Two promoted at Norwich Fire Department

Capt. Allyn Fitch's daughters, Izzy, 9, left, and Brooke, 15, center, and his girlfriend's daughter Sarah Blanchette, 15, watch as his girlfriend Jessica Blanchette adjusts his new badge Friday after his promotion ceremony at the Norwich Fire Department headquarters.
Capt. Allyn Fitch's daughters, Izzy, 9, left, and Brooke, 15, center, and his girlfriend's daughter Sarah Blanchette, 15, watch as his girlfriend Jessica Blanchette adjusts his new badge Friday after his promotion ceremony at the Norwich Fire Department headquarters. Dana Jensen/The Day

Norwich – Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato promoted two firefighters to the ranks of lieutenant and captain Friday at a badge-pinning ceremony held before a crowd of fellow firefighters, family and city officials at fire department headquarters.

Former Lt. Allyn Fitch, 39, was promoted to the rank of captain. The former Marine, who joined the department in 1999, now will be responsible for oversight of station operations, personnel management, mission readiness and training.

"Al has been a dominating force on the incident scene as well as in the firehouse," Scandariato said. "He has been a coach, a mentor, but most prominently, a true leader."

Scandariato called Fitch a "firefighters' firefighter," who has the confidence and respect of the entire department.

Firefighter Patrick Curtin, 30, who has worked for the past 10 years at the department, earned a promotion to the rank of lieutenant.

Curtin, who said he had wanted to be a firefighter for "as long as I can remember," is a graduate of both the Connecticut Fire Academy and New York City Fire Department Training Academy.

"Pat has consistently demonstrated a desire to improve our department through continual study and performance," Scandariato said.

Both men were sworn in by City Clerk Betsy Barrett. Curtin had his lieutenant's badge pinned to his uniform by his wife, Megan. The oldest of Fitch's four daughters pinned on his captain's badge.

Both men were promoted following high marks on competitive examinations, coupled with their "actions, dedication and leadership," Scandariato said.

"These men have earned the right to promotion and the respect of their peers," Scandariato said.

g.smith@theday.com

Capt. Allyn Fitch is sworn in by Norwich City Clerk Betsy Barrett during a promotion ceremony Friday at the City of Norwich Fire Department headquarters.
Capt. Allyn Fitch is sworn in by Norwich City Clerk Betsy Barrett during a promotion ceremony Friday at the City of Norwich Fire Department headquarters. Dana Jensen/The Day
Lt. Patrick Curtin is sworn in by Norwich City Clerk Betsy Barrett during a promotion ceremony Friday at the City of Norwich Fire Department headquarters.
Lt. Patrick Curtin is sworn in by Norwich City Clerk Betsy Barrett during a promotion ceremony Friday at the City of Norwich Fire Department headquarters. Dana Jensen/The Day
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