Fire Chief Thode Announces Fire Marshal Appointment And Department Promotions

From Fire Chief Richard Thode:

Chief Thode announces that the Bridgeport Board of Fire Commissioners unanimously approved Alberto Hernandez as appointed Fire Marshal; in addition fourteen officers will be promoted within the Bridgeport Fire Department.

Fire Marshal Alberto Hernandez has served in the Bridgeport Fire Department for over 20 years, most recently in the Fire Marshal’s Division for the last nine years. Hernandez is a State certified Fire Inspector, Arson Investigator, and Hazardous Materials Inspector. In 2010, Fire Marshal Hernandez completed his college degree in Fire Science and, in 2012 earned a master’s degree in Public Administration.

In addition to the Fire Marshal appointment, Thode announces fourteen of Bridgeport’s bravest will be promoted effective Saturday, December 18, 2020. Lieutenant Mark Cody will be promoted to Captain as well as Firefighters Thomas Varanelli, Thomas Coolidge, Myles Rich, Gregory Prior, Christian Teague, Derek Currao, Derek Villani, Michael Schenk, Kelley Geffert, Daniel Brelsford, and Loren Dailey who will all be elevated to Lieutenant. Firefighters Marcos Ramos and James Bonosconi will be promoted to Pump Engineers.

“Fire Marshal Hernandez is a lifelong Bridgeport resident with unparalleled prevention experience and a proven leader in his response to fires. As we enter a new year, we are also excited to announce newly promoted leadership that will continue to firmly protect the health and public safety of residents in the City of Bridgeport,” stated Chief Thode.

Currently, COVID-19 restrictions for in-person ceremonies are still in place. When allowed, a traditional promotional oath of office will take place at a time and location to be determined.



  1. Two Latinos and one Black being promoted out of fifteen firefighters. This would have been incomprehensible before David Dunn was given the Director of Civil Service position. We routinely took 40 to 50% of every tested promotion in the BFD prior to David Dunn.

    Has Black and Latino firefighters of the Bridgeport Fire Department gotten that much dumber or white firefighters gotten that much smarter OR is the legacy of David Dunn far-reaching and in full effect.

    1. Don, Chief Thode doesn’t understand anything that you wrote because there’s nothing in any fire training manual or IFSTA books or training seminar that would guide Thode about the law, diversity in hiring and promotions because he had no desire to understand what you said. It was David Dunn’s legal responsibility and the testing company to see that the exams are not discriminating and to follow federal law.

      Don, I know that I have given Thode a pass in not attacking his decisions becase he’s a nice guy plus we know him during the years of our time on the department. His relationsip with George Bryant who is a past President of the Firebird Society and who was Thode’s officer on the rescue squad made me think that would be more in tune to discrimination. Chief Thode said nothng for those 12 years that BFD didn’t hire any women. Thode didn’t have to pass a CPAT Test in order to get hired and look at him now, he’s the chief, so what’s the need of CPAT Chief? Bing a nice guy doesn’t mean shit when you are allowing discrimination while you are the Fire Chief, I was wrong in thinking that you would follow in the role of George Bryant.


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