PEABODY — Deputy fire Chief Joe Daly has been named the city's new fire chief.

Daly, a Peabody firefighter since 1991, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserve who served as a fire protection specialist during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991. He earned his firefighter certification at the Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois and attained the rank of sergeant before leaving the service. He is a graduate of Peabody High.

Daly will succeed Steve Pasdon, who retired March 30 after 18 years as chief. Pasdon has stayed on to help with the department's budget, which was approved earlier this month by the City Council, and to help with the transition.

"Joe Daly brings nearly 30 years of experience as a member of the Peabody Fire Department to the job of chief,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt. “He has demonstrated extraordinary leadership capabilities during his nine years as deputy chief and a remarkable insight into the inner workings of the department.”

With the fire chief's post no longer part of civil service, Daly took part in an assessment center as part of the hiring process. He is the first fire chief to be hired using this process. The mayor limited the search for a chief to those already serving in the Peabody Fire Department.

Daly is scheduled to become the interim fire chief on July 1. On July 11, the mayor plans to submit his appointment to the City Council, after which there will be a swearing-in.

“I am looking forward to the challenges of being the next fire chief,” said Daly. “I am humbled and honored, but this is not about me. It is about the men and women of the Peabody Fire Department and the citizens of the city that we are sworn to protect.” 

The new chief's salary was listed in the city's job posting last month as $132,288, which is less than Pasdon was earning in his last year. Pasdon's regular salary was $147,678, supplemented in his last year with $4,751 in "other earnings," which includes various allowances and stipends, according to city records.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.