New Britain’s new fire chief met with the community Monday and discussed his plans for the new role.
Chief Raul Ortiz was sworn in by Mayor Erin Stewart Monday morning, and held a meet and greet to get to know his new community.
“My goal and my only priority is the residents of New Britain and I want to make sure our services are up to par for their demands,” Ortiz said.
He said he first wants to get to know the department better before making any changes, and that his 19 years of service with the Hartford Fire Department will be a guide. Ortiz most recently served as deputy chief in the Hartford department.
“I'd like to bring in all the best things Hartford had to offer. Also, just enhance the services that New Britain has to offer,” Ortiz said.
Alderman Brian Keith Albert said he believes it says a lot that the council unanimously approved Ortiz’s nomination.
“The wonderful thing is he has support of the people and he just moved into town because they know his record in Hartford,” Albert said.
Ortiz is the department’s first Hispanic chief.
“It's an honor. It's an honor. Anytime you're the first at anything the bar is set pretty high and my intent is that when I'm done with my time here that there are no reservations or there is no more need to ever call anybody the first,” Ortiz said.
New Britain’s former fire chief Thomas Ronalter retired after being placed on administrative leave over an investigation into mismanagement and racial bias.