PLYMOUTH – Fire Chief Mark Sekorski has been inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighter's Association's Hall of Fame in recognition of 45 years of service to the community.
Mayor Joe Kilduff and his wife Chalaine along with several area police officers joined Sekorski last Thursday at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington for the ceremony. Sekorski, who is also president of the Waterbury Area Fire Chiefs Association, said that several members of the nine member communities attended as well.
Sekorski was nominated for induction by Assistant Chief Chris Masi from the local volunteer fire department.
“When I first got the letter, I had to read it three times to make sure I was reading it right,” he said. “I’m used to running events like these, not being the person being honored.”
Kilduff said that he felt "unbelievably proud" to see Sekorski recognized at the state level and offers the chief his congratulations.
"We have one of the best fire departments in the country - and I credit that to the leadership who run our department," he said. "The CSFA Hall of Fame chooses top firefighters throughout our state who have served above and beyond their normal expectations over an extended period of time. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Chief Sekorski. This man has worn the uniform and served our town for the last 45 years.”
Sekorski has been police chief in Plymouth since 1994. He previously served as lieutenant, captain and assistant chief.
Sekorski said that his father wasn’t in the fire department but he lived in town his whole life and had friends who were volunteering as firefighters. So, one day, he decided to volunteer too. The rest is history. He said that he is motivated to continue to volunteer in order to ensure that his town and the people who live there are safe.
In addition, Kilduff added that Sekorski has also been "very active" in various fire service organizations.
"He is always volunteering his time - whether for local school committees or his home church, St. Casimir," said Kilduff. "He adds this prestigious award to his cabinet beside many others. We are proud to call Mark Sekorski our Chief here in Plymouth, and I am honored to call him a friend."
Kilduff also emphasized the fact that the local fire department is an entirely volunteer organization.
"Mark does so much for our community," he said. "He and the other volunteer firefighters go out and risk their lives for very little personal gain and usually very little recognition. This state recognition was very well-earned."
During his induction, Kilduff said, Sekorski spoke about how much technology has changed during the many years he has served as a firefighter. Sekorski explained Monday that firemen now have special backpacks which allow them to be tracked remotely with GPS when they go inside of a building.
Kilduff said that Sekorski also spoke about the importance of education for new firefighters coming into the field. There are currently about a half-dozen people training in the junior program to become firefighters with the local department.
“Volunteerism is something that has to come from the heart,” said Sekorski. “I’ve had people volunteer who stay for a year and others stay on for 50 years. You have to be willing to get up at 3 a.m. and go out when it’s zero degrees out. It takes a certain type of person to be able to do that, and to handle when bad things happen – like a person dies or is injured.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.