Oak Bluffs acting fire chief John Rose now has a permanent place as head of the town fire station.
Chief Rose was unanimously approved as the new chief during Tuesday evening’s selectmen’s meeting. The board had named him acting chief last May to fill a space left vacant by Peter Forend who had stepped down two months earlier.
“At one point last fall I was all in favor of taking this through the usual [hiring] process,” selectman and board chairman Walter Vail said. That process would have opened the job search to off-Island candidates. But Mr. Vail said the last year showed him there was no need to look further.
“Since then I’ve watched John Rose in action, and I’ve seen him at the fire department . . . I’m very proud of what he’s been doing, how hard he’s worked to pull it all together,” Mr. Vail continued. “At this point I am in a position where I am ready to say John, you should be our fire chief. I just can’t say enough about what you’ve done in the last 12 months.”
Selectman Kathy Burton agreed, pointing to increases in departmental training under Chief Rose, as well as the many “successfully battled” fires.
Mr. Rose attended the meeting.
He is also head of the town ambulance department. The two departments were merged last year under joint leadership based on the recommendations of an external review.
“We’re all very lucky to have John on board,” selectman Gail Barkmakian said.