Prior to 1923 Chiefs of Department in Saugus were elected by members of the three hose companies located in town. A single permanent Chief of the entire department began in 1923 with the appointment of Chief Mellen R Joy.
In the modern era there have been ten permanent Chiefs of the Saugus Fire Department and one Acting Chief.
- Chief Mellen Joy * (1923-1936)
- Chief William Salsman (1936-1942)
- Chief George Drew (1942-1956)
- Chief Joesph Maguire (1952-1963)
- Acting Chief Albert F. Jervis (1963-1964)
- Chief Thomas Nolan (1964-1981)
- Acting Chief Walter Waldrip (1981-1983)
- Chief George W Parrott III (1983-1991)
- Acting Chief Walter Waldrip (1991-1992)
- Chief Walter Newbury (1992-2004)
- Acting Chief James L Blanchard (2004-2005)
- Chief James L Blanchard (2005-2012)
- Chief Donald McQuaid (2012-2015)
- Chief Michael Newbury (2015-Present)
* Chief Mellen R Joy was killed in the line of duty in an explosion and fire on the exact spot of the current day public safety building. Chief Joy had been a Captain on the Boston Fire Department and left that position to become the Chief of the Saugus Fire Department. Two other firefighters were critically burned but recovered from their injuries.
Saugus has a civil service chief appointed by virtue of a written exam and and interview process. Captain Walter Waldrip, who was the Acting Chief on two occasions, choose not to take the Chief of Department examination.