Sirois sworn in as new fire chief
Date: 6/22/2011June 22, 2011
By Debbie Gardner
AGAWAM Mayor Richard Cohen officially changed Deputy Fire Chief Alan Sirois' title from "Interim Fire Chief" to "Fire Chief" during a swearing-in ceremony at the Agawam Fire Station on June 13.
Cohen said the promotion was made based both on retired Fire Chief Stephen Martin's recommendation and Civil Service hiring procedures.
"With the recommendation of Chief Martin, and with his [fire] expertise and experience, and his military experience, I believe he will do a fine job leading our Fire Department," Cohen said.
"I'm really looking forward to leading the department into the future," Sirois said. "It's a pleasure and an honor to work with these consummate professionals firefighters and paramedics alike."
Sirois said working alongside Martin as Deputy Chief for the three years leading up to the fire chief's retirement gave him an opportunity to "pick up tips and tricks and nuances," of the job and provided "more than an adequate hand off before [Martin's] retirement."
Sirois, who joined the Agawam Fire Department in 2001 as a firefighter and certified paramedic, told Reminder Publications
he began his fire service career in 1994 in Scarborough, Maine. Still in high school at the time, he served as a call firefighter for the town. He continued his fire service while attending Springfield College, where he was a part of the emergency response team. In 1999, he joined American Medical Response as a certified paramedic.
Sirois also served a tour in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked in military intelligence.
In addition to this background, which Sirois said has given him "a wide range of experience" in many aspects of management and emergency response, on June 9 he also graduated from the Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program offered through the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.
Sirois said he enrolled in the class on his own, before Martin officially retired.
"They received a large number of applicants and in the end, only selected 30," he said. "It was an honor to be selected for the course."
He said the course presenters came from a wide range of backgrounds which offered he and the other students "a perspective outside that which I would experience in the Chief Fire Officer's slot" and helped to better prepare him for his new role in the department.
In a press release announcing the program attendees graduation, State Fire Marshall Stephen D. Coan said of Sirois and his classmates, "These fire service leaders are committed to continually developing their management and leadership skills in order to provide the highest level of service to the communities they protect."
The release indicated completion of this course by Sirois had prepared him to take certification exams for Fire Officer II and IV. Achieving certification at these levels "can assist [a] chief fire officer in securing a national designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and Massachusetts Fire Services Commission's Fire Chief accreditation," according to the release.Debbie Gardner can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com