O’Brien Officially Becomes Haverhill Fire Chief; Pledges Forward Progress at Ceremony

City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas administers the oath of office to Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien in the presence of Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien bumps elbows with his predecessor William F. Laliberty during a ceremony at the Water Street Fire Station, while City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas looks on. (WHAV News photograph.)

Robert M. O’Brien officially became Haverhill’s new fire chief during a swearing in ceremony Monday afternoon and promised to continue moving the department forward.

O’Brien, a 28-year veteran of the department, succeeds William F. Laliberty as fire chief. He promised firefighters he will work diligently on the city’s behalf.

“I will have your back and I look forward to working with everyone. Thank you everybody,” he said.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini noted O’Brien is well understands the needs of the department, is experienced and was injured fighting a serious blaze 14 years ago. The mayor pledged to support the new chief as he takes charge.

Fiorentini conceded firefighters “won me over” with their lists of concerns over the last few years and thanked Laliberty for doing an “outstanding job” carrying out improvements. “Under Bill Laliberty’s leadership, the Haverhill Fire Department has new vehicles. Under Bill Laliberty’s leadership, the fire departments are all redone with generators in every station, with brand new windows in this station (Water Street) and, under Bill Laliberty’s leadership, the fire department has increased morale,” the mayor said.

Laliberty predicted great progress under O’Brien. “Chief O’Brien is going to continue the good work that we do here to make this community better and make our department safer,” he said.

O’Brien was sworn in by City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas at a ceremony inside the Water Street fire station.

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