State Fire Commissioner

Thomas Cook

“Fire departments across the Commonwealth are facing ongoing challenges such as recruitment, safety, and revenue shortfalls, and I look forward to working with Governor Shapiro and the General Assembly to find solutions to these challenges and continue to further public safety in Pennsylvania.”

Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook has more than 36 years of experience in emergency services, and an extensive background in public and nonprofit administration — having served at the municipal, county, and state levels, with a primary focus on public safety and emergency management. 

Most recently, Cook served as Assistant State Fire Commissioner. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.   

Prior to that, Cook was 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 Mount 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. 

Cook attended the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania State, and National fire academies. He is a Pennsylvania state fire instructor, and has taught extensively for local fire and emergency management training agencies. He is 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 degree in history from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. He has a second Bachelor of Science degree in fire administration from Columbia Southern University. 

Cook received his Chief Fire Officer and Chief Training Officer designations from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. 

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. Cook has been decorated twice in his career for rescues, earning a unit citation for rescues made from an apartment fire in Mount Lebanon, and the Red Cross Hero Medal for the rescue of a civilian prior to the arrival of suppression units in Pittsburgh.