Two weeks into the new job for the fire chief of New Britain.
He’s also the very first Latino fire chief in New Britain.
Chief Raul Ortiz says while he was going up through the ranks he had a first Latino fire chief to look up to in Hartford.
Now he hopes to serve as an example of what could be in New Britain.
Ortiz is now two weeks in as the fire chief of New Britain.
“The fire service for me was like a calling,” said Ortiz.
He brings with him years of experience from the Hartford Fire Department.
“There was a lot of soul searching within me to leave the department. I was very accustomed to almost 19 years in that department,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz’s fire career started in 1999.
“I love what I do. I love every time we go out to a call we’re having an impact on someone’s life,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz says ever since day one he said he’d be a fire chief.
It took many years moving up through the ranks.
Most recently he was a deputy chief in Hartford and now he plans to be an advocate for the 130-member department in New Britain.
“I want to develop the young firefighters that are here. I think there’s a wealth of talent here and I want to make sure they get all the resources necessary to keep succeeding up the ladder,” Ortiz said.
With the support of his family and mentors, Ortiz was sworn in on April 16.
He said it meant the world to have his mom sitting right there to watch this moment.
“As a Spanish kid from Hartford, what I realized was, this is bigger than me. It’s nice to be the first Hispanic fire chief but it also allows the residents in New Britain or at the other Spanish kids in New Britain to say I too can accomplish that,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz says the community has been very welcoming.
He’s very enthusiastic about wanting to enhance fire and EMS services in the city.
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