Rick Tougas, a longtime tribal employee, has been promoted to the top spot in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Fire Department, the Nation announced June 13.
Tougas has worked for the Nation for two decades, beginning in 1993 as a life safety technician. He joined the tribal fire department in 1999 as a firefighter and worked his way up through the ranks as a lieutenant, captain, fire protection supervisor and certified fire marshal before being appointed as deputy fire chief. He is also part of the emergency management team, an emergency services committee delegate to United South and Eastern Tribes, and oversees fire department operations. He lives with his wife in Mystic, Connecticut.
“I am honored to be taking command of the finest Fire Department around and look forward to continuing our mission of providing top-notch professional fire and emergency services for Mashantucket,” Tougas stated in a statement released by the tribe.
Chief of Staff Tony Beltran added “Chief Tougas has dedicated almost 20 years of his life to protecting the lives of our citizens, patrons and employees and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation feels he is the best choice as Fire Chief.”
The Mashantucket Pequots are a northeastern woodlands indigenous Algonquin people with traditional territory in southeastern Connecticut. They were the first indigenous people to suffer attempted genocide by settler-colonists when English colonists attacked and burned Mystic Fort, killing more than 500 adults and children in 1637. The Pequots’ story of survival, restoration and success is told in detail at the Nation’s state-of-the-art Museum and Research Center.