Chelsea | Briefs

Better is named fire chief

City Manager Jay Ash recently named Robert Better Jr. as Chelsea’s new fire chief. Better is a 36-year veteran of the Chelsea Fire Department who has served as a deputy chief since 2006. In addition to his role with the department, he serves as a volunteer operations manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In that capacity, he has been deployed at major disasters, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and the World Trade Center in New York following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He is also an instructor at two firefighting academies, one in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire. Better takes over from David LaFond, a retired Holyoke fire chief who has served as Chelsea’s interim chief for more than a year. LaFond assumed his interim post after Herbert Fothergill Jr. retired in October 2010. - John Laidler