Lawrence Best is Biddeford’s new fire chief. Courtesy photo

BIDDEFORD – Lawrence Best was named Biddeford’s next fire chief by the city council last week, approving a nomination made by City Manger James Bennett.

“We’re excited to have him,” said Ed Dexter, assistant chief of the Biddeford department, “I’m looking forward to the knowledge and education he brings and his outside perspective. His reputation certainly proceeds him as being an excellent leader and great person.”

Best will join the Biddeford department from Salem, New Hampshire, where has served as fire chief for the past five years, concluding his 20-year service there. He will start his work with the Biddeford department Oct. 17.

“I would like to thank the City of Biddeford for the opportunity to serve as the next fire chief,” Best responded to his appointment, “I look forward to working alongside the members of the Biddeford Fire Department as we move into the future addressing the needs of this growing and prosperous city.”

Best has served in the fire service for 35 years. Among his credentials are a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire and Emergency Management from Rivier College and an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Fire Science from New Hampshire Technical College. He is also trained and certified in incident command, hazardous materials response, and advanced medical care.

“Chief Best was the best candidate for the job,” Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant said in an email. “He had a fantastic resume, with not only basic firefighting and EMS skills, but also leadership skills.  Based upon his interview, I found his personality, humor, and sense of purpose to be refreshing and exactly what I thought was needed to supervise our department.”

Casavant said he was impressed by the dedication and excellence of the Biddeford Fire Department staff as a whole. “It is my hope,” he said, “that Chief Best can further enhance those skills and create an atmosphere in which staff can secure further education and need skills, as well as develop opportunities for advancement and input within the department.”

Bennett, who made the nomination, agreed. “I am pleased to nominate Mr. Best to this position on our leadership team,” Bennett said. “Larry emerged from our extensive national search as the best candidate to fulfill the needs of our community, and I look forward to the ways that his leadership style will contribute to a better Biddeford.”

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