Watertown’s Fire Chief Thanks Family, Fellow Firefighters During Swearing-in Ceremony

Watertown Fire Chief Ryan Nicholson was sworn in by City Clerk Janet Murphy. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Watertown’s new Fire Chief had plenty of people to thank during his swearing-in ceremony, but Ryan Nicholson made sure not to be the sole focus of the event at the Commander’s Mansion on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m incredibly humble to be able to address this group today as the Watertown Fire Department’s eighth permanent fire chief,” he said Tuesday. “I am also excited to announce the promotion of five of our men, and celebrate the appointment of seven firefighters.” City Manager George Proakis has gotten to know Nicholson, having worked together since Proakis arrived in Watertown in August 2022.

Nicholson Fulfills Promise in Becoming Watertown’s Fire Chief, Has Plans for Department

Ryan Nicholson has been appointed Watertown’s new Fire Chief. (Photo Courtesy of Ryan Nicholson)

After more than a year leading the Watertown Fire Department, Ryan Nicholson officially became Fire Chief on July 17. He has plans for the department, and seeks to continue efforts started by Fire Chiefs who came before him. Firefighting runs in Nicholson’s family, and often visited fire stations when he was young. He credits his uncle, Michael, who encouraged him to aim high when he joined the Fire Department in 2006.

Watertown’s New Fire Chief Appointed by City Manager

Photo by Watertown Fire DepartmentRyan Nicholson has been named Watertown’s new Fire Chief. Here he is shown when he was appointed Assistant Fire Chief. The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

City Manager George J. Proakis is pleased to announce the appointment Ryan Nicholson as the new Fire Chief for the City of Watertown. Chief Nicholson brings 17 years of experience to the Watertown Fire Department. As Chief, he will oversee approximately 90 sworn and civilian staff, providing fire and emergency response services spanning four groups with an annual operating budget of approximately $13 million.

Watertown’s New Fire Chief Remembers Fallen Colleagues; Wants a Progressive, Safe Department

Watertown’s new Fire Chief said he will continue the tradition of his predecessors and work to make the department progressive and well trained while ensuring members of the department are safe and healthy. He also remembered a pair of recently lost members of the Watertown Fire Department. Robert “Bob” Quinn officially became the Chief of the Watertown Fire Department Thursday afternoon, after being sworn in in front of a packed room in the Watertown Library’s Watertown Savings Bank Room. After being introduced by Town Manager Michael Driscoll and taking the oath from Town Clerk John Flynn, Quinn said: “It is certainly a very proud moment in my career becoming chief of this great Department. I look forward to serving the citizens of Watertown in this role.”

Watertown Fire Chief Mario Orangio Announces His Retirement

Watertown Fire Chief Mario Orangio told the Town Council Tuesday night that he has filed for retirement. 

Orangio has served as Fire Chief for more than 13 years, but he has decided to step down. “I have some health issues,” Orangio said. “It is time to pass the reins.” The Fire Department has been selling T-shirts to raise money to help Orangio and his family as he battles cancer, Deputy Fire Chief Bob Quinn said at a previous meeting. Town Manager Michael Driscoll said that he remembers appointing Orangio as a firefighter in 1989, and when be became a lieutenant in 1997, a captain in 2000 and then chief in 2004.