Sandusky fire chief submits resignation

Retirement letter indicates fire Chief Paul Ricci will retire in October
Andy Ouriel
Jan 20, 2014

Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci submitted his resignation letter, effective Oct. 8 — amid a time in which a city budget shortfall severely threatens his department's staffing levels.

Ricci sent a copy of the memo to the Register and city commissioner Dick Brady confirmed his sudden departure.

It's unclear exactly why Ricci's retiring, especially since he became chief less than three years ago after beating many other candidates in a competitive search process.

The retirement also comes when a $1.1 million shortfall in the city's $16.3 million everyday operating budget is hitting his department the hardest.

A tentative proposal shows the fire department reducing about $530,000, which includes laying off four full-time firefighters by May.

Ricci didn't mention staffing issues or budget constraints in his one-paragraph retirement memo.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the city of Sandusky and the Sandusky Fire Department. My 32 years in the fire serve have been very rewarding, and I have been fortunate to meet and work with so many fine employees throughout city government. I want to thank all of you for providing me opportunities to succeed and being a source of support and guidance. Being the fire chief has been an incredible experience and one that I will always cherish. It is time for me, however, to turn the organization over to the next generation of officers.

Effective Oct. 8, 2014 at 5 p.m., I will retire from the city of Sandusky Fire Department. I provide this notice at this time to provide ample time for an orderly and professional transition.

Pick up Tuesday's Register to read more about why Ricci retired.



Anybody that knows Chief Ricci will know that his integrity and professionalism will not be stained by a misleading headline. Nice try.


Great Job Paul, you deserve to have your time stress free. Thanks for setting the story straight, we know there is always more then the registers spin on things.


I'm going to have to say that retire would have been a much better term. Then again, resign intrigues people... Anything to sell a paper and get people to click on the article online. Pathetic.

1. voluntarily leave a job or other position.
2. accept that something undesirable cannot be avoided.

1. leave one's job and cease to work, typically upon reaching the normal age for leaving employment.
2. withdraw to or from a particular place.


Chief Ricci = Class Act! Thanks for everything you have done for this City! It will be tough shoes to fill!!!


Matt, why don't you just suck it up and change it to " breaking news SFD Chief set to retire"


Chief Ricci, thank you for 32 years serving in Public Safety roles. And also thank you for your providing ample notice of your retiring such that you can indeed help to make the transition to a new Chief as orderly and seamless as possible.

There is very much a difference between retiring and resigning. Retiring is associated with an individual having given many years of exemplary service who, after leaving their position, will most likely receive retirement benefits accrued as a result of their long-term employment. Resigning is usually, at best, associated with an individual having a short period of service and is therefore not eligible for any retirement benefits; and at worst, associated with an individual who is leaving their position in lieu of being terminated. Or more simply put, a retirement is almost always viewed as an opportunity to celebrate a long-time employee while a resignation is usually viewed as an opportunity to think negatively of an employee "suddenly" leaving a position.

In these troubling financial times, I don't know if there's ever a best time for a public servant to retire. Given Chief Ricci's 32 years of public service, it makes total sense he would want to retire. In addition, given his 9-month notice, it shows his continued commitment as a Public Servant as he is staying on a goodly amount of time to help the Fire Department through a difficult budget cycle.

Sandusky Register, with all due respect, and I really do sincerely mean with all due respect, I do not agree with your story Headline and content. Whereas your news stories are usually a simple reporting of the news, in this instance, with this story, I believe you are attempting to sensationalize a news story that doesn't warrant it.


Assuming that when asked by Andy Ouriel, "What kind of message does this send the department and the community" in the midst of budget cuts?” Chief Ricci provided to Andy much the same response as in his online posting, I would propose the following as a fairer journalistic reporting of this piece of news:

“Sandusky fire Chief to retire in October”. After 32 years of serving in Public Safety roles, Sandusky fire Chief Paul Ricci has provided written notice to the City of his retirement, effective October 8th. The 9-month notification was given to help insure a smooth transition to new leadership. When asked by the Register, “What kind of message does this send the department and the community in the midst of budget cuts?”, Chief Ricci responded by stating, “We are working hard to reduce the impact of cuts on the service delivery system. Concessions made by the Firefighters Union will help ensure the retention of two firefighters, thus the need to lay off four firefighters. I have a fine staff of fire officers qualified to take my place. I am not retiring until October 2014. There is much to finish and the message I want to send is I will continue to fight for the men and women of the Sandusky Fire Department and I will continue to fight for the Citizens of Sandusky. We will continue to provide the best possible service with the available resources.”

Chief Ricci was named the interim Chief of Department in May 2010 and officially sworn into the position on March 14, 2011.

Following is a the copy of the memo Chief Ricci delivered to the City and also provided to the Register:
[memo here].