New fire chief takes command in Groveland    

Courtesy photo/Town of GrovelandFire Chief Robert Valentine was sworn in to his new position Sunday. His daughter Lisa Paicos stands next to him.  

GROVELAND — Robert Valentine was sworn in Sunday as the town's new fire chief.

The ceremony took place at the Central Fire Station on Main Street with Town Clerk Elizabeth Cunniff officiating.

"Chief Valentine was a standout candidate during the preliminary interviews for this position, and I think he'll be a true leader of the fire department and a great addition to Groveland," Finance and Personnel Director Denise Dembkoski said in a press release.

Valentine officially began his new position Monday.

“I worked for many years at a paid, on-call volunteer fire department, similar to Groveland’s Fire Department today, and then we became a combination department,” Valentine said. “With my experience, I felt working in Groveland would be a great fit as the department evolves, and I’m looking forward to serving the community.”

With 39 years of experience in fire service, Valentine most recently served as the deputy fire chief of the Albion Fire Department in Rhode Island for approximately 13 years.

He also has served as a training officer for Albion since 2004. He joined that department as a firefighter in 1991 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1994. 

After being hired as Groveland's fire chief, he relocated from Rhode Island to Groveland.

Prior to his career in Albion, Valentine served in the U.S. Air Force from 1982 to 1986. He also worked as a volunteer firefighter for the Saylesville Fire Department in Rhode Island from 1980 to 1990.

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