Salvatore Cassano

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Salvatore Cassano
Salvatore Cassano, as Chief of Department 2008
32nd New York City Fire Commissioner
In office
January 1, 2010 – June 9, 2014[1]
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Bill de Blasio
Preceded by Nicholas Scoppetta
Succeeded by Daniel A. Nigro
Personal details
Born Salvatore Joseph Cassano
(1945-01-22) January 22, 1945 (age 70)
Brooklyn, New York
Spouse(s) Theresa Wallace (m. 1978)
Residence Staten Island
Alma mater John Jay College of Criminal Justice

New York City College of Technology

Salvatore Joseph "Sal" Cassano (born 22 January 1945)[2][3][4] served as the 32nd New York City Fire Commissioner.[5] His appointment by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to succeed Nicholas Scoppetta was announced on 21 December 2009 and became effective on 1 January 2010.[6][7] Cassano was sworn in on 11 January 2010.[8] On May 9, 2014, Daniel A. Nigro was announced as Cassano's successor as commissioner of the FDNY, in June 2014.[9][10]


A son of Italian-American immigrants, Cassano was born in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, New York,[4][11] and lives on Staten Island. After serving in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, he began a career as a firefighter in November 1969.[12] He earned an associate degree in fire protection technology from New York City College of Technology in 1970,[13] and a bachelor of science degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1976.[12][13][14]


Cassano has served in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and has been honored five times during his career for bravery.[12] He received commendations for meritorious acts between 1979 and 1983 for rescuing five people from burning apartments, all in Brooklyn.[14][15]

Cassano has held every rank in the department during his career (beginning as a firefighter in 1969), and was instrumental in rebuilding the department after 343 firefighters died as a result of the September 11 attacks, after which he was named Chief of Operations.[3][15] He was appointed Chief of Department, the highest uniformed position in the department, in 2006,[12] and his appointment as Fire Commissioner was announced by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on 21 December 2009. In 2011, in recognition of his service to the city of New York, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was retained by New Mayor Bill De Blasio on what he emphasized was on an interim basis.[16]


Cassano and his wife, Theresa (née Wallace),[17] live in the Huguenot section of Staten Island, where they raised their family. They have five children and six grandchildren.[12][18] A marathon runner, he has run the New York City Marathon four times and has broken the three-hour mark.[2]


  1. ^ "Daniel Nigro Sworn In As New FDNY Commissioner". CBS Local Media. 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2014-06-13. 
  2. ^ a b Baker, Al (2009-12-23). "A Fire Commissioner Devoted to Family and Dedicated to the Safety of His Corps". The New York Times. p. A16. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  3. ^ a b Wyatt, Edward (2001-09-17). "After The Attacks: The Firemen; Department Promotes 168 To Rebuild Officer Ranks". The New York Times. p. A7. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  4. ^ a b Lemire, Jonathan (2009-12-21). "Salvatore Cassano to succeed Nicholas Scoppetta as New York City Fire Commissioner". Daily News. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  5. ^ "New York City Fire Department". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  6. ^ Gittens, Hasani (2009-12-21). "Mayor Names New FDNY Commissioner". NBC Universal. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  7. ^ "NYC mayor picks 40-year veteran to head Fire Dept". WCAX. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  8. ^ "Cassano Sworn In As New Fire Commissioner". NY1 News. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  9. ^ "Mayor de Blasio Appoints Daniel A. Nigro As Commissioner Of The New York City Fire Department". City of New York. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  10. ^ "Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Appoints Daniel A. Nigro as Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department". City of New York. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  11. ^ Kugler, Sara (2009-12-22). "NYC Mayor Picks 40-Year Veteran to Head FDNY". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Spencer, Peter N. (2009-12-21). "Huguenot man named new Fire Department commissioner". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  13. ^ a b "City Tech Alumnus Salvatore Cassano Appointed FDNY's Chief of Department" (PDF). New York City College of Technology. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  14. ^ a b "Mayor Bloomberg Appoints John Jay Alumnus Salvatore J. Cassano, BS ’76, As Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department". John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  15. ^ a b Goldenberg, Sally; Messing, Philip (2009-12-22). "FDNY vet to be new commish". The New York Post. p. 14. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  16. ^ "Mayor de Blasio says FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano is on his way out". New York Daily News. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Spencer, Peter N. (2009-12-24). "Islander earned his way to the top". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  18. ^ Shallwani, Pervaiz (2009-12-22). "40-year veteran to head FDNY". Newsday. p. A24. 

Further reading[edit]

Fire appointments
Preceded by
Nicholas Scoppetta
FDNY Commissioner
Succeeded by
Daniel A. Nigro