By DANIEL KITTREDGE After 36 years of service to the city and more than four decades in the fire service, Fire Chief Stephen MacIntosh says the time is right for his retirement. "e;If you could call this a book, I don't even know what genre it would fit in
After 36 years of service to the city and more than four decades in the fire service, Fire Chief Stephen MacIntosh says the time is right for his retirement.
“If you could call this a book, I don’t even know what genre it would fit in … It’s been a fun, crazy and really interesting ride,” MacIntosh, whose last day on the job is Jan. 15, said of his career during an interview Monday.
He added: “It’s time to [retire]. Let the next generation, the next individual keep moving the department forward.”
MacIntosh’s departure from the department’s top job, to which he was appointed in August 2019, comes during the early days of Mayor Ken Hopkins’s administration. The outgoing chief said while his retirement will allow the new administration to “start fresh with someone new,” the transition in the city’s elected leadership did not play a role in his departure.
“I was set to stay,” he said. Indeed, MacIntosh’s name appeared on Monday’s City Council agenda as one of three Hopkins appointments – including Police Chief Michael Winquist – that do not require the council’s confirmation.
Director of Administration Anthony Moretti on Monday said the administration is working toward the nomination of MacIntosh’s successor. Based on a legal review and the Fire Department’s promotional rules, he said, Assistant Chief James Warren is the “one person up for the position internally that’s qualified.”
Moretti said Hopkins plans to meet with Warren in the days ahead. The mayor also planned to present MacIntosh with a citation in recognition of his service during an event scheduled for Tuesday.
MacIntosh began his career in the fire service with the Seekonk Fire Department before arriving in Cranston in 1984. In 2011, he was appointed deputy chief and fire marshal.
After the retirement of former Fire Chief William McKenna in 2019, MacIntosh became assistant chief. Then, when Paul Valletta withdrew his name from consideration as McKenna’s successor, MacIntosh received the nod for chief from former Mayor Allan Fung and was confirmed by the council.
MacIntosh spoke of his experience serving as chief during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it a “very trying” time for the department and its members. He noted that the ongoing situation has required him to keep contact with some family members – including a 6-month-old grandson – “extremely limited” due to his work.
“It’s been way new territory for all of us to navigate,” he said.
The chief said Cranston firefighters received vaccinations recently as part of a “pod” setup in East Greenwich. Essentially, fire personnel from multiple communities took part in the “pod” on a rotating basis – receiving shots one day, administering them on another.
MacIntosh said he’s offered his services to support the pod when Cranston firefighters return for a second round of vaccine shots in February. Receiving the vaccine, he said, has been a major boon to the department’s personnel.
“It’s huge for everybody,” he said.
Looking ahead, MacIntosh said he has no plans to pursue other job opportunities. Instead, he said, he’s compiling “lists of things to do” – including a number of chores for his mother – as he prepares to hand off his leadership role.
“I’m leaving the department in good hands,” he said.