Boston’s fire chief retires after reaching the age limit for the department, giving the city another high-profile position to fill.
Commissioner John “Jack” Dempsey turned 65 this week, the mandatory retirement age under state law, according to the city.
“Commissioner Dempsey has provided steadfast leadership for our city and the Boston Fire Department throughout these extremely challenging years of the pandemic,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement after, according to GBH, revealing the departure of Dempsey at an event.
“I am grateful for his guidance and partnership with our new administration, and we thank him for his more than 35 years of service as a firefighter,” Wu continued. “While he will be missed, Commissioner Dempsey has laid a strong foundation for the next leader of the Boston Fire Department.”
“The interview process for a new commissioner is ongoing,” the city said in a statement after the radio station broke the news.
Dempsey has been involved in national firefighter safety efforts, serving on the Fire Service Advisory Council and playing a major role in the development and implementation of the National Fire Protection Association’s Hot Work Safety Certification Program. Fires.
Before then-Mayor Martin Walsh named him the city’s police chief two years ago, Dempsey rose through the department and eventually became chief of operations, which is the department’s highest-ranking uniformed firefighter.
Commissioners are political appointees by the mayor. Now it’s up to Wu to name his replacement. In recent years, the Boston Fire Department has been criticized for its lack of racial and gender diversity, and has been the subject of lawsuits alleging sexist and racist work environments.
Dempsey’s departure comes as Wu is in the midst of searching for a police commissioner and a new superintendent of schools.