By Richard Kaufman
The Greenwich Board of Selectmen voted on Thursday to appoint Fire Department of the City of New York Battalion Chief Joseph O. McHugh as Chief of the Greenwich Fire Department.
McHugh steps into the department following the retirement of Chief Peter Siecienski earlier this year. McHugh will officially be sworn in at an outdoor ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 31. Assistant Chief Robert Kick, who served as the interim chief this summer, will continue to lead the department until McHugh begins his role on Sept. 14.
McHugh was selected from a pool of 40 applicants who responded to a national search. A series of interviews was conducted with eight finalists by a committee, comprised of First Selectman and Fire Commissioner Fred Camillo, Town Administrator Ben Branyan, Human Resources Director Mary Pepe, Kick, Greenwich Firefighters Local 1042 President Matt Brooks, and Byram Volunteer Fire department Chief, David Walko.
McHugh has ties to Greenwich, as he began his career in fire services with the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Old Greenwich, serving as a firefighter and then as a lieutenant.
His mother, Marjorie McHugh and mother and father-in-law, Martha and John Awdziewicz, are Greenwich residents. His late father, Edward, spent 20 years with the Greenwich Fire Department and retired as a Fire Inspector in 1985.
McHugh joined the ranks of the FDNY in 1991 as a firefighter in Manhattan. Over his career, he served as a lieutenant in the Bronx, a captain in Manhattan, and a Battalion Chief in Division 7 in the Bronx. McHugh currently serves as the Battalion Chief in Safety Command and is the Executive Officer of the FDNY Safety Command operations. He is responsible for the safety of FDNY members at all major fires, emergencies and catastrophic events.
“Chief McHugh brings an enthusiasm to this position, with an appreciation of the work and dedication of the both the professional and volunteer firefighters who stand ready to protect our residents 24/7,” said Camillo in a statement. “I look forward to working with him as we work to build upon the strengths and accomplishments achieved by the department under the tenures of Chief Siecienski and Chief Kick.”
McHugh resides in nearby Port Chester, N.Y., with his wife Pamela, who is a teacher at Cos Cob School, and their children, daughter Molly and son Johnny.