‘Larger-than-life personality.’ Fairfield fire assistant chief remembered

Flags are at half-staff and bunting is up at the Fairfield Fire Department in remembrance of Assistant Chief Chris Tracy, who died Sunday.

Marissa Alter

Mar 6, 2023, 10:55 PM

Updated 449 days ago

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Flags are at half-staff and bunting is up at the Fairfield Fire Department in remembrance of Assistant Chief Chris Tracy, who died Sunday.
“Chief Tracy had a larger-than-life personality. He had boundless energy,” said Chief Denis McCarthy. “So this is a shock for everybody in the department and in the community.”
Tracy retired in 2017 after 26 years with the department, where he was known as everybody's cheerleader.
“He was the champion of the Fairfield Fire Department, the regional fire schools, the local union and the state union, so he had a very broad impact across a lot of careers and a lot of projects and programs, and that’s his legacy,” McCarthy explained.
One of his biggest efforts was the Fairfield Regional Fire School where he also was a past director. Tracy is credited with getting funding and statewide support for the school, according to McCarthy. It opened in 2017 with a classroom dedicated to him.
“We're the beneficiary of that work as will firefighters for generations to come that will be trained there,” McCarthy said. “His hard work made it a reality.”
And the work didn’t stop when Tracy retired. Tracy remained active at the state level.
Over the years, he was a frequent face on News 12 Connecticut, but what you might not know is he had plenty of prior TV experience. Before Tracy was a firefighter, he was an actor. Soap opera fans may recognize him from “All My Children,” where he played EMT and medical intern Dick Franzman in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I think that if you looked at Chief Tracy, he really came out of central casting for a firefighter,” joked McCarthy.
But that’s not what drew Tracy to the profession. “It was his love of people,” McCarthy told News 12.
McCarthy first met him in 1985 when Tracy became a part-time dispatcher for Westport.
“He's been part of my life for essentially my entire career,” McCarthy explained. He said it’s hard to reconcile that Tracy’s gone.
How he died has not been made public yet. Tracy leaves behind a wife and son. McCarthy said he’s reached out to them, and the fire department will support the family with any future arrangements.


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