Topsham taps Brunswick firefighter as next chief

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TOPSHAM — Brian Stockdale, a firefighter/paramedic with the Brunswick Fire Department, will become Topsham’s fire chief on June 3.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously May 20 to approve Town Manager Jim Ashe’s selection of Stockdale. He was a candidate chosen from a pool of 28 applicants, five of whom were interviewed, and he will receive a $65,000 salary.

Stockdale, 38, replaces Ken Brillant, who became Brunswick’s fire chief on April 26. Emergency Medical Services Director Mike Labbe has been handling the Topsham Fire Department’s administrative duties in the interim, while the department’s officers have run the day-to-day operations.

“When we lost Chief Brillant I made the remark that night that Brunswick’s gain is our loss,” Selectmen Chairman Ron Riendeau said. “Well, tonight I can reverse that. Brunswick’s loss is our gain, and I mean that sincerely.”

Stockdale has worked in Brunswick for almost six years, and was named Firefighter of the Year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and has served as chairman/program director in the medical assisting department at Southern Maine Community College since 2008, a position he will also be leaving.

Stockdale plans to complete his master’s degree in organizational leadership at Southern New Hampshire University in December.

He previously served as a lieutenant and registered nurse in the U.S. Army Reserve, and shift supervisor and captain with the Hope Mills Fire Department in North Carolina. Stockdale also worked as a registered nurse with Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, the Shriners Burn Hospital in Boston and MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.

Originally from Boston, Stockdale now lives in Brunswick and is married. He described Topsham on Monday as an “up-and-coming community.”

“There are just a lot of opportunities here in the town of Topsham,” he said. “It seems to me a very nice place to work. And the members of the Fire Department, working with them through being a firefighter in Brunswick … are top-notch, the training is top-notch. (It’s) a very professional, progressive organization. That’s certainly the type of organization I want to be a part of.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

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Brian Stockdale, a firefighter/parademic in Brunswick, will start as Topsham’s new fire chief on June 3.

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.