The retirement of Greenwich Fire Chief Peter Siecienski was celebrated Friday morning at central fire station in which First Selectman Fred Camillo declared May 29, 2020 Chief Pete Siecienski Day. The town is conducting a national search for Siecienski’s successor.
Siecienski began his firefighting career in 1972 as a volunteer in Danbury. Seven years later he was hired as a professional firefighter and rose through the ranks to become that city’s Fire Chief, retiring in 2006.
He became Greenwich Fire Chief in 2007, and during his tenure he oversaw improved insurance ratings for property owners, the assignment of officers to apparatus at all seven fire companies, renovations to Glenville station and headquarters and now the Byram station, a consolidated public safety complex system for police and fire, the hiring of 34 professional firefighters and the purchase of 14 pieces of apparatus.
In addition to earning his executive fire officers certification from the National Fire Academy, Siecienski has taught legions of firefighters as an adjunct professor for the Connecticut state universities.
After 48 years of service in both Greenwich and Danbury, Camillo said in addition to spending time with his wife, children and new puppy “Shiloh,” Siecienski looked forward to playing golf.
Camillo noted that Siecienski was originally from Cos Cob.
Peter Tesei who served as First Selectman from 2007 to 2019 said v had been a tremendous partner and said he could still recall many ‘Siecienski-isms.’
“I enjoyed every minute of our collaboration, including the challenges,” Tesei added. “You are truly as a professional leader in fire services you accomplished a great deal.”
Siecienski said many people had asked him why retire in the middle o a pandemic? He explained it was the perfect time to retire, given the department’s capabilities and leadership. With a nod to Assistant Chief Robert Kick, who will serve as interim Fire Chief, he said, “I thought there was no better time to go than while the spotlight is showing how effective and efficient the department is. From the fire service organization to the compassion shown to the community – I thought it was a nice time to go. I’m very proud of you all.”
Of his 14 years with the Greenwich Fire Dept, Siecienski said the department qualified for national recognition for 13 years with no loss of life in the community. “That’s a tremendous accomplishment for us all.”
“Every officer went home at night,” he said. “That’s an accomplishment.”
Conversely he said, a life was lost on Windsor Lane September 18, 2016. That afternoon firefighters encountered a fire in a garage with heavy smoke throughout a single-family raised ranch house, with bystanders reporting a possible trapped occupant.
“Is that because a fire prevention message didn’t get through? And that woman went back in the house? That’s a failure for the guys who did go home to their families. Men and women were seriously injured. That’s a failure.”
After highlighting the capabilities of the Greenwich Fire Dept, referring to its resilience, passion, and diligence, he said he was leaving the Greenwich Fire Dept in good hands, expressing his confidence that the team would continue to thrive after his departure.
During his remarks, Camillo declared Friday, May 29, 2020 Chief Siecienski Day and presented the newly retired Fire Chief with the gift of a round of golf for four at The Griff, the town’s public golf course.