Newsroom Archive


Mayor Bloomberg Appoints John Jay Alumnus Salvatore J. Cassano, BS ’76, As Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 – John Jay Alumnus Salvatore J. Cassano, BS ’76, has been appointed the 32nd Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY.) Cassano currently serves as the Chief of Department, the FDNY’s highest ranking uniformed officer.

“The entire John Jay community is excited and proud that Chief Cassano has been selected for this important post. He not only exemplifies the excellence of our student body and their commitment to public service but also has been a firm advocate of higher education for members of the FDNY,” said Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

During his 40-year career with the FDNY, Chief Cassano rose through the ranks of the department, starting as a firefighter working at several engine companies in Lower Manhattan. He has been cited for bravery five times, each time for rescuing New Yorkers from burning buildings. During the last eight years, initially as Chief of Operations, Chief Cassano played a crucial role in rebuilding the department after the tragic loss of 343 members on September 11th and he has worked to bring significant changes to the department, creating a better prepared, better trained and better equipped FDNY.

“Sal brings a lifetime of unmatched experience to the task of managing the world’s greatest fire department,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “His record as a leader in the department speaks for itself – there have never been fewer fire deaths during any other eight-year period in recorded City history. We are choosing Sal not just on the basis of that very impressive record, but even more important, because of Sal’s vision for the future of the FDNY.

Chief Cassano has served the FDNY as a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief, Deputy Assistant Chief and Assistant Chief. Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Chief Cassano was named Chief of Operations. Chief Cassano is a U.S. Army veteran with combat experience in Vietnam. He joined the FDNY immediately following the conclusion of his military service in 1969. While at the FDNY, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science from John Jay.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit