Through the Smoke: Meet FDNY's Chief Sal Cassano

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Hosted by Billy Goldfeder

Leading the FDNY takes a special person, without any question. And, so many outstanding firefighters have lead the FDNY. In years past, the FDNY Chief of Department was a "civil service" position, but now it is an appointed position by the fire commissioner and the mayor. And the first appointed chief of department is the current chief -Chief Sal Cassano.

Chief Cassano was appointed as a New York City firefighter in November 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 (appointed in 1987), deputy chief (1993), deputy assistant chief (1999) and assistant chief in 2001. He worked in various assignments throughout the city, including the on-duty citywide tour commander. He has been cited five times for bravery during his career.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Chief Cassano was named chief of operations, succeeding Chief Daniel Nigro who was appointed chief following the line-of-duty death of Chief Peter Ganci. As chief of operations, he held the second-highest uniformed rank in the department, managing daily fire and EMS operations for the 11,500 firefighters, 2,800 EMTs and paramedics. He oversees 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.

Join host Billy Goldfeder on Through the Smoke as he speaks candidly and personally with Chief Cassano about his insight on the past, current and future of the FDNY. He will share his thoughts and direction on training, probationary training, the roles of fire officers, 9/11 and so much more.

Note: This interview was recorded prior to the recent FDNY tragedy at the Deutsche Bank building.

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Related Links:

FDNY Homepage

Unofficial FDNY Homepage

Uniformed Fire Officers Association

Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94

Tribute WTC 9/11 Visitors Center

The Sept. 11 Digital Archive

FDNY History Website

Aftermath photos

September 11 Family Association

And The Beat Goes On (Firefighter Safety & Survival DVD)

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