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Assistant Director Fire and Life Safety

Apply now Job no: 511693
Position type: Staff
Location: New York
Categories: Public Safety, Onsite

Job Summary/Basic Function:

Reporting to the Director of Environmental Health and safety (EHS), the Assistant Director of Fire and Life Safety is responsible for the planning, administration, and management of fire and life safety services for Teachers College campuses by applying best practices to provide for the safety of students, faculty, and staff, the protection of assets, and to ensure compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws/regulations regarding fire and life safety. The position provides overall management and leadership in the area of fire safety and fire systems (detection and suppression) in a manner that enhances the quality of campus life and the mission of Teachers College. The Assistant Director of Fire and Life Safety will work in partnership with the Public Safety management team and with other Public Safety and EHS staff to coordinate resources in support of community Public Safety. The Fire and Life Safety Assistant Director shall be called upon to provide support in the area of general workplace safety.


  •  Plan, organize, and manage fire protection and life safety activities.
  •  Conduct building inspections to maintain compliance with federal, state, and local codes, as well as College policy.
  •  Initiate necessary actions for violation remediation.
  •  Develop and implement fire protection programs and procedures to ensure employees, students, and faculty safety within the Teachers College environs.
  •  Review building construction design for fire and life safety compliance.
  •  Conduct fire protection oversight and audit programs.
  •  Maintain property damage reports resulting from fire.
  •  Prepare, coordinate, and maintain all fire inspection and fire system service reports.
  • Act as a liaison with the NYC Fire Department, NYC Office of Emergency Management, and other emergency agencies.
  • Communicate with community and civic organizations, to promote fire safety.
  •  Serve as a technical expert in fire and life safety matters and provide counsel to college administration, departments, and personnel.
  •  Ensure that all fire and life safety systems and equipment are in place at all TC properties. Fire safety code typically requires fire protection systems such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinklers, or other fire suppressant systems. Make sure these systems are properly installed, suitable for identified fire hazards, and fully functional. This may include planning, coordinating, and conducting fire drills to gauge system readiness. Ensure that records of all drills are kept accordingly for each TC building and are readily available upon request.
  •  Conduct periodic fire safety inspections - Two per month. These inspections cover the evaluation of fire hazards and address property safeguards.
  • Responsible for making sure any deficiencies identified are promptly corrected via work orders and or communications to affected parties – within two weeks.
  •  Maintain a log on the EHS shared drive that tracks all identified issues through
    closure. Inspection sheets are to be kept in a binder for each respective building ensuring all FDNY requirements and recordkeeping for TC buildings (academic and Residential) are maintained and are available upon request. During inspections identify all record-keeping deficiencies and communicate them to responsible parties.
  •  Participate as a member of the EHS team, providing all other departmental staff members with cooperation and support to further the departmental mission.
  •  Coordinate and accompany regulatory inspections pertaining to fire and life safety systems including FDNY building inspections. Work with local fire departments to ensure that all violations are cured in a timely manner.
  •  Independently write correspondence, memoranda, transmittals, reports, and other materials relating to emergency operations, facilities planning, physical security and construction/renovation projects, safety, etc.
  •  Assume, in conjunction with other offices, the responsibility to coordinate, schedule, facilitate, and monitor the bidding of projects related to areas of responsibility.
  •  Independently resolve, coordinate, or facilitate the resolution of routine complaints relating to areas of responsibility.
  •  Remain accessible and able to respond appropriately, in person or otherwise, to urgent or emergency situations that arise on weekends and evenings.
  •  Prepare and maintain a variety of narrative and statistical reports, records, and files related to assigned activities and personnel, and review paperwork including crime and accident reports, proposals, and other documents to ensure fire and life safety compliance.
  •  Serve on assigned departmental and College task forces and committees
  •  Prepare, coordinate, and manage plans for the prevention, mitigation, and recovery from fire and life safety incidents.
  •  Provide education and training for fire and life safety operations including the college community’s response to incidents of fire.
  •  Conducts fire drills and exercises as mandated by codes.
  • Represent the College at local and regional meetings.
  •  Research and evaluate grant programs and funding sources for related fire and
    life safety assistance programs.
  • Conduct and participate in the development of fire prevention and fire and life
    safety-related community education programs.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field
  • Possession of a NYC Fire Safety Director certificate of fitness
  • Five or more years of direct experience in fire safety and fire systems (detection and suppression); experience in fire-fighting, safety, and prevention in an urban environment (preferred)
  • Experience related to the development and administration of fire prevention and Fire and life safety preparedness programs
  •  Ability to evaluate work priorities and maintain a flexible schedule
  •  Ability to analyze operational and procedural problems and develop effective solutions; work with a high level of accuracy and great attention to detail
  • Experience managing complex fire detection and suppression systems, including
  •  NYC Class “E” fire systems in J-1 residential buildings.
  • Experience managing vendors, consultants, and contract service partners.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree in a related field
  •  Three or more years of experience involving the development and administration
    of emergency and disaster preparedness programs
  • Knowledge of NYC building codes NFPA and NYC fire regulations
  • Practical experience with low-voltage electronics
  •  Experience or familiarity with law enforcement and/or security
  •  Proven experience managing and providing training in a variety of formats and
  •  Proven knowledge of all federal, state, and local laws/regulations pertaining to
  •  Fire/life safety in assembly, high rise, high hazard, residential, and business occupancies, especially as they relate to university settings
  • Professional certifications in Fire/Life Safety and/or Disaster Preparedness.
  •  Working knowledge of Hazardous Waste Operations (HazWoper-24 hr.) and
  •  Emergency Response Protocols
  •  Fire Protection Specialist certification through NFPA

Salary Range:

$79,110 - $98,890

Work Modality:


Competitive Compensation and Benefits
The salary range reflects the College’s good faith and reasonable estimate of the compensation for the position at the time of the job posting.  Salary decisions are dependent on several factors including but not limited to market and organizational considerations, experience, and qualifications of a selected candidate as well as internal and external equity.
Our benefits contribute significantly to the total compensation package that includes medical, dental, vision, and supplemental insurance plans; flexible and hybrid work schedules; tuition remission; life insurance; short and long-term disability insurance; an exceptional employer retirement matching program; health savings accounts (HSA), flexible spending accounts (FSA), Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility, and a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
If you would like to request any disability related accommodations to complete the job application or to participate in the interview process, please email:oasid@tc.columbia.edu.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Teachers College is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community and to providing equal opportunity in employment.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration regardless of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity or gender expression), religion, creed, national origin, age, citizenship, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

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