Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner
Acting State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook
Acting Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook has an extensive background in public and nonprofit administration, serving at the municipal, county, and state levels, with a primary focus on public safety and emergency management.
Cook most recently served as Administrator of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, with oversight of the firefighter training system for the commonwealth.
He retired from active firefighting as Assistant Fire Chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, overseeing the day-to-day operations of a 700-person metropolitan fire department. He has served as a career Company Officer in the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department and a Staff Instructor for Allegheny County Fire Academy. He has held every rank but Chief of Department in the Monroeville Volunteer Fire Department. All told, he has over 36 years of emergency services experience.
Cook has attended the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania State, and National fire academies. He is also a Pennsylvania State Fire Instructor and has taught extensively for the local fire and emergency management training agencies. He serves as an Associate Professor for the Point Park University, teaching programs in Public Administration.
Prior to pursuing a career in public safety, Cook was employed as a Corporate Controller for Consolidated Graphics where he was a turn-around specialist.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He holds a second Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration from Columbia Southern University.
Cook has also received his Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and was recently recommended to the CPSE for his Chief Training Officer designation. He has received awards as Fire Instructor of the Year, Fire Officer of the Year, and Letters of Commendation for his work managing various projects within the fire service. He has been decorated twice in his career for rescues, earning a Unit Citation for rescues made from an Apartment Fire in Mt. Lebanon, and the Red Cross Hero Medal, for the rescue of a civilian prior to the arrival of suppression units in Pittsburgh.
Cook enjoys spending time with his wife, Tina. He also has fun mangling wood in his woodshop as he tries to master the art of woodworking. Additionally, he is an avid model railroader and train buff.