Fire Chief Stacey Giomi will retire on Feb. 2 and Tom Tarulli, now assistant fire chief, will become Carson City’s interim fire chief.
That announcement by Giomi and city government Friday was accompanied both by the chief’s acknowledgement it was a tough choice to leave for another opportunity and by high praise from Mayor Robert Crowell, as well as City Manager Nick Marano.
“It was a very, very hard, agonizing decision,” said Giomi, whose fire service career began as a volunteer firefighter in 1980. He became a paid fire dispatcher on Nov. 23, 1983, so he completed 31 years in the paid service about two weeks ago. He has held every rank in the department. On Jan. 1, 2005, he became chief in the aftermath of directing the battle against the Waterfall fire of 2004 while he was interim chief.
Giomi said some five weeks ago he was approached and later decided to go with Carson City-based Nevada Health Centers after wrestling with the decision. He will serve as the statewide centers’ Director of Facilities and Emergency Preparedness. The outgoing fire chief said he had reached a crossroads in the sense he was seeking a new challenge, yet it wasn’t easy to leave.
“Either I was going to leave the fire service and stay in the area, or stay with the fire service and leave the area,” Giomi said. A graduate of Carson High School and Western Nevada College, he said he loves the community. Giomi also holds duel bachelors’ degrees from Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, Calif.
“Carson City is a better place to live because of Chief Giomi and his years of service on a number of fronts,” the mayor said. “Indeed, Carson City is a safer community because of Stacey and his leadership abilities.”
Crowell wished Giomi well, but said the outgoing chief’s counsel was going to be missed.
Marano, chosen earlier this year as city manager from a field of five finalists that included Giomi, said Friday the fire chief has dedicated himself to the community for years. He called Giomi “a superb example of a true American success story having reached the top as a result of hard work and honest service.” Marano said Giomi’s life’s work is on display in the brave professionals of the city’s fire service ranks.
“I want to personally thank Stacey and wish him good luck as he makes this very tough, and bittersweet, transition,” Marano said. “I would also like to welcome Tom Tarulli, current assistant fire chief, as the interim fire chief.” Marano said Tarulli will come in with not only Giomi’s but his own “full confidence.”
Giomi, meanwhile, cited as among the reasons he decided to retire the desire not to be the guy who stays too long. He also said when you work in fire service at the top rank, “you take on a personal responsibility for the safety of everyone in the community,” which you relish but also know is always required. He said there was just no other way for him to do the job but to be “all in like that.”