August 12 2019

Assistant Chief Patterson Named Interim Chief and Retiring Chief Yetman Honored

By: Rich Hosford


There will soon be a new person in the top spot at the Burlington Fire Department. 


Town Administrator Paul Sagarino appointed current Assistant Chief Mike Patterson as the Interim Chief when current Chief Steve Yetman retires at the end of August. 


[Chief Yetman sat down for a special interview with BNEWS Anchor Phil Gallagher about his time with the department and his retirement that you can watch here]


Sagarino and members of the Board of Selectmen congratulated Patterson on his new position but not before lauding Yetman for his 42 years with the department. 


“I want to take this opportunity to thank Chief Yetman for his years of service to the town,” Sagarino said. “I also want to thank you for your friendship.” 


Selectman Mike Runyan, a member of the department, also had some kind words for his outgoing boss. 


“I’ve had the privilege of working with you through my whole career and it has been a pleasure to do that,” he said. “You, and Assistant Chief Patterson, have accomplished some long-standing issues we’ve had in the department, notably the new Fire Station 2 and the paramedic program. Burlington continues to be used as a model by other communities. Thank you chief and good luck in your retirement and I look forward to Mike taking over.”


Selectman Jim Tigges, a member of the Burlington Police Department, echoed the sentiment that Chief Yetman was able to accomplish a lot over his career. 


“Thank you for your 42 years of service,” he said. “You don’t always see the day-to-day changes but when you look at when you started to where things are today we can see how much you’ve accomplished.” 


Board Chairman Joe Morandi praised Yetman for his professionalism over the years. 


I started off in Town Meeting many years ago and you were professional, then when I was on the Appeals Board you were nothing but professional and now that I’m on the Board of Selectmen the same thing has happened,” he said. “Chief, thank you very much and good luck.” 


Selectmen Nick Priest and Bob Hogan also offered their comments and said they hope he enjoys his retirement. 


“Thank you to everything you’ve done,” Priest said. “You’re service to this town has been greatly appreciated and as a resident I thank you and I truly hope you enjoy everyday of your retirement.” 


“It’s always difficult when someone retires but I hope you enjoy the hell out of it,” Hogan said. 


The board then welcomed Patterson as the new Interim Chief. 


“Congratulations and good luck,” Morandi said, and pointed to large group of firefighters in the room. “You have a great group of guys behind you and they will support you.” 


Later in the meeting the board were updated on the process of finding a new fire chief to replace Yetman. Sagarino explained they will form a committee with himself, a member of the board, Human Resources Director Joanne Faust, Police Chief Michael Kent and a chief from a neighboring community if they can find one who can spare the time. The position will be opened internally to any member with the rank of captain or above, which is seven potential candidates, including Patterson.


Photo: Retiring Fire Chief Steve Yetman with newly-appointed Interim Chief Michael Patterson


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