A day after appointing a new commissioner to the Buffalo Fire Department, Mayor Byron Brown on Wednesday appointed a 26-year department veteran as a deputy fire commissioner.
Lt. Ramon Suarez Sr., 51, is the first of two deputies Brown is expected to appoint as part of a leadership team headed by Fire Commissioner William Renaldo.
"I've know Ramon for many years on both a personal and professional level," Renaldo said. "He's among the most respected officers on the Buffalo firefighting force, and I am confident that this appointment will have a significant and positive impact on our department's overall operation."
Suarez joined the department in 1991 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2015.
The deputy commissioner position salary is pegged at $115,743 in the city budget.
As a lieutenant, Suarez earned a total of $145,000 in 2017. That included a base pay of $78,412 as well as $56,000 in overtime, according to city payroll records. The total figure also includes payment for such things as holiday pay, longevity and a clothing allowance.
Lt. Ramon Suarez Sr.
In announcing Suarez's appointment Wednesday, Brown said that Suarez and Renaldo represent his administration's commitment to further strengthening public safety citywide.
Brown is reassembling a leadership team for the fire department after his previous appointments to the top jobs both elected to return to their previous positions.
Renaldo, 60, was appointed Tuesday to replace Vincent Muscarella, who was named commissioner in January but resigned from the position Monday. Muscarella, who has been out since March 29 because of the recurrence of an on-duty injury suffered before he became commissioner, now reverts to his previous captain position.
Suarez replaces former Deputy Commissioner Johnathan Eaton, who had been filling in for Muscarella as part of his deputy responsibilities. Eaton went back to active duty as a captain May 1 based on a personal decision, city officials said.
The Buffalo Fire Department has three budgeted deputy commissioner positions, but in recent years the department has been operating with two. Brown is expected to appoint a second deputy to serve under Renaldo.
New Buffalo fire commissioner will tackle overtime, vacancies