JAMESTOWN – Mayor Sam Teresi has appointed Battalion Chief Samuel Salemme of Jamestown as the city’s next Deputy Fire Chief in the Department of Public Safety. Salemme will be filling the position being vacated by retiring Deputy Chief Chester “Chet” Harvey.
Because the city doesn’t have a fire chief position, the deputy fire chief position is the top administrative position of the fire department. The deputy chief answers to the city public safety director – a position currently held by Harry Snellings, who’s also the city police chief by default of his Public Safety Director position.
The Mayor chose Salemme from a pool of highly-qualified candidates after receiving input from Harvey, Snellings, and other members of the administration’s management team. Harvey will serve as Deputy Chief until November 29, and Salemme will officially begin his new duties on November 30, 2018.
Salemme began his emergency services career at Chautauqua County Ambulance Service in 1986. He graduated as a paramedic in 1987 from the Western New York EMS School of Paramedicine at Buffalo General Hospital. In 1988, he was employed locally by ALSTAR EMS as a paramedic and Starflight medic. His career with the Jamestown Fire Department began on February 12, 1990. He was promoted to lieutenant on May 28, 2000, and then battalion chief on August 20, 2005, serving in that position since. Salemme also responded to New York City on September 24, 2001, with members of the Chautauqua County Fire Service to provide rescue services to members of the FDNY after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Salemme has been a member of the Chautauqua County Emergency Medical Services Council since 2000 and is currently the chair of the organization. He is the first vice chair of the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board, serving since 2010, and has been a member of the Chautauqua County Radio Advisory Board since 2004. Salemme is a graduate of Jamestown Community College. He lives in the city with his wife, Tracy, and has two grown sons, Patrick and Ryan.
“I want to thank the Mayor for his confidence and selecting me for this role in the administration. I’d also like to thank Director of Public Safety Harry Snellings and retiring Deputy Fire Chief Harvey for their support. I look forward to serving the residents of the City of Jamestown to the best of my ability while continuing to provide support to our neighbors and public safety partners around the county. Last but not least, I want to thank my wife, Tracy, and my sons for their encouragement through this process,” Salemme stated.
Harvey has served as Deputy Fire Chief since May 15, 2010, taking on the role when previous and long-time Deputy Chief Lance Hedlund retired. Harvey began his career in the Jamestown Fire Department on September 4, 1984, and was promoted to Lieutenant on September 12, 1992; Captain on May 16, 1998; and Battalion Chief on May 23, 2004.
“While it’s been an honor to serve the City of Jamestown throughout my career, it’s been especially gratifying to serve as Deputy Fire Chief for the past eight and a half years. While there were numerous challenges throughout my tenure, we’ve had a great team of professional firefighters to handle whatever may have come our way. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the one of the best professional fire departments you’ll find anywhere. I have full faith in Sam Salemme to carry on the proud tradition of the Jamestown Fire Department,” outgoing Deputy Fire Chief Harvey stated.
Mayor Sam Teresi stated, “I want to congratulate Deputy Fire Chief Harvey on his retirement and wish him well in all of his future endeavors. He has been a true asset to the Jamestown Fire Department and community at large. While he will be greatly missed as a member of my administration, I look forward to continuing the friendship that we have developed over the years and receiving his continued good advice and counsel.”
“I am grateful that I have the opportunity to again promote a consummate professional from within the ranks to spearhead the operations of the Jamestown Fire Department,” Teresi added. “Sam Salemme has spent nearly his entire adult life and professional career as a member of one of the best public safety forces in the country and he knows the operation inside and out. I look forward to working closely with him as we seek to make Jamestown an even better and safer place in which to live, work and raise a family.”