Fire Chief Promotes Firefighters

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By Steve Jusseaume,

Hampton Union, Tuesday, March 19, 2002

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON — Fire Chief Hank Lipe announced several promotions last week, in the wake of two recent retirements within the department.

Lt. Matt Clark and Lt. Dave Mattson were promoted to captain to fill vacancies created with the retirements of Capts. Robert Regan and William Welsh.

Clark has been with the department since 1978 and Mattson has been a Hampton firefighter since 1993.

Lipe also announced that Dave Lang and Justin Cutting have been promoted to lieutenant, filling the positions opened when Clark and Mattson were promoted. Lang has been with HFD since 1980 and Cutting since 1997.

The promotions were announced at last Monday's selectmen's meeting, where all four men were sworn into their new positions.

Lipe said the four men are leaders and bring experience to the department in their new positions.

"All four guys are well-seasoned firefighters. They bring a lot of experience to the department," said Lipe, noting that with the many recent changes in the department, leadership is key to the most recent promotions.

"A good 25 percent of the department is virtually brand-new," Lipe said.

Just last year Buck Frost, Jim Squires, Bill Paine, Nathan Denio and Matt Eaton were hired as new firefighters. The openings were a result, in part, of the retirements of Deputy Chief Tony Chouinard and Firefighter Jeff Baillargeon, who together served in the Hampton department for 49 years.

Lipe also announced that the company's newest fire truck, a SMEAL pumper built by the Smeal Fire Apparatus company in Snyder, Neb., is due to arrive in town by the end of the month.

The truck, approved by voters last year, left Nebraska last week, Lipe said, headed for Connecticut, where it will receive some fine-tuning before it arrives here.

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