North Yarmouth taps West Bath chief to head fire-rescue department

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NORTH YARMOUTH — Gregory Payson of Topsham will start work as North Yarmouth’s new fire-rescue chief on Nov. 24.

Currently chief of the West Bath Fire-Rescue Department, Payson replaces Ricky Plummer, who left North Yarmouth in September to become fire chief in Old Orchard Beach.

Since then, Michael Robitaille – Yarmouth’s fire-rescue chief – has served in North Yarmouth in an interim capacity.

Payson “met all the qualifications the search team was looking for, along with (first-hand) experience in working with a ‘new’ municipal fire rescue department,” Town Manager Rosemary Roy said last week via email. “He was the unanimous choice of the search team.”

Payson, who was raised in Pownal, has been chief in West Bath since July 2013. He has been a full-time firefighter in Brunswick for nearly 15 years, and a call captain in Topsham, where he has worked for about 20 years.

“Looking to expand my future” was one of the elements that drew Payson to North Yarmouth’s job opening, he said last week, adding that his time as West Bath’s fire chief encouraged him to pursue a full-time post.

“I really enjoyed it, and felt it was time to move forward,” he said.

Payson, 45, is married and has one daughter, and said he plans to move next month to North Yarmouth. His last day in West Bath is Dec. 1, which will allow him to assist in that town’s transition to a new chief while he begins work in North Yarmouth.

“I feel honored to have been hired,” Payson said. “It kind of validates … what I’ve been doing, and I’m excited for the new change.”

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

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Gregory Payson

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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.