Bedford is expected to make an offer to a new fire chief candidate sometime next week.
Six semifinalists for the position spent Tuesday interviewing with representatives of the Plymouth-based assessment center MMA Consulting Group.
Town Manager Matt Hanson said the consultants will provide the names of two or three finalists in a day or two, and “my hope is to complete personal interviews with the candidates early next week and make a decision by the end of the day if possible.”
The position was vacated by former Chief David Grunes, who retired in mid-August after 15 years. In the interim, the fire chief has been Paul Sheehan, a retired Cambridge assistant chief. Sheehan’s last day is Friday, Hanson said.
The original applicant pool was 21, Hanson said. He and the assessment center specialists narrowed it down to six. Hanson reported that there are internal candidates as well as applicants from outside the department. Hanson declined to provide a breakdown.
The Town Manager praised the seven-hour assessment process that took place on Tuesday. Semifinalists were interviewed not only for their firefighting experience and knowledge but also for their skills related to management, he said.
The assessments are administered by “people in the field who have had direct experience,” Hanson said. Among the assessors were former public safety officials, including a retired fire chief, and a retired town manager. The candidates are ranked by a scoring system. Hanson will receive the final rankings.
“We can feel confident that the assessors are giving a serious look at each one of the candidates,” the town manager said.