Appointing Cassano would put someone in charge with experience in the department.
Cassano was appointed a New York City firefighter in November of 1969. He was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant at Ladder 113 in Brooklyn, where he also served after his promotion to Captain in 1984. He continued to rise through the ranks as Battalion Chief (1987), Deputy Chief (1993), Deputy Assistant Chief (1999) and Assistant Chief (2001), working in various assignments throughout the city, including responsibility as the on-duty Citywide Tour Commander. He has been cited five times for bravery during his career. He was named Chief of Department in 2006. (From official press release in 2006)