Mayor Weinberger Appoints Michael LaChance as Burlington’s Fire Chief

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the appointment of Michael LaChance as the City’s Chief Engineer of the Burlington Fire Department. Chief LaChance comes into the role following more than 23 years of service to the Burlington Fire Department. Mayor Weinberger will seek City Council confirmation of his appointment at the March 13 regular meeting.

“I am pleased to bring forward Chief LaChance to this critical public safety leadership role,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Above and beyond his professional credentials – it is undeniable that Mike is a warm and charismatic leader who cares deeply for his family, his colleagues in the fire department, and our City. He is a person who lives his values, treats everyone with respect and kindness, and demonstrates in ways large and small a profound commitment to service.”

“I appreciate the trust that the Mayor has placed in me with this appointment,” said Chief LaChance. “It is an honor to lead such a fine group of public safety professionals in a department and a city that I have so much respect for.”


Chief LaChance grew up in Colchester, served as a volunteer firefighter in Mallets Bay in high school, and had always wanted to join the Burlington Fire Department. He started work as a Burlington firefighter immediately after earning an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. Over the past 10 years, he has quickly ascended through the leadership ranks of the Department, demonstrating strong, collaborative, and compassionate approach to leading the Department.

In his role as Deputy Chief of Administration, he has prioritized a partnership with Human Resources and strengthened the Fire Department’s recruitment strategies and efforts, including proactive efforts to diversify the workforce to better reflect the community we serve.

One of Chief LaChance’s first key projects will be working in partnership with the Burlington Police Department and Howard Center to implement the Medically Enhanced Response Team.

Search Process and Next Steps

Before beginning the search process, Mayor Weinberger met with the firefighters to understand their priorities for the Department’s next leader: someone who would be a supportive colleague and leader to firefighters who are facing a historically challenging period in emergency services. Chief LaChance’s appointment follows a national search conducted by a search committee who interviewed several qualified candidates. The search committee included:

  • Jordan Redell, Mayor’s Chief of Staff
  • Kerin Durfee, Director of Human Resources
  • Joe Magee, City Councilor
  • Kyle Blake, President of the Burlington Firefighters Association
  • Monica Chapman, Burlington Fire Commissioner
  • Kevin McLaughlin, Burlington Fire Commissioner
  • Karen Vastine, Office of Government & Community Relations, UVM Health Network

Chief LaChance is serving as Acting Chief immediately, and will assume the role of Chief following Council confirmation.


Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office