For the next month, Schenectady has a new assistant fire chief: Raymond Senecal.
He was sworn in this morning, just after Chief Michael Della Rocco announced that he plans to retire by the end of the month.
That means Senecal will likely be promoted again, to chief, in just a few weeks.
“I’m taking things one step at a time,” he said said, but Della Rocco said he expected Senecal would be the next chief.
Leaving soon will make the changeover smoother, Della Rocco added.
“I think this will actually make the transition easier and more effective,” he said.
Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett did not stint in his words of praise for Senecal.
“He is the guy,” Bennett said. “He is a no-nonsense, hands-on, well-disciplined officer. It’s a dangerous business they’re in, and we can have nothing short of that.”
Mayor Gary McCarthy, who chose Senecal, said he had a high “level of confidence” in the man.
“He knows the department. He knows the city,” McCarthy said. “He is a tremendous asset, command presence that makes people feel comfortable. Ray, you’re going to do a great job.”