Pittsfield Fire and the Pittsfield community as a whole suffered a major loss last month when retired Deputy Chief Mike Polidoro lost his years-long battle with ALS. In order to keep help celebrate his life and continue his legacy with a new generation, a scholarship has been established in his honor.

Polidoro passed March 30 of ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. He retired from Pittsfield Fire in 2017 because of the disease but remained an important and respected member of the PFD family.

During his career, Polidoro was an Emergency Medical Technician, Rescue Diver, and a Technical Rescue Team member for the Pittsfield Fire Department.  He was also a HAZMAT team member as well as MA Task Force 1 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team.  During his time in service, he responded to several national disasters, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

To continue to honor Iron Mike's life, Mike's wife Donna and other family members have created a Scholarship Fund through I.A.F.F. Local 2647 (Pittsfield Fire Department) and a Go Fund Me account is collecting donations to furnish the scholarship. The “Iron Mike” Polidoro Memorial Scholarship program will provide scholarships to Berkshire County high-school seniors continuing their education to pursue a career of service in the fire department, law enforcement, or emergency health service fields.

This scholarship will award two $2,000 prizes each year and is open to students who are graduating high school seniors or GED high school equivalency diploma recipients who reside in Berkshire County. The award is offered to students who are continuing their education (full or part-time) as a student at an accredited College or University or pursuing a career of service in the fire department, law enforcement or emergency health services. For more details and/or an application, interested parties can reach out to ironmikescholarship@gmail.com

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Deputy Chief Polidoro was a passionate member, leader, and mentor in the Pittsfield Fire Department for 28 years.  His true passion was his time spent in the Fire Academy in Beverly, MA, training and educating new firefighters.

Many have described Mike as caring, strong, fun, and brave.  His family and friends will miss their hero's smirk, smile, and laugh.