Robert S. Tucker is now the Chairman and CEO of T&M Protection Resources, but his first ever employer was the Fire Department of New York City.
“When I was a young boy growing up in Manhattan, I was a fire buff,” Tucker said. “I used to chase fire engines on my bicycle. I had the opportunity to meet Commissioner [Joseph] Spinnato and I told him about my interest in the Department.”
Tucker was a teenager when he was hired to work in the Manhattan Communications Office, then located in Central Park.
“I thought it was the best job offer I would ever receive. I spent summers working there,” he said. “The most productive thing I did was mapping out all the multiple alarm fires. The project proved the multiple-alarm fire activity was taking place in clumps of neighborhoods and believe it or not, no one else was doing that kind of analysis. It was a very rudimentary assignment I had been given, but it proved to be very informative.”
Tucker went on to graduate from George Washington University and the Pace University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He served as Special Assistant to the District Attorney of Queens County before joining T&M – which offers security intelligence services to businesses, financial organizations, investment management firms, academic institutions and private clients – in 1999.
Through all of his successes, Tucker’s love of the Fire Department never waned. Commissioner Spinnato made him an Honorary Deputy Fire Chief – “I might be the youngest one ever,” he laughed – and Commissioner Salvatore Cassano made him an Honorary Assistant Chief in 2010. He was named Honorary Fire Commissioner in April 2014.
“I am honored to serve as an officer of the FDNY Foundation and I’m particularly honored to be an Honorary Fire Commissioner,” Tucker said. “That was something that, as a boy growing up in the city, I never could have imagined. It’s incredibly meaningful to be a part of this small group of people and it only serves to double down my commitment to the men and women who make up the Department.”
Tucker said as he watched the Department rebuild after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he felt called to action.
“I wanted to be more involved, to try to leverage my contacts and my love of the Department with something meaningful,” he said. “I figured the best way to do that was to become a part of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “As a security company owner, having protected high-rise buildings all over this city, I know first hand: we have to have apparatus, we have to have fire fighters that are trained in high-rise safety, we have to have communication equipment that works in high-rise buildings. All of that can happen because of money we raise as trustees of the Foundation.”
Tucker said he is particularly proud of the work of the Foundation-funded Fire Safety Education Unit.
“Fire deaths are at an all time low,” he said. “Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, changing batteries on smoke detectors and the extensive education efforts that we are able to fund significantly move the needle on fire fatality statistics.”
Tucker said he looks forward to the next chapter of FDNY history, and said he believes deeply in what the FDNY Foundation can accomplish.
“If the Foundation can continue to sponsor fire safety education programs that lower fire fatalities in New York City, then we have done our job,” he said. “If we can enhance training of the members through programs like FOMI, then we have done our job. If we can continue to fund initiatives that strengthen the Department, like the FDNY High School, then we have done our job and we are on a very solid path for the future. As members of the Foundation Board of Directors, we must keep working hard on the city’s behalf, on the members’ behalf and on behalf of the FDNY.”
For more information on the Board of Directors, click here.
Portrait Photo: Robert S. Tucker
Courtesy: Michael Priest
Gallery Photo: Robert S. Tucker 1985 ID card
"If the Foundation can continue to sponsor fire safety education programs that lower fire fatalities in New York City, then we have done our job. If we can enhance training of the members through programs like FOMI, then we have done our job. If we can continue to fund initiatives that strengthen the Department, like the FDNY High School, then we have done our job and we are on a very solid path for the future. As members of the Foundation Board of Directors, we must keep working hard on the city’s behalf, on the members’ behalf and on behalf of the FDNY."