The definition of a humanitarian is a person concerned with, or seeking to, promote human welfare. Someone unselfish and not looking to be rewarded.
Mr. Peter Tyc embodies that definition, as he selfishly dedicates his life to our town through his devotion to managing and caring for our Volunteer Fire Department.
Pete was born in June, 1959 in Middletown and grew up in Portland. He attended Vinal Technical High School and graduated with an electrical certificate, going on to work for the CT DOT for 37 years, retiring as an electrical general supervisor. In that role, like his role as chief of our volunteer fire department, he was responsible for the public’s safety. After marrying his wonderful wife Diane, they bought a house in Rockfall where they raised their sons and still reside.
Pete has strong roots in Middlefield/Rockfall from his mother’s side of the family, so moving to town gave him more family members close by.
Chief Peter Tyc has served as a member of the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department since 1995, nearly 25 years. In 2009 he became a lieutenant, in 2010 a captain and chief in 2011. In addition to that role he also serves as Middlefield’s Fire Marshal. In both roles he brings a drive and dedication that is unequalled. His professional knowledge and life experience is a bonus to the citizens that he serves. He trains and responds to fire calls often wearing many hats.
On Jan. 18, the Middlefield Lions Club put up Fire Chief Peter Tyc as their Humanitarian Award nominee for Lions District MD23C.
Chief Tyc’s humanitarian service can be summed up simply when one looks at his service to the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company. Nothing is more fundamental to our community than the safety of its citizens.
From all of history, the protection from the ravages of fire is paramount for the survival of our neighbors and for the economic vitality of communities. When the proverbial disaster strikes, it is the volunteers who come to the rescue. Volunteer fire companies have a long tradition, not only here in the United States, but all over the world. The volunteer firefighters are expected to be on call 24/7 to respond to emergency calls, which may involve long periods of time. They are also expected to participate in training, equipment maintenance and fundraising; which is more – unrealized to the public – “behind the scenes” time spent.
Chief Tyc not only participates in all these endeavors, he is the leader of his company, building camaraderie by encouraging the women and men volunteers in their duties, and seeing that the company is run in a safe and efficient manner.
Nowadays, the recruitment of volunteers is a challenge to all volunteer organizations. Pete effectively motivates individuals to join the department through community outreach and diligence. He can be seen at community events raising the visibility of the company in his efforts to seek volunteers.
Recently, we had a disastrous emergency when a house was totally engulfed in flames. Pete was there leading the MVFD not only battling the flames but making certain that no one was in harm’s way and that those displaced were being looked after. When First Selectman Ed Bailey followed up with him 14 hours after the fire, he was still on the scene supervising an investigation into the cause of the fire. When duty calls, there are no time limits for Chief Tyc.
Peter and his wife Diane raised two sons who now proudly serve alongside Pete in the fire department, both in leadership positions. When you attend an event at the firehouse, the whole family is there working, serving and making a difference together for our community. They never complain about the missed family dinners, the holidays cut short or the late night fire calls – they just grab their gear and head into the emergency.
Pete’s leadership at the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company isn’t just about fire protection and emergencies, it’s about our greater community and making it a better place for all of us to live. From community food roundups to feeding the hungry, to hot chocolate and hot dogs at our Christmas tree lighting, Chief Pete is there leading with enthusiasm. He leaderships motivates his volunteers, who themselves do so much for our community.
At the ceremony, First Selectman Ed Bailey presented a proclamation, designating Jan. 18 as “Pete Tyc Day” in Middlefield. Lions District MD23C honored Pete with a plaque, a most-deserving nominee.
N. Summer Lerch is president of the Middlefield Lions Club.