Interim leader Pitassi becomes Maricopa’s new fire chief

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Brad Pitassi, interim chief of Maricopa Fire/Medical since the resignation of Brady Leffler on March 27, is the city’s new fire chief, InMaricopa has learned.

Pitassi assumes his new role on Oct. 3.

This is the latest of several key personnel changes within the city’s public-safety organization. Last week, it hired former Miami, Ariz., town manager Micah Gaudet, 31, as deputy city manager/chief public-safety officer to oversee the Fire and Police departments and Office of Emergency Management.

Maricopa is beginning its search for a new police chief in the wake of the resignation of James Hughes, effective Sept. 15 after less than two years in the role.

Pitassi was assistant chief for operations and emergency medical services for two years and assistant chief for administration before Leffler left after nine years leading the Fire Department.

“I am a dedicated practitioner of public safety, emergency management, crisis communications and life-long learning,” Pitassi said on his LinkedIn page.

He describes himself as having leadership skills gained from “experience, desire to learn, a drive to be a steward of my profession and a strong sense of service to others and duty.”

As the operations assistant chief, Pitassi’s responsibilities included overseeing the department’s day-to-day operations, all risk and hazard emergency preparedness, personnel, long-term operational strategic planning and budget. He directed personnel management, fire suppression, emergency medical services, training, wildland and special projects.

Interim Fire Chief Brad Pitassi, left, with retired Fire Chief Brady Leffler, at City Hall in April. [Maricopa Fire/Medical Department]
As assistant chief of administrative services, he headed the logistics, facilities, grants, Homeland Security, emergency-management, community-services and fire-prevention divisions.

He has experience responding to emergencies in Maricopa as well as deploying with a national incident-management team responding to Type 1 incidents (the nation’s largest or most complex disasters) across the country.

“From a simple citizen-assist call to national disasters or multiple fatality incidents, I lead with empathy, professionalism and integrity, ” Pitassi said on his LinkedIn page.

“Always looking to give back, I have taken my knowledge of crisis communication and experience in the field (media relations, crisis communications, writing, social media, public speaking, data analysis) into the classroom as an instructor of the FEMA Public Information Officer and ICS curriculum offered by the Arizona Department of Emergency Management.”

Pitassi is a cadre member of the Complex Incident Management Course, a national course taught to students pursuing national Type 1 qualification for command and general staff positions.

“I love to mentor, and I have adopted the philosophy of life-long learning,” he said. “My focus is on improving team dynamics to accomplish desired outcomes. Organizational behavior fascinates me, and I study the needs of others to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

“My motto is, ‘Progress, not perfection,’ yet I hold myself as well as my team to high standards while maintaining a sense of humor and humility.”