Caribou picks new fire chief

Posted March 17, 2012, at 4:38 p.m.
Last modified March 18, 2012, at 5:24 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — After extensive research and a thorough in-house interview process, city councilors have agreed to abandon efforts to restructure the police and fire departments under one emergency service manager and name a permanent replacement for Fire Chief Roy Woods, who resigned in late January.

The decision to stay with the current format was recommended by Caribou City Manager Steve Buck after discussion of the pros and cons of creating a public safety officer position to oversee all facets of the city’s police, fire and emergency medical services operations.

On Tuesday, March 13, Buck announced that firefighter and paramedic Scott Susi, a 7-year member of the Caribou Fire and Ambulance Department, had accepted the position.

“Scott Susi is the candidate of choice,” Buck said. “He has accepted and I will appoint him as fire chief on April 11, for a six-month probationary period.”

Barring any problems, the appointment would then become permanent.

The department also will hire a full-time firefighter and paramedic for a six-month probationary period to fill Scott’s previous position.

“I am excited to have Scott on board,” Buck said. “He has incredible knowledge regarding the EMS side, which has become an increasingly big piece of what they do in that department. I also know he has the full support of the other members of the Caribou Fire and Ambulance Department — and that is a very important factor.”

Police Chief Mike Gahagan, who helped oversee the Fire Department during the search process, said, “I look forward to working with [Susi] and I anticipate a long productive career for him. This was a position that my father held so when I went into this interview process, I was looking for the betterment not only of the department but for the community as well and I could see that in Scott. I look forward to working with him as a department head.”

Susi had only just completed his last shift when notified by the city manager Tuesday morning. “When Steve called I thanked him for this opportunity — I am very honored,” Susi said. “They are a really good, professional bunch of guys in our department and I am very excited about this opportunity.”

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