The city's new Fire Department commissioner is also the agency's highest-ranking uniformed officer. Mayor Bloomberg selected FDNY Chief Salvatore Cassano — who has 40 years of departmental experience and numerous citations for bravery — to replace retiring Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.

Unlike Scoppetta, who had no Fire Department experience before being offered the job, Cassano has worked for the FDNY since returning from serving in the Vietnam War in 1969, and has rose through the ranks in the four decades since, according to the Times. “Chief Cassano is a strong, committed leader with a wealth of knowledge and experience who represents the best in this department,” said Scoppetta — who often came under attack from union officials. “Due to his efforts, our firefighters, E.M.T.’s and paramedics are better trained, equipped and prepared to respond more safely and effectively to every type of emergency in New York City. I am confident the department will prosper under his leadership.”

Cassano will start next month. The selection of Scoppetta came after talk that Bloomberg would hire the agency's first female commish — former FDNY commissioner of legal affairs Mylan Denerstein.