By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Monday in Everett started with a large three-alarm fire on Hancock Street for the Everett Fire Department, as 12 people were displaced from their homes in the triple-decker blaze that saw assistance provided by Chelsea FD.
Once the fire was out, attention turned to the operation and future of the Everett Fire Department as the Everett City Council approved the appointment of former Deputy Chief Tony Carli to the position of Everett Fire Chief on a provisional basis, effective July 10, 2016, the day current Chief David Butler officially retires.
“I think Tony is going to really well,” said Butler after the swearing in ceremony in front of the entire Council and most of the EFD and their families. “He has a good record in the fire service and I just think he is an excellent choice.”
Carli was not the only firefighter to take an oath of office Monday night, as 11 new firefighter candidates also were sworn in as friends, family and well-wishers looked on.
Among the newly appointed firefighters were Jonathan Russo, Chris Grace, Derek Joyner, Michael O’Donnell, Adam Ragucci, Chad Bailey, Nicholas Chiarello, Peter Chiarello, Joseph DeVanna, Christopher Dockery and Thomas Ross.
Technically, Carli was appointed on an interim basis, while the city calls for a new Chief’s list. However, that process could take some time since the Everett Fire Chief position is subject to civil service requirements and no Everett firefighter or supervisor has taken the chief’s test to date.
Mayor Carlol DeMaria’s office has been pushing for nearly a year to take the Chief position out of civil service, in order to have flexibility to appoint a duly qualified individual even if they have not taken the chief’s test and to alleviate other restrictions imposed by the civil service process. However, that move has been hotly opposed by members of the Everett Fire Department and the fire union.
On Monday night, the City Council once again voted against a measure that would have asked the state legislature to allow the city to take the position out of Civil Service.