January 31, 2000
WOODINVILLE--Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District (WFLSD) Deputy Chief Dominick Marzano arrived at his new job with the Kent Fire Dept. last Thursday, the day after finishing his tenure with WFLSD. Co-workers say his departure leaves a big hole that will be hard to fill.
"Dominick's leaving is obviously a significant loss to our department," said Chief Steve Smith. "He has been an excellent employee and excellent deputy chief. But I understand that this is a good career move for him."
"You won't find anyone in this department who isn't sorry to see Dominick go," said Lt. Tad Wineman. "He has been such an important part of this department and is very easy to work with. The Fire Commissioners will decide whether to fill that position with someone else, but no decision has been made yet."
Marzano said he will still live in Woodinville, and hopes friends will not forget that he's just a phone call away if they need help for any reason.
"This move is a good career opportunity, to step up to a department three times the size of Woodinville's," said Marzano. "I have career ambitions, and this fits right in, giving me more responsibilities. I want to be busy, I like what I do; I'm looking to get better at what I do and this move will allow that.
"I've gone through a rigorous process, during the 12 years I've been here, to qualify for the Kent job, which I suppose is why they hired me. That's not bragging, but just a result of the fact that I've done well because many people here have helped me do well. I've enjoyed good relations with other fire departments and local officials. That has allowed me to grow, along with the city of Woodinville's growth since incorporation. I've worked closely with Ray Sturtz and Marie Stake in developing the city's emergency response program."
Marzano turned down a job offer from the State of California's Office of Emergency Services. He has been very involved with FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue system, a national network of teams in 27 regions that responds to national emergencies.
For four of the last five years, he has been a team leader with Washington Task Force I--one of those 27 teams--comprised of fire department personnel from King and Pierce Counties and the City of Seattle He took part in national responses to last year's Hurricane George, as well as the Northridge, California, earthquake of several years ago. That team has also served at the Atlanta Olympics and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Marzano will continue that involvement in Kent. Next week, he will join the other 26 national Task Force leaders at a bi-yearly Urban Search and Rescue conference in Miami.
Marzano came to Woodinville from Ohio, after taking a vote of his children for the change.
"We had come out here to my brother's wedding," he said. "They fooled me; it was one of the best summers ever in Seattle. I decided Woodinville offered a good opportunity for advancement. All the guys I worked with in Ohio are still there. A lot of us started about the same time, so there wasn't a lot of room for advancement. Although I was a lieutenant there, I had to take a cut back to Firefighter III here. You can't just start as a lieutenant in a new department, where you haven't earned respect. I had to prove myself all over again, and test my way up through the ranks.
"I appreciate and am grateful for everything Woodinville has done for me. I'm fortunate to have a lot of good relationships with people here that I won't forget. I hope I've left a positive legacy; I think I have."