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Shaw chosen as new WFD captain

Date: 2/2/2010

Feb. 1, 2010

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM -- A total of eight firefighters applied for the open captain's position in the department, but only one could be chosen to fill it.

Tom Shaw was chosen by the Board of Selectmen to fill that position during their Jan. 25 meeting.

Fire Chief Fran Nothe told the selectmen at last Monday night's meeting that the process for finding a new captain was an extensive one.

Shaw grew up in Wilbraham and explained that his father joined the auxiliary when he was 16, and he followed in his father's footsteps by doing the same. Shaw said it was going to fire calls with his father when he was a child that piqued his interest in fire service.

A Wilbraham & Monson Academy graduate, Shaw served as a firefighter for four years in the U.S. Air Force and then applied for a job with the Wilbraham Fire Department.

"I was fortunate enough to get hired 21 years ago, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it," Shaw said. He added that he also enjoys helping people in their time of need.

Selectman Jim Thompson asked Shaw why he applied for the captain's position, and Shaw replied that he thought the timing was right.

"I look forward to the new challenges [of being a captain]," he stated.

Shaw, an Intermediate Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), said during his final interview with the selectmen that he would lead by example in the department and that he's proudest of his knowledge of the town and the training he received while in the Air Force.

When Thompson asked if he would be "ready to go on day one," Shaw said yes.

"I served as an acting captain for three months in the past and I felt like I did a good job," he said. Nothe agreed that he did and that there were no issues during his time as acting captain.

"Tom preformed well throughout the promotional process and was a very good choice, but I know that it was a difficult decision for the Board of Selectmen because all eight candidates that applied for the position have many talents, and that makes us a strong organization to provide emergency services to the community," Nothe told Reminder Publications.

Based on work record, experience, testing at an assessment center and internal interviews, Shaw was selected at the top candidate for the captain's position. Two others were ranked in the top three, and they also interviewed with the selectmen -- Wendi Denning and Dan Corliss.

After the interviews had been completed, Thompson made the motion to appoint Shaw as captain and approval was unanimous.