MERIDEN — Fire Marshal Steve Trella is retiring this week after working for 41 years with the fire department.
Trella started in 1978 as a firefighter, was promoted to deputy fire marshal in 1993, and became fire marshal in September 2006.
He was helped by a lot of good mentors along the way.
“You can’t really prepare for this job until you’re doing it,” Trella said. “...I think that’s kind of part of being a firefighter... you’re looking to either help someone out or help someone along.”
Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Dunn has known Trella since he was a young child and his father worked on the Fire Department with Trella.
“(Trella) definitely left the fire marshal’s office better than when he found it,” Dunn said. “..that is a testament to his leadership.”
John Yacovino, currently the deputy fire marshal, will become acting fire marshal, Trella said.
Yacovino has been with the department for 21 years.
“It will be a huge change from the current role of deputy to being the fire marshal,” Trella said.
Yacovino said he wishes Trella the best and noted he is retiring in good health.
The biggest lesson Yacovnio has learned from Trella is to be patient and stay the course at work.
Dunn also noted Trella’s dedication to fire prevention education
“...when you go into an apartment building and you knock on a door to check a smoke detector. When that door opens and the person that lives in that apartment is standing there, and they’ve got their child standing by that doorway, that’s who you’re doing this for,” Trella said. “...You should be doing this job to protect them, that’s what you’re there for.”