I was born and raised in Fairhaven and have learned though the years that this is a great town and where I want to raise my family. I have two great children.
I started as a call firefighter in 1978 just after graduation from high school. What got me started was the fact that my dad, the late Hugh C. Francis was on the department for many years as a Call Lieutenant and it was his second love. My brother Paul was also on the department and moved up the ranks to become Captain of Engine 5, which was the station located in East Fairhaven. Because of these two men I spent a lot of time around the firehouse talking with the guys and hearing great stories, some good; some very sad. My dad was also a plumber and owned his own shop. I would go to work for him during the day and if any fires came in we would go.
In 1982 I was appointed to the fire department full time as a firefighter and fell in love with it. Helping people and fighting fire was invigorating, so after about ten years when one Lieutenant was getting ready to retire I decided to study for and take the Lieutenants exam. I passed and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1993. I held that rank until 1995 when the Deputy Chief retired. I studied, passed the Deputy Chief exam and was appointed to the vacant position by Chief Crowley. I worked with Chief Crowley until he retired in August of 1999. I was then appointed as Acting Chief until a Chiefs exam was held. The exam was given early in 2000, which I passed and was appointed Chief of the Department in August 2000.
My goals as Chief were to bring the department back in line with the needs of the people and to improve on some of the services that we provided. Some of my goals were the fire service should look at taking over the ambulance service from the police so they could concentrate on police matters, as their calls were increasing quite a bit each year. The department should offer a higher level of care with a new Paramedic service. Both these goals were accomplished. We trained 8 Firefighters to the paramedic level and we now have 20 at this level and we operate three ambulances at an ALS level. I have also hired a full time training officer to keep our firefighters up to date with EMS and firefighting training.
I was appointed as the Chairman of the EMS committee for the Mass Fire Chiefs in 2001 and still hold that distinction. I handle any problems that may arise about EMS across the state. I was also appointed by Governor Romney to the Homeland Security Advisory council.
I have a great passion for the fire service and throughout my career have been certified as a Hazmat Technician, Arson Investigator and many other certifications that will help me lead this department into the future to better service the people of Fairhaven.