Commissioner Paul A. Christian announced today his retirement as Boston Fire Commissioner after more than 38 years of courageous service to the City of Boston. Surrounded by his family, close friends, and Mayor Menino, Commissioner Christian said he would leave the Boston Fire Department.
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“Commissioner Christian has long been an asset to the Boston Fire Department and his innovations are responsible for keeping our fire department prepared for new challenges,” Mayor Menino said. “Boston Fire and the City of Boston will greatly miss the hard and dedication of Commissioner Christian.”
Commissioner Christian was appointed to the Boston Fire Department in January of 1968 and quickly rose through the ranks. He was promoted to the Fire Lieutenant in 1973, Fire Captain in 1976 and District Fire Chief in 1980. In 1982, he achieved the rank of Deputy Fire Chief. Commissioner Christian has been a chief officer for the past 26 years and has commanded many of the city’s major blazes including the Wormwood Street fire of 1984, the Chinatown fire of 1989, the John Hancock fire of 1992, and the Exeter Street fire of 1995. During Commissioner Christian’s tenure, multiple alarm fires have dropped to their lowest level in the city’s history. He also instituted a modified response plan, which maximized the apparatus availability, conserved fuel and reduced apparatus accidents.
Commissioner Christian has served as Fire Commissioner during one of the most challenging periods in the department’s history. In addition to promoting management reforms, he has restructured the department to handle terrorism-related issues. The Boston Fire Department also contributed significantly to the planning and execution of major events, including the Democratic National Convention.
The Fire Department has also made major strides in the areas of firefighter safety, department diversity, fire communications and modernization of the fire apparatus fleet under Commissioner Christian’s leadership. Improvements in several firehouses and a new marine unit are currently in the design phase.