Hail to the chief

Adam Nor­man elected eighth Bay Roberts fire chief

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

It has only been a cou­ple of days but new Bay Roberts Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment Fire Chief Adam Nor­man is im­mers­ing him­self in his new po­si­tion.

He won’t for­mally as­sume the man­tle un­til Feb. 3, but Nor­man is work­ing hard ac­quaint­ing him­self with the in­tri­ca­cies that come with chief. Un­til then, as­sis­tant chief Doug Mercer is serv­ing as in­terim fire chief.

Re­gard­less, Nor­man has jumped head­long into the po­si­tion.

Sur­rounded by files, ros­ter lists and other forms of pa­per­work in the up­stairs of­fice at the fire hall, Nor­man is fa­mil­iar­iz­ing him­self with the pro­cesses.

The 30-year-old Bay Roberts res­i­dent de­feated in­cum­bent chief Clarence Rus­sell at the depart­ment’s bi-an­nual elec­tion of of­fi­cers on Jan. 27. Rus­sell had been chief for 12 years.

“I’ve re­ceived noth­ing but good feed­back,” said Nor­man of be­ing se­lected.

Nor­man had made up his mind to run for the top po­si­tion a month prior to the elec­tion. “There were a lot of things to con­sider,” he said. The pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion be­ing the sub­stan­tial time com­mit­ment that comes with be­ing fire chief. Nor­man has a young fam­ily and runs his own busi­ness, R-Fac­tor In­su­la­tors.

“My fam­ily is all be­hind me 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s a great morale boost.”

Nor­man has been a fire­fighter since 2006, and has served as a lieu­tenant and fire cap­tain dur­ing his ten­ure.

He be­comes the eighth chief in the depart­ment’s his­tory, as well as its youngest.

New equip­ment

Nor­man takes charge of the depart­ment just af­ter it wel­comed its new­est piece of fire­fight­ing equip­ment.

The 1992 Si­mon-Du­plex lad­der truck ar­rived at the sta­tion on Jan. 22 to much fan­fare.

The truck will al­low fire­fight­ers to at­tack fires from above with in­creased wa­ter pres­sure. It will also give the depart­ment ad­di­tional res­cue op­tions.

“It adds a new di­men­sion to the way we fight fires,” said Nor­man.

Changes

Nor­man walks into the po­si­tion be­hind a man who spent the last decade-plus at the helm of the depart­ment. How­ever, he is not daunted by the task in front of him for the next two years. In fact, he rel­ishes the op­por­tu­nity. “I en­joy hav­ing a lead­er­ship role,” said Nor­man. Be­ing the pro­pri­etor of his own busi­ness, as well as serv­ing as a lieu­tenant and fire cap­tain, helped pre­pare him for the role.

“Hav­ing that ex­pe­ri­ence helps,” said Nor­man. “It’s a big role to fill.”

Sup­port

In his new role as chief, Nor­man will have plenty of sup­port from the other mem­bers of the depart­ment, es­pe­cially the of­fi­cers.

“I have a great group of fel­las as my of­fi­cers,” he said. “There is a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind you.”

Each one will be there to lend their ex­pe­ri­ence to any sit­u­a­tion the new chief may find him­self in.

Sup­port will not only come from the depart­ment. The town coun­cil con­sis­tently throws a great deal of sup­port be­hind the depart­ment.

Dur­ing the town’s reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Jan. 28, Mayor Philip Wood re­it­er­ated the sen­ti­ment. Wood also took the op­por­tu­nity to thank Rus­sell for his years of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

“It’s great hav­ing the town stand be­hind you,” said Nor­man.

He added: “I’m not try­ing to re-in­vent the wheel. I’m ex­cited to get go­ing.”

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

Adam Nor­man is the new fire chief with the Bay Roberts Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment. Nor­man is the eighth chief in the depart­ment’s his­tory, as well as its youngest.

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