Fire Chief Thode Leaving Park City For The Hat City

Statement from Fire Chief Richard Thode who is leaving city service for Danbury.

“It’s with mixed emotions I end my almost 34 years in Bridgeport. While I am excited for my new endeavor, I am sad to leave the great city of Bridgeport and this incredible fire department. I could not be prouder of the men and women who answer the call of duty every day. I will miss each and everyone one of them. I am also thankful for all of the support and cooperation I have received from Mayor Ganim, all of the city staff and the City Council.”

From Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Ganim has announced that Chief Thode has accepted a new position in Danbury, and will resign from the City of Bridgeport Fire Department effective June 18, 2021. Thode was named Acting Chief under the Ganim administration in May of 2016 with the formal announcement of Chief in February of 2017. Since taking on the leadership position as Chief of Bridgeport’s Fire Department, Thode has made many strategic and tactical improvements in the Fire Department.

Mayor Ganim stated, “I want to thank Chief Thode for always doing such a great job for our city, our Fire Department, and serving our residents. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his professionalism and commitment to public safety over the past five years. We wish him luck and well in his next endeavor.”

An announcement will soon be made to name the role of Acting Chief while a search and selection is conducted for a new Chief of the Bridgeport Fire Department. Information will also follow regarding the posting of this position immediately.



  1. I defy Mayor Ganim to name one strategic and tactical improvements in the Fire Department by Chief Thode. They put him in a Deputy Chief position for about 4 months to make him eligible to justify him for the Chief’s position just like they did for the BPD Chief Garcia.

    Thode is a nice guy, but dumb as a tree stump, who was there to do what recently Arrested and disgraced Civil Service Director David Dunn told him to do on behalf of the mayor’s office. He was chosen over Lennie Carmichael from New Jersey who had numerous degrees in Fire Science as well experience leading a department while Thode bought a high school education and 30 years with the BFD. Good luck Chief Thode in your new endeavor, you’re still my boy though.

    1. Don, you’re, Rich is a nice guy and I wish him nothing but the best. Rich was fortunate to have a mentor like Captain George Bryant when he was on the Rescue Squad who took him under his wings.

      Thode didn’t push back against David Dunn and Mayor Ganim when they force CPAT in testingfor new recruits, it took 12 years to hire a female firefighter and Thode knew that CPAT didn’t give the city a better type of firefighter and that women nationwide were not getting hired. There is no way the city would allow 12 years go by before hiring 2 white males.

      As for Leonard Carmichael not only does he has numerous degrees in Fire Science but Carmichael has given fire classes in Bridgeport when he hired by the city to give classes in which those who completed and pass the exam that they got college credit point in Fire Science. New Haven has had 3 black fire chiefs, Hartford has had 7 black fire chiefs and one Hispanic but Bridgeport has NEVER had a black fire chief.

      Now the city needs Personnel Director, a Labor Relation Director, a Police Chief and a Fire Chief, now will see the city go back to using “Actors” as the fire chief, sad.

        1. Let me clarify,
          Wilbur Chapman had 7 city vehicles , a driver and he lived in NY the whole time he was chief and worked 3 days a week.
          Brian Norwood tried changing the world and was run outta town by the Police Union. ( I was President at the time)…..
          I believe he literally cleared out his office on 3rd shift.
          But I hear ya, It SHOULD BE the most qualified candidate, regardless of race.
          Unfortunately in BPT, that is rarely the case, if ever ………

      1. Don, history repeating its self.
        Phil Smith says:
        November 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm
        When is the mayor planning on holding the charter-mandated competitive examination for a new police chief? A new fire chief? A permanent personnel director?

        Don, that comment from Phil Smith who was the vice-chairman along with now Judge Bill Holden for the city’s last charter revision, is true today and if the mayor had acted on what Phil Smith wrote then AJ Perez would not be in federal prision because David Dunn would not been the “Acting” Personnel Director.

  2. Cool now we will have another actor to join the Screen Actor’s Guild of Bridgeport.. Who needs qualifications, when you can act? Whomever gets appointed will get a raw deal of scrutiny because of the chaotic backdrop already in place for this theatrical release.


    1. Joel Gonzalez

      Go f**k off………………..
      I don’t know Chief Thode, why would I go with him?
      If you are so unhappy here, why don’t you leave? Maybe you’d be happier in Danbury

  3. Chief Thode leaving is a real loss to the city of Bpt.Having worked with the chief I have witnessed how he has moved the dept forward..Among other things he set up a training facility for applicants both woman and men to get coached certified which has been the model for other neighboring towns even asking to use ours.I commend him for the dedication and outstanding job he did for the city from being on the squad to being chief.Wishing him much luck and success in Danbury.

    1. Stuart, how come females are not being hired? New Haven and Hartford do not use CPAT, in fact Hartford had it and got rid of it because women were not passing at the normal rate of pass exams so they stop user it. Stuart, what was the pass fail rate of women taking CPAT?

  4. Stuart, that testing for CPAT wasn’t instituted by Thode in fact it was instituted by Recently Arrested Disgraced Civil Service Director David Dunn under the recommendation of Mayor Ganim because Mackey and I kept addressing the fact that NO women were being hired for 12 consecutive years after being hired for 25 consecutive years. Like Mackey said New Haven and Hartford don’t use CPAT because of its adverse effects on women being hired for the Fire Service. If you look around the state to see cities that use CPAT they have NO women firefighters or very, very few. Another indisputable fact is that since Thode has been Chief Black’s who historically took 40% of every tested position suddenly couldn’t pass promotional exams, while his friends who couldn’t chew gun and walk were passing promotional exams better than they ever have in their lives prior to him being given the Chief’s job. Stuart, the More You Know!

    1. Don, I don’t know why Stuart didn’t ask any questions about why the city was not hiring any women to be firefighters or why the city council didn’t question the fact that women were not being hired for 11 years. The reason nobody didn’t ask any questions is because they didn’t care plus David Dunn the convicted felon was telling what should be done.

  5. *** Seems like to me, (my personal point of view) that after all these years of reading & writing on OIB, also my 6-yrs. on the city council. That regardless of whom they might have put as Fire Chief in the city of Bpt; weather white, black, hispanic, asian, etc. Qualified & from Bpt. or not, neither Day or Mackey would have been satisfied with the pick & would probably had “lots” of personal reasons as too why they were opposed to the choice! *** ITS THE DAMMED IF YOU DO & DAMMED IF YOU DON’T, CITY OF BPT. ***

    1. Mojo, you are totally wrong, let’s talk about merit and not race.
      Daniel Andrus was named fire chief of Concord, N.H. after a 28-year career with the Salt Lake City Fire Department. He was deputy chief of administrations when he left. Andrus has a bachelor’s degree in fire services administration and another in business management. He also has two master’s degrees: one in public administration and one in economics. He has graduated from the National Fire Academy’s executive fire officer program. And Bridgeport picked Brian Rooney with his high-school diploma. Neither Rooney or Thode have a college degree in anything, again just look at the background of Andrus. For the record Don Day and myself supported Daniel Andrus.

  6. Mojo, you’re talking out your ass because your head knows better. All Mackey and I have ever wanted was the best person for the job and it appears as if Black’s never meet the standard even when the do! All we have ever heard from white Chief’s, white mayor’s, white firefighters and fools like you is that merit is the best quality for picking a chief and when a Black meets that criteria, that criteria is no longer applicable. You were an obstructionist to justice when you were on the council and it seems that your antiquated, obstructionist views haven’t changed.
    The fact is you have No idea how Mackey and I would react to a Black Chief because No Black has ever been chosen to represent the Bridgeport Fire Department and until the time comes that one is chosen may I suggest that you shut the fuck up. You’ve never been a supporter of the ideas and principles of fairness for Black’s and if the truth be told you don’t really give a damn about Latinos because you’ve never felt an affinity to anything other than whites! Finally, our reasons for not supporting any Chief of the BFD was never personal, it’s always about getting the best person irrespective of race or ethnicity, unlike you who during your tenure on the council fought against anything Black.

    1. *** Yea right & the sky’s falling too! And don’t tell me to shut the fuck-up, cause you don’t know me nor have a right to disrespect me! Don’t get it fucked up & cause un-needed drama ! ***

  7. Like you know me well enough to say, “white, black, hispanic, asian, etc. Qualified & from Bpt. or not, neither Day or Mackey would have been satisfied with the pick.”
    I have the right to say anything I want to you whether, not weather, you like it or not. So to that, I again say, fuck you MOJO!

  8. *** According to your so-called factual blog, “I’ve never felt an affinity to anything”, other than whites? Well I do not have “racial tunnel vision” like you, also I like to treat people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion, basically the same way they treat me. If you give & show respect & treat people as equals by also listening and allowing for a difference of opinion regardless weather you agree or not. Without cursing, name calling, making false accusations, etc. & being disrespectful, most of the time you will get along with people, even with whites which you seem to have a resentful attitude towards. I see & talk with Ron Mackey from time to time, every few moons, & never, weather in person or on a blog has Ron nor I been disrespectful towards each other, in the past nor present regardless of political disagreements, district issues, BFD issues, crime in the city, etc. Unlike you that seems to always have a negative comment, race as an issue or disrespectful in your blogs because you disagree. That type of “paper tiger attitude” over simple OIB blogs only leads to more “ignorant responses”. Because everybody, ” In Time, You Will Reap What You Sow”! ***

    1. Mojo, there are certain things that people might not understand, my style at times is different than Don but don’t confuse style with the fact that our conclusions are almost the same especially on race because we are giving the other side and there is another side.

      Here’s an example of American history that happen 100 years ago, the other side that’s not being told.
      “Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921”

      One hundred years ago, one of the nation’s most affluent Black communities was attacked by ground and air. A mob of armed rioters used torches and private airplanes to destroy 35 square blocks of an area in Tulsa, Oklahoma known as “Black Wall Street.” The Tulsa Race Massacre remains one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.

  9. Mojo you are those mediocre Latinos who embrace whiteness in America as if taking sides with the oppressors will somehow grant you immunity from the racism that permeates society in the United States. You’ll eventually find out that nothing could be further from the truth.
    You’re one of those Latinos who takes sides with the hate America breeds, you are complicit in normalizing the oppression, murder, and cultural genocide of your own people. If you find yourself taking sides with white supremacists, I hope this piece shines a light on what you are doing so you can stop being so fucking mediocre.

    You are one those mediocre Latinos who embrace whiteness in America as if taking sides with the oppressors will somehow grant you immunity from the racism that permeates society in the United States. You’ll eventually find out that nothing could be further from the truth.
    Embrace your Latinidad. If you abandon your heritage and embrace whiteness, racists will treat you like a friend as they mock you behind your back.
    America’s history of generalizing Black folks as animals, thugs, murderers, drug dealers, and welfare queens with fatherless children should be a lesson in how white supremacy treats and associates minorities no matter where our families are from. The exact same tactics have been used by white nationalists all over America for more than a century and they’re using them right now by employing the power of social media to amplify their hateful generalizations.

    You’re ’re one of those Latinos who takes sides with the hate America breeds, you are complicit in normalizing the oppression, murder, and cultural genocide of your own people. If you find yourself taking sides with white supremacists, I hope this piece shines a light on what you are doing so you can stop being so fucking mediocre.
    Thinking that these people adore any of us is not just naive, but willfully ignorant and downright stupid. THAT is what makes you mediocre.

    You’re ’re a light-skinned Latino and the mentality of white supremacy circulates in your feeble mind, just refer to yourself as white. Because unlike me, you live your life with that whiteness mindset that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Do your self a favor and not try to have an intellectual war with a unloaded gun and its WHETHER not WEATHER!

  10. *** Again you don’t know me period, so all you can do is assume negative assumptions that are just filled with “tunnel vision” hate. Also this is not a “spelling bee” web-site & my main intention is to merely get my point across, not use correct spelling or any other B/S, “i am smarter than thou remark’s”. All that B/S about my heritage & embracing whiteness, etc… You can have all the degree’s & diploma’s, etc.. & not have a bit of street sense nor people relations skills. I would take a person with common sense, street smarts, people skills & good time on the job experience any day, over someone I don’t know, from somewhere else with lots of degrees & diploma’s & no time doing those types of jobs! Nowadays PHD’s, degrees & diplomas can be a dime a dozen! I’am not interested in thinking nor letting you try in subduing me to think your way, so you get mad & resort to ignorant rants on OIB. I’am not interested in your B/S propaganda or the white man’s. Why because I learned a long time ago that in this world , “I can never be black enough, nor white enough” for neither’s political or racial propaganda. So by not accepting them, I do not have to be its slave, all I need to be is me, a “Brown Puerto Rican American”! *** I believe I’ve wasted enough time on OIB blogging responses over these B/S , you “hurt” my feelings so “you this” & “you that” ignorant blogs of “hate”. SO, “ADIOS-MUCHACHOS”! ***


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