Tribute Paid by Mayor to FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro on Retirement Announcement – Norwood News

By SÍLE MOLONEY

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Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro has announced his retirement and Mayor Eric Adams has paid tribute to him. 

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced his retirement from the department on Friday, Jan. 21, effective Feb. 16. He started his career 53 years ago and has served as commissioner for seven years. Nigro is the fourth longest-serving fire commissioner in FDNY history, according to the FDNY, one of only six individuals to hold every rank in the department. Tributes have been paid to him, including from New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“Dan and I have had an amazing relationship over our long careers in public service. He’s a tireless champion for New Yorkers, and a friend who I’ve leaned on time and again,” said Adams.

“From overseeing the heroic 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts to leading the FDNY’s unwavering response during the pandemic, Dan has worked tirelessly to protect all New Yorkers. New Yorkers, whether they know it or not, are all safer because of the work he’s done and owe him their thanks. Dan defines public service and will be deeply missed by me and the entire department.”

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Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro (left), is seen here on September 14, 2001, in the company of former U.S. President George W. Bush (with loudspeaker) and other firefighters and officials, at the WTC site. Nigro has announced his retirement. He shared his personal experiences in the article “Ultimate Responsibility: September 2001,” in the latest issues of WNYF and Pro EMS magazines. This is available at http://fdnypro.org.

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

In the context of the announcement, Nigro said, “Since the day I raised my right hand 53 years ago and followed my father into the greatest fire department in the world, I have been blessed, privileged, and truly honored to serve the people of our great city.”

He added, “On days of triumphant rescues and during times of unimaginable loss, the members of the FDNY — our firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, fire marshals, fire inspectors, and civilian staff — have always answered the call. They are extraordinary people and are deeply committed to protecting the lives and property of all New Yorkers. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as their Fire Commissioner.”

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Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, seen here at a prior FDNY Medal Day on the steps of City Hall, has announced his retirement.  

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

According to the FDNY, Nigro was appointed the 33rd fire commissioner for the City in June 2014. In that role,  he oversaw the FDNY’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the highest period of medical calls in New York City history and the creation of a vaccination program for FDNY members, city employees, and homebound New Yorkers.

During his tenure, according to FDNY officials, the department executed a recruitment campaign that led to the most diverse group of applicants in FDNY history, with more women and people of color now serving as New York City firefighters than at any point in the department’s 157-year history.

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Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro has announced his retirement and New York City Mayor Eric Adams has paid tribute to him. 

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

Nigro also expanded fire safety education efforts, launching programs that have installed and distributed more than 250,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms citywide and continued an unprecedented period of fire safety with 2021 marking the 16th consecutive year with fewer than 100 fire deaths.

He was appointed a firefighter on Nov. 29, 1969, and after graduating from the Fire Academy, was first assigned to Engine Company 21 in Manhattan. Over the next 32 years, he rose through the ranks of the FDNY, serving as a lieutenant at Engine Company 35 in East Harlem, as a captain at Engine Company 8 in Manhattan, and as a battalion chief in Battalion 19 in the Bronx.

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FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, pictured here with his father, the late and former FDNY Captain, Daniel Nigro, and members of his family, has announced his retirement. 

Photo courtesy of the FDNY

Beginning in 1988, while in the rank of battalion chief, the commissioner served in several administrative positions at headquarters, including the chief of personnel and the chief of the Bureau of Health Services, where he oversaw the medical care and treatment for FDNY members.

Upon his promotion to deputy chief in 1993, he returned to the field and served in Division 3 in Manhattan. A year later, he was appointed deputy assistant chief and was instrumental in merging the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) of the New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation into the FDNY. Following the merger, he became the chief in charge of EMS. In 1997, he was promoted to chief of operations, overseeing all operations and training for more than 14,000 uniformed fire and EMS personnel.

I’ve seen Dan Nigro’s courage and leadership up close so many times, even just in the last three weeks alone. His career embodies the nickname “New York’s Bravest.”

Commissioner, thank you for your service and congratulations on this well-earned retirement. pic.twitter.com/4jj7lL36I4

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) January 21, 2022

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, he was appointed chief of department, following the death of his close friend, Chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr. Nigro was responsible for overseeing all rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site, and the beginning of the unprecedented rebuilding of the department following the death of 343 FDNY members. As chief of department, Nigro held the highest uniformed rank, overseeing all major uniformed FDNY bureaus: operations, training, EMS, communications, and fire prevention. He retired from the department in 2002 and returned in 2014 as fire commissioner.

Nigro was recently photographed looking despondent at the scene of a press conference held after the recent Twin Parks fire tragedy at 333 East 181st Street in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Seventeen people lost their lives in the tragedy, including 8 children despite the efforts of FDNY personnel who saved many others. “The loss of one life is sad for us, much less 19 lives,” he said, as reported, during the press conference. [The number of fatalities was later revised to 17.]

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FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro has announced his retirement. He is pictured at the scene of the press conference held after the recent Twin Parks fire tragedy at 333 East 181st Street in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Seventeen people lost their lives in the tragedy, including 8 children despite the efforts of FDNY personnel who saved many others.

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton / NYC Mayor Office via Flickr

A number of legislative measures have been taken at both federal and City level in response to the Fordham Heights fire after it was discovered that the fire was caused by an electric space heater, but also because escape was made more difficult for victims because of the amount of smoke that spread because self-closing doors in the building did not function as they should have. [We will be sharing a separate, follow-up story on this legislative topic soon.]

Nigro followed in the footsteps of his father, former FDNY Captain Daniel Nigro, who served the department for 33 years and died in 2015. A native New Yorker, he resides in Queens with his wife, Lynn.

Nigro shared his personal experiences in the article “Ultimate Responsibility: September 2001,” in the latest issues of WNYF and Pro EMS magazines. It is available now at fdnypro.org.