McPherson’s career involves 22 years as a supervisor with progressively more responsibility, Marquis said. He described him as “well-respected among the employees in the department.”
As deputy chief, McPherson assumes the role of operations director running the day-to-day operations of the department, which has 49 firefighters, including the chief and a deputy chief. The department also has a civilian administrative assistant. McPherson now oversees four groups of firefighters, who are overseen by four captains. The deputy chief implements the department’s policies through those captains. In addition, he has oversight to make sure the vehicles are maintained properly, and that training and inspections are being performed. He also manages personnel and makes sure shifts are covered, among other things.
Marquis said the department anticipates that a captain will retire next year, which means that with McPherson’s promotion, there will be two captain’s vacancies to be filled.
McPherson is a 1977 graduate of Danvers High. He’s the middle child in a family of three, which includes his brother, Rick, and sister, Cindy Cianfrocca. His mother lives on Maple Street, he said. Growing up, McPherson worked with his father in a machinery moving business before joining the Fire Department. McPherson has an associate’s degree from North Shore Community College and is a certified EMT. He lives in town with his wife, Theresa, and is the father of two grown children.
McPherson said he loves being a firefighter.
“The camaraderie you have with the guys — you don’t find that anywhere,” he said. “It’s like a second family. It’s been a great job for me.”
In 2011, McPherson earned $105,765, including about $16,000 in overtime and detail pay. He will actually earn less as a deputy chief, since a deputy chief does not get the additional stipends that captains receive.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.