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Clarence A. Cunha Named Providence Fire Chief
Thirty-three year veteran rises through ranks to assume top job in nation's second oldest professional fire department
PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré and Mayor Angel Taveras today announced the selection of Clarence A. Cunha as the 24th Chief of the Providence Fire Department.
Cunha, a 33-year veteran of the Providence Fire Department, has served as Acting Chief since September, 2013. As Fire Chief, Cunha will oversee the the second oldest continuously operating professional Fire Department in the country.
"Clarence Cunha is a veteran firefighter who has risen through the ranks to assume the highest position within the Providence Fire Department. He has a deep and broad understanding of fire operations and is well respected by the men and women he leads," Commissioner Paré said.
"I congratulate Clarence Cunha on his appointment as Chief of the Providence Fire Department," Mayor Taveras said. "Chief Cunha is a proven leader with years of experience and a track record of meritorious service, and I am confident he will lead the Providence Fire Department with distinction."
Cunha graduated from the Providence Fire Department's 37th Training Academy and was appointed to the Department on September 22, 1980. He began his career assigned to Engine Company 3 and then served nine years in the Special Hazards Unit.
In 1991, Cunha was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in charge of Engine Company 12 at the Admiral Street Station. In 1999, Chief Cunha was promoted to the rank of Captain and ran Engine Company 2 and then later Engine Company 10 at the Broad Street Station.
On April 26, 2013, Chief Cunha was promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. He later served as Deputy Assistant Chief.
"I am honored to be selected as Chief of the Providence Fire Department," Cunha said. "It is a privilege to lead the outstanding men and women of the Providence Fire Department in our service to the community."
Cunha is the recipient of numerous awards, commendations, and citations for heroic and meritorious actions. He is certified in haz mat, fire operations, ICS, NIMS, fire safety officer, incident safety officer, and is an EMT-Cardiac.
Cunha has been married to his wife Karyl for 34 years, and is the proud father of Alyson, Rene, and Matthew, and grandfather to Gianni and Scarlett.