BANGOR, Maine — One of Bangor’s four assistant fire chiefs will be dropping “assistant” from his title.

City Manager Cathy Conlow announced the appointment of Assistant Chief Tom Higgins as fire chief Monday night, after sitting down with city councilors in executive session to recommend him for the position.

Higgins has worked his way up the department’s ranks during his 24-year career. Before coming to Bangor, Higgins spent six years as chief of the Hermon Fire Department.

“Tom possesses the knowledge, experience and professionalism necessary to lead the Bangor Fire Department,” Conlow said in a news release. “His numerous years in various leadership positions in the fire service have prepared him to assume this important position and move the department forward.”

City officials picked Higgins from a field of 26 applicants. As chief, he also will serve as the city’s emergency management director.

“My career has been focused on a leadership position in the fire service, and I look forward to ensuring that Bangor residents are provided with outstanding fire and emergency medical services,” Higgins said in the city’s release. “I anticipate building upon the rich and strong tradition of the fire department and working collaboratively with the members of the department, city manager and City Council.”

Higgins has been attending meetings on behalf of the fire department and sharing the roles of chief with his fellow assistant chiefs during the past few month in the absence of a fire chief.

Bangor’s last fire chief, Scott Lucas, resigned officially in early December, three months after announcing he would not seek a continuation of his two-year contract. A few days after that announcement in early September, city officials placed Lucas on non-disciplinary paid administrative leave, by which he spent the rest of his time as chief. He was hired in 2012, coming to Bangor from a fire department in Michigan.

Neither the city nor Lucas have disclosed the reasons behind Lucas’ leave or resignation.

Higgins starts at his new post on Jan. 27, pending official council confirmation of his appointment during a meeting on Jan. 26.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter @nmmccrea213.