Timothy Smith Appointed Falmouth (MA) Fire Chief

Two fire apparatus

Jessica Hill

Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.


With more than 30 years under his belt at the Fire Department, Timothy Smith recently took on the new role of fire chief. 

The Falmouth Select Board affirmed Smith’s appointment at the beginning of December. He had been serving as the acting fire chief since July when former Fire Chief Michael Small retired. 

“This is the culmination of a very lengthy and required civil service process in appointing Small’s successor,” Town Manager Julian Susosaid

Suso said Smith has been in the command staff of the department for all of Suso’s tenure as town manager, and he looks forward to Smith’s work as fire chief.

Smith, 59, has been with the department since 1987 when he started as a firefighter/paramedic, moving up the ranks to

“I’m really happy to see Tim in this role, and I think he’s going to do great,” Doug Brownsaid

As deputy fire chief, Smith’s total salary — regular pay plus overtime — was $149,483.05 in 2019, according to the town’s 2020 annual report. Former Fire Chief Michael Smallmade $150,419.55 in 2019.

As a boy growing up in Cranston, Rhode Island, Smith wanted to be a firefighter. His grandfather and uncles on his mother’s side were firefighters in Providence, so the calling ran in his family, Smith said.

When he turned 18, Smith became a volunteer firefighter in Pawtuxet, a small village in his city.

In 1982, Smith moved to the Cape and joined the Coast Guard, working as a health services technician at

“Over the years I’ve seen more than my share of traumatic incidents,” Smith, a Falmouthresident who lives with his wife and two sons, said. Whether they were fire-related or medical-related, they were just part of my job, he said.

As fire chief, Smith’s goals are to fill vacant and new positions in the department, improve the condition of Falmouthfire stations and equipment and continue communication between the department and the town.

The town approved a Proposition 2 1/2 override that authorized eight additional personnel, Smith said, and the department’s fiscal 2021 budget, which is $7,732,968, allows for two additional firefighters.

When at full staff the department has 74 firefighters and officers and 11 civilian staff, Smith said. Currently, the department has 64 firefighters and officers and Smith plans to hire the new fire personnel over the next several months.

“My goal right now is to hire and fill all these vacancies so we can improve our staffing here,”

Smith also wants to make sure his staff is safe and well-protected with the proper equipment.

Another goal is to address the infrastructure at the department’s stations

The Fire Departmentalso is working to improve its fleet of vehicles and apparatuses

Smith’s other goal is to continue to improve communications with town officials and

“It’s a team effort in everything that we do,” he said. “Whatever we’re doing, we’re doing it together and we go through it together.”

Smith said he enjoys coming into work every day and has made many friends and acquaintances throughout the community.

“I look forward to this part of my career, and I expect many challenges to be ahead of me,”

Contact Jessica Hillat jhill@capecodonline.com. Follow her on Twitter: @jess_hillyeah.


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