It's not often that any organization has two chiefs, but that was the case on Wednesday at the Acushnet Fire Department.

Outgoing Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher was showing incoming Fire Chief Tom Farland the lay of the land before he began the retirement chapter of his life.

"I've asked Tom to consider new ideas, new approaches, new styles of management. He has the tools to be an exceptional fire chief. We are focused on making that happen," Gallagher said.

Earlier in April, the two candidates for the position, Eric Arruda and Tom Farland, were interviewed by Acushnet's Board of Selectmen.

The board agreed that either of the candidates would make a terrific chief, calling the day "historic" for the town.

"For a small town like Acushnet, this is a once-in-a-generation appointment," said Acushnet Selectman David Wojnar.

On Tuesday night, after considering both candidates for nearly a week, the Acushnet Board of Selectmen appointed firefighter and paramedic Tom Farland as the town's next fire chief.

Gallagher offered words of encouragement to both of the candidates by sending them a text: "Good luck to both of you today. Remember, you put yourselves in those seats. No one gave you this opportunity. You earned it."

Thomas Farland via Facebook
Thomas Farland via Facebook

The new chief is celebrating the promotion with a vacation with his wife and two children, before returning to work to assume his new role.

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