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New Ogdensburg provisional fire chief will mean promotions

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When Michael J. Farrell signs on as provisional chief of the Ogdensburg Fire Department on Feb. 5, it will set off several temporary promotions in the assistant chief, captain and firefighter ranks.

Mr. Farrell, 47, one of the department’s four assistant chiefs, will replace Steven M. Badlam. Mr. Badlam is retiring Feb. 5. His appointment is provisional because he needs to take a Civil Service test with other applicants to create a list of candidates from which one of the top three scorers is chosen for the permanent chief position.

When Mr. Farrell, a 16-year veteran of the department, does take over next month, he is expected to name a fire captain to fill the assistant chief vacancy, a firefighter to the captain’s opening and a new firefighter, all of them already Civil Service-tested and listed. Their appointments, however, are temporary and will not become permanent until Mr. Farrell’s does.

He said Wednesday he hopes to score in the top three next year and be appointed chief permanently.

“That’s my goal,” he said.

Two other promotions are or will be permanent. Firefighter Christopher A. Fay, a 13-year veteran of the department, was promoted to captain earlier this week. He replaced Gerald F. Bova, who recently retired after 20 years with the department.

The department has four captains and, with Mr. Fay’s promotion, 19 firefighters.

Mr. Fay’s replacement will be named before Mr. Badlam leaves, so it will also be permanent. The temporary firefighter position will be created when one of the firefighters on staff is promoted to temporary captain.

Mr. Badlam joined the fire department in January 1984 and has been chief since August 2007.

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