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City May Name New Fire Chief This Week

By Matthew J. Mcdonald

Cambridge officials have narrowed their list of contenders to replace retiring Fire Chief Thomas Scott down to three names and expect to name a sucesssor within the next few days, a Fire Department spokesperson said yesterday.

"I would say [it would happen] within the next week," said Capt. Gerald R. Reardon. "If nothing comes out in the next two days, I think there would be an announcement after the weekend--within the next week-and-a-half, anyway."

Scott must retire by March 31, when he turns 65. Reardon said the current chief wants City Manager Robert W. Healy to name his successor "as soon as possible," so that the new chief can ease into the job in a transitional period.

According to Reardon, the most difficult problems the new chief will face involve the fiscal constraints that limit the department's efforts to modernize itself.

Reardon said that the three finalists are currently deputy chiefs in the department who have served at least 15 years in the Fire Department. Kevin Fitzgerald served in the department in 1961, Francis E. Murphy joined in 1972, and John J. Gelinas joined in 1975, he said.

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