HERMON, Maine — Local officials will have plenty of candidates to choose from in their quest to fill the boots of Fire Chief Larry Willis, who will retire in late October.
The job opening was posted about two months ago.
“We got over 50 applications” by the time the July 28 deadline for applying was up, Hermon Town Manager Clint Deschene said late last week. “They came from all over.”
While Deschene said most of the candidates came from Maine and other New England states, he noted that there also were resumes from states well outside the region, including New Mexico and Florida.
Willis became the town’s first fulltime fire chief 16 years ago, according to a brochure that town officials prepared for potential applicants.
Willis oversees a crew of about 30 paid on-call firefighters and one full-time firefighter who also is the training officer. He also oversees emergency medical operations in the community, investigates all fires and other fire department calls and is in charge of making sure safety equipment and facilities are in working order, among many other things.
Deschene said that now that applications are in hand, the process of whittling the candidate pool down to finalists could begin.
A timeline posted earlier on the town’s website, located at www.hermon.net, indicates that interviews with prospective fire chiefs will begin in two weeks and that another round might follow.
The town hopes to name a new chief by mid-September, and that person is expected to begin work no later than Nov. 1.