From Vietnam to 9/11: Leading by Learning and Adapting with Commissioner Sal Cassano, FDNY (Ret)


Salvatore Cassano is the former Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department. He was appointed Commissioner by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in January 2010 and retired from the FDNY in 2014. Mr. Cassano became an FDNY member in 1969 and served in every uniformed rank, including the highest—Chief of Department. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Chief of Operations – a position to which he was appointed immediately after September 11, 2001. Both as Chief of Operations and Chief of Department, Cassano played a critical role in rebuilding the FDNY which lost 343 of its members on 9/11. Under his leadership, nearly 7,000 new firefighters were hired, and some 6,000 others were promoted to various officer ranks as the Department went through a difficult but remarkable resurgence. Prior to joining the FDNY, Mr. Cassano served in the U.S. Army from October 1965 through July 1967 and was deployed to Vietnam in September 1966. While a firefighter, he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science. Mr. Cassano also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from St. John’s University in May 2013.