Metro, Newton

City of Newton Searches for Its Next Fire Chief

The City of Newton is looking to hire its next fire chief and emergency management director after Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced last month at her State of the City address that Gino Lucchetti, who currently holds the position, is retiring in mid-May.

Applicants must present a clear and unified vision of the department to the mayor. 

“My goal is to identify a candidate with exceptional integrity and demonstrated leadership, effective management capacity, and excellent interpersonal skills,” Fuller wrote in a newsletter update.

In Newton, the fire chief is appointed by—and reports to—the mayor, according to a job brochure. The position oversees a department consisting of 199 personnel across six fire stations, as well as a 2022 budget of $26.5 million, according to the brochure. The chief will also lead Newton’s emergency operations center.

The position offers a salary of between $185,000 and $210,000, depending on the candidate’s years of experience, along with a comprehensive benefits package, according to the brochure.

MMA Consulting Group, which specializes in recruitment for cities and towns, will help Fuller through the selection process, according to the update. 

The mayor and consulting group will create a group of assessors with experience in public administration and fire departments to to measure applicants’ competencies for the position, according to the update.

Fuller will create interviewing teams of city employees that work closely with residents, the fire department, and city councilors, according to the update. The city’s Human Resources team will also ask members of the fire department to provide input of what qualities the next chief should possess. 

The position requires candidates to have at least three years of experience at a rank of captain or higher in a fire department serving a city of more than 30,000 people. The brochure also says that applicants are encouraged to hold a masters degree and 10 to 15 years of experience as a firefighter.

The position requires that candidates to establish an inclusive department culture, according to the update.

“Our next Chief will lead this outstanding and stable department and its dedicated members who are committed to serving and protecting, without prejudice or favoritism, the lives and property of the residents and businesses of Newton from both natural and man-made disasters,” Fuller wrote. 

Lucchetti, who has been with the department for nearly 45 years, will turn 65 in June, according to Fuller’s State of the City address. At that age, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires fire chiefs to retire.

“This good human being, and this extraordinary leader  ̶ especially during the pandemic  ̶  will always be a part of Newton and have a special place in my heart,” Fuller wrote about Lucchetti in her address.

Featured Image by Steven Mooney / Heights Editor

March 18, 2022