Bernardston chief appointed to state Fire Service Commission

  • Bernardston Fire Chief Peter Shedd, pictured outside his station, has been appointed to the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

News Editor
Published: 3/8/2022 3:22:40 PM
Modified: 3/8/2022 3:22:07 PM

BERNARDSTON — In his new role as a member of the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission, Bernardston Fire Chief Peter Shedd looks to bridge understanding between the more rural, volunteer departments of western Massachusetts and the larger, career fire departments in the eastern part of the state.

“My thing is just to help push and do what I can for the call volunteer departments,” Shedd said. “It’s very tough for chiefs to be working a full-time job and then basically be doing another full-time job running the fire department.”

Shedd was sworn in as a commissioner last week, following his appointment by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this year. He was selected from a list of candidates submitted by the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, and joins the eight-member commission as the second member from western Massachusetts. According to Shedd, the other local commissioner is Belchertown Fire Chief John Ingram.

In addition to appointing the state fire marshal, the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission manages the statewide credentialing program for fire chiefs; oversees the Massachusetts Firefighter Service Awards; advises the State Fire Marshal’s Office on state and national fire codes; reviews its annual budget; and consults with the Massachusetts Fire Training Council to develop standards for fire investigation and certification.

The commission typically meets monthly, Shedd said, and meetings are currently held virtually. Should meetings return to being held in person, he will drive monthly to Stow, as the commission is based at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.

Shedd said he is already familiar with the other seven commissioners and plans to meet with State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.

“I’ve already been in contact with the fire marshal,” Shedd noted. “We’re gonna sit down and have a one-on-one meeting.”

“The voice of call and volunteer fire chiefs is an important one in the Massachusetts fire service,” Ostroskey said in a press release. “From appointments and credentialing, to budget review and training standards, their interests will be well represented by Chief Shedd and I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead.”

Shedd noted in the press release that he is honored to join the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission and he plans to “advance our fire departments’ professionalism and capabilities in big cities and small towns alike.”

Shedd has been a member of the Bernardston Fire Department since 1978 and has served as its chief since 1996, according to the release. He leads about two dozen call and volunteer officers and firefighters who respond to fires, medical calls, vehicle collisions and other emergencies.

“Chief Shedd brings decades of experience as a firefighter and a chief to this important role,” Bernardston Selectboard Chair Robert Raymond said in the release. “In particular, he has a keen understanding of the needs that call and volunteer fire departments have, and he embraces the high standards set for his fellow fire service leaders. He’s been a lifelong resident of Bernardston, and he loves this town.”

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or


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