Middletown's South Fire Board of Commissioners has voted not to renew the contract of eight-year Chief Edward Badamo.
At the Sept. 10 meeting, Badamo and Commissioners David P. Gallitto, William F. Gregorio Sr., Joseph F. Sarcia Jr., David F. Darling and Mary A. Bartolotta “came to a mutual separation agreement,” according to Gallitto, chair of the commission.
“I really enjoyed working at the South Fire District,” Badamo said Monday. “I am disappointed that the commission chose not to renew my contract. I will greatly miss the firefighters and the job.”
Badamo, 42, who has been chief since 2004, completed the term of his five-year contract, Gallitto said, although the term was to formally end in March of 2013, an agreement was reached for Ed end his employment as of Sept. 30.
The South Fire District serves a 25-mile area in the south of Middletown, which borders both the Higganum and Durham town lines. It is a separate taxing district from Middletown fire.
“Over his tenure as chief, much has been accomplished, both to the infrastructure of SFD itself as well as to maintaining a strong fiscally sound budget over that period of time,” Gallitto said.
“Along with that, I believe his greatest accomplishment was how he handled and spearheaded the both the initial and maintained response to the explosion at the Kleen Energy Plant.”
“I wish Ed well in his future endeavors, as I believe he will be successful wherever he lands.”
Resident and taxpayer Dan Penney says the commissioners should inform the public about the direction the department will be taking after not renewing Badamo's contract.
"Certainly, and in the best interest of the some 7,000 voters, taxpayers and small businesses of the South Fire District, the board of fire commissioners needs to share such plans in a public forum and encourage public participation."
Penney thinks the department might be able to extract savings to taxpayers from this new development.
"Such a vacancy would provide a number of options and opportunities that have the potential to reduce and/or eliminate certain administrative overhead and associated expenses while enhancing services, and hopefully an overall budget savings that will result in lower taxes for the district taxpayers," he says.
Before coming to South Fire, Badamo was a paramedic for American Medical Response of New Haven for more than 14 years. He began his career as a pumper driver and paramedic for the East Hartford Fire Department, serving from 1993 to 2003.
By the 12th anniversary of Sept. 11, Middletown’s South Fire will be home to a memorial incorporating the World Trade Center steel beam whose rusted hulk dramatically marks the firehouse. At the recent 11th anniversary observation, Gallitto read a letter from Badamo, whom he said was not able to attend the ceremony.
The 9-11 Memorial will include a brick-lined circular path, the flagpole, stone benches and colorful trees and bushes, according to landscaping plans by Amy E. Sampson of AES Design unveiled at the South Fire's observance of the 11th anniversary.
In March 2011, Badamo was guest instructor Wednesday at the national Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis. He shared how the Kleen Energy Plant blast made him a big fan of FEMA's National Incident Management Training for firefighters.
Six workers died and 40 more were injured at the natural gas plant explosion Feb. 10, 2010, in the Maromas section of the city.
At the Oct. 9 commission meeting, Deputy Fire Chief Steven Krol will be appointed acting chief.