Turcotte

Westbrook Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte will step down Friday after eight years with the department, including the past year and a half spearheading the city’s pandemic response.

Assistant Chief Stephen Sloan Turcotte will serve as interim chief and city health officer, said Mayor Mike Foley, who announced Turcotte’s resignation Monday.

Turcotte told the American Journal his plans are to “return to the line” as a firefighter EMT with another department so he can spend more time with is family. He declined to say which fire department he was joining until he officially starts that job.

“My goal was 10 years, but the last two have been very stressful and time-consuming given the workload and the pandemic. It took a lot of time from my wife and kids,” he said.

When the opportunity arose to step back from that, he said, he took it.

 “I am going to miss Westbrook, I will miss the people.  I think we are one of the best agencies in the state of Maine,” he said. 

Turcotte was appointed as the deputy chief in the city in 2014, and became interim and then permanent chief the same year.

During his tenure, Turcotte won praise for seeking and securing grant money to further department training and other needs. When the pandemic hit, he landed more than $500,000 in funding for local COVID-19 test sites and then vaccination sites. He was the main driver behind the city’s quick pandemic response and creation of the state’s first municipally run testing clinic, Mayor Mike Foley said.

“Chief Turcotte has consistently demonstrated the knowledge, courage and compassion that he inspires in those around him. The legacy of his administration will be found in the growth that has occurred in this department during his tenure and its focus on public health,” Foley said.

Turcotte credits his staff for the department’s success.

“The agency has grown a lot, we’ve professionalized our department, replaced a lot of equipment, received a lot of grants, focused on public health, and there are very few places that had both testing and vaccines, that’s a testament to our staff,” Turcotte said.

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