City Begins Search for a New Fire Chief

With the impending retirement of Fire Chief Leonard Albanese, the city has begun the search for a new leader for the fire department.

Albanese is retiring on March 8 after eight years as fire chief.

“With the support of our City Council and our City Manager, Chief Albanese greatly improved our Fire Stations, our Fire Apparatus, and our Fire Fighting equipment,” City Manager Fidel Maltez stated in a letter to the city council. “Most importantly, Chief Albanese has worked hard to implement policies and procedures that have set up the Chelsea Fire Department for long term success.”

The search process for a new chief is underway and has been opened up to the department’s deputy chiefs.

“We have posted the position of Fire Chief and will be completing a hiring process in the near future,” state Maltez.

The city manager said he will coordinate with the council and Council President Norieliz DeJesus during the hiring process.

The posted salary range for the position is $175,000 to $200,000, and the listed minimum requirements on the position summary submitted to the council by Maltez include a Bachelor’s degree in fire science or a related field, 10 years of progressive work experience, and a minimum of five years service as a deputy chief with the Chelsea Fire Department. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31.

During Monday night’s council meeting, several councilors praised the job Albanese has done as chief over the past eight years.

“The chief has done a great job here,” said District 8 Councilor Calvin Brown. “We asked him when he came in years ago to help us to cut down on the overtime, and he has worked with his department … and he has done that. We are grateful for the service he provided and he had a very great and tight ship over there.

“We wish him well as he moves on.”

District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero also praised Albanese for being a great chief and helping to get the overtime costs under control in his department.

District 1 Councilor Todd Taylor said he also appreciated the work Albanese has done over the years and how he has helped the fire department to run smoothly.

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