A familiar face in the Midcoast firefighting community is set to take the reins at Rockport Fire Department later this month.

According to Interim Rockport Town Manager Roger Moody, pending select board approval Monday, May 13, current Lincolnville Fire Chief Jason Peasley has accepted the position filled by Bruce Woodward for the past 42 years.

According to Moody, the first search to find Woodward's replacement was to no avail despite 60 applications and the search committee decided to post the position a second time. The town received another 47 applications, including that of Peasley, who was not part of the first round of interviews, Moody said.

"We think he is a good fit for the Rockport Fire Department and we look forward to his arrival," Moody said.

Peasley, a 1993 graduate of Camden-Rockport High School, has been around firefighting his whole life. His father, Marvin, was a member of Camden Fire Department for 26 years. Peasley himself has been a firefighter since the age of 16.

"This is absolutely awesome," Peasley said. "This is a huge opportunity and I am really excited to be able to work with a great group of guys and be part of a excellent department."

Peasley added he has no intentions of coming on board and running roughshod over a department he said he feels has been run the right way for so many years.

"I don't plan on filling [Woodward's] shoes, rather walk beside the footprints he has already made," he said. "Bruce has done an amazing job — and if it's not broken, don't fix it."

Already familiar with a majority of the firefighters on the department, one of the first things he wants to do is really get to know them, Peasely said.

"I just want to know what they are all about," he said. "I want to get to know them as people, get to know their families, for them to know mine."

Both Moody and Peasley are not sure of his exact start date yet, but Peasley said they are hoping for sometime around May 20. Woodward's last official day as chief is June 2, Moody said.

Camden Herald reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 236-8511 or dcollins@courierpublicationsllc.com.