Salvatore J. Cassano
32nd Fire Commissioner, City of New York
Salvatore J. Cassano was appointed Fire Commissioner by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg effective Jan. 1, 2010. He is the 32nd Fire Commissioner in the 145-year history of the New York City Fire Department.
Commissioner Cassano, who has 40 years of experience in the FDNY and has held every uniformed rank, heads the world’s largest fire department with more than 16,000 fire, EMS and civilian members and an annual budget of $1.6 billion.
Prior to his appointment by the Mayor, Commissioner Cassano served as the FDNY’s Chief of Department - the highest-ranking uniformed officer - from 2006 through 2010, overseeing many of the agency’s most important bureaus including Fire and EMS Operations, Training, Safety, Fire Prevention and Communications. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Chief of Operations - a position he was appointed to immediately after Sept. 11, 2001. Both as Chief of Operations and Chief of Department, Commissioner Cassano played a crucial role in rebuilding the Department in the wake of Sept. 11 and the loss of 343 members of the Department. In the years that followed, more than 6,000 new firefighters were hired and 3,000 others promoted to various officer ranks as the Department went through a difficult but remarkable resurgence. Not only is the FDNY better equipped, trained and prepared than ever before in its history, it also has achieved unprecedented success with the fewest civilian fire fatalities ever and the fastest response times on record.
Commissioner Cassano’s extraordinary career with the FDNY began with his appointment as a firefighter on Nov. 29, 1969. He steadily rose through the ranks with promotions to Lieutenant (August 1977), Captain (April 1984), Battalion Chief (August 1987), Deputy Chief (June 1993), Deputy Assistant Chief (November 1999) and Assistant Chief (April 2001). Five times during his career he was cited for bravery, each time for rescuing New Yorkers from burning buildings.
Prior to joining the FDNY, Commissioner Cassano served in the U.S. Army from October 1965 through July 1967 and was deployed to Vietnam in September 1966.
While a firefighter, he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science.