First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker announced that she has hired Mark Amatrudo as the Interim Fire Chief for the Westport Fire Department (WFD) effective Monday, July 24. This appointment follows the retirement of former Chief Michael Kronick on May 15. Deputy Chief Nicholas Marsan, recently named the Emergency Management Director for the Town of Westport, will continue in that role and in his role as the Deputy Chief.
About Mark Amatrudo:
Mark Amatrudo entered the volunteer fire service in the early 1970’s and is a 3rd generation chief fire officer, having served as a career and volunteer Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and/or Acting Chief for almost 25 years. Mark is also no stranger to the Westport Fire Department. He served as our Interim Deputy Fire Chief from 2005 to 2007. During that period, a number of new training, safety and risk management programs were created, financial/budgeting controls were implemented, and the Department’s first ever strategic plan was created.
In addition to being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Mark holds the highest possible level of fire service certifications in various areas, including Fire Officer, Fire Service Instructor, Safety Officer and he has completed the FEMA Professional Development Series. He also served as a Connecticut Fire Academy Instructor for almost 30 years, where he was Chief Instructor for various programs, and then spearheaded the effort to develop chief fire officer certification programs which he served as the primary instructor for. He also developed a course for the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and spent a number of years as a contract Adjunct Instructor at the National Fire Academy campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Mark is well recognized at national and international fire service conferences, having developed and instructed many conference seminars, and was invited to be a speaker at the Asia-Pacific Fire Service Conference in Australia during 2017. He is also a part-time undergraduate and graduate level Adjunct Faculty member for the Fire Science and Emergency Management Programs at the University of New Haven, where he teaches courses in strategic planning, emergency management, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and incident scene management.
Throughout his fire service career, Mark has been the recipient of numerous high-profile awards including the FEMA National Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award, Connecticut Emergency Manager of the Year, Connecticut Fire Instructor of the Year, Connecticut Exchange Club Hero Award and Holmatro Rescue Award, amongst others.
Mark’s formal education includes a BS degree from Stonehill College and an Executive MBA from the University of New Haven.
Prior to entering the fire service on a full-time basis in 2005, Mark had a successful career as a Certified Public Account at an international accounting and consulting firm, followed by various senior executive positions in publicly traded companies, including Chief Financial Officer at TIE/communications and Corporate Vice President/Division General Manager of C&D Technologies.
From 2013 to 2019, Mark served as a member of the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Council and as the Co-Chair of the Connecticut Citizen Corps Council, which oversees the State’s 74 Community Emergency Response Teams and 23 Medical Reserve Corps units.
As a consultant to fire departments and companies that manufacture products for first responders, Mark has conducted departmental assessments and improvement plans for a number of Connecticut fire departments, as well as a customer service tracking and improvement program for the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department. Notable companies he has consulted extensively for or served as an interim executive for include Emergency One Fire Apparatus, Interspiro, Hale Fire Pump/Hurst Rescue Tools, the Hewlett-Packard Company and Walt Disney World through the Disney Institute.
Mark also holds leadership positions in other public safety support entities, including as the Commander of the Connecticut Statewide Honor Guard, Team Leader for the CT-West Incident Management Team and an Executive Committee member for the Flanagan Fire Service Scholarship Fund. He is also widely known for his work mentoring fire officers, providing career consulting for chief officer candidates and preparing candidates for entry level through fire chief oral interviews, having worked with well over 300 aspiring chiefs, officers and firefighter candidates over the past 25 years. He routinely administers entry level testing for career fire departments and has co-authored two books on entry-level firefighter testing and interviewing.
Most recently, Mark has focused on fire service, emergency management and homeland security consulting, especially in the areas of fire department evaluation, interoperable communications and cybersecurity for public safety dispatch systems, in addition to fulfilling his responsibilities as the Statewide Honor Guard Commander and CT-West Incident Management Team Leader.
First Selectwoman Tooker stated, “Mark stood out as the best candidate for this position. It was a unique search as we were looking for an Interim Fire Chief who could create an environment that would allow the next generation of leaders in the WFD to grow. The leadership team of Interim Chief Amatrudo and Deputy Chief Marsan will have an opportunity over the next 12 – 18 months to shape the future of the WFD through this transition. We are very fortunate to have this dedicated team of firefighters protecting the lives and property of residents throughout Westport and the region.”