Published in the October 21, 2016 edition

MELROSE — The city has come to contractual terms with its firefighters, officials announced this week.

A new three-year agreement has been reached which calls for a 1 percent cost of living adjustment in each of the years covered in the contract, and for another 1 percent step increase in each of those years. There is also an increase in stipends for being paramedics and EMTs.

“The Fire Department is now an emergency medical service too,” said Mayor Robert J. Dolan during the formal announcement of the new deal, which was signed Thursday, Oct. 13. The Melrose Fire Department averages about 1,600 “paramedic-level” service calls a year.

Firefighters will be out of contract again on June 30, 2017. The city will spend about $400,000 in retroactive pay under the deal.

In a release, Dolan said:

“I am pleased to announce the signing of a contract between Local 1617 of the International Association of Firefighters and the City of Melrose. This three-year contract is fair to taxpayers and firefighters and certainly continues our goal of creating a fire department focused on fire prevention, firefighting, emergency management and a full ALS capable ambulance service.

“The responsibilities of fire departments have evolved over the last decade, and I am proud that the Melrose Fire Department has embraced these changes, providing the best possible fire safety and prevention and medical care to the people of Melrose.”