Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the appointment of District Fire Chief Rick Kisselstein to Executive Deputy Chief of Fire. Kisselstein will report to Chief of Fire Michael Monds and act in close coordination with First Deputy Chief of Fire Dan Downes. The newly-created position strengthens the capacity of the Office of the Chief of Fire in leading Syracuse Fire Department’s operations and management.
“Rick Kisselstein is an accomplished fire professional with nearly three decades of experience with the city. He cares about Syracuse and has dedicated his talents to the Syracuse Fire Department since 2002,” said Mayor Walsh. ”He has performed exceptionally and his expanded duties in the Office of the Chief will serve both our firefighters and our community well.”
Chief Monds said, “Chief Kisselstein has been a leader on my command staff since early 2020. He has proved to be a strong, decisive leader in his role as the Health and Safety officer and Incident Safety Officer while keeping our SFD workforce safe on and off the fireground. He’s a solid decision maker who leads by example with integrity and high morale.”
Kisselstein will assist Chief Monds with management of the department, serving as the contact for human resources and labor relations matters. Kisselstein will have the ability to assume the responsibilities, duties and authority of the office of Fire Chief, charged with acting for and in place of the Fire Chief and First Deputy Fire Chief, when required.
Kisselstein began his service to the City of Syracuse in July 1993 with the Departments of Public Works. He was appointed as a firefighter in January 2002 and worked at Engine Co 7 until 2010, at which time he was promoted to Lieutenant of Engine Co 6. When Engine Co 1 was reopened in May 2013, Kisselstein was transferred there to work the very first shift.
In April 2014, Kissselstein received a promotion to Captain and placed in charge of Engine Co 9. In July 2017, Kisselstein took on a new assignment at Engine Co 8, where he was recognized for courageous actions taken at the scene of a violent crime. In March 2020, Kisselstein was promoted to District Chief. He went on to assume the role of Safety Officer in July of 2020, managing the health and safety programs for the Syracuse Fire Department. Kisselstein received the Mayor’s Medal in 2022 for his role in contingency planning and department mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An active member of the community, Kisselstein is involved with Little League Baseball in the City of Syracuse and a resident of Tipperary Hill.