Thode is a 30-year Veteran of the Bridgeport Fire Department; Was Provisional Chief Since May 2016
Bridgeport – Mayor Joe Ganim announced today named Richard Thode to a five-year appointment as Bridgeport Fire Chief. Thode is a 30-year veteran of the Bridgeport Fire Department and had served as provisional chief since May 2016 when former Chief Brian Rooney retired.
“I am very happy today to announce the appointment of Chief Thode for a full five year term leading the Bridgeport Fire Department,” said Mayor Ganim. “Chief Thode has demonstrated over the nine months he has served as provisional chief that he is a true leader of the Fire Department and commands deep respect and admiration from the nearly 300 firefighters under his command. Chief Thode is also a very smart and capable manager, figuring out innovative ways to accomplish the Fire Department’s goals more effectively while saving the city considerable resources. This is already resulting in more effective fire safety and emergency management and greater public safety for the city of Bridgeport. We all look forward to at least five more years of stable and consistent leadership.”
David Dobbs of the International Association of Firefighters Local 834 union representing Bridgeport firefighters, said “Our union applauds Mayor Ganim in naming Richard Thode as Fire Chief. In the short number of months he has been acting chief, he has demonstrated professionalism and leadership that we have been lacking and we are encouraged by what the future holds”
Fire Union IAFF Local 834 President Robert Whitbread said, “I came on with Chief Thode 30 years ago and working with him all this time I can say there are many qualities about him that sets him apart as a leader. He is an excellent listener and he ensures he has his facts before making decisions. But most importantly, he will do a good job because he has the support of the membership. My perception is moral is already going up since he has been acting as chief.”
Chief Richard Thode started as a Bridgeport firefighter in 1987 and rose through the ranks as a Lieutenant, Captain, and Assistant Chief. He commanded firefighters in the field, integrated technology to improve their safety, and oversaw reforms to the deployment of fire department resources to improve the productivity and efficacy of operations. Thode also served on joint management-labor committees and is widely respected throughout the department.