Sununu Nominates Degnan For Another Term As State Fire Marshall

Jan 18, 2017

Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu has nominated longtime state fire marshall Bill Degnan to another term.

Degnan has held the job since 2004 but his reappointment caused a feud in the state firefighting community.

Degnan was backed by small departments and fire chiefs but opposed by the the Professional Firefighters of N.H.

The union is a strong backer of Maggie Hassan. As Governor, Hassan said she supported Degnan, but never moved his renomination after his term expired last March.

The union wanted Degnan out and said he wasn't focusing enough on changes in technology and firefighters' role in addressing the opioid epidemic, a criticism Governor Sununu calls unfair.

"I will say this: I think that the critics complaint that he hasn't taken a leadership role on the opioid crisis is wrong. I think that there are very few people you will find in the department of safety who do not consider the opioid crisis a first and foremost issue."

Fire marshalls enforce fire safety laws, conduct arson investigations and help local departments with train