Alexander J. Schaeffer was sworn in as the Edgartown’s new fire chief at Monday’s selectmen’s meeting.
Mr. Schaeffer is taking over for Chief Peter Shemeth, whose official retirement date was Jan. 9. Chief Shemeth will turn 65 years old this month, which is mandatory retirement age.
Selectmen unanimously endorsed Mr. Schaeffer’s appointment.
Mr. Schaeffer has been with the department since 1996. In May 2016, he earned accreditation by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission for the position of chief.
Chief Shemeth had been with the fire department for more than 40 years, and has been chief since 2006, when he replaced longtime Chief Antone A. Bettencourt.
“I couldn’t do it alone,” Chief Shemeth said, after a long round of applause. “My family has given up a lot, and my extended family, all of you, have given up just as much. When I was worried about becoming chief, they said, Surround yourself with the best possible people. I can say honestly I accomplished that. The people I have are nothing but the best.”