Mansfield appoints new deputy fire chief
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 23:02
Mansfield’s new deputy chief-fire marshal-emergency management faces unique challenges as the department adjusts to continual environmental changes.
The Mansfield Fire Department has seen an eventful couple of years. Natural disasters from the 2013 winter superstorm to the October snowstorm of 2011 have threatened power outages and trigger necessary response from the fire department. The fire department must review construction plans, like those for the Storrs Downtown expansion, to ensure state fire codes are adhered to. Tragedies like the shooting in Newtown have sparked a new effort to update emergency-response plans at local schools.
Fran Raiola’s job puts him in the middle of all of it.
“A lot of towns separate the jobs out,” Raiola said.
However, many towns do lump together an array of job titles, making for a busy fireman.
Raiola is no stranger to its assortment of duties. He previously served as the assistant deputy chief and assistant emergency management director.
Now, as deputy fire chief, Raiola will help coordinate the operation of the fire department at large. As a fire marshal, he must review boxes full of floor plans to and coordinate them with fire safety guidelines. In his emergency management position, Raiola has begun to revamp emergency response plans at local schools.
“With the job comes extreme responsibility, but also great opportunity,” Raiola said after rattling off a list of his day-to-day tasks.
Raiola cannot prepare for every task he faces. Serving as an emergency management director means preparation and planning, even when Raiola does not know what the day will bring.
John Jackman, who decided to retire after 27 years on the job, precedes Raiola. David Dagon, Mansfield’s fire chief, said when Jackman stepped down, he knew Raiola was the man for the job.
“He’s a very capable, competent individual,” Dagon said. “His expertise and background training is excellent. He’s been able to perform [his duties] pretty flawlessly.”