January 6, 2012 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today that Joseph A. Conant will become the City’s Acting Fire Commissioner upon current Fire Commissioner Gary G. Cassanelli’s retirement on Friday, January 13, 2012. Conant currently serves as the Department’s Deputy of Operations.
Conant served in the Marine Corps Reserves from 1984-1988 and was appointed to the Springfield Fire Department on September 14, 1987. He was promoted to Lieutenant on April 21, 1997 and Captain on April 16, 2004. Conant’s strong work ethic and commitment to the job allowed him to continue moving up the departmental ranks leading to his appointment as District Chief on January 1, 2007 and the appointment to his current position on January 10, 2011.
In making his decision, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno considered Conant’s work performance with the Department over the last twenty (20) years as well as his personal interaction with Conant during last year’s unprecedented natural weather disasters in the City of Springfield. “I had an opportunity to see first-hand Joe’s strong work ethic and leadership abilities each day at the City’s Emergency Operations Center following the June 1st tornado,” stated Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “Joe demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the public safety of our City’s residents and to the men and women of the Springfield Fire Department. His leadership abilities helped the Fire Department communicate very important, and in some cases life-saving information to residents impacted by these disasters.”
Conant was born and raised in the City of Springfield and holds a degree in Fire Science. He has also pursued many courses through both the Massachusetts Fire Academy and the National Fire Academy. He has commanded several large incidents including the Macedonia Church fire, the Indian Orchard Mill fire, the June 1st tornado and most recently, the October Snowstorm.
“I’m very honored by the confidence Mayor Sarno has placed in me and in my abilities to serve as Acting Fire Commissioner for the Springfield Fire Department,” stated Joseph A. Conant. “I look forward to continuing my service with the Department and maintaining my commitment to protecting life and property for the residents of Springfield.”
Mayor Sarno also expressed his deepest appreciation to outgoing Fire Commissioner Gary Cassanelli. “On behalf of the residents of the great City of Springfield, I thank Commissioner Cassanelli for his thirty-five (35) years of service to the residents and for his leadership at the Springfield Fire Department. His service to the City has been exceptional and his commitment to protecting life and property has been beyond commendable. I wish him best wishes in his retirement.”
Conant’s appointment will become effective January 13, 2012, at 4:00 p.m. He will earn an annual salary of $126,440.