Monroe leans on new fire chief Kevin Catalano’s experience

Kevin Catalano, who served as deputy fire chief at the time, speaks during the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department's 100th Anniversary Gala at The Waterview in June. He was recently appointed chief. Alyssa Klein/Captured By Klein

MONROE, CT — Kevin Catalano, 47, who has over 31 years of firefighting experience, was recently named chief of the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department, where he has served since moving to town in 1993. His previous rank was deputy, a role he served for five years.

The MVFD, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, enthusiastically announced the naming of its new chief in a Facebook post on Monday morning.

Monroe Fire Chief Kevin Catalano Alyssa Klein/ Captured By Klein

“Our department is excited to have Chief Catalano as our new chief of the department,” said Fire Marshal William “Bill” Davin, who is also president of the MVFD. “He brings a wealth of experience, both on the operational side and administrative side of the department.”

Catalano, who will succeed Josh Krize as chief, is a decorated firefighter.

He is one of the top call responders in department history and the past recipient of two Firefighter of the Year awards, three Chiefs’ Awards for Outstanding Service, a Member of the Year Award, three Unit Citation awards for life-saving actions, and earned a Chief’s Letter of Commendation for heroic action.

As deputy chief, Catalano was responsible for leading department operations. Filling the vacated deputy chief role is Joe McNellis, a five-year veteran of the Monroe Fire Department, who most
recently served as captain.

McNellis will oversee training and department operations. He has been a career firefighter in Bridgeport for over 11 years, where he is currently a lieutenant. The chief officer roles and all firefighters in town are volunteer positions.

‘Truly honored’

Catalano said he is “truly honored” to lead the 100-percent volunteer department into its second century of service and looks forward to continuing to proactively engage with the community.

“The safety of our Monroe residents, motorists and firefighters is a responsibility that I do not take lightly and I will hold myself, our officers and firefighters to the highest of standards,” he said.

“We plan to continue to leverage technology and innovation to make our operations easier and safer, but our success is always driven by the continued dedication and contributions of our 100-percent volunteer members,” Catalano said.

“We are always looking for new volunteer firefighters to join our team, particularly those with existing firefighting experience,” he added. “Our combination of eager young volunteer firefighters in the 18-22 age range, coupled with the experience and mentorship of our veteran volunteers positions us well to remain a very effective and highly regarded fire department.”

Catalano and Melissa, his wife of 22 years, who is president of the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department’s Womens’ Auxiliary, have two children, twins Jack and Sarah. Both grew up helping out with tasks around the firehouse and will be college freshmen this fall.

Firefighting has always been a part of Catalano’s life.

“My father, Ron Catalano, is a retired acting assistant fire chief in Bridgeport,” he said. “I’ve been around firefighters and fire stations my entire life. Firefighters are great people to surround yourself with.”

Kevin and Melissa Catalano on the red carpet during the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary Gala at The Waterview in June. Alyssa Klein/ Captured By Klein

Catalano’s late father-in-law, Paul Devan Jr., was a past fire chief in Monroe and his two brothers-in-law are firefighters. “On the holidays, there are certainly a lot of firehouse stories,” he said.

Catalano became a junior firefighter in February of 1992 in the Long Hill section of Trumbull serving for three years, before joining the Monroe Fire Department after moving to town in 1993. At the MVFD he served as a lieutenant in 1998, then as captain and as assistant chief for four years, before being appointed as deputy chief 2018.

He has been the MVFD’s public information officer for over 20 years.

Catalano holds numerous advanced State of Connecticut Fire Academy certifications and is a certified Emergency Medical Responder.

His primary areas of responsibility and focus over the years include training, public education and relations, standard operating guidelines (SOGs), fundraising, and member recruitment and retention.

The chief has been instrumental in many key department initiatives including formation of the duty crew and overnight staffing programs, addressing town fire study recommendations, developing most of the current SOGs, and driving the social media presence.

All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

The Monroe Sun covers all of the news of Monroe, CT

Follow Us

© Copyright 2023, The Monroe Sun LLC