MELROSE – Melrose Fire Chief Edward Collina will retire this April after six years leading the Melrose Fire Department and 38 years total as a firefighter in Melrose.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the City of Melrose as Fire Chief for the past six years and as a firefighter overall for the last 38 years. It has truly been an honor and a privilege,” said Collina. “I am grateful to have worked with many dedicated firefighters both past and present during my career. I also would like to thank my administrative assistant Rachel Jacobsmeyer for her constant support, dedication, and hard work that she does to make the department shine. It has been a wonderful and rewarding journey, and my wife Cindy and I are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.”
In his six years as chief of department, Collina has overseen the replacement of some much-needed equipment, but more important, he said, “I’m proud to have been part of a great team that was able to get our public safety building project across the finish line. This work will help set the department up for success for many decades to come.”

In the November city election, Melrose voters overwhelmingly backed the plan designed to bring the public safety buildings into the 21st century and, hopefully, beyond.

To build a new police station at the Ripley School, renovate the decrepit fire headquarters on Main Street and build new fire houses for Engine 2 and for Engine 3 is expected to cost about $130 million. Backers of the need to improve the public safety facilities said the longer the work is put off, the higher the bill will be for the city’s taxpayers.

Collina began his career in public safety as a City of Melrose firefighter in 1986 before serving in many high-ranking positions including Arson Investigator, Personnel Officer, and Captain before finally serving as head of the department. He also served with distinction as President of the Melrose Fire Fighters Union, Local 1617.

“With 38 years of service to Melrose, Chief Collina has seen our community through many highs and lows, and we are honored he chose to dedicate his career to the City of Melrose,” said Mayor Jennifer Grigoraitis. “We will begin the search for our next Fire Chief in the coming months, and we look forward to working with the Melrose community to gain input on what they believe are the most important qualities in the City’s next Fire Chief.”