental issues.

“If people have a chance, I would encourage them to stop by or send a note of thanks to outgoing Chief St. Louis,” Low said. “As an outsider, I immediately recognize his hard work and dedication to the town and department. Chief St. Louis has set the bar high for me. “

Geoff Low

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