Norris approved as Easthampton fire chief

  • Christopher Norris will be the new fire chief in Easthampton.

Staff Writer
Published: 7/16/2020 3:22:28 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Christopher Norris of Westhampton, a deputy fire chief in Northampton, will be the city’s new fire chief after his appointment was unanimously approved Wednesday night by the City Council.

Norris, who was the fire chief in Westhampton until last year, will take over as chief in Easthampton on Monday, July 27. His last day as a deputy chief in Northampton will be Tuesday, July 21.

“It was nice to have the full support and a unanimous decision coming out of the City Council last night,” Norris said Thursday. 

Before the council approved Norris’ appointment, City Councilor Lindsey Rothschild said she was happy to support a candidate that fire department personnel are supporting.

“And I’m also very impressed with your resume,” she said. 

Norris began his career as a volunteer firefighter in Westhampton in 1994. He also has taught at the Massachusetts Fire Academy since 2003. Currently, he is finishing up a Ph.D. from the online Walden University in public policy and administration with a concentration in emergency management. 

Norris was appointed by Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. In speaking to the Gazette, the mayor said Norris has a great reputation around training curriculums and team building, while also noting his experience running an EMS system.

“I think it’s a logical and progressive step forward,” she said.

Norris was one of two finalists for the job, and initially the position of chief was offered to Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Hennemann. However, LaChapelle said an agreement wasn’t able to be reached over what Hennemann was looking for in a contract. The position was then offered to Norris, who accepted.

Norris’ base pay will be $87,000 a year, and he said with education and EMS incentives his yearly compensation will be around $125,000 a year.

Norris said he is excited to work with all stakeholders in figuring out how the department can continually provide the best service to the community.

Bera Dunau can be reached at


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