The city of Sanford has hired Matthew Arnold to serve as chief of the Sanford Fire Department, filling the vacancy left by Chief Wayne Barber, who retired in January.
Arnold has 23 years of leadership experience with 14 of those in fire and emergency services. Most recently, he served as battalion chief for York Area United Fire & Rescue in York, Pennsylvania, a city of approximately 54,000 residents. At York, Arnold oversaw operational and emergency duties and served as the assistant accreditation manager, among other responsibilities, for the department of more than 60 employees and five stations.
Sanford government considered candidates’ records of community engagement, adaptability, and innovation during the selection process. At York, Arnold designed and implemented an adult safety academy and a youth safety academy, coordinated the location of a new fire station, and pursued accreditation for his department.
Former Chief Wayne Barber was known for his push to modernize the Sanford Fire Department. Incoming Chief Arnold has a background in information technology and will continue to invest in data- and technology-driven solutions, strategic planning, and developing relationships that further the mission of a department.
“We are excited for Chief Matthew Arnold to join the Sanford Fire Department and look forward to his leadership and innovation as our city grows,” said City Manager Hal Hegwer. “I would also like to thank Battalion Chief Steve Seagroves for his dedicated and excellent service as interim fire chief.”
Arnold will begin work on October 3.
I find it hard to believe that the Fire Department didn’t have an employee on staff capable of promoting. We are to believe that someone from out of state knows more about our staff, equipment and facilities than a veteran of our force. What message does this send to the firefighters that the city does not believe they had anyone capable of taking this job. And to top it off I heard they paid a consulting firm to help make this decision.
Name one person qualified; please be realistic.
The use of a hiring firm is a frequent practice amongst most municipal emergency services.
I rest my case….