By Donna Whitehead
Taunton Daily Gazette
MANSFIELD, Mass. — Mansfield Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini will be stepping down this year.
After 12 years as chief, Boldrighini will be retiring in September 2019, Town Manager Kevin Dumas announced at the Jan. 2 Select Board meeting.
A firefighter for 28 years, Boldrighini took over for former chief Robert Bellavance in 2007.
Boldrighini will stay on the job long enough to oversee the Fire Department's move to the new public safety building on Rt. 106, where they will share space with the Police Department.
He also recently worked on helping the town receive a state grant to add four additional firefighters.
Community outreach has been important to Boldrighini both in his personal and professional life. He began Student Awareness for Fire Education (SAFE), which allows Mansfield school children from kindergarten through sixth-grade the opportunity to learn fire safety prevention in the classroom, directly from firefighters. He also often recommends young people for the state's young fire hero award, which recognizes children for responding to emergency situations.
Boldrighini and the department work with the Council on Aging to encourage residents to create the Files of Life for all members of their family, regardless of their age or medical history.
Boldrighini has also been involved in the Challengers program, which he began in 1995 with two other parents, providing sports programs to special needs students including his son, Anthony. The program allows high school students and others the opportunity to work one-on-one with disabled children in basketball, soccer or other sports, corresponding with regular sports schedules. The initiative was so successful, it was handed over in its 10th year to one of the original high school volunteers.
The fire chief's position will be filled through Civil Service, according to Dumas.
Copyright 2019 Taunton Daily Gazette
McClatchy-Tribune News Service