Paramedic Jen Tedcastle
Jen worked as a full-time paramedic
for the Town of Pittsfield for 14 years until she changed
employment and now continues to serve us by filling per
diems shifts. Jen has been the Treasurer of the Pittsfield
Firefighters Association for the past two years.
What is your background in fire and ems?
A: I became
an EMT-Basic in the early 1990s when I was in college. I
took my EMT-Intermediate shortly after I finished college
and completed paramedic level certification in 1998. I began
working for Pittsfield in 1998 when the Town transitioned to
a full-time ambulance service.
When I took my EMT, I
was a pre-med college student, and thought it would be a way
to get some extra medical experience. I loved the class and
when I graduated college I began working in EMS. I found I
really enjoyed it and wanted to know more. That led me to
higher levels of EMS certification and now to my full-time
work as a Physician Assistant.
Q: What was one of
the best trainings you participated in?
A: Some of
the best trainings I have been to are those that challenge
my assumptions or look at why we do what we do. There has
been a big push in medicine over the past 10-15 years to
evidence-based medicine and that is starting to come into
EMS as well. It's not enough to do things the same way we
always have - now the research is being done to see if what
we do actually helps patients and improves outcomes. Seeing
the difference between what I was taught 20 years ago and
what we've learned since then is amazing. Learning the "why
do we do this" and the science behind what we're doing is
Lt. Jeremy Yeaton
Lt. Yeaton joined the
Department 16 years ago and was appointed to the position of
Lieutenant in 2001.
Q: Tell us about your background
in firefighting. Why did you join and what certifications do
A: I started in the fire service when one
of our neighbors in Epsom lost their house from fire. I was
a Senior at Pembroke Academy and joined the Epsom Fire
Department. I’ve been in the fire service for 24 years. I
later joined Pittsfield when I moved here. When I was about
20 years old, I took the Firefighter I class when in it was
offered in-house in Epsom. Several of the Concord guys
taught it. I was an EMT for about 5 to 6 years, but let that
lapse. My interest really is in firefighting.
was the best training you participated in?
Definitely Big Rig Rescue at the Fire Academy in Concord. It
was fun working with tow truck operators to work together on
problems of that size. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the tow
truck operators over the years.
Q: What do you like
about working at the Pittsfield Fire Department?
like helping the community and I value the friendship of the
Q: You are active around town. Where else do
we see you?
A: I’ve worked at Clark’s Grain Store for
the past 20 years. I’m also a member of the Pittsfield
Rotary Club. I’ve been married to Nancy Farnsworth Yeaton
for 17 years.
FF/EMT Nick Hoisington
We're taking a break in the
Pittsfield Fire Department's "Meet Our Members" series to
bid farewell to Firefighter/EMT Nick Hoisington. At age 20,
Nick was one our youngest members and he had served as a per
diem Firefighter/EMT for the past year and a half. We are
excited for Nick as he develops his career and moves to Anne
Arundel County, Maryland where he has accepted a full-time
job offer with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and
starts on April 10th, 2014.
Q: How did you get
involved in public safety? What certifications do you hold?
A: I initially became involved in public safety by
following my dad to the fire station at a very young age. He
has been full-time in the fire service for almost 30 years.
From my first visit, it was like a kid in a candy store, I
was in love. As time progressed so did my love for the
service. I am currently certified to the EMT basic level for
EMS. I am also certified to the Firefighter II level,
Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire Inspector I, and Fire
Instructor I. I also hold an Associate’s degree in Fire
Q: How many staff members serve with the
Anne Arundel County Fire Department? What is the population
that is covered?
A: Currently there are close to 800
full-time or career firefighters for the county and about
700 volunteers. Together they staff the county's 30 fire
stations answering the 75,000 calls for service each year.
Anne Arundel is south of Baltimore and has a population of
Q: What are your goals for the
A: My goals for the future are to further my
career with the Anne Arundel department, make it off of my
probationary period, and then eventually, as things settle
down, get in to teaching and training the next generation of
firefighters. I do plan to return to New Hampshire and share
my experiences with everyone.
I would personally
like to thank the residents of Pittsfield and everyone in
the fire/EMS service for your continued support. It has been
a pleasure serving with each and every one of you.
FF/Paramedic Jason Nichol
Next up in the Pittsfield Fire
Department’s “Meet Our Members” series is
Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Nichols.
Q: What is your
A: I’m a transplant from Indiana. I moved
to New Hampshire in 2010 and purchased a house here in
Pittsfield. I have been active with the fire department
since then. I started my EMS career in 2005, earning my EMT
certification, and then went to school for my Paramedic
license. I became a firefighter in 2008 and volunteered for
the Lowell (Indiana) Fire Department. When I moved to
Pittsfield, I knew I wanted to stay active on a small town
Q: Congratulations on your new
full-time employment! Tell us about your new job and other
A: I have been recently been hired as a
probational firefighter for Plymouth (NH) Fire Department. I
am hoping that my experiences and training in Plymouth will
benefit the citizens of Pittsfield. In addition, I also work
per diem EMS shifts at Goffstown Fire Department and
Q: Why did you become a
A: Growing up, I always felt a need
to help people - whether that was holding the door open for
the elderly or volunteering in Boy Scouts - I always knew
that my career would be involved in the service field. When
I went to EMT school, it was a perfect fit. And I knew I
found what I was meant to do!
Q: What have you
learned while being a FF/EMT?
A: One thing that I
have taken from my career in Fire/EMS is how to communicate
with people. Building a relationship with my patients helps
me to be a better caregiver and puts my patient at ease, in
what is a very stressful situation for him or her.
personal motto is “We can always do better.” To accomplish
this, I hope to continue my education by taking several
classes at the NH Fire Academy over the next several months.
Q: Do you have a special area of interest in fire or
A: One area of EMS that I am very interested in
is ambulance design evolution. By changing the way we set up
our ambulances, we can increase the safety of not only the
caregiver, but also of the patient. I was on the committee
for the brand new ambulance for the Pittsfield Fire
Department that we took delivery of in January.
Member Wanda Mullen
Next up in Pittsfield Fire
Department’s “Meet Our Members” series is Support Company
member Wanda Mullen. Wanda joined the Support Company seven
Q: Why did you join the Support Company?
A: I wanted to be on the Support Company for two
reasons. First of all, I wanted to help the firefighters and
other emergency responders to be sure they had food and
beverages. The Support Company helps out on the larger calls
where the firefightes works hard, often through a meal or
two, and even longer. The other reason I wanted to join was
to support my husband Gary Mullen who has been on the
department for 23 years. Our 9-year-old son Garrett also
participates and he sure does enjoy the fire department.
Q: In what ways do you assist as a Support Unit member?
A: I help shop and prepare food, like chop suey,
sandwiches, and coffee, and then with clean up. We’ve helped
out on calls like the recent fire on Barnstead Road and also
many of the structure fires around town and flooding events.
One year I helped make sandwiches for the Reach the Beach
Q: Garrett is a real “fire house” kid. How
does he help?
A: He helped making food for the
firefighters at the Barnstead Road fire. He has helped
loading vehicles with the Scouting for Food drop off and he
helped his dad last year with placing firefighter flags at
the cemetery last Memorial Day. As a family, we often ride
in parades in the summer and in the Concord Holiday parade.
FF/EMT Robyn Cushing
Next up in Pittsfield Fire
Department’s “Meet Our Members” series is FF/EMT Robyn
Cushing. Robyn began working as a per diem EMT for
Pittsfield in August of 2013.
Q: Why did you become a
A: It goes back to the days of when
I was a kid watching "Emergency." Every day I would sit in
front of the TV faithfully and watch Johnny and Roy and to
this day I still watch every rerun on TV. Firefighting and
EMS has been a dream of mine since I was a child.
How long have you been a FF/EMT?
A: I obtained my
Firefighter Level I in July 1996. I joined the Allenstown
Fire Department in April of 2001 and then went on to get my
Firefighter Level II in August of 2003. I became a Basic EMT
in July of 2005 and accepted a job offer as an EMT with
Tri-Town Ambulance the following month and I continue to
work there. In May 2009 I became an EMT-I. From there, I was
promoted to Lieutenant and EMS coordinator on the Allenstown
Fire Department in August of 2010. In October 2010 I joined
AMR in the City of Manchester and later joined Pittsfield as
a per diem EMT in 2013. In March 2014, I reached the
accomplishment of obtaining AEMT certification.
What have you learned while being a FF/EMT?
true meaning of Brother & Sisterhood: No matter where you
are or what you need, your extended family is there for you
in a time of need. I have had a few rough patches in my life
and my extended Fire and EMS family has never once let me
down. They have always been there to lift me and my family
up. I believe deep in my heart, and will live by these words
until the day I die “YOU NEVER LEAVE A BROTHER OR SISTER
BEHIND, YOU GO IN AS A TEAM, YOU COME OUT AS A TEAM.”
Firefighter Bill Brooks
Next up in the Pittsfield Fire
Department’s Meet our Members series is Firefighter Bill
Brooks. Bill joined the department in March 2013. Bill is a
lifelong native of Pittsfield. His grandfather, Philip
Brooks, was a Pittsfield police officer and animal control
officer for many years.
Q: What interested you in
joining the department?
A: I wanted to become a
firefighter because it is an opportunity to help people and
to protect their property. I wanted to do something
different and challenging. As a firefighter, you learn about
discipline and teamwork, as well as pushing yourself and
remaining calm under pressure. It’s a job you really put
your heart into. By being a firefighter, I can be a role
model for my two sons. It lets me give back to my community.
Q: What other ways do you help in the community?
A: I coach sports for Pittsfield Parks and Rec and I manage
many stores in the area.
FF/EMT Eliott Brown
Next up in the Pittsfield Fire
Department’s “Meet our Members” series is FF/EMT Eliott
Brown. Eliott joined the department last summer as a per
Q: How long have you been a
firefighter/EMT? Are you affiliated with any other
A: I began my time in the fire service
in 2005 as an Explorer with the Bradford Fire Department. In
2007, I received my first EMS license as an American Red
Cross First Responder and then became an EMT-Basic in 2008.
2009 brought me to my Firefighter I certification. I
continue to volunteer in Bradford, as well as work full-time
for a privately-owned ambulance service.
Q: Why did
you become a firefighter/EMT?
A: As so many before
me, I joined the fire service because of my family. My
father is a deputy chief in Bradford and my mother is
involved with the Bradford Rescue Squad. Growing up, I loved
to go to the firehouse with my father and, as soon as I
could, I began volunteering. I started with the fire
department and got my EMT certification because it seemed
like another good way to help my town.
Q: What was
the best training you attended? What did you take away from
A: The most interesting training I have attended
recently was the Swift Water Rescue Technician Level I
class. The course covered river and swift water dynamics and
basic rescue rope systems, as well as water rescue
techniques. From this class I gained a new found respect for
fast moving water, as well as an ability to further serve my
FF/EMT Kevin Marquis
Kevin joined the department in
2007 and served as an on-call member until his family
relocated to Bow last year. However, we are fortunate that
Kevin continues to assist us by filling per diem EMS shifts.
Q: How did you become interested in public safety?
A: I've always had an unexplainable drive to help those
in need. I find working within untenable conditions and
accomplishing what most people wouldn’t do, rewarding.
Q: What was one of the best trainings you attended?
A: For me, the best training I participated in was my
most recent trip to the flashover container at the NH Fire
Q: Now that you live in Bow are you a member
of the Bow Fire Department?
A: I am a member of Bow Fire
Department, I think it has been almost a year now. Time sure
does fly. I’m working as a call Firefighter/EMT.
You have two sons – mason, age 8 and carter, age 5. Would
you encourage them to become a firefighter/EMT?
certainly would encourage them to – however, it is more
important that they choose a career that they find
satisfying and rewarding.
Paramedic Karen Brown
Karen joined the department as
a Per Diem member in 2006 and was hired as a full-time staff
member six months later.
Q: How did you happen to
choose a career in EMS? What is your background in Fire and
A: I’ve always been interested in the medical
field and after starting my family I began to look into
furthering my education and finding a job in a profession I
felt was rewarding and fulfilling. I started out in EMS by
taking a Basic EMT class in 1999 and this was such a great
experience that I decided to find a job as an EMT. I started
out working for private ambulance companies where I was able
to learn from some of the best EMS providers.
2003, I bought a home in Hillsboro and joined the fire
department there. I was inspired by some of my friends there
to take a Firefighter Level 1 class which was a quite a
challenge and something I had always dreamed of doing. My
accomplishments as a firefighter helped me to build the
confidence I needed to enter into a paramedic program in
2006. Around the same time I was hired full-time at the
Pittsfield Fire Department. I went on to receive my
Paramedic License in 2009 and have been happily working for
both Departments as a Paramedic ever since.
was the best training you participated in?
working here at PFD I had the opportunity to take a class
offered in southern Massachusetts. This was a two-day
training in Advanced Airway Techniques. The course was
taught by paramedics who had years of experience working in
busy city areas. I was able to get a better understanding of
surgical airway procedures while practicing hands-on
techniques, as well as performing many other types of
airways, such as intubation tubes to help people breath when
they are physically unable on their own. This class was very
helpful to me as a paramedic.
Q: What other EMS/Fire
opportunities are you/ have you been involved with?
have also had many other part-time employment opportunities
in EMS over the years. One of the jobs I loved most has been
teaching an EMT-Basic class at Pinkerton Academy in Derry. I
was one of the instructors who assisted in teaching the
Senior high school students all they needed to know to
become fully capable EMTs. I am a State Examiner and am
currently helping out at the New England Emergency Medical
Services Institute at Advanced Level or with ALS practical
exams for new EMTs and paramedics who are finished taking
classes and need to complete skills performance evaluations.
I work as a paramedic at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in
Loudon whenever I can.
I have just recently become
involved in volunteer work that has much to do with my
interest in helping people and in my experience as a female
firefighter. I found that, due to the low number of women in
the fire service, there are very few places women can find
support for the specific job-related issues that affect
them, either negatively or positively. I have started taking
the steps to form a nonprofit organization that has come
from the success of a Facebook page I created which now has
over 2,000 members internationally. In March, we will have
our first gathering of women from all over the country and I
look forward to meeting and discussing the future plans for
the organization. The group will be meeting in Delray Beach,
Florida to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Firefighter Parade
which has now become one of the largest representations of
firefighters in the country. I will proudly represent the
Pittsfield Fire Department as I march with my Sister and
Firefighter/EMT Howard Hill
Howard joined the
department upon moving to Pittsfield.
Q: How long have
you lived in Pittsfield?
A: My wife Krystina and I
have lived here for about two years. We moved to town in
2012 after we got married. In February of this year we had a
little boy, Peyton, who has already been to the firehouse
Q: How did you get involved in public
A: I have always had a passion to help
people. When I graduated high school in 2009 I looked into
the emergency medical field and decided that was how I could
get involved and help in my community. In addition to being
an on-call firefighter/EMT in Pittsfield, I also work as a
per diem staff member. I work per diem shifts for Northwood
Fire-Rescue as a firefighter/EMT and as an EMT for Tri-Town
EMS based out of Pembroke. I am also currently working on my
Bachelor’s of Science degree in healthcare management.
Q: What was the best training you participated in?
A: I have participated in many awesome trainings since I
started my Fire/EMS career in 2009, but I'd have to say one
of my favorites has to be an EMS approach to auto
extrication held by New England Emergency Medical Institute.
We got to participate in real time scenarios and learned a
lot about managing motor vehicle injuries as well as highway
Paramedic Bob Bousquet
Bob has been a per diem member of the
Department for a year and a half and we are happy to have
Q: Tell us about your connection to
Pittsfield and your previous employment here.
I grew up in and around Pittsfield. I graduated
from Pittsfield High School in 1984. While I was in high
school, the Explorer program began in town. I initially
thought I wanted to be in law enforcement professionally and
after about a year I decided fire and EMS was more my
interest, so I moved to the fire side of things. I joined
the Pittsfield Fire Department in March of 1983, only a few
days after my eighteenth birthday. In fact, Rob Freese and I
joined the same night. I enjoyed my time and rose to the
rank of Lieutenant, initially on Engine Company 1 and then I
was asked to move over to the rescue squad. I left in June
1994 as I moved out of town. I moved to Northfield where I
joined the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department as a call
member. I was hired there full-time in December of 1997. I
moved back to Pittsfield in 2000 and lived here for a few
years. Once again, there was a need for leadership in
Pittsfield and I was again appointed to the position of
Lieutenant while still working full time for
Tilton-Northfield Fire Department where I rose to the rank
of Captain. Unfortunately, I had to retire in June of 2011
and then decided to come back to Pittsfield as a per diem
employee. So that in a nutshell, is my connection to the
Pittsfield Fire Department.
Q: How did you happen to
choose a career in EMS? What is your background in fire and
Actually, I didn’t choose EMS as a career. I would
have to say it chose me. I hold a degree in Applied Science
for Graphic Arts and ran an offset press for five years
before looking at private EMS and then the fire service.
Once I got involved in EMS, the progression was caused by my
feeling I could do more for the patients I was treating and
my full-time job supported that goal.
Q: What is your
involvement with the Ashland Fire Department?
reside in New Hampton and spent five years as a call member
there as well as rising to the rank of Captain in the call
company. The fire department was a bit far from my house and
my kids were growing, so I left that and about three years
ago I joined Ashland Fire which is closer to my house. I am
currently the EMS officer for the Ashland Fire Department,
as well as working full-time for a private ambulance
Q: What was the best training you
The training I believe that had the greatest impact
for me was right after I became a Lieutenant in Pittsfield
the first time – “Leadership for the New Young Officer.” It
was conducted at the York County Fire School. This course,
although only a one-day program, taught me skills I still
Every day should be a learning experience!
When I no longer find this to prove true, I will truly need
to retire. I enjoy sharing what I have learned and find that
teaching in small groups is most effective for discussion
Photographer Bob Legg
Bob joined the Support Company in
2009 and serves as our photographer.
Q: How did you
become involved with the fire department?
A: When I
moved to Pittsfield in 2002, I spent some of my
days/evenings listening to calls on my scanner. I also
happen to be a photographer and enjoy taking pictures of the
local scenery, buildings, and events. The images from a
tragic fire in June 2009 compelled me to share my
photographs with the PFD for training and historical
purposes. Impressed by my work, the PFD asked me to join its
Support Company with the idea that my photos could benefit
the department and residents of Pittsfield. I agreed, and
have been part of the Support Company as PFD’s photographer
Q: The subject matter you photograph for
the fire department is quite varied. What are some of the
A: As part of the Support Company, I have
had varied photographic experiences. I have photographed
numerous structure fires in town as well as several
instances in which PFD provided mutual aid to neighboring
towns. PFD frequently attends motor vehicle accidents and
resulting DHART Med Flights, which I have also documented
with my camera. I also took pictures of the Suncook River
flooding a few years back. Not all of my work, however, is
tied to emergency situations. I have also photographed PFD
equipment, the station house, training exercises, dress
uniforms, awards ceremonies, and holiday celebrations (such
as Veteran’s Day). Since 2007, I have also been
photographing Santa’s visit during the annual Pittsfield
Besides taking pictures for PFD, I
use my photography to support the community in other ways.
In 2007, I joined the Pittsfield Website Committee as the
“unofficial” town photographer. As part of my
responsibilities for the committee, I take photos and
produce videos of scenic Pittsfield and events like Old Home
Day and the Balloon Festival. I also photograph for local
organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Pittsfield
Economic Development Committee, Pittsfield Select Board,
Pittsfield School Board, and Pittsfield Listens.
What is your background in firefighting?
A: My first
experience in firefighting came in 1966 when I joined the
University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s student fire
department. Not only was I a firefighter, but also a pump
operator, which meant that I dealt with the University’s
aging 1932 Maxim Pumper (no laughing!). College summers were
spent as a forest and park ranger on Cape Cod where there
were substantial forest fires. I also worked as a
photographer with the fire and police departments in and
around Derry, New Hampshire for over 10 years.
How can members of the community access your photos?
A: I uploaded most of the photographs on Pittsfield to
the town website:
www.pittsfield-nh.com. My professional website at
and photo albums at
http://jalbum.net/en/users/boblegg/albums also contain
thousands of photographs.
[The Pittsfield Fire
Department and Pittsfield Firefighters Association would
like to thank Bob for the service he provides and capturing
the images we’d like to preserve.]
Capt. Michael Wolfe
Capt. Wolfe has been a member
for almost 21 years and served as an EMT for 16 of those
Q: Why did you become a firefighter?
Every member of a community should do something to give back
to the community. This is my way of giving back. It’s the
right thing to do. When someone calls 911, they assume the
fire department will come. If people don’t join the
department, there is a chance not enough people will respond
to a call.
Q: What are your responsibilities as the
Forest Fire Warden for the Town of Pittsfield?
Primarily, making sure the department has the tools,
equipment, and training to put out forest fires. Also, it’s
my job to keep the public informed about forest fire laws
and fire prevention. I try to attend the monthly meeting for
our region to keep up with what’s going on around us.
Q: What other community groups are you involved with?
A: I am a member of the School Board and am also an
assistant scoutmaster with the local Boy Scout troop. I’m a
member of the Drake Field Committee and part of the Suncook
Valley Sno-Riders snowmobile club. I was on the Housing
Standards Agency board for a while. I try to help out
whenever I can.
Q: What’s your formula for striking a
balance with all you are involved in?
A: Don’t forget
what’s important to you. I have an awesome wife–Gretchen–
and two sons. They have been very supportive of all of my
“hobbies.” My boys, Tucker (on right, in photo) and Casey
(on left, in photo), are with me whenever possible whether
it’s working at the fire station or doing trail work with
the snowmobile club. Involving my family in everything I do
is really what makes it work. Without their support, I
couldn’t do it.
EMT-Intermediate Jim Girard
Capt. Girard has been a
full-time staff member for 10 years and was appointed to the
position of EMS Captain one year ago.
Q: How long
have you been a firefighter/EMT? How did you get into this
career and what is your background?
A: It’s kind of
hard to say exactly how long I have been a firefighter/EMT
since I was born into the fire service 31 years ago. My
father was a career firefighter in St. Albans VT at the time
and my parents tell stories of me always hanging out at the
fire station with my father and going on calls. My father
was also a member of the Swanton Village Fire Department in
VT and he currently is the Fire Chief. This is the
department where I got my start and I learned how strong of
a brotherhood the fire service truly is. I was involved in
many community groups, but being an Explorer on the fire
department was where I devoted much of my time. I took my
Firefighter 1 during my senior year of high school and was
not allowed by my parents to respond on calls until I
officially graduated in June even though I was appointed to
full member status of the fire department when I turned 18
When I graduated high school I wasn’t
really sure what I wanted to do. I had three different
career choices in mind and had been accepted into three
different colleges. I finally made my mind up once I had
been accepted to be a live-in student with the Gilmanton
Fire Department while I attended the NH Community Technical
College at the time, now the school is known as Lakes Region
Community College. I lived in the fire house with four
roommates for two years while I attended college. This
experience was amazing and I would do it all over again. We
worked with the full-time staff and call members of the
department on calls and trainings. This helped me gain a
great amount of experience and knowledge. I graduated with
an Associate’s Degree in Applied Fire Science. Just recently
I have started to look into bachelor degree programs to
further my education.
Eventually I met my wife Lyndi
who I have been happily married to for 10 years. Lyndi has
been a strong supporter of my career and goals. We bought a
home in Belmont, and started a family 5 years ago when we
had our twin boys Benjamin and Ethan. They keep me on the go
and already are addicted to the fire department like their
father and grandfather.
In the 10 years of working
here in Pittsfield I have been a part of many different
projects. I was the head Explorer Post advisor for seven
years; I have been the chairman of two replacement ambulance
committees, and was also part of the new forestry truck
committee. I am the CPR instructor for the department and I
am always teaching CPR to different groups within the
community. The town of Pittsfield and its residents is what
makes me want to come to work every day. Not many people can
be proud of what they do and be proud of where they work.
Q: You are a member of other departments. What is your
role with them?
A: I am a member of a couple of fire
departments; I am a call lieutenant with the Belmont Fire
Department and have been there for 10 years. I work directly
under one of the full-time lieutenants and supervise six
call members. Belmont is a very busy department and if I am
on a day off from Pittsfield I am probably running calls in
Belmont. Eight years ago I started working as a per-diem
firefighter/EMT in the town of Farmington to make some extra
money. Well, I am now one of the senior members of the
department and work a 24-hour shift there every week. I was
involved in helping them design and purchase their newest
ambulance due to my back ground with doing this here in
Q: Do you have a department related goal?
A: As a goal, I would like to see the Pittsfield Fire
Department members provide the best customer service
possible to the residents of Pittsfield and surrounding
communities. The members of the department are proud of what
we do and we take this job very serious. To meet this goal
it involves members attending trainings/courses to stay up
to date with skills and techniques, actively participate in
community education programs and community events. I feel it
is very important that we take pride and ownership in what
we do and I want the community to see this as well.
Fire Chief Rob Martin
Chief Martin has been recently
appointed to this position and started on December 3, 2013.
We would like to welcome Chief Martin to the department and
look forward to working with him.
Q: How long have
you been a firefighter/EMT? Please tell us about your
A: I began my career as a call
firefighter in 1983 with the Pembroke Fire Department. In
1988, I was hired full-time with the Allenstown Fire
Department. Between 2001 and 2011, I moved up the ranks to
Lieutenant, and then to Captain, and then to Deputy Fire
Chief. I was appointed and served as Fire Chief from
2011-2013. The knowledge I received from the department and
the town was the greatest experience I could have asked for.
All my colleagues, family, and friends have inspired me to
be who I am today.
Q: Why did you become a
A: I have a long family history in the
fire service. My grandfather, uncles, and my father all
served with the Pembroke Fire Department. My dad use to
bring me to the fire station when I was a young boy. We
lived directly behind the fire station and I can remember
several times when my dad jumped up when the alarm bells
rang for a call. It didn’t matter what time of the day it
was–he was ready to answer the call. When I was of age, I
was an Explorer briefly with the Concord Fire Department
until Pembroke started the Junior Firefighter program. I
spent many hours and days learning the trade from some of
the best firemen and my dad. I remember leaving school
several times for building and brush fires, being one of the
first ones to arrive at the station and jumping on the
tailboard. That’s right–“tailboard”–buckling in for a ride
to the scene. Those were fun times not too long ago. Every
night, I use to go to the station with my dad to work on
equipment, do house chores, or just sit and listen to the
stories the other firemen would share. So, as you can see, I
have a long history of the fire service “brotherhood” and
that is why I chose this profession
Q: What was the
best training you attended?
A: Well, there are so
many great trainings I have attended. I would say, the first
great training I participated in was Firefighter I when I
was just starting out. Once I received my certification I
was able to fight fire and go into a burning building with
my dad. What a rush! Some of the other trainings that really
stick out is the trip to Texas at the “TEEX” school for the
“Enhanced All-Hazards Incident Management/Unified Command.”
This class is for all disciplines on any field that deals
with public safety, school, and health care. I met people
from all around the country and the networking we did for
the week will always be remembered.
Q: What is your
vision for the fire department?
A: My vision for the
fire department is to treat people the way you would want
people to treat you. I expect people to remember why they
joined the fire department and to keep the “brotherhood”
going by helping one another.
Lt. Gary Mullen
Lt. Gary Mullen ia a lifelong
resident of Pittsfield, Lt. Mullen has been a member for 23
years. He was promoted to the position of Lieutenant in
2008. He also serves on the School Board and is a member of
the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Q: Why did you
become a firefighter?
A: I saw a flyer on how to
serve our community, so I went down to the station and did
the paperwork to become member. This was my way of helping
the town I live in. I always wanted to help others, so I
joined the fire department.
Q: How has the department
changed over the years?
A: The department has changed
in many ways. The way we do our jobs has changed the most.
There are more man-made things today so fires get hotter.
The firesuits are better now, so the firefighters can be
better protected and advance further into the fire scene.
The controls on the trucks have changed from levers to pull
for water to buttons to push for the water.
you encourage your 9-year-old son to become a firefighter?
A: I would encourage Garrett to be a firefighter. He
loves the fire department, so I’d want him to join, but I’ve
told him he can be anything he wants to be when he grows up.
Helping the town you live in is the best reason why I would
encourage him to be a firefighter.
Firefighter Chris Ward
FF Ward joined the department just
under two years ago.
Q: Why did you become a
A: I’ve always had an appreciation for
the fire department and its members. Upon visiting an Open
House two years ago I learned a lot about the training and
tools required. I felt with my 30 + years of electrical
experience it was a great new way to serve my town and its
Q: What aspirations do you have in the
A: From “day one” I wanted to make a
difference. I have learned that in order to be better
prepared, we need to be continuously training. I hope to
encourage other residents with an interest in serving their
community to visit our station. I believe that everyone has
something to contribute. I look forward to the physical and
mental challenges the fire service demands.
is an example of community service and involvement. He is a
lifelong resident of Pittsfield and is the business owner of
Ward Electric LLC. What other community groups are you, or
have you been, involved with?
A: I served on the
PCDC Board of Directors and was on the School Board for 6
years. I was a member of the Rotary Club for 17 years.
Pittsfield is a great place to live and raise a family.
FF/EMT Tim Ahearn
Tim has served as a firefighter
for twelve years and obtained his EMS certification in 2007.
Q: Why did you become a firefighter?
A: The main
reason I became a firefighter was to help people. After
being here for a few years, my focus was still on helping
people, but the brotherhood was definitely a great reason to
Q: What makes this profession a good fit for
A: After serving in the military, I felt this was a
great way to do my part to chip in and help the community. I
love the team atmosphere and brotherhood of being a
Q: What was best training you attended?
A: The best training I attended was actually a few in a
series. They dealt with auto extrication and new car
construction, focusing on electric and hybrid cars. These
pose a huge hazard to firefighters if not handled correctly.
Q: What have you learned while being a firefighter/EMT?
A: I have learned that our job is to meet people on the
worst day of their life and it is up to us to make that day
better in some way. It’s not always the big things that you
do, but instead little things like talking and caring in the
back of the ambulance or grabbing a few photographs off the
wall before they are gone forever that can really make a
Firefighter Rob Freese
Q: You have been a member of the fire
department for almost 31 years. What changes have you seen
over the years?
A: I joined the Pittsfield Fire
Department the month following my 18th birthday. Prior to
that I was an Explorer beginning at age 15. During those
early years the Explorer Program was vibrant and the
Department had a roster of around 40 members. It was as much
a revered social club in the community as it was about the
emergencies. The rescue squad was new to the department
then. Certifications were rare and I gained my certificate
as a certified fire fighter in 1991 as well as becoming a
Nationally Registered EMT—those were big deals in those
days. My Engineer experience came from guys who were
mechanically inclined and I learned a lot from them running
a pump by sound and vibrations in the drafting line. I still
have a tendency to rely on those skills and use the new
fangled electronics as a means to verify my other senses and
observations. I have to say I was quite blessed to have
seasoned guys take an interest to share their knowledge. I
both marvel and yearn when I walk into the station today.
The trucks and equipment are much more capable than when I
began. Imagine, we used manual tools and were regularly
faster than the guys showing up with “Jaws” at extricating
patients, but car construction has changed and I am
certainly glad we have too… not sure I could cut through an
“A” post with a hack saw or pull a windshield like we used
to. I am very proud of our little department because of our
members, each is amazing and has answered a higher calling
to this honorable task. I travel the world in this industry
and, believe me, you have every reason to hold your head
high. Pittsfield Fire Department is relevant because we
change and adapt. No, we don’t have the kind of parties we
used to or hang out together in virtually every waking
(sometimes sleeping, too) moment, but we have had to evolve
and our time is sopped up by all that we need to train,
practice, and learn—“Desire to serve” is at our core, but it
is no longer good enough; people actually expect us to know
what we’re doing. Fortunately, we are not dinosaurs - the
Department has changed and it is prepared to meet the
challenges of the present and the future. No, actually we
are better than that, we are ready to enthusiastically
embrace whatever comes our way to the best of our abilities
and those are pretty darn strong!!
Q: Please tell us
about your role as Pittsfield's Emergency Management
Director and the mission of the group.
A: This year
I was asked to become the Emergency Management Director for
Pittsfield. It seemed like a terrific opportunity. This is a
position that I find exciting and one that plays to the
strength of experience I have accumulated through life.
Every community in NH is required by law to have a person
appointed to fulfill this role. Here in Pittsfield it has
been traditionally filled by the Fire Chief, Chief of
Police, or Chairman of the Board of Selectmen. Each of these
three positions have giant responsibility aside from
Emergency Management and so there was little time left to
dedicate to planning for some eventuality that may or may
not ever happen. Thus far, I have used knowledge I gained as
a fire fighter, Lieutenant of the Rescue Squad, Deputy Fire
Chief, Police Officer, State Police Instructor, appointee by
the Governor to The Office of Emergency Management, and
certainly my near 25 year exposure to the whole emergency
responder community through my work at Globe. In the few
short months since I was appointed we have added a new tab
on the Town Web Page (www.Pittsfield-nh.com) populated with
lots of important information, secured new communications
equipment, received over $15,000 in grants, established an
Emergency Notification System for the town, identified an
action plan, and are well underway with a number of other
projects. The mission of Emergency Management is to muster
all the community’s resources to prevent or mitigate loss of
life and property as well as act as liaison to State and
Federal authorities for resources and information. If you
have friends and family that might be interested in
volunteering but can’t quite make the commitment to all the
Fire Department requirements, I could really use some help,
particularly if they have skills in this area.
What do you like best about the fire service? What is your
The people are the best! You take time from
your busy schedule assuming calculated risk to save friends,
neighbors, and even complete strangers. The adrenalin rush,
the personal challenge to adapt and overcome, the
competitiveness within yourself, the environment to be a
leader and give/get encouragement—the push to be stronger
and better than you ever imagined on your own… all because
here you surround yourself with the people who are motivated
to the idea of continuous improvement in service to others.
It is very personally fulfilling.
I am a believer in
everything happening for a reason. A few years ago I went
through a bout with and survived cancer. During those days I
learned a lot about myself and at my core who I am. That
experience taught me to appreciate life and to love the
people around me. I have a passion to help other people
change, grow, and be successful, and in exchange I’ve
learned that I change and grow, too. The Pittsfield Fire
Department has been a safe and supportive place to be
[The Pittsfield Fire Department and PFFA are
extremely appreciative of the support offered by Rob, his
family, and the employees at Globe Manufacturing Company.
The effects of their kindness and generosity are far
reaching into the community - by supporting the members of
the fire department, we are better able to assist the
community. Thank you, Rob.
FF/EMT Kristen Ahearn
Q: How long have you been a
Firefighter/EMT? How long have you been with the Pittsfield
A: I started as an Explorer back in 1993
in Bennington. From there I joined the Bennington Fire
Department as a firefighter in 1998 and got my EMT license
the same year. I was hired in Pittsfield in 2001.
You’re the force behind the Sec ret Santa program. Can you
tell us about your involvement?
A: I helped sort toys
when the Pittsfield Police Department ran the program. In
2005, I was offered the chance to coordinate the program
while I was out on maternity leave. After a few years of
trial and error, Jen Tedcastle and I had the program running
We assist families in Pittsfield who
need help providing toys/gifts for their children at
Christmas. The goal is to make sure each child receives a
warm outfit, jacket and boots, if they are needed, and a
couple of toys. I’m blessed to have several behind the scene
“elves,” as well as many generous businesses and individuals
who contribute to make it possible every year. The program
has always been run completely by donations. Different town
departments have run it over the years.
Q: Do you
have a special area of interest?
A: I’m partial to
community involvement. The more we are involved in the
public, the less intimidating we are during an incident. I
enjoy talking to our seniors who are part of the call-in
program, giving station tours, and helping educate people
about car seat safety. I’m in the process of setting up
several classes that will help us educate the public and
keep our community a safer place.
Secretary, June Tillotson-Norman
Q: How long have you worked at the
Fire Department and how have you seen the department
progress over the years?
A: Call volume has increased
over 60% since I was offered the position here almost 17
years ago. Changes in the fire service and EMS steers a lot
of what we need to accomplish and to meet those challenges
working smarter and being more resourceful has never been
more important as it has in recent years. One thing that
hasn’t changed is how deeply passionate our members are
about fire and EMS, their affiliation with the department,
and their commitment to serve the community. It’s an honor
to work with them.
Q: What projects do you work on
as a volunteer member of the Pittsfield Firefighters
A: I’ve been the secretary for 7 years for
our 501 (c) 3 organization. I enjoy having the opportunity
to work on our Facebook page found at “Pittsfield
Firefighters Association” and this “Meet Our Members”
Acting Fire Chief Nick Abell
Q: How long have you been a member of
the Fire Department?
A: I joined the Pittsfield Fire
Department 13 years ago. I joined shortly after the
conflagration on Park Street in 2000.
Q: Are you
working on a fire department project?
A: As Acting Fire
Chief there are many projects that I participate in. One
project I have been working on, and hope to continue to work
on as Deputy Fire Chief, is Standard Operating Procedures
and Standard Operating Guidelines. These
procedures/guidelines ensure uniformity in fire rescue and
Q: What has been the best training
A: I have taken a lot of training; however,
the best trainings I have attended are those taught by our
members. It’s refreshing to have a different perspective of
member’s ideas and teaching methods.
Q: Why did you
accept the position of Acting Chief?
A: When the Board of
Selectmen asked if I would serve the role of Acting Chief I
accepted for many reasons, particularly because I felt I
could bring stability to the department regardless of how
short my term. The department has undergone four Fire Chiefs
in about 18 months. Another reason I accepted was to embrace
the thoughts of members on how they see department
operations. Without the support of the officers and members
there would be no fire department.
FF/EMT Ken White
Q. How long have you been a firefighter/EMT? How long have
you been with PFD?
A. I started in 2003 as an Explorer at
the age of 14. In 2007 I became a call member and in 2013 I
was hired fulltime.
Q. What have you learned and
gained in those 10 years?
A. I’ve learned a great deal
about firefighting. Most people think it is as easy as “Put
the wet stuff on the hot stuff,” but it’s not. There is a
lot of science involved that interests me. Most importantly,
I’ve gained a bigger family. I consider each member I work
with a brother/sister and, if need be, would lay my life
down to save them.
Q. What is the best training you
attended? What did you take away from it?
A. The best
training I’ve attended was the International Association of
Firefighters Fire Ground Survival Class. This course was
based on real-life situations where we lost firefighters
during “MAYDAY” situations. This class helped me feel more
confident in my abilities to survive a MAYDAY situation and
helped me feel more confident in my equipment. It also gave
me the mindset to train harder.
Lt. Peter Pszonowsky
Q: How long have you been a
A: I first joined the fire service in
1994 as a Firefighter\EMT, working for six years until I
left the service to start my own landscaping company. I
returned in 2009 as Firefighter II and went on to achieve
EMT-I, working on a full-time basis. In today’s
EMS\firefighter arena continued education is a must. I try
to take at least three classes a year, having recently
completed Fire Officer I, continuing on to Fire Officer II.
Being a new state instructor brings with it built-in
motivation to maintain and expand upon necessary skills and
new ways of teaching.
Q: What do you like about
working at the Pittsfield Fire Department?
A: I’ve always
liked helping people, and when I joined the Fire Department
I was continually fascinated and gratified by the many new
friends who became part of an extended family. Pittsfield is
the small town I grew up in, so I know a lot of people which
can make the job easy most times —or more challenging at
others. I do really love the work and when you see that what
you do can make a tangible difference, that’s the best
Q: Do you have a fire department related
A: The projects my partner and I have been working
on are updating the Knox Box information keys, new contact
numbers, and where they are located on the building; this
helps the dispatcher relay the info to us. We are also
updating all common place data at the same time which
includes the town as a whole.
My plan for the future
is to learn as much as I can about the profession and to
become a chief officer in the years to come. To reach this
goal in my home town of Pittsfield would, for me, be an
FF/EMT Lyle Deane
Q. How long have you been a
A. I joined the department 10 years ago.
Prior to that I was a member of the Explorer’s Post while
attending PMHS. I’m a lifelong resident of Pittsfield.
Q. What have you learned in those 10 years?
A. In the
fire service we need to be constantly learning, be it in
training or on a call. Firefighters who say, “I know all
that I need to know” are a danger to themselves and to
Q. Do you have a fire department related
A. To eventually become an officer and serve as an
effective leader with the Pittsfield Fire Department.