NEW YORK -- Chief Salvatore J. Cassano was appointed as the city's 32nd fire commissioner earlier today by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a department release.
Cassano will replace Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, who has served in that role since 2002 and announced in October that he would resign at the end of the year.
The 40-year FDNY veteran has served as the department's highest-ranking uniformed officer since 2006, as well as a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, deputy chief, deputy assistant chief and assistant chief.
He has been cited for bravery five times for rescuing victims from burning buildings, according to the department.
"My goal as fire commissioner is to build upon the successes of the last eight years and to make the department stronger and better than ever before," Cassano said at press conference at City Hall.
He was appointed chief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and over the last eight years has played a large role in the rebuilding the department following the tragedy.
Cassano said in his new role -- which he beings on Jan. 1 -- he plans to turn the FDNY's focus to fire prevention and EMS and continue to increase the diversity of its personnel and to keep firefighter safety a top priority.
"He has a lifetime of unmatched experience and will be an outstanding commissioner for the FDNY," Mayor Bloomberg said at the press conference. "Commissioner Scoppetta left a great legacy that (Chief Cassano) can take to new heights."