Stephen Cassidy is the longest serving President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York (UFA) in its 100-year history. He was first elected to the position in August 2002 and is the only UFA President in the union’s history to be elected directly out of a firehouse. The UFA is the largest firefighters’ union local in the United States, representing more than 8,500 active and 15,000 retired New York City Firefighters. The union is tasked with ensuring the health and safety of the city’s firefighters.
As a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighter, Cassidy spent the first 15 years of his career at Engine 236 in East New York, Brooklyn. He is a regular commentator on labor and public safety issues in some of New York City’s editorial pages and broadcast news programs. Under his leadership, the UFA has led campaigns to educate New Yorkers and their elected leaders on first responder issues, which have resulted in the preservation of staffing and community firehouses scheduled for closure by the City of New York.
Cassidy served from 2006 to 2011 on the National Advisory Council (NAC) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Federal Emergency Management Agency) advocating for the nation’s emergency responders. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to a four-year term (January 2007 – December 2010) with the national Medal of Valor Review Board. Cassidy also served on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and as a member of the September 11th Worker Protection Task Force. In September 2008, Cassidy was appointed to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction (Hazmat) Advisory board.
Cassidy is the lead trustee and Vice-Chairman on the FDNY Pension and Investment Boards, with $11 billion in assets. He is also the Treasurer of the New York City Municipal Labor Committee (MLC), an umbrella organization of all New York City municipal unions, negotiating health care benefits for more than 600,000 municipal workers and retirees. He holds the position of Vice President and Executive Board member of the New York City Central Labor Council, a coalition of over 300 unions representing 1.3 million workers.
Cassidy serves as Chairman of the Widows’ and Children’s Fund, which benefits the widows and children of New York City firefighters who have died in the line-of-duty. He is on the Board of Directors of the Thomas R. Elsasser Fund, which supports the families of active New York City firefighters who died in non-line-of-duty incidents, and the Scholarship Fund, which aids the families of all New York City firefighters.
In 2012, the UFA and other FDNY unions helped create the New York City Firefighters Disaster Relief Fund to aid hundreds of FDNY first responders who suffered the catastrophic loss of their homes in Hurricane Sandy.