Veteran chief takes new North Yarmouth fire-rescue post

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NORTH YARMOUTH — A Biddeford man whose long career has included fire chief positions in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida, is the town’s first-ever public safety assistant.

The hiring of Ricky Plummer for the part-time position followed the transition of the town fire company to a fire and rescue department, a change approved at Town Meeting in June.

Plummer, 55, has been a full-time firefighter for 34 years. He was chief of the Marlborough, Mass., Fire Department from April 2010 through last August, when an illness convinced him to take things a little easier.

That was when he saw an ad for the North Yarmouth job.

“It’s a lot of the things I did, even though it’s not (the position of) chief,” Plummer said last week. “… I love the fire service; I don’t want to get out of that.”

Plummer, who is married and has four children and three grandchildren, said he enjoys working in a smaller department.

“You get to know people better, and they’re there because they really like to be there,” he said.

Plummer previously was fire-rescue chief and public safety and emergency management agency director in Gray (2007-2010), fire-rescue chief and emergency management director in Cocoa, Fla. (2005-2007), and Biddeford (2003-2005), and fire chief and public safety and EMA director in Standish (2001-2003).

In New Hampshire, he was town manager of Milton from 1995-1996 and fire chief in Portsmouth from 1996-2001. He also served as a forest fire warden and instructor for a firefighter rookie school.

Plummer said he enjoys working for North Yarmouth Fire Chief Clark Baston, and Baston said the feeling is mutual.

“I can’t say enough good about (Plummer),” Baston said Tuesday.

According to a town press release, Plummer’s responsibilities include coordinating and supervising volunteers, inspecting equipment, providing inventories of equipment and vehicle supplies, creating and maintaining records, and responding to emergency medical service calls and assisting the fire chief as needed.

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

Sidebar Elements

Ricky Plummer of Biddeford is the North Yarmouth Fire and Rescue Department’s first public safety assistant.

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.