BREWER, Maine — Capt. Gary Parent, a 25-year veteran of the Brewer Fire Department, has a new title: fire chief.
The city on Friday announced that Parent has been tapped to succeed Fire Chief Rick Bronson, who is stepping down March 5 after 11 years at the helm and 35 years on the force.
Parent, a Bradley resident, joined the department in 1984 and served as captain since 1999. He has been the city’s deputy emergency management director since the job was created. He will assume all of Bronson’s posts, which include serving as emergency management director.
“He has a long record of distinguished service with the Brewer Fire Department and was a natural choice to assume the position as chief,” City Manager Steve Bost said of Parent. “He’ll do a good job for the department.”
Two others were considered for the job, and both were considered very capable candidates, Bost said.
“We are very fortunate to have a wealth of talent in that department,” Bost said.
Firefighters were told at noon Friday.
“The history and tradition of the officer corps of the Brewer Fire Department has been one of strong leadership,” Bronson said in a statement from the city. “Chief Parent comes out of that line, ready to be the chief of the department, and will continue that tradition of maintaining a strong, ready group working under him.”
Parent has served as president of the firefighters union and is the department’s compliance officer. In 2004-05, he took a sabbatical from the department to serve as an officer for the federal government in Iraq.
“I am proud to have worked shoulder to shoulder with the firefighters of Brewer for many years, and bring those experiences with me into my new role as chief,” Parent said in a news release. “I look forward to the challenges and opportunities of this experience. I feel the Brewer Fire Department is one of the best departments in the state, and I am honored to lead my fellow firefighters as we move forward.”
The Fire Department comprises seven officers, 13 full-time and 22 part-time firefighters, and the chief.