Boston Fire Commissioner Dempsey to retire at month’s end

“When I came on this job like every other firefighter, we know age 65 is the end. ... I had it in my mind that this was the time to go, so I’m ready to go.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff
Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey will retire at the end of June. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Boston Fire Commissioner John “Jack” Dempsey will accept mandatory retirement at the end of the month, he said Sunday, leaving a third major city agency without permanent leadership as Mayor Michelle Wu continues to build her administration.

Wu is already searching for a new police commissioner and a replacement for Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius, who announced plans in February to step down at the end of the academic year. On Sunday, Wu said Dempsey had “provided steadfast leadership” for the city and the fire department.

“I’m grateful for his guidance and partnership for our new administration, and we thank him for his more than 35 years of service as a firefighter,” Wu said in a statement. For Dempsey, who reached the mandatory retirement age for Massachusetts firefighters when he turned 65 last week, it marks the end of a decades-long career with the department, including the last two years as commissioner.


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