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Press Releases / 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2006


Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced the appointment of Salvatore Cassano as the FDNY’s next Chief of Department - the highest-ranking uniformed position in the agency.  Chief Cassano, a 36-year veteran who has served as Chief of Operations since September of 2001, will become the 33rd Chief of Department in the agency’s 141-year history.  His appointment is effective June 17, when he will succeed current Chief of Department Peter E. Hayden, who was appointed to the post in June of 2004 and will be retiring after more than 37 years in the Department.

Commissioner Scoppetta also announced the appointment of Assistant Chief Patrick McNally as the next Chief of Operations.  Chief McNally is a 28-year veteran currently serving as Chief of Fire Prevention.  His appointment date is also effective June 17.

“Chief Cassano is a strong, committed leader with a wealth of knowledge and experience who represents the best in this Department,” said Fire Commissioner Scoppetta.  “During the past five years - in addition to running our day-to-day emergency operations - he has worked tirelessly to help rebuild a Department severely impacted by the Sept. 11 attacks.  Due to his efforts, our firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics are better trained, equipped and prepared to respond more safely and effectively to every type of emergency in New York City.  I am confident the Department will prosper under his leadership.”

Commissioner Scoppetta also praised Chief Hayden for his extraordinary career in the Department.  “In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, the FDNY was deeply wounded by the loss of so many senior people - both on that day and in the months and years that followed as many retired. Pete Hayden decided to stay, to help rebuild and improve the Department for the future.  Today, the Department is stronger and better because of his efforts and contributions.  On behalf of everyone in the FDNY, I thank him for the exemplary dedication and commitment he’s demonstrated for more than 37 years to this Department, and to the people of our city.”

Chief Cassano was appointed a New York City firefighter in November of 1969, and worked for several years at engine companies in lower Manhattan.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1977 and worked at Ladder 113 in Brooklyn, where he also served after his promotion to Captain in 1984.  He continued to rise through the ranks as Battalion Chief (1987), Deputy Chief (1993), Deputy Assistant Chief (1999) and Assistant Chief (2001), working in various assignments throughout the city, including responsibility as the on-duty Citywide Tour Commander. He has been cited five times for bravery during his career.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Chief Cassano was named Chief of Operations, succeeding Chief Daniel Nigro who was appointed Chief of Department following the line-of-duty death of Chief Peter Ganci.  As Chief of Operations, Chief Cassano held the second-highest uniformed rank in the Department, managing daily fire and EMS operations for the Department’s 11,500 firefighters and 2,800 EMT’s and paramedics.  In his role as Chief of Department he will oversee the Department’s three major uniformed Bureaus: Operations, Training and Fire Prevention.

Chief Cassano has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He and his wife, Theresa, reside in Staten Island.  They have five children.

After being appointed a firefighter in 1977, Chief McNally was assigned to Ladder Company 55 in the Bronx until his promotion to lieutenant in 1983.  He worked as a Lieutenant at Engine Company 58 in Harlem before successive promotions to higher ranks: Captain (1989); Battalion Chief (1993), and Deputy Chief (2000).  He was appointed a Deputy Assistant Chief in 2002 and assigned as Deputy Borough Commander of Queens.  In 2004, he was appointed Assistant Chief in charge of the Bureau of Fire Prevention where he oversees the work of more than 350 civilian and uniformed staff responsible for enforcement of the city’s fire code.  He is also the principal FDNY official involved in two major citywide initiatives: the creation of an Emergency Action Plan for building evacuations in non-fire emergencies, and the Building and Fire Code Revision project.   He has been cited five times for bravery during his career.

As Chief of Operations, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the firefighting and EMS workforce, comprised of more than 14,300 employees.

Chief McNally has a Bachelor of Science degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married for nearly 30 years and reside in Queens, NY.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Farrell Sklerov, FDNY (718) 999-2056

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