Amherst fire chief Mark Boynton a candidate to replace retiring fire chief Donald Klein in Townsend

AMHERST – Amherst Fire Chief Mark Boynton, 45, is one of three fire service professionals under consideration by the Townsend, Mass., Board of Selectmen to take on the challenges of the position of fire-EMS chief in Townsend.

Boynton is joined by a pair of fellow contenders: Dracust Fire Department Capt. Gregory Gagnon and Ayer Fire Department Capt. Timothy Johnston.

According to information from the town of Townsend, the new hire will undertake the position held by Fire Chief Donald Klein, who is retiring on Friday, March 28.

Townsend’s Deputy Police Chief David Profit, screening committee chairman, is reported to have reviewed 24 applications. The committee interviewed nine of the contenders before selecting three finalists.

Boynton, who’s been fire chief in Amherst for four years, reportedly began his tenure in the fire service with a post as a volunteer firefighter in Walpole, the town in which he grew up. He then worked in Keene for more than two decades. In Keene, he attained the rank of deputy chief.

Boynton’s yen to return to a small town similar to Walpole led him, he has said in a press release from the town of Townsend, to take on the chief’s job in Amherst. He said he enjoyed being a part of a community.

On Monday, March 24, Townsend Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan gave an update on the search for a new fire chief. He said the Board of Selectmen will meet on Tuesday, April 1, for a work session that will focus on the selection.

“The meeting on the first is a work session to essentially come up with questions,” Sheehan said. “There will be a meeting on Thursday, April 3, for final interviews. The decision could come the night of the interviews, or could occur at a later date.”

Boynton couldn’t be reached for comment