Y GINGER ADAMS OTIS
The fire commissioner’s son quit the Emergency Medical Service Monday after he was accused of accused of sending racist and offensive tweets.
Joseph Cassano, 23, son of FDNY head Salvatore Cassano, stepped down after less than three months on the job as an emergency medical technician.
His high-ranking father — who spent the morning at a funeral for a retired EMS worker — issued a stern but loving statement as his son’s dream of rising through the EMS ranks to become a firefighter went up in smoke.
“I am extremely disappointed in the comments posted online by my son Joseph, which do not reflect the values — including a respect for all people — that are held by me, my family and the FDNY,” said Commissioner Cassano, a Vietnam vet who joined the FDNY in the 1970s.
Cassano said he had “no tolerance” for divisive behavior in the FDNY — and his son was no exception.
“As a parent, this is very painful for me, but I believe my son has made the right decision,” Cassano added. “I love him very much and, with the support and love of our entire family, we will get through this together."
His EMT son, who had tweeted that he hated working for the EMS and made offensive comments about Jews and African-Americans, turned off his Twitter account when the remarks went public and issued an apology for his comments via the FDNY press office.
But the damage control came too late to save his job.
At a news conference Monday morning, Mayor Bloomberg said, “I find the messages offensive. My understanding is he has chosen to resign from the Fire Department. That's the appropriate thing, and I'll leave it at that."
Some of Joseph Cassano’s most recent tweets were still visible online, including one he posted March 6 that said, “I really don't worry if I make alot of money in my life, as soon as I can buy my wife new tits ill be a happy man.”
That same day he wrote, “Got kicked in the shin by a drunk and had to carry a 275 pound guy down 5 flights of stairs...my job is the worst.”
The FDNY has a code of conduct governing social media use for employees, sources said.
The agency has fired Emergency Medical Service personnel in the past for tweeting or posting personal information about patients — a violation of federal medical privacy laws.
Cassano was a probationary hire with the FDNY, having graduated from his EMS class in December.
He’d only been on the job for about three months and was still in his tryout phase, sources said.
Cassano was featured on the FDNY website in a story about his EMS class’s graduation on Dec. 21.
“This is a dream come true,” Cassano was quoted as saying in the FDNY story. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to work for the FDNY.”
The young EMT wasn’t going to just follow in his dad’s distinguished footsteps, his father said in the same article.
“He’s going to make his own,” the elder Cassano said.