Watkins Street members past and present salute the legendary career of BC Richie Portello, an “old school” FDNY Chief who always shared his experience and strived to make us better firefighters over 30 years of dedicated service to the City of New York.
Richie Portello began his career as a Probationary FF in 1985, assigned to L118 before transferring to Engine 214 , The Nuthouse. After doing his time in the Engine, he landed at Sheffield Ave (L103), learning from many of the War Years veterans. He was promoted to Lieutenant, and moved to SOC (Squad 41), where he took part in the greatest rescue effort in United States history on Sept 11, 2001. As Captain, he was the Commanding Officer of Squad 1. His final promotion was to the rank of Chief Officer, hanging his hat at Watkins Street, assigned to Bn44. His final stop was a UFO spot in the Rescue Battalion. A true ghetto fireman who always enjoyed chasing fire, Richie was as an FDNY lifer, cited for bravery on numerous occasions and a guy who simply made those around him better.
Having a great knack for instilling confidence while preaching preparedness, Chief Portello’s dedication to the new members and impact to The Job will be felt for decades to come. He did his part.
“The Tradition Continues…