Goshen names volunteer state's first female fire chief
GOSHEN, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts has its first female fire
chief.
Selectmen in Goshen, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents,
selected Susan Labrie to the town's top fire post. Labrie, 42, has
been a volunteer on the force since she and her husband moved to
the Hampshire town 17 years ago.
Selectmen Chairman Kevin Lacey said Labrie was selected for the
$3,000-a-year job over two other candidates based on her
experience, not her gender.
"We all felt she was the perfect candidate for the job," he
said.
Labrie learned that she got the job this week via a text-message
on her cell phone, while she was working emergency services at the
James Taylor concert at Tanglewood.
She learned she would be the first female fire chief after she
had talked to Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state Department
of Fire Services. "That was an added bonus," she told the
Republican newspaper of Springfield.
But, Labrie said, "I don't feel gender is an issue with fire
service as long as you can pull your weight."
The department has 18 volunteers who respond to about 40 calls a
year from chimney fires to bicycle and horse accidents, Labrie
said.
Labrie succeeds Francis Dresser, who retired after more than 50
years on July 1.
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Information from: The Springfield Republican,
http://www.masslive.com/republican/index.ssf