Retired fire captain and paramedic lights new path to Troy City Council

February 16 • 2024

This past November, we featured four IAFF members who ran for office and won. Read their interviews here and check out our social media for more behind-the-scenes looks at our members’ election efforts across the United States. 

This month, we are following up with these members to see how they prepared for their new roles and how their first few months are going

 

Tom Casey

Tom Casey, a retired fire captain and paramedic with Troy, NY Local 86 and an avid member of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Motorcycle Group, clinched victory in the Troy City Council race for District 6. Known for his dedication to public service and unwavering commitment to the Troy community, Casey’s win lights a promising new chapter for the district. 

“Being voted majority leader and president pro tempore was a pleasant surprise,” said Casey, a Republican, who spent 30 years actively engaging in local electoral politics outside of elected office. “I believed I could unite people despite differences and contribute significantly, as did my colleagues.” 

The council consists of seven elected officials who serve two-year terms. This year, there is a Republican majority and Casey serves as Chair of the Public Safety Committee. 

Casey says he is grateful for the IAFF’s help during his campaign. “I was given assistance with FIREPAC, and the money helped me get my message out.” 

Driven by an inferno of desire to address the growing disconnect between people living in the community and their elected officials, Casey shared his motivation for stepping into the political arena. “There are no constituent relations anymore,” he said during a previous interview. “People here can’t seem to get their trash picked up or their streets plowed, and they have other issues, and no one is responsive to their needs.” 

He is now standing by his word. 

“One achievement I am particularly proud of is securing funding for a new fire engine and ambulance at our recent meeting,” he said. “Highlighting the critical importance of reliable equipment, I emphasized that fire engines and ambulances must operate flawlessly to save lives.” 

Councilmember Tom Casey, along with Troy Mayor, and Carmella Mantello at a recent press conference.

Drawing from a family legacy engulfed in the fire service, Casey’s journey into public service was a natural progression. With both his father and uncle having served as captains before him, and now his son carrying the torch, Casey’s roots in the fire service burn brightly.  

“As a fire fighter, I’ve been on the frontlines every day, engaging directly with the public,” he said. “Unlike many who enter public office from administrative backgrounds, I have spent years interacting with people in our streets, and I believe that hands-on experience has truly shaped my approach.”  

As a union member and staunch advocate for workers’ rights, Casey brings a unique perspective to the council. Witnessing firsthand the challenges faced by city employees and the community at large, Casey is committed to being a blazing beacon for their cause. 

“Most people in the fire service are very involved in the community,” he said. “I think my connection to the fire service is profound; I wear my fire fighter’s lapel pin to every meeting as a symbol of gratitude for my career. There is no greater honor than serving as a fire fighter in your hometown.”