From the town of Hooksett’s Web site. More details to be published in tomorrow’s On Air News Read.
At Wednesday’s Town Council meeting Town Administrator Dean Shankle announced that he has appointed James Burkush as Hooksett’s new Fire Chief. Burkush presently serves as the Fire Chief/ Emergency Management Director in Manchester and has worked there since 1977. He will be starting work in Hooksett on May 1.
“I am very pleased to have someone with the experience and knowledge of Chief Burkush coming to Hooksett,” Shankle said. “We have been moving forward on many fronts over the last few years and I expect him to help us significantly in his primary areas of expertise: administration of fire/ rescue services and emergency management.”
Chief Burkush has expressed his eagerness to undertake this new phase in his career. He explained that he was “looking forward to working with the firefighters and residents of the Town of Hooksett as they face the challenges associated with rapid growth, commercial expansion and efficient delivery of services.”
Chief Burkush will be retiring from the City of Manchester and entering into an employment agreement with the Town of Hooksett. The contract will call for Burkush to work 30 hours per week at an annualized rate of just under $99,000. He will not receive insurance or retirement benefits.
“Although this is a somewhat unusual arrangement, the fact is that if we hired a full-time chief the cost including benefits would be over $150,000. We are getting a highly respected and experienced Chief for 3/4 of the normal time for about 3/4 of what we would need to pay someone else. I think this is a very good deal for the town,” explained Shankle. “He has assured me he feels very comfortable he will be able to provide outstanding service to the town under this arrangement, or he wouldn’t be taking the job.”