Posted on 2/15/2010
Laurence Shaffer, Town Manager for the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts announced that an employment contract has been signed with Walter O. “Tim” Nelson, Jr. Chief Nelson shall become the Fire Chief for the Town of Amherst, effective Monday, March 22, 2010. Chief Nelson shall replace retired Chief Keith Hoyle, who retired August 1, 2009. Interim Fire Chief Lindsey Stromgren has served as Fire Chief from Chief Hoyle’s retirement to Chief Nelson’s appointment.
Chief Nelson is presently the Deputy Chief of the Holyoke, Massachusetts Fire Department. Aside from his responsibilities as Shift Commander, Chief Nelson is the Special Operations and Projects Chief. He is responsible for Homeland Security and Hazardous Materials along with being the Department’s representative to the City Emergency Management Team. Chief Nelson has enjoyed a 29 year career with the City of Holyoke Fire Department. Highlights of his career include significant expertise and leadership with hazardous materials and emergency management and preparedness. Chief Nelson has been the Disaster Co-Chair for the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross; he developed the partnership between the Massachusetts Air Wing and the Holyoke Fire Department; Chief Nelson has successfully completed many courses at the National Fire Academy; Chief Nelson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Westfield State College. Chief Nelson resides in South Hadley with his wife Gina and daughter Jessica.
Larry Shaffer said, “Tim Nelson is a great addition to the Amherst leadership team. I expect that he will lead a great Fire Department to an entire new level of performance. Tim Nelson is known as an accomplished professional who brings the full range of knowledge and experience to Amherst. I am pleased and proud to present him to the community as its new Fire Chief. I would also like to express my deep appreciation to the Fire Chief Recruitment and Selection Team. They devoted countless hours to the review of resumes, development of interview questions and the conduct of the visits from the six candidates invited for consideration. The Recruitment and Selection Team included Chief Johnny Whitehead, UMass Police Department; Don Robinson, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts; Reynolds Winslow, Chair, Human Rights Commission; Brian Duggan, Fire Chief, Northampton; Chris Norris, Deputy Fire Chief, Northampton; Bruce Carroll, Ph.D.; Tim Finley, Fire Chief, retired; Aaron Hayden, Amherst Select Board; David Clooney, Firefighters’ Union representative.”