Beacon Hose names Trzaski chief

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 First Assistant Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge, left, and Fire Chief James Trzaski were recently installed in their positions. –PATRICK BURSEY

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 First Assistant Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge, left, and Fire Chief James Trzaski were recently installed in their positions. –PATRICK BURSEY

BEACON FALLS — Beacon Hose Company No.1’s newest fire chief is no stranger to the firefighting life.

Jimmy Trzaski, 48, was named fire chief at a ceremonial dinner in April.

Trzaski, who is married with five children, has dedicated 29 years of his life to serving both the Naugatuck and Beacon Falls communities.

As a full-time firefighter for Naugatuck and a volunteer firefighter for Beacon Falls, Trzaski developed his calling for combating fire at a young age.

“It’s kind of a cliché, but as a young kid I wanted to be a firefighter. I had a passion for firefighting and helping others, ” Trzaski said.

While Trzaski is celebrating his new position in Beacon Falls, he announced this month that he will retire from the Naugatuck Fire Department in early July.

“I started firefighting in 1985 and have enjoyed everyday of it,” he said, “I’ve been blessed to have such a fulfilling career and rise through the ranks.”

Naugatuck firefighter Tommy Moore was pleased to hear of the election results and reflected on how Trzaski impacted his firefighting career.

Moore, 39, joined the Naugatuck Fire Department as a career firefighter when Trzaski was named captain.

According to Moore, when he became a firefighter eight and a half years ago, Trzaski took him under his wing and helped him adjust to living at the firehouse.

“He called me to hold myself to a higher standard,” Moore said. “I aspire to be like him.”

Naugatuck Second Assistant Chief Paul Russell said Trzaski will do a great job leading Beacon Hose Company No. 1.

“He will do a fantastic job as chief. He will continue in that great tradition of firefighting,” Russell said.

Russell, who has been a full-time Naugatuck firefighter for 23 years, went on to call Trzaski, “highly motivated” and “a great guy.”

“He will be missed,” Russell said.

As new fire chief, Trzaski will be one of the busiest and most involved volunteers at Beacon Hose Company.

One of Trzaski’s biggest challenges will be blending the latest rescue technology and traditional firefighting lessons and techniques.

“We need to look back and see how we got here today,” Trzaski said. “But we need to keep older members up to speed.”

According to Trzaski, he and Beacon Hose First Assistant Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge, will be in command of about 100 volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel.

Both will also be responsible for making sure volunteer certifications are up to date.

On larger scale emergency situations, Trzaski will also take command as incident commander.

With about 250 fire-related calls and about 500 EMS calls per year, being in command of a firehouse can be a very demanding job.

“It gets pretty busy,” DeGeorge said. “It’s realistically like running a business. You have to be very involved.”

DeGeorge, a volunteer firefighter and automotive mechanic at Gabes Service Station in Beacon Falls, was appointed by Trzaski for the assistant position.

Trzaski did not have to look far for a more than qualified candidate.

DeGeorge already served as fire chief for Beacon Hose for three years, and this is his second time serving as an assistant chief.

“I’ve pretty much been through every position,” he said.

Trzaski and DeGeorge, along with other newly installed officers Capt. Howie Leeper and 1st Lt. Paul DeGeorge, are currently working on fundraising efforts to help support Beacon Hose.

One of Beacon Hose’s biggest fundraising events, the annual Firemen’s Carnival, will be June 13, 14 and 15.

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