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City poised to hire a new firefighter

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The Ogdensburg Fire Department has a candidate to fill a permanent firefighter vacancy.

Chief Steven M. Badlam said Friday the top candidate is an Ogdensburg resident. His name was not released, pending his passing a medical examination and drug-testing.

Assistant Chief Donald J. McCarthy confirmed Friday the candidate was one of five Civil Service-tested candidates interviewed a week ago. If he is cleared, he will officially sign on with the department in March and leave immediately for the state fire academy in Montour Falls for 11 weeks of training. If the top candidate doesn’t pass the medical and drug tests, the other four will be reviewed.

Mr. Badlam is retiring Tuesday and will be replaced by Assistant Chief Michael J. Farrell as provisional chief until he takes the chief’s Civil Service exam next January.

Mr. Farrell is expected to name a fire captain to fill the assistant chief vacancy, a firefighter to the captain’s opening and a new firefighter, all of whom have already been Civil Service-tested and listed. Their appointments will be temporary and won’t become permanent until Mr. Farrell does.

The permanently appointed firefighter will replace Christopher A. Fay, a 13-year veteran of the department. He was promoted to captain last month, replacing Gerald F. Bova, who retired after 20 years with the department.

Fully staffed, the fire department has a chief, four assistant chiefs, four captains and, with Mr. Fay’s promotion, 20 firefighters.

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