DeStefano Selected To Be Next Belmont Fire Chief

Photo: David DeStefano (Linkedin)

David DeStefano, the Battalion Chief for the North Providence Fire Deptartment in Rhode Island was offered the position of Belmont’s next Fire Chief by the Belmont Select Board on Thursday, Jan. 21.

DeStefano, who replaces David Frizzell at the post, will now go through contract negotiations for being sworn in the next few weeks.

A veteran of 31 and half years on the North Providence force, DeStefano is also an instructor and coordinator at the Rhode Island Fire Academy and is the author of a number of publications and manuals on fire services.

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  1. Ellen G. says

    Well said Joe and Carrie, very eye opening and obviously appears that the wrong decision was made. I hope the town meeting members and residents are seeing the poor decisions that the town administration is making. It sure looks like that town town administration does not respect the hard working employees of the town who dedicate their careers and lives for this town. Hiring an outside, out of state, non qualified Chief is a bad idea for this town.

  2. Joe B says

    The best is they said they wanted the best for the towns people, but the towns people don’t want the RI guy. Should dig in more and see how much money is lost now that was invested in the Act Chief to allow him to obtain his credentials to take over. Reading the town reports that go back years, it appears Chief Frizzell always made note of succession planning and his continued development of department members to take over and lead because of big turnovers. This all cost money. These reports at end of year are requested by TA obviously she doesn’t read them. I would assume hundreds of thousands have been spent on training and education for the future leaders of the department. If you also read there contract available one line they are getting payed for degrees and education. That is great but the TA and selectman just wasted towns people money making our firefighters more qualified to go elsewhere now. So first I say no to override because this administration blows money and second step up listen to people and hire the in house Chief

  3. Carrie H says

    I’ll tell you , the more I hear around town what a bad decision this was for us the Taxpayers the more I get upset about living in this Town . Let me get this straight ……. We took a guy, CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT Wayne Haley who is overqualified for the Job ,who is from our town , was already running the department with NO issues and told him no ……. we will take the guy who has no clue what he is doing and oh yeah couldn’t find my house if you gave him a week to find it . This is such a disgrace. Wait !!!!!!!!! There’s more ……. The Select board picks a guy who doesn’t even meet the qualifications set forth by the committee for the Job !!!!!! I’m hearing retribution was #1 on their agenda . What A Bunch of Clowns we have running this town . The fact the selection isn’t qualified shows me that the Fire Union who has been abused by the administration for no reason , should have NO CONFIDENCE in this man to lead them ! I’m sure he’s probably qualified for his position as Battalion Chief in the town he’s from but no where nearly as qualified as our homegrown Fire Chief . I am ashamed to have an administration in this town that thinks they are “qualified” to take a Man , who’s poured his heart and soul into this town and tell him he can no longer do his job as FIRE CHIEF. I wish the Firefighters best of luck , They have their leader and I’m sure will continue to treat him as such .

  4. Cindy Taylor says

    This definitely was retribution and the sentiments mentioned above are felt by a large majority of residents in this town. So sad to see what has been happening, and the ethical issues that are being ignored.
    The Town Administrator is not the Town Manager.

  5. Joe B says

    Here is the Job Description

    Candidate they picked has no Ma drivers license, no managerial experience, no budgetary skills, and best of all no Fire prevention background especially for Ma. No Ma fire Chief credentials either. All this was asked for by the consulting firm the town spent $20k on. The in-house candidate has all the requirements. I think it’s time to reach out to consulting firm for documentation on their findings. The select board and Town Administrator totally ignored there own posting. Total retaliation.

    Department: Fire
    Unit: Non-Union
    FLSA Category: Exempt Hours-per-week: 40
    Last Revised: August, 2020
    Town of Belmont Job Description
    Fire Chief
    The purpose of this position is to plan, direct and control all Fire Department Services and operations including administration, firefighting /suppression, prevention and Fire Safety, investigations, training, communication and Emergency Medical Response. The work is performed under the direction of the Town Administrator.
    The following duties are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.
    – Directs and administers the Fire Department for the Town of Belmont; develops and implements goals, policies, procedures and programs; establishes short- and long-range plans for the department including equipment, buildings, manpower, ranks, divisions, etc.; ensures compliance of operations with applicable laws, regulations and codes. Oversees all department operations through subordinate staff.
    – Supervises all Fire department staff, directly and through chain of command; selects and hires new personnel; provides training and instruction; plans, coordinates, assigns and reviews work activities; allocates personnel; acts on problems and concerns; maintains standards; evaluates performance and recommends or approves transfers, promotions, disciplinary actions, discharges and salary increases.
    – Develops, prepares, implements and monitors the annual Fire Department budget; monitors expenditures. Prepares specifications for new equipment; ensures access to proper equipment, materials and supplies including apparatus, communications equipment, and vehicles.
    – Responds to and takes charge of serious incidents and fires in Belmont; responds to medical emergencies as needed; investigates fires and other serious incidents for cause.

    – Monitors Emergency Medical Technician training to ensure all training requirements are met.
    – Responds to questions, concerns and complaints from the public; meets with other departments and agencies on issues related to the Fire Department; responds to union needs, problems, questions and grievances. Refers unresolved matters to the Town Administrator.
    – Monitors the Fire Prevention Bureau and Fire Suppression services for performance and quality.
    – Prepares and oversees the preparation of a variety of reports, records and correspondence, fire incident reports, rosters, alarm operation reports, and others; prepares reports for the Town Administrator, Board of Selectmen, other departments, agencies and organizations.
    – Develops pre-fire plans and procedures for the treatment, handling and removal of hazardous materials or conditions.
    – Maintains round-the-clock on-call availability to respond to emergencies.
    – Maintains current professional knowledge skills and abilities.
    – Establishes training programs and guidelines.
    – Ensures that buildings, apparatus and equipment are properly maintained.
    – Performs other duties as assigned or required.
    Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, Business or Public Administration required, Master’s degree preferred. Seven to ten years of progressively responsible fire fighting and command experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the requisite knowledge skills and abilities for this job. Position requires possession of a valid Massachusetts driver’s license.
    Data Utilization:
    Requires the ability to perform mid to upper-level data analysis including the ability to coordinate, strategize, systemize and correlate, using discretion in determining time, place and/or sequence of operations within an organizational framework. Requires the ability to implement decisions based on such data, and oversee the execution of these decisions.

    Human Interaction:
    Requires the ability to provide formal instruction in a classroom or other structured setting.
    Requires the ability to communicate orally and in writing with Executive Secretary, subordinate personnel, other emergency response personnel, Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen, other departments, local 1637 union, the media and the public.
    Equipment, Machinery, Tools and Materials Utilization:
    Requires the ability to operate, maneuver and/or provide simple but continuous adjustment on equipment, machinery and tools such as a computer and other office machines, fire vehicles, radios, video equipment and/or materials used in performing essential functions.
    Verbal Aptitude:
    Requires the ability to utilize a variety of reference, descriptive and advisory data and information such as medical reports, payroll and overtime reports, reports to the media, budgets, policy manuals, laws, regulations, codes, union contract, architectural drawings, NFPA, MGL 148, CMRs, technical operating manuals, statutes, procedures, guidelines and non-routine correspondence.
    Mathematical Aptitude:
    Requires the ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages and decimals; may require the ability to utilize basic algebra and descriptive statistics.
    Functional Reasoning:
    Requires the ability to apply principles of logical or synthesis functions involving planning and directing of interrelated activities or multiple departments. Ability to deal with several concrete and abstract variables in working out approaches to major problems.
    Situational Reasoning:
    Requires the ability to exercise the judgment, decisiveness and creativity required in critical and/or unexpected situations involving moderate risk to the organization.
    Physical Ability:
    Tasks involve the ability to exert moderate but not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, and lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling objects and materials of moderate weight, twenty to fifty pounds.

    Sensory Requirements:
    Requires the ability to recognize and identify degrees of similarities or differences between characteristics of colors, shapes, sounds, odors and textures associated with job-related objects, materials and tasks.
    Environmental Factors:
    Requires the ability to work under conditions which require exposure to environmental factors such as temperature and lighting variations and extremes, strong odors, toxic/poisonous agents, smoke, dusts, wetness, animals/wildlife, disease/pathogens, electric currents, explosives, violence, noise extremes, vibrations, machinery or traffic hazards. This exposure may cause some discomfort and presents a risk of injury.
    The Town of Belmont, Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Town will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.

  6. Joe B says

    If anyone looks up the job description that the Town Administrator approved for the Chiefs job with MRI Consulting you will see DeStefano does not meet the requirements, where as Act Chief Haley pretty much meets it all. Hmmm. An article from September comes out the night before selection of Chief by Town Administrator, that’s not coincidence or payback at all. If you look back over 25+ years you have never heard about the fire department having negative attacks brought on them or they infact fighting with the town. They come to work, do there job and not looking for accolades. Then comes along a newly hired Town Administrator who comes in and flips the town upside down, running it to financial ruins, but takes a raise and then proceed to attack the people that are here 24/7 to protect the citizens. Since day 1 she has gone after our firefighters . It’s time for her tenure to be looked at along with the select board she has fooled and taken control of also. As we’re in the worse pandemic most of us has seen the Town Administrator chooses to disgrace and demoralize the men and woman of the fire department as they are on the frontlines with Covid. Instead of supporting our first responders she has taking all there safety from them. Time for new leadership in Town Hall because they have attacked our employees. In over 80+ Years in town I have never seen such recklessness from a Town Administrator and Selectboard

  7. Mike K. says

    If you haven’t defined the selection of the next fire chief as discrimination, then you aren’t paying attention. Belmont has invited a SHIFT COMMANDER from another state to fill the permanent position of fire chief in our town. How many years of Chief Haley’s career were spent in the position of shift commander? How many years ago did he leave that position for a promotion to assistant fire chief before he transitioned to his current role of acting chief? How poor of a performance would Chief Haley have had to put forth to make a shift commander from out of state a more qualified candidate? How would a shift commander from out of state meet the posted job requirements?
    I reread the letter written by the union before writing this response. I continue to see a union protecting a promotional process, not a threat to anyone’s well-being. If you (or any of those responsible for this selection) feel safer with an underqualified candidate, who is unfamiliar with both our town and our state, than you would with an established member of the Belmont Fire Department with the required experience, I’d love to hear your rationale. Personally, I’m unable to see past the lazy efforts to qualify the chosen candidate. Does our Select Board know what a battalion chief is? They publicly deliberated without defining a reason for their choice. It appears to me that conflict between town officials and the union led to the screamingly obvious discrimination against the most qualified candidate with no regard to how residents will be affected.

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