Former Newton Fire Department Chief of Operations Gregory Gentile was named the city’s newest fire chief following the retirement of Gino Lucchetti, who held the position until this week. Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced the news in a newsletter update on Thursday.
“I want to thank Mayor Fuller for trusting me to lead this department,” Gentile said in the newsletter. “I will be leading one of the best fire departments in the country and am committed to building on the strong foundation left by my friend and predecessor Chief Gino Lucchetti.”
Newton’s fire chief is appointed by and reports to the mayor, according to a job brochure. Gentile will oversee a department of 199 personnel across six fire stations, as well as a 2022 budget of $26.5 million, according to the brochure. He will also lead Newton’s Emergency Operations Center.
Gentile is a lifelong Newton resident and a longtime firefighter, according to Fuller.
Gentile has served in the department for 18 years, starting as a firefighter in 2004. The department promoted him to lieutenant in 2010 and captain in 2015, according to Fuller’s newsletter.
In 2019, Gentile started his work as deputy chief, serving as a shift commander for one of the department’s fire suppression groups, according to Fuller. In April 2020, he became assistant chief and chief of operations, helping Lucchetti as the department faced new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fuller wrote.
“With his leadership at the side of Chief Lucchetti, the Department reinvented how to do its essential work with the health and safety of both department members and the public they serve as paramount,” Fuller wrote.
Gentile is also a third-generation firefighter. His father Donald Gentile and grandfather Nicholas Gentile served in the department for a combined 85 years, according to Fuller.
“He is filled with a love of Newton and the profession and also has a deep commitment to the health and well-being of the members of this critically important department,” Fuller wrote. “His emotional and intellectual intelligence, curiosity and integrity, work ethic and interpersonal skills will serve him and all of us well.”
Lucchetti, who had 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.