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Oak Creek Fire Chief Tom Rosandich has seen his department change significantly over the 35 years he has been one of our public safety first responders. A 1980 graduate of Milwaukee Area Technical College, Tom started his career as a paid-on-call firefighter, eventually working his way up through the department, serving as Assistant Fire Chief for 13 years, before becoming Chief in May 2012. He currently holds a Masters Degree in Emergency Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership.
As the longest-serving firefighter in the Department, he's seen many of the day to day aspects of the position change. One of the first firefighters with an Associate's degree, he understood that the role of a public safety officer was changing. "Technology has advanced so quickly, we live in an age of instant communication and social media," he said, commenting on the part that ongoing communications play in his role as Chief. "Because I've done this for so long, I know the city and the different challenges we face as firefighters."
Tom lists the WE Energies Oak Creek Power Plant, vehicle accidents on the I-94 Interstate, and the sheer size of the city (28 1/2 square miles) as some of the reasons why the Department has focused so heavily on training during his long career. "We always have the potential for disaster in our city based on what we have within our boundaries here, and my experience in incident command and in dealing with these major incidents helps us react quickly, with the appropriate staffing and equipment."
Rosandich, along with his wife Patti, and his seven boys (Eric, Tommy, Scott, Steven, Matt, Ryan, and David) live in Oak Creek, and enjoy many of the same things his parents did while he was growing up here. A 1977 graduate of Oak Creek High School, Tom still tends to the same raspberry plants his Dad grew at his Susan Drive home on a much smaller scale. Last year he also became an honorary member to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (PIKE) where his oldest four sons at UW Madison have attended or still are attending.
Tom worked side by side with Police Chief John Edwards and Mayor Steve Scaffidi during the Sikh Temple shooting on August 5, 2012, with many of his staff involved in the early stages of the response.« Return to Meet Our Staff