Freeport finds fire chief who is ‘an ideal fit’

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FREEPORT — A longtime firefighter who led the Rockland Fire Department for more than a decade has been chosen to head Freeport’s department.

Charles Jordan, 55, was nominated for the position by Town Manager Peter Joseph and approved by the Town Council on Tuesday night. He starts Aug. 1, and will earn $84,200 annually.

Former Fire Chief Darrel Fournier, who had been Freeport’s chief since 1999, retired May 6. Joseph said he received 30 applications for the position and six were interviewed. Jordan was one of two final candidates.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Jordan said of getting the job. “I look forward to it a great deal.”

Jordan is a resident of Camden, but said he will be moving to Freeport as soon as he is able. He said the community is one of the primary reasons he applied for the position.

“Both the town and the department have great reputations,” Jordan said. “I wasn’t just out there looking for any job.”

Jordan has been in fire service for 26 years, most of which were spent with Rockland Fire and EMS. He was fire chief in Rockland for just over 10 years.

He retired from the position in Rockland in 2014 to work in the private sector, but realized he missed emergency services and began working as a call firefighter in Camden.

“I found that I absolutely missed it every waking minute of every day,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s work outside of fire service, as well as his degree in economics from the University of Maine, made him stand out as a candidate, Joseph said in a letter to the Town Council.

“His private-sector experience with numbers and finance, along with his budget development and administration skills in his former position as chief, were major factors in my decision to nominate Charlie for appointment as chief,” Joseph said.

Joseph said Jordan is also “an ideal fit” for the position because Rockland is similar to Freeport.

“I believe that Charlie’s strong experience as chief in a similarly sized department and city will serve as a valuable resource to him as Freeport’s fire/rescue chief,” Joseph said.

Jordan said he expects the departments to be similar, but said he has a lot to learn about Freeport.

“The biggest difference is that I haven’t come up through the ranks,” he said. “I’m going to be here observing, listening and watching.”

Working as part of a team is very important to Jordan, who said he’s looking forward to working with the whole department.

“No one person can do it alone and no one person is responsible for the success of a fire department,” he said.

Jordan said he will also be talking with town administrators and town councilors to learn more about the town and its needs. He said gathering a lot of input will make him a better-informed chief, and hearing from everyone is a great way to make improvements.

“The department has a great reputation and I hope we can make it even better,” he said.

Getting to know residents is also important to Jordan.

“My wife and I are excited to become part of the community,” he said. “We’re planning to be here a long, long time.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Charles Jordan, the former fire chief in Rockland, has been hired as Freeport’s new fire chief.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.