Framingham is preparing to launch a search for a new fire chief. Joseph C. Hicks, who has served as chief for nearly four years, recently announced his plan to retire on March 8.
His retirement will bring to a close a 31-year career with the fire department. Hicks has been on family medical leave since last Nov. 15.
Assistant Fire Chief Michael Dutcher has been serving as acting chief since then and will remain in that role until a new chief takes over.
Hired as a Framingham firefighter in 1988, Hicks was promoted to lieutenant in 1996, captain in 2008, and deputy chief in 2011 before ascending to the chief’s position in April 2016.
Hicks’ experience includes serving as the department’s fire marshal, with responsibilities for fire prevention and education, code enforcement, reviewing proposed developments, and fire investigations. He also has been training coordinator, safety officer, emergency management officer, dive rescue team leader, and tactical medical unit team leader, according to Kelly McFalls, spokeswoman for Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer.
She said protecting the safety of the department’s firefighters and resides was always his passion.
“Serving as Framingham’s fire chief has been a privilege and an honor,” Hicks said in a statement. “I come from a family of firefighters. You might say it’s in my blood. I will miss it but I am confident in the department’s leadership team. I look forward to spending more time with my family.”John Laidler can be reached at email@example.com.