18-year Veteran Promoted from Position of Deputy
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 30, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — It's official. Christopher Silver is the fire chief of the town of Hampton.
Silver was sworn in during Monday night's selectmen meeting surrounded by friends and family. The 18-year veteran, who was promoted from one of the town's two deputy fire chief positions, said he was honored to be the town's next chief.
"I've spent my entire career as a full-time firefighter here in Hampton and I consider it an honor to be promoted chief of the department," Silver said.
Silver said it was bittersweet being named chief, especially since he almost gave up on his dream to become a firefighter.
"My grandfather was a firefighter and I basically grew up in a firehouse," Silver said. "I always admired what he did and the profession of firefighting."
And while he wanted to follow in his grandfather's footsteps, it wasn't as easy as he thought it would be.
"I grew up in the state of Massachusetts and when I graduated from high school there wasn't a lot of opportunities to be a firefighter," Silver said. "It was during the '80s and Proposition 2½ was really cutting a lot of municipal budgets and fire departments were really feeling that crunch."
When he couldn't get a job, Silver said he decided to pursue a career as a marine engineer at the military academy. But the call to be a firefighter was always there, even after he graduated.
"One day my wife and I were sitting in the city of Concord at a traffic signal and a fire engine and ladder truck were flying down the street," Silver recalls. "I looked at her said 'that is where I belong and that's where I need to be.'"
Silver said that day he decided to do what it would take to be a firefighter.
And in 1993, he was hired by the Hampton Fire Department as its first paramedic.
"It was the one of the best decisions I made," Silver said.
Before being named chief, Silver served as a firefighter, fire lieutenant and finally, as deputy chief responsible for safety and training, emergency medical services and technical rescue.
Selectman Rick Griffin said he was pleased with the appointment of Silver, as was Selectman Bill Lally.
"Chris is a very knowledgeable guy in the fire service and he's been a real asset since he came on in 1993," Lally said.