Deputy Chief Michael Ragucci strikes last alarm
By JOSH RESNEK
Two weeks ago, former Mayor David Ragucci retired after a near lifetime of public service here.
His brother Michael, a man’s man deputy chief with the Everett Fire Department, is following in his brother’s footsteps.
He retired on the same day as his brother after 32 years.
In typical Mike Ragucci self-deprecating fashion, he said that his brother deserved the big spread on his retirement.
“He was a trailblazer. I was just a loyal firefighter who loved what I did from the day I joined the department in 1988. I loved serving the city. I was proud of all the men I served with. I learned about commitment, pride, and tradition,” he said.
Ragucci has no regrets. He would like to have been chief, but it wasn’t in the cards politically for him, despite a stellar service record and a history of mastering everything about being a firefighter in order to faithfully serve the people of the city.
“It was a privilege to serve this city,” he recalled.
What’s next for Ragucci?
He’s working at the Massachusetts Fire Academy literally teaching the line of command to recruits and new appointees to higher positions. He is teaching them as well strategies and tactics, without which, he said, there can be no success as a firefighter. “Every firefighter must know his job before going into battle,” Ragucci said. “Training is everything. Experience is everything. Heart and soul for your profession is everything.” His career is an encyclopedia of firefighting.
He has served as a Hazmat leader, and EMT and was considered an expert on white powder calls during the era when illegal substances were popping up in the oddest of places. He began in 1988. In 1992 his became a Lt. out of Ladder 1. He served there for 7 years. He became a Captain in 1999, work- ing out of Engine 1. Six years later, he was appointed Deputy Chief, a position he held for 15 years.
He said there is no substitute for knowing the job that comes with your rank.
“Experience is indispensable,” he said.
As he worked his way up the ladder, he served under three men who he admired. All three were armed forces veterans.
His first deputy was Donald Perierra.
His first captain was Joe Ruskowski. His first Lt. was Roy Butler, the brother of the former chief.
Ragucci says he is a happy family man with great kids and a special wife, Kelly.
The couple has three daughters and two-step sons.
The daughters are Chantal, Christina, and Adelyn.
There are two stepsons – Cameron and Nathaniel.
And there are the grandchildren which bring so much pride – Clark, Jack Michael, and Lucky.
“My wife and I are looking forward to traveling. If the virus is under control, we’ll be heading to Positano in June. We also travel around in an RV. We like camping out on the beach. We will be residing at our home in Chatham,” he told the Leader Herald.
He laughed just a bit before relating a final thought.
“One of my men once said on his retirement: “If Deputy Ragucci told me to take a line through hell, I would have done it and returned safely.”
That firefighter knew what he was talking about.
In a closing thought, Ragucci said the song to play in the background as he retells the story of his career, is Frank Sinatra’s, “My Way.”