Butterfield a Unanimous Choice to Lead Westminster Fire Dept.
WESTMINSTER -- Looks like Ayer Senior Fire Capt. Timothy Johnston will not be on the move after all. Meeting Monday night, the Westminster Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to hire from within and make Captain Kyle Butterfield the town’s new fire chief.
Chairman Jim DeLisle called Butterfield Monday night to tell him he got the job, which he accepted.
Johnston was one of three finalists, along with Lynnfield Fire Chief Mark Tetreault and the in-house candidate. All three were interviewed by the board last week.
“If you add it all up between the three of them, it was 70 years of experience (that they had),” DeLisle said. “It sounded like they were all well-trained and passionate about the job.”
When asked to provide their first choice for the position, each board member chose Butterfield.
Several members from the Fire Department were in the audience for the announcement.
Butterfield, who has been captain for four years, joined the department in 2000 as an on-call firefighter when he was a senior in high school.
The 36-year-old is a Westminster native and lives in town.
In his interview, Butterfield said his first priority as chief would be to evaluate the department’s strengths and weaknesses to find opportunities for growth.
He also would like to make the Fire Department a part of the community through having a presence at town events and starting a campaign to recruit people to serve as on-call firefighters.
Butterfield will take over from Kevin Nivala, who served as chief for four years and joined the department 35 years ago. He retired at the end of May.
During the search process, Butterfield served as acting chief.
About 20 people from around New England applied for the position. A search committee narrowed the pool down to five semifinalists and forwarded three to the selectmen.
Selectmen thanked the committee for bringing forward the three candidates at the meeting.
With the fire chief search complete, the town will shift its focus to the police chief search, which is expected to pan out similarly.
Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.