City of Stamford Citizen of the Year 

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon

Robert McGrath

U.S. Navy

Bob was a member of Rippowam High School's class of 1965, a tumultuous year both in the United States and overseas. Already instinctively called to service, Bob began his military career as a volunteer, joining the ranks of the U.S. Navy.

After basic training, Bob was assigned on an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) in Little Creek, Va. before being transferred for assignment to Newport, R.I., on a Destroyer Escort. Eventually this lead to an assignment as a shipboard firefighter in a damage control group where he reached the rank of Machinist Mate Second Class before receiving his honorable discharge. That's also where Bob was first inspired to seek a career as one of "Stamford's Bravest" in the City of Stamford Fire Department.

After sitting for and passing the firefighting exam in 1970, Bob was quickly hired at the rank of firefighter, where he first became recognized as a valued member, and over time an inspiring leader of the department. During his 41-year career here, Bob rose through the ranks, all the way to Fire Chief, where he served with distinction until his retirement in 2011.

However, Bob soon discovered that he was not quite ready to retire, and so that September he was hired as the Fire Chief for the Stratford Fire Department, where he still proudly serves as head of the department.

During his employment in Stratford, Bob, with the help of his dedicated firefighters and officers, has made numerous improvements by upgrading training, apparatus, safety awareness and by upgrading its Standard Operating Procedures, resulting in the upgrade of the Town of Stratford's fire service insurance rating. Not merely content to lead the department itself, Bob has also been deeply involved with the Stratford student mentor program, which is a program for at risk students at the high school level that he hopes just might turn out some future fire chiefs.

Bob resides in Stamford with his wife Patricia (Pat), as do their son Michael (with spouse Kim and Bob and Pat's grandchildren Aiden and Madelyn) and their daughter Megan McGrath, who is a teacher at Rippowam Middle School.

2018