Bath council names acting fire chief to permanent job

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BATH — Lawrence Renaud, acting fire chief since the April retirement of Steve Hinds, will now serve in that role in a permanent capacity.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously supported City Manager Bill Giroux’s recommendation of Renaud.

The West Bath resident served with that town’s fire department from 1979-2001, becoming chief for the better part of 11 years in 1985. He joined the Bath department in 1987 and was promoted to captain in 1997.

Renaud also co-founded the Sagadahoc County Fire Chiefs’ Association, with which he served as president, according to Giroux.

“He’s a long-time veteran of the (Bath Fire & Rescue Department), he’s been a captain for many years, and I have complete confidence in his ability to run that … department,” Giroux said.

“He will be capable of meeting the administrative responsibilities of the position as Fire Chief as he has an extensive experience in budgeting, planning and policy implementation,” the manager wrote in a June 6 memo to the City Council. “Renaud is well respected by his peers and has shown excellent management skills during his two months as Acting Fire Chief.”

Renaud, 53, is married and has two children. He said he was influenced to enter firefighting by the service of his grandfather, Chet Swain Sr., as chief and assistant chief of the West Bath department.

“I used to hang out with him at the fire station in West Bath growing up,” Renaud said.

He said he enjoys helping people, but another part of the job that’s maintained his interest for decades is “not knowing from one call to the next what you’re gong t be responding to, so you spend your whole career training and learning, because every call presents itself a little differently.

“I think I like that – the unknown.”

Renaud expressed gratitude to Giroux for giving him the opportunity to head the department.

“I’ve been working for it for a long time,” he said. “I think I can do a good job for the city.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.