Mayor Martin J. Walsh last week announced the appointment of longtime Boston firefighter John (Jack) Dempsey as Commissioner of the Boston Fire Department. Commissioner Dempsey has served in the interim role of Commissioner since the retirement of former Commissioner Joe Finn last month.
“I am proud to name Firefighter Jack Dempsey as the Commissioner of the Boston Fire Department,” said Mayor Walsh. “He has dedicated his life in his professional career and personal capacity to promoting safety and wellness for firefighters, and I look forward to his continued leadership in this critically important department.”
Since taking leadership of the Boston Fire Department in March, Commissioner Dempsey has proactively prioritized the health and safety of firefighters during the COVID-19 pandemic by supplying firefighters with personal protective equipment, ensuring the frequent sanitation of firehouses, adjusting staffing levels to ensure social distancing, implementing mandatory training for infectious disease response, and more.
Commissioner Dempsey has been a member of the Boston Fire Department for 35 years, having served in multiple leadership capacities including most recently as Chief of Operations for the department, where he oversaw all division of the Boston Fire Department, including the engine company, fire prevention, ladder company, rescue company, safety and special operations, emergency planning and preparedness, training and personnel. In this role, he was the highest ranking uniformed firefighter in the force.
He also previously served for four years as the Boston Fire Marshal, where he managed the Fire Prevention Division which is responsible for all fire code and regulation enforcement. In that role, he also oversaw the operation of the fire investigation unit, construction safety unit and all inspections required by Massachusetts General Laws.
“I am proud to be named the Commissioner of the Boston Fire Department, and want to thank Mayor Walsh for the opportunity to serve the residents of Boston in this role,” said Commissioner Jack Dempsey. “As a lifelong member of the department, this is a tremendous honor for me, and I look forward to building on the strong foundations set to ensure the safety and well-being of our firefighters and our community.”
Commissioner Dempsey has previously served in several other capacities including on the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations for four year, the Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board for four years, the Walsh-Kennedy Commission on Hot Work, and the Construction Fire Safety Partnership. He is a current member of the Fire Service Advisory Council, and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the National Fire Protection Association’s Hot Work Safety Certification Program.