By Commissioner Gail Neidinger
After over 40 years of service to the community, Mark Maddalena, Deputy Chief of the South Pasadena Fire Department, retired in December. Mark provided services to the residents and businesses in the city as a firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and paramedic and was South Pasadena’s longest-tenured employee. In the early years when Mark was contemplating his career choices, his step-brother, a volunteer firefighter, inspired him to get involved. He joined the South Pasadena Fire Department as a volunteer in 1974 and, because of his dedication and excellent work, he was hired on October 16, 1978. He put himself through EMT training and became a paramedic in 1981.
When asked about his favorite part of the job, Mark stated that it has been twofold: working with the team in the department and the challenges involved in helping our citizens in their time of need. Knowing that his actions can touch someone in a positive way, reassuring them with their needs – like feeding their dog or locking the door when they are taken to the hospital – makes his day. Treating people with respect and dignity and letting them know “it will be OK” has been Mark’s focus over the years.
Mark says he leaves the city with mixed emotions. He will miss everyone he works with on a daily basis, however he looks forward to a well-deserved retirement, which he will share with his wife, Nicki.
Said Mark, “It’s time for a change and I look forward to spending time with my family, especially my children and grandkids. I’m excited about the new challenges before me.”
When Chief Dayton Saltsman was asked about Mark’s retirement, he said, “I’m not happy that he’s leaving, but I am happy for him.”
We wish Mark all the best in his retirement and look forward to hearing from him on his new life ventures. On behalf of the city of South Pasadena, thank you for your service, Mark – thanks for everything!