Paul A. Christian retired as Fire Commissioner/Chief of Department of the Boston Fire Department on February 15, 2006 following a 38-year career. Appointed to the Boston Fire Department in January 1968, Christian has held all ranks in the organization and achieved the rank of Deputy Fire Chief earlier in his career than any member in the department’s history. He was awarded the department’s Roll of Merit and Distinguished Service Award for rescues performed in 1971 and 1972. Christian was appointed Chief of Department in 2000 and Fire Commissioner in 2001. During his administration, he reorganized the department and established the Special Operations Division to deal with technical rescue, hazardous material and terrorist response and emergency management procedures and training. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he oversaw the restructuring of protocols and procedures to address terrorism-related duties of the department. Additionally he directed the department’s action plans for the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the Patriot and Red Sox playoff and victory celebrations. Commissioner Christian is a recognized authority on the history of the Boston Fire Department and is a frequent
guest lecturer at area colleges and civic groups. He is vice president of the Boston Fire Historical Society.