Falmouth Fire Chief Small Retiring this Month

Falmouth Fire Chief Michael Small

FALMOUTH – Falmouth Fire Chief Michael Small will be retiring from the town’s Fire Rescue Department at the end of July after more than 30 years in the department.

“It has been the singular honor of my life to be able to have been in this position and I appreciate all your support,” Chief Small said to select board members.

Chief Small succeeded former chief Mark Sullivan after he retired in 2016.

“While it is certainly well deserved after more than three decades of service, we are certainly going to miss your leadership,” said Select Board Chair Megan English Braga.

English Braga said that Chief Small created strong connections between the firefighters and built a great rapport with the town at large over the last four years as chief.

“Everything that has happened over the last four years is because of an enormous amount of collaboration with people that had a common goal, whether it be the town, you folks, the town’s representatives or the firefighter’s union,” said Chief Small.

“They put their heads together towards a common goal. It’s not anything that I did individually. I’ll take that thanks and pass that onto the troops.”

Chief Small said that he would spend his last weeks as chief working hard as changes come to the department’s staffing model, which select board member Douglas Brown thanked him for.

The new policy will call for deploying 14 firefighters at the start of a shift and two firefighters responding to every call.

“Support from the town, especially with the override during the global pandemic and the economic uncertainty there, really quite frankly blew me away,” said Small.

“It was the willingness of everybody on every side of that issue to bend a little bit. For the town to pony up some money and for the firefighter’s union to look at a different way of doing things, this really is the biggest change the department has had since 1897, when the town gave 700 bucks for the fire department.”

Town Manager Julian Suso said that the town will follow civil service protocol in hiring the successor for Chief Small, but also said it may take some time.

“I’ll be working with an acting chief as was the case prior to Chief Small’s appointment until we complete that process and we have the assessment center concluded and the final recommendations come to me as Town Manager and ultimately I’ll bring a recommendation to this select board for your affirmation to have a permanent successor to Chief Small,” said Suso to select board members.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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