Over the weekend the New York Post broke the story of Joseph Cassanno, the youngest son of FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, entering the city’s Emergency Medical Service in order to gain quicker entry into the Fire Suppression branch. The younger Cassano has openly tweeted his disdain for working in the Emergency Medical Services and the citizens who utilize the service. Some of his disparaging tweets include:
- Got kicked in the shin by a drunk and had to carry a 275 pound guy down 5 flights of stairs . . . my job is the worst #yearandahalftogo
- Everybody wanna be a firefighter, but don’t nobody wanna be a damn EMT
- Gotta love people with the iPhone 5 and brand new Jordan’s whip out their benefits card #f–kobama #ipaidforyourstuff
- Getting sick of picking up all these obama lovers and taking them to the hospital because their medicare pays for an ambulance and not a cab
Aside from the poor grammar and lack of punctuation demonstrated, this provides a timely illustration as to the culture of the FDNY and its view towards it’s EMS mission. It remains apparent that EMS is a secondary priority for the department, even though 80% of their departmental call volume is medical in nature. While being able to earn “credits” towards a better paying position and creating a career path are positive things in a workforce, the problem is that FDNY is funneling candidates in the wrong direction. They should be funneling into EMS, not out of it. This means raising the salaries of the Medics, giving them better benefits, and creating value in the position that is greater than that of firefighter.
The attitude of the Commissioner’s son is just further evidence that the problems FDNY has start at the top. Until the leadership of the organization can get past their old style priorities and understands that EMS is now its PRIMARY MISSION, the citizens of New York will continue to be under served.
As for Joseph Cassano, I await for the announcement that his father has accepted his resignation. At this point, there’s just no other ending here that would be just.
UPDATE 23:00 EDT
It turns out that EMT Joseph Cassano has in fact resigned. According to the New York Times Commissioner Cassano released that statement that read in part:
“I am extremely disappointed in the comments posted online by my son Joseph, which do not reflect the values — including a respect for all people — that are held by me, my family and the F.D.N.Y.”
It’s great to say that you have a respect for all people, but saying it and failing to show it to your own people is a different matter entirely. The men and women who work in the EMS Division of the FDNY not only deserve the respect of the Commissioner but they are owed the recognition that 20% of the workforce performing 80% of the work has earned.
The ball is still in your court Commissioner Cassano. You’ve talked the talk, now its time to walk the walk.