Wellesley Fire Chief Rick DeLorie announced his retirement (effective Jan. 5) during Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting after he introduced lieutenant promotions and new firefighters.
The Wellesley High grad has been a firefighter for some 30 years, and has served as chief of the Wellesley Fire Department for about 14. DeLorie thanked his family, which has a rich history in firefighting. DeLorie followed his brother into the Wellesley department, and his wife’s father was a fire chief.
“It’s been 30 years for me and it’s rewarding on so many levels, most of all the opportunity to be a firefighter in my hometown,” said DeLorie, who remarked on working with so many good people locally and in other communities, both in firefighting and related fields, such as health and police.
DeLorie’s leadership has extended behind his own department into industry positions, such as chair of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, and metro chief of the Massachusetts Fire Training Council.
The chief thanked the Select Board for allowing him to continue his training while on the job, and that training has introduced him to new opportunities, including with the Special Olympics, where earlier this year he served as a public safety deputy chief of operations for the summer games. DeLorie said that opportunity has opened doors for him to do more work in that area going forward.
DeLorie says his favorite experience locally has been working on the annual Thanksgiving dinner for seniors, but also cited the summer youth academy, 9/11 memorial events, and the Boston Marathon as rewarding experiences. The Wellesley Spelling Bee… well, that’s a sore subject. “I am a Wellesley High School graduate, I am looking for a rebate… We’re just looking not to be the first ones to go out,” he said.
Select Board members shared their appreciation for DeLorie’s work, and recognized there will be a more formal opportunity to do so closer to his actual retirement date.
Select Board Chair Lise Olney described DeLorie’s impending departure as “a pretty momentous change for our community.” She said: “I know those years have required a lot of sacrifice from you and your family. You’ve answered the light night phone calls and missed family dinners, and just stepped into I’m sure countless emergencies at a moment’s notice.” What’s more, Olney cited DeLorie’s heart through his leadership and participation in events like those with seniors and other members of the community.
Among the good hands DeLorie will be leaving the fire department in are those of Steve Indresano, a 20-year veteran of the team, and Donald Toli, a 24-year veteran, to the rank of lieutenant.
Wellesley also announced the hiring of firefighters Angelo Madden (a Wellesley High grad) and Corey Ronan. A couple more hiring announcements are planned for later in the month.
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