The City of Newburgh is pleased to announce the hiring of Francis “F. J.” Spinelli as Chief of the Fire Department. Chief Spinelli comes to Newburgh after completing a 28 year career with the Hartsdale Fire District in Westchester County, NY. Spinelli’s extensive experience in the emergency services started over 40 years ago as a volunteer and includes serving as the Director of the Westchester Career Chief’s Fire Academy. Chief Spinelli spent the majority of his tenure in the fire service in senior leadership as a career Deputy Fire Chief. In addition, Spinelli serves as a NY State Fire Instructor, and an active member of the NY State Incident Management Team. “Chief Spinelli brings extensive fire service knowledge, a public safety background, professional expertise, and leadership skills to his new role at the City of Newburgh,” states City Manager, Joseph Donat. “I am confident Spinelli’s proven track record and many successes will carry over to his work here in Newburgh and prove to be an asset to our community.” Known for his problem solving and team building ability, Spinelli served as Command Staff of the Westchester County Special Operations Taskforce for over seven years, coordinating and building a team of over 11 career fire departments for response to critical incidents in the region. He stated, “I look forward to working with members of the community, local businesses, City government, police department and our agency members to develop a strategic plan for the future delivery of fire and emergency services in the City of Newburgh.”
Councilmembers Mejia and Sklarz participated in an interview with Spinelli last month, and were both impressed by the experience and attitude he brings to the table. Councilmember Sklarz stated, “We welcome Chief Spinelli to Newburgh and look forward to him providing leadership to a department whose members keep us safe. With his experience in management, it is our hope that he will establish measures to monitor and control overtime expenditures to keep this spending within budget.” Councilmember Mejia applauded the hiring and commented similarly on his managerial experience when she stated, “Welcome Chief Spinelli to the Newburgh family. We are proud of our fire department and I look forward to growing the department by collaboratively managing overtime to create fulltime positions.” Mayor Torrance Harvey echoed the warm welcome provided by his colleagues and offered his best wishes to the Chief and members of the Fire Department, “ Congratulations Chief Spinelli. We all look forward to working with you in your significant leadership role in our Public Safety Department. Welcome to Newburgh!”
Mr. Spinelli has a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from SUNY Empire State College, a Masters of Public Administration from Marist College, and is a Certified Chief Fire Officer (CFO). A lifetime resident of the Hudson Valley, Mr. Spinelli resides in the Town of Newburgh with his wife, Kathleen, and their multiple rescue dogs.