Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 3, 2018
Penobscot fire department under new leadership
Ferden assumes role of chief
by Monique Labbe
The Penobscot Fire Department is under new leadership.
Former Captain Scott Ferden was recently elected as the new fire chief, after longtime chief Dennis Robertson stepped down earlier this year. Ferden was elected to the position by the members of the department, and that election was approved by the Penobscot Board of Selectmen.
“I feel fairly confident, but it happened a lot quicker than I anticipated,” said Ferden.
Ferden has been on the department for nine years, and that experience, along with several years of management experience in various jobs, has given him the tools he has needed to take over as chief.
“I also have some really good firefighters, we have a really tight knit group,” he said. “It’s a good bunch right now.”
In his new position, Ferden said that the first and most important responsibility he has is to make sure his department is safe during a call out.
“When that pager goes off, your adrenaline kicks in, and if you jump in your vehicle in that state it can be dangerous,” he said. “If I get on the radio and I sound out of control, that sets the tone for how the call is going to go. If I’m calm, we’ll all be better off, which will make things safer.”
A teacher at Maine Maritime Academy, Ferden said he plans to delegate some of his responsibilities to the officers in the department. Those responsibilities include filling out paperwork that has to be sent into the state offices monthly, managing the money alloted to the department by taxpayers, and approving burn permits.
“I will not be giving out burn permits at home,” said Ferden, who added that he has already received several phone calls about them.
Burn permits can be obtained on Monday nights at the fire department, or on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the town office.
Ferden said that he is hoping to be able to replace one of the trucks and a rescue vehicle during his time as chief, though that is a project for down the road. Most immediately, he said he is looking forward to keeping the morale of the department up and the numbers strong.
“We’re always open to new members,” he said. “It’s not just running into a burning building. There are plenty of roles and positions for people on the department.”