The search for a new fire chief has begun in Oak Bluffs after selectmen signed off on a list of criteria this week recommended by the town’s interim emergency management team.

Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake and retired Tisbury fire chief John Schilling have been steering the town fire and EMS since interim fire chief Martin Greene left at the end of September. Former fire chief John Rose resigned under pressure last year amid spiraling internal problems in the department.

At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, Chief Blake and retired Chief Schilling told the board the town is ready to begin the search for a new permanent fire chief.

“You have a real strong foundation and raw material here to move the department forward,” Mr. Schilling said.

“It’s time to bring in a person to run the department full time,” Chief Blake said.

They presented selectmen with a list of criteria developed over the past four months after conversations with others inside the department.

Based on those conversations, the strong recommendation is to bring in a new fire chief from the outside, Mr. Schilling said.

“To date, every person that I have interacted with has universally expressed the same feelings. They want to see a chief of the department in place, they want to see somebody come in from outside, they’re looking for someone with a fresh perspective, a fresh set of eyes and without any preconceptions to what the Oak Bluffs fire department was or what the Oak Bluffs fire department is,” he said.

Recommended qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in either fire science, fire protection, public administration or a closely related discipline, along with at least 10 years of progressive experience within fire service and at least five years in a supervisory or command role. Past or present ongoing EMS experience, advanced fire officer training, fire instructor certification, knowledge of the Massachusetts fire safety code and experience working within the call volunteer system are also required.

Selectmen voted unanimously to advertise for the job.

In other business Tuesday, selectmen gave a green light to town administrator Robert Whritenour to begin planning for the annual town meeting to be held in May.

The board also voted to recommend Mark Leonard as the Oak Bluffs representative to the Dukes County regional housing authority.