Chief O'Brien Leaving Melrose Fire Department
Melrose Fire Chief since 2003, O'Brien will be retiring from the department and taking a new fire safety position in Hudson, NH.
Melrose Fire Chief John O'Brien is leaving the department after nine years as chief and 35 years in the department, Mayor Rob Dolan announced in a press release this morning.
O'Brien will be retiring from the Melrose Fire Department on June 1. According to the release, he will be taking an unspecified job in fire safety in Hudson, NH.
"I plan on continuing to work in fire safety in a less intense role in Hudson, NH, because fire safety is what I love, and I will continue to work in the field for as long as I am allowed," O'Brien is quoted in the release. "It's my time to hand the reins to a new chief."
Check back at Melrose Patch for further details later in the week. Here is the text of Dolan's press release:
Melrose Fire Chief John O'Brien has announced his retirement from the Melrose Fire Department after 35 years in the fire service. O'Brien has served as chief of the Melrose Fire Department since 2003. His retirement date has been set for June 1, 2012.
Chief O’Brien was appointed to the Melrose Fire Department on June 22, 1983, 65 years after his father’s appointment as a firefighter. He was promoted to fire lieutenant on June 5, 1986, to fire captain on Feb 1,1989, and to Chief of Department on December 29, 2003.
"All I have wanted to be professionally in my life is a Melrose firefighter," O'Brien said. "I reached that goal and was able to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, who was a fire captain for the City of Melrose, and my father, who was the longest serving Fire Chief in the City of Melrose. I became chief unexpectedly after the sudden passing of one of the finest firefighters I have worked with, Chief Kevin Walsh. I continued in a long line of chiefs to lead the outstanding professionals we have as members of the Melrose Fire Department. During my tenure as chief, we have accomplished a lot. My goal was to bring the fire service into a new century with a focus on providing an array of emergency response services, from ambulance to hazmat to public education and excellent firefighting, using the most modern technology and equipment. I give full credit to the firefighters of the City of Melrose, the lieutenants, and my excellent captains. I feel that I retire from a Melrose Fire Department that is ready to continue moving forward towards excellence.
"I look forward to spending time with my family. My wife Carol and I are expecting two new grandchildren this fall. I plan on continuing to work in fire safety in a less intense role in Hudson, NH, because fire safety is what I love, and I will continue to work in the field for as long as I am allowed. It's my time to hand the reins to a new chief."
"John O'Brien has not only been fire chief, he has been a confidante, a keen mind, and a good friend," said Mayor Rob Dolan. "His experience has not only changed the Fire Department, it has also helped my administration deal with many crises, and he has helped develop policies on a range of issues. John's goal was to make the Melrose Fire Department known throughout the commonwealth and New England as a center of excellence and innovation. His mission has been accomplished. From the new fleet of vehicles to the restoration of the ambulance—going to paramedic service in 2012—to the procedures and hiring practices, John O'Brien has stressed the world 'team' in everything he has accomplished as chief. He has formed an excellent team from the newest firefighter to the senior captain that will continue on the path he has trailblazed.
"It is imperative that we move forward and continue strong leadership in the Fire Department. It is my opinion that we have exceptional captains, and I will choose the next chief from within the Melrose Fire Department. My goal is to appoint a new chief by June 2, 2012."