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Chief (ret.) John J. Salka, Jr.

Fire Chief John Salka, Jr.

John Salka a 40-plus year veteran of the fire service, served with the FDNY for over 33 years, the last 15 years a battalion chief in the 18th Battalion in the Bronx.  Prior to the 18th Battalion he served in several of the FDNY’s busiest and most active units. His tenure as an officer in the department had included instructing at the Probationary Firefighters School, the Captains Management Program, and the Battalion Chiefs Command Course.

Chief Salka was decorated for bravery several times over his 30-plus years of service in the FDNY and served as part of the Incident Command Team at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the weeks and months that followed.

Chief Salka is a contributing editor for Firehouse magazine and has been published in Fire Engineering and several other industry publications. In addition to his writing, he has been lecturing and presenting training seminars throughout the United States and Canada for more than 25 years and was awarded Fire Engineering’s Training Achievement Award at PennWell Publishing’s Fire Department Instructors Conference in 2001.

He is the author of the best-selling books “First In-Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department,” “The Engine Company,” “Five Alarm Leadership: From the Firehouse to the Fireground” and his leadership lessons are the subject of his most recent articles and corporate lectures. Chief Salka is also the co-host for the radio show “The Command Post” heard on Fire Engineering Talk Radio. Chief Salka has also served as a volunteer firefighter throughout his entire fire service career.

John and his wife Dawn have been married for over 30 years and are the proud parents of five children, John, James, Maureen, Brian and Colleen. James and Brian proudly serve their country as United States Marines.


In his new book, Battalion Chief Salka, a nationally recognized speaker and author with years of service in several career and volunteer departments, looks at both the similarities and differences in the engine company operations practiced by fire departments throughout the United States and discusses in detail the equipment, staffing, and operations of engine company firefighters at structural fires and emergencies in urban, suburban, and rural settings.

Click here to order "The Engine Company" book




Salka Book


"What makes the FDNY thrive is its tradition of developing extraordinary leaders. In FIRST IN, LAST OUT, John Salka distills the principles of FDNY leadership into a compelling, practical, and highly readable guide that every leader and manager will want to read and reread."

--Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, U.S. Navy (ret.), author of It's Your Ship

Click here to order "First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons From the New York Fire Department"

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