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Mayor Brown Announces Fire Department Appointments
BUFFALO – Mayor Byron Brown today announced his appointments to lead the city's Fire Department. Emphasizing his appointees broad experience and knowledge of fire safety services, Mayor Brown appointed the following individuals to the Department's top leadership positions: Michael L. Lombardo, Commissioner; Garnell M. Smith, Deputy Commissioner/Operations; Patrick T. Lewis, Deputy Commissioner/Administration; Garnell W. Whitfield, Jr., Deputy Commissioner/Emergency Medical Services.
"Following a thorough and exhaustive review of many qualified candidates for the top leadership positions in the Fire Department, I am confident we have assembled a team of respected and experienced fire fighters who will lead the Department with distinction and serve our city well," said Mayor Brown. "I thank the members of my Transition Team's Public Safety Sub-Committee, which presented these individuals with a strong and enthusiastic recommendation."
A 22-year veteran of the Buffalo Fire Department, Michael Lombardo has earned a reputation as a "fire fighter's fire fighter" and is acknowledged as one of nation's leading authority's on fire operations. Awarded 13 medals for heroism, Lombardo, currently a Captain in the Department and an acting Battalion Chief in the 3rd Battalion, has taught and consulted on operations issues as a national fire service trainer in fire departments across the United States and Canada. As the current Captain of the Department's Rescue Company 1, Lombardo responds to all fires, haz-mat calls and technical rescues in the city.
As Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Garnell Smith, currently a Lieutenant/Commander of the Department's Fire Investigation Unit, will oversee fire emergency response for all engine and ladder rescue companies. He will also command fire suppression rescue activities. Smith, a 26-year veteran of the Department, has led the Department's Fire Investigation Unit since 2002. Having served in various engine and ladder company assignments throughout his career, Smith brings a deep understanding and first-hand knowledge of the Department's daily operations.
A 26-year Fire Department veteran, Patrick Lewis possesses a wide-range of fire fighting skills, as well as experience as an agent with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. He will serve as Deputy Commissioner for Administration. The position oversees the Department budget, as well as fire prevention, the arson squad, civilian staff and the training academy. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.
"With close to a century's worth of experience in the city's Fire Department, these four individuals will apply their skill, experience and knowledge to lead the Fire Department and provide the best possible fire safety service to the citizens of Buffalo," said Mayor Brown.
The Commissioner position's annual salary is $102,344; the three Deputy positions are each paid $89,372 annually.
The Transition Team's Public Safety sub-committee was comprised of James Keane (chair); Arnold Gardner (chair of the Transition Team); Brenda McDuffie, President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League; and Francisco Vasquez, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, People Inc.
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios