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Mayor Walsh Announces Boston Fire Commissioner/Chief of Department Appointment

June 7, 2014

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Fire Operations

Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that he will appoint Chief Joseph E. Finn as the next Commissioner/Chief of the Boston Fire Department. Chief Finn will assume the duties from current Interim Commissioner/Chief John Hasson.

"Deputy Chief Finn possesses a broad and impressive understanding of the Boston Fire Department, including personnel, public safety, and administration," said Mayor Walsh. "Interim Commissioner/Chief Hasson has shown exceptional leadership and I'm grateful for his service as he passes the torch to Chief Finn. Chief Finn's experience and leadership style, along with his commitment to diversity and fairness, will help move our Fire Department into an even more successful era of service to the people of Boston."

In March 2014, Mayor Walsh announced the selection of FACETS management consulting firm to identify the permanent Commissioner of the Boston Fire Department. FACETS conducted a nationwide search following a multi-phase process, including information gathering, engaging with stakeholders and the community, recruiting and vetting of qualified candidates nationwide, and creating a short list of candidates for selection by Mayor Walsh. The final list of candidates was presented for consideration in early June. 

Joseph E. Finn has been a member of the Boston Fire Department since October of 1984 and has risen through the ranks of the department. In 2001, he was promoted Deputy Chief of Personnel, responsible for recruitment, selection and hiring, as well as contract enforcement, employee assistance, and discipline. He was named to this post based on the findings of the O’Toole Commission, and was charged with implementing the Commission’s recommendations related to disparity of treatment towards members. He initiated and trained the first team of investigators to examine harassment and discrimination allegations, and trained firefighters to become mediators to achieve conflict resolution among staff.

Since 2005, Deputy Chief Finn has served as a Division Commander, in charge of all administrative functions, fire ground operations, hazardous materials, and technical rescue responses in Division One. 

In his 30 years with the Boston Fire Department, Deputy Chief Finn made significant contributions to the department, including establishing an EMT training program that increased the number of EMTs on the Boston Fire Department by 50 percent, and assisting in the development of state regulations for the use of semi-automatic external defibrillators, and of legislation that made the Fire service a major participant in the delivery of Emergency Medical Services.

Deputy Chief Finn has served as a committee member on the Mayor’s task force for the integration of Boston Emergency Medical Services into the Boston Fire Department, and a committee member for the Massachusetts Human Resource Division in the development and implementation for a new entry-level firefighters test. He has worked on numerous planning committees for high profile events for the department, including the 2004 Democratic National Convention. 

Deputy Chief Finn holds numerous certifications, including: Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. in labor law and laws involving discrimination; National Incident Management System (NIMS) certified in Incident Command System (ICS) 100, 200, 700, 800; Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service certified in ICS 300,400; and Department of Justice certified for managing terrorist and large-scale incidents. He also holds numerous certificates related to fire service training from OSHA, Homeland Security, and the National Fire Academy’s extension program.

Deputy Chief Finn also served in the United States Marine Corps. from 1979 to 1982. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in 2008, graduating magna cum laude.

Deputy Chief Finn will be formally sworn in within the coming weeks.