At home, his family used to call him “Deputy Dog.” Now, Mark Dolloff goes by “el jefe,” Spanish for “the chief” or “the boss.”
Dolloff was sworn in as Thursday evening in a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the Town Hall.
After serving as Deputy Fire Chief of the Stoughton Fire Department for six years, Dolloff was named in April of 2011 . Dolloff became the permanent chief of the department in October.
Town Clerk Cheryl Mooney administered Dolloff’s sworn oath. Dolloff’s father, Lawrence, pinned his son with the chief’s badge. Lawrence retired as a Deputy Chief with the SFD in 1988.
Mark Dolloff, a 1976 graduate of Stoughton High, started as an EMT in 1982 and joined the Stoughton Fire Department in February of 1983. He spent the next three decades climbing the ranks of the SFD, becoming a lieutenant in June of 2002 and the Deputy Chief in June of 2005, before his most recent promotions as interim and permanent chief.
“He relates well to people, he’s bright, he’s earned the position,” Town Manager Francis T. Crimmins, Jr. said at Thursday’s swearing-in.
Crimmins said “the Selectmen have set up a very nice operation—it’s built on the department heads getting together and delivering the services for the town and we think that Chief Dolloff is a great addition to that team,” Crimmins said.
Dolloff also played on the idea of teamwork in his remarks after taking his oath.
“Being a department head is a lot like being the coach on a team,” he said. “I can assure you I may be the coach, but we’re very fortunate to have a group of Tom Bradys playing for us everyday, 24 hours a day…They make me look good.”
Dolloff continued, “When you get to this position it’s a lot of policy review, a lot of paper work, but the day to day work done by the boots on the street—[they] are the ones that deserve all the credit.”
Ironically, some of the on duty members of his team who were standing at the back of the hall at the beginning of the ceremony, weren’t there to hear Dolloff praise them—they had to leave to respond to a call.
Thirty people from across the country—from as far as California, New Mexico and Florida and from every New England state, as well as from within the Stoughton Fire Department—applied for the position.
All brought “great ideas to the table,” Crimmins said, but they were all ideas he had already heard from Dolloff.
“He hit the ground running,” Crimmins said, crediting Dolloff for his leadership in heading up the town’s emergency management team during .
also spoke highly of Dolloff during the ceremony.
“It was nice to hand the keys over to a guy capable of doing the job,” he said.
The well-attended event was one in which Crimmins had to coax Dolloff into having.
“He’s a modest man. He did not want a ceremony like this,” Crimmins said.
“That was not his style, but I told him I thought it was an important event for the town of Stoughton and the department so he graciously agreed to this event although he would have preferred a modest pinning ceremony with his father at the station.”
More than a dozen town department heads attended. Elected town officials, including all five selectmen, and town employees filled the hall, along with Dolloff’s friends and family.
In addition to the many members of the who attended, fire officials from the surrounding towns came to show their support.
Stoughton’s State House contingent, Reps. Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) and William C. Galvin (D-Canton) and Senator Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton) also attended.
Crimmins served as the master of ceremonies. The Fire Department and Police Department’s Honor Guards were on hand, and two members of the SFD’s extended family sang the National Anthem (Mallory Breen, daughter of Deputy Chief Scott Breen) and recited the Pledge of Allegiance (Lucas Dolloff, son of the new Chief).
Dolloff said he is where he is today, thanks to his family.
“I couldn’t have accomplished what I’ve accomplished in my career without the solid foundation my mother and father gave me and also my wife and children,” Dolloff said. “She’s the rock that holds everyone together.”