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Dempsey is new commissioner of Boston Fire Department

Newly appointed Boston Fire commissioner John "Jack" Dempsey addresses the media as Mayor Marty Walsh looks on Friday.Jim Mahoney

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Friday announced the permanent appointment of John “Jack” Dempsey as commissioner of the Boston Fire Department.

Dempsey had been temporarily serving in the role following the retirement of Commissioner Joe Finn last month.

Dempsey, a 35-year member of the department, most recently served as the department’s chief of operations. He also served four years as the city’s fire marshal, where he oversaw the fire investigation and fire prevention units.

"He has dedicated his life in his professional career and personal capacity to promoting safety and wellness for firefighters, and I look forward to his continued leadership in this critically important department,” Walsh said in the statement.

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Since he stepped into the role of commissioner in March, Dempsey has been focused on protecting the firefighters during the COVID-19 pandemic by mandating training for infectious diseases, adjusting the number of staff on duty to limit the risk of exposure, and pushing for adequate protective gear, the statement said.

As Chief of Operations Dempsey was the highest ranking firefighter and helped oversee the department. He has also served as Boston Fire Marshall which required him to manage all fire code and regulation enforcement in the city along with the investigation and construction safety units, the statement said.

"As a lifelong member of the department, this is a tremendous honor for me, and I look forward to building on the strong foundations set to ensure the safety and well-being of our firefighters and our community,” Dempsey said in the statement.

Stephanie Purifoy can be reached at stephanie.purifoy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @stephbpurifoy.