"I've seen a lot of tragedy and more than one example of outstanding bravery," he said.
Marcarelli said he had hoped to stay longer to transition the new chief, who Mayor
"His retirement is a huge loss to every firefighter and citizen in the city," Reynolds said. "He was the most productive fire chief in my 19 years of service. Let's hope a new chief will build on that foundation."
Marcarelli said leaving is purely a business decision. He'll be earning a master's degree next month which he sad has opened up some opportunities. But Marcarelli also admitted he won't miss the "nefarious" politics of the
"It's toxic, but despite anyone's best efforts, part of me thinks they like it that way," he said.
His career wasn't without drama. Marcarelli and former Fire Assistant Chief of Administration
"My only regrets were allowing myself to be involved although in only a small way, in the political witch hunt involving Egan, whom I consider my friend," Marcarelli said.
Egan, who joined the department at the same time, said Marcarelli played a significant role in the development of the department.
"He contributed throughout his entire career, helped put forward modernized command structures and techniques, was a huge part of the department receiving the Class 1 rating," Egan said.
In June, the city joined an elite class of public safety services after receiving the top insurance rating of Class 1. Marcarelli said obtaining the rating was one of the greatest accomplishments of his career.
"This was started at the behest of (former Fire Chief Michael)
He is also proud of the projects he and former Fire Chief
Marcarelli, who was assistant chief of operations, was acting chief after Wright retired in January and again when former Acting Chief
It took a 6-year legal battle for Marcarelli to earn his fire captain's badge in 2010 after the city threw out the captain's exam over concerns about the racial make-up of the list, in which Marcarelli was the top scorer. He was promoted to director of training six months later. He was also a lieutenant and battalion chief.
Marcarelli said he viewed his role as chief as a "servant leader, making sure men didn't get hurt" and he enjoyed advocating for firefighters, but his favorite role was as a company officer.
"We went to a lot of fires and saved a lot of lives," he said.
Firefighters, city employees, and political leaders reacted Friday to Marcarelli's decision to leave
"He was...the type of person you wanted to impress whenever you saw him." Cwirka said. "Not out of fear, not to make sure you made a good impression, he just made you want to be better being around him."
City Chief Administrative Officer
"I appreciate his willingness to capably step into leadership roles these past couple of years without hesitation," Carter said.
Marcarelli is known as a leader in the department and throughout the city.
"He was a person that you were glad was working that day," King said. "He was never short on laughter and you knew that if you asked him to get something done it would be done right without supervision."
"If he was the one in command on scene you knew he made sure everything got done the right way," Rivera said. "We all trusted him to keep us safe."
Marcarelli said he hopes he prepared those who worked under him to be in leadership roles in the future.
"No man is greater than the job. I believe I left the place better than I found it," he said. "My wife Lisa is an ER nurse, so she understands the demands of this job, I'll enjoy the free time I'll have to spend with her and the kids. She's been through it all. I'm a lucky man.
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