FDNY - Background on the new Chief of the Fire Academy


Staff member
Apr 24, 2007
About Chief of the Fire Academy Charles R. Downey Chief Downey is a 32-year veteran of the Department. As Chief of the Fire Academy, he will oversee training for probationary firefighters, in-service refresher training for active firefighters and all operations at the FDNY Training Academy on Randall’s Island.

Chief Downey joined the Department in 1990, and his first assignment was at Engine Company 235 in Brooklyn. As a firefighter, he was also assigned to Ladder Company 176 in Brooklyn and Rescue Company 4 in Queens. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1999 and assigned to Squad Company 41 in the South Bronx.

In 2003, he was promoted to captain and was assigned to Division 15 in Brooklyn and the Special Operations Command. In 2004, he was promoted to battalion chief and assigned to Battalion 50 in Queens. In 2019, he was promoted to deputy chief and was assigned to Division 15 in Brooklyn.

He has been cited for bravery twice in his career. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University, the FDNY Officers Management Institute, the FDNY’s Mental Performance Initiative and the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point. He is a member of New York Task Force 1, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue Response System.

Chief Downey’s father, Deputy Chief Raymond Downey, had a 39½-year career and was the Chief in Charge of Special Operations Command when he made the Supreme Sacrifice at the World Trade Center on September 11. Chief Raymond Downey was a highly decorated member of the Department and an expert in technical rescue. Chief Charles Downey’s brother, Joseph Downey, is a 37-year veteran and the battalion commander of the FDNY Rescue Battalion


Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
In upcoming book, "They Saved New York," we got the whole scoop on Chuck, his brother Joe and the Downey family. I had a wonderful time intervieweing Chuck and had lunch with him at the fire academy. Wonderful, humble and unassuming. Coming soon!