Acting Chester Fire Chief Looks for Answers On His Future Role

By Alex Malm

CHESTER – During the June 24 Chester Board of Selectmen meeting, Chester Fire Department Acting Fire Chief Philip Gladu, gave an update of the department.
During his weekly update, Gladu asked if they had any updates about his status as acting Fire Chief. Gladu took over as the acting chief on May 13 when the previous chief Gregory Bolduc resigned suddenly from his position.
“The one big question I have is where do we stand right now,” Gladu said.
He said he is often asked about it by members of the department and the community.
“I’m getting asked a dozen times a day and I don’t have any answers for them,” he said.
Board of Selectmen Chairman and liaison for the fire department Chuck Myette said that at this point he’s the acting chief.
He said that they planned on giving it a little bit of time and then evaluate how things are going.
Gladu asked if they had a timeline for that and Myette said that they were thinking about a month or two.
Myette noted that soon they will have to put together a committee to look at all the different facets of the department.
Myette said that it’s important for them to put together a good strategic plan about the overview of the department, including how many calls they have, how many firefighters and EMTS they have, and if they need to look at adding any resources.
Gladu was tasked with creating a strategic plan previously.
He said that he is happy with his department stepping up during the transition.
“Things are going phenomenal right now. The people who have been here a while have stepped up tremendously,” he said.
“I have nothing but great things to say about them.”
Myette recommended that they set a date for when the strategic plan is due.
It was ultimately agreed by the Board of Selectmen and Gladu to have the strategic plan done by the first meeting in August.
Also during the meeting representatives from the Chester 300th Anniversary Committee came to the meeting to discuss their Christmas Tree and charoling event that is scheduled to take place in December of 2021.
Rhonda Lamphere, the treasurer for the committee said that a member of the community agreed to donate his time and equipment to help make sure that there is permanent electricity in front of Stevens Memorial Hall where the Christmas events will be taking place along with other events in the future.
It was explained by Lamphere that the only thing that they will have to pay for is an electrician to connect the power to the two 20 amp electrical panels that are being donated.
She said that when they find out how much it will cost for the electrician they will determine if the 300th Anniversary Committee will be able to afford to pay for it or if they will need to go back to the Selectmen to seek help in paying for it.
The Board of Selectmen approved the donation to the town.