Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his appointment of Daniel Nigro to serve as New York City’s fire commissioner. A 32-year veteran of the FDNY and former chief of department, Nigro brings decades of operational and administrative experience to the department. Mayor de Blasio charged Nigro with ensuring the safety of New York City’s residents and firefighters, increasing diversity among the ranks, and maintaining the department’s commitment to swift FDNY response times in neighborhoods across the city.
A well-respected leader who has held every uniformed rank in the FDNY, Nigro returns to the department with years of first-hand knowledge, deep operational familiarity, and extensive leadership experience from his time with the FDNY. Appointed chief of department on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Nigro led the FDNY through search, rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, and provided operational leadership for FDNY and EMS response units and personnel. Nigro was also instrumental in merging the cultures and operations of FDNY and EMS into an exemplary medical response and care program, which resulted in a substantial increase in the diversity of department staff.
“Every day, New York City’s bravest rush toward danger to protect our children, parents and neighbors—and the FDNY’s heroic men and women deserve a leader who shares their unwavering commitment to this noble profession. In the aftermath of 9/11, Daniel led the FDNY through some of its darkest days with an unrelenting determination to rescue and protect our fellow New Yorkers. Our administration is committed to building on this department’s impressive record, increasing diversity in the ranks, and improving response time—and I know Daniel has what it takes to lead the FDNY forward,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“For more than 30 years, I’ve watched the men and women of the FDNY perform fearlessly in the face of tremendous hardship, and I couldn’t be prouder to lead this team of heroic New Yorkers. Our courageous firefighters sacrifice to protect this city each day, and I will ensure these first responders are protected and cared for as well. The Mayor has outlined a strong vision for the future of this department—one that provides for all our residents equally and reflects our city’s diverse communities—and I look forward to making this vision a reality,” said incoming FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“Chief Daniel Nigro led his fellow officers through some of the FDNY’s most difficult times and displayed true heroism as a Chief of Operations in the days after September 11th, 2001. I congratulate Mr. Nigro on his appointment and look forward to working with him,” said Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito.
“I commend Mayor de Blasio on his appointment of Daniel Nigro as the new FDNY Commissioner. Nigro has a strong, well respected record serving in the department, and pioneered the integration of EMS into the FDNY. From reducing EMS response time, to fixing our 911 call system, to increasing workforce diversity, especially in hiring more women—we have a lot to do in the fire department. I look forward to working with our new Commissioner to make the necessary reforms to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Chair of the Council’s Fire and Criminal Justice Committee.
“I welcome Daniel Nigro’s return to the service of our city and its people as the leader of New York City’s Fire Department. As a lifelong city resident and chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, I know the essential role that the FDNY and its many hardworking firefighters play as they confront danger and save lives each and every day, and it is good to see a steady and experienced hand take the helm of New York’s Bravest,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Dan Nigro on past assignments. He is personal and open-minded. I’ve seen him lead change and increase diversity within the department, when he oversaw the merger of the FDNY and EMS. He has the character to lead and command the respect of the men and women who serve in the department,” said Bob Turner, Chief of the FDNY’s First Line Supervisor Training Program.
“The Mayor couldn’t have made a better choice than Dan Nigro. Dan is a proven leader who managed the integration of EMS into the FDNY. After 9/11, Chief Nigro led this job with quiet dignity. You never saw him on TV or at baseball games, but he demonstrated his leadership as well as his compassion for the members of the FDNY,” said Pete Gorman, Chief of Staff at the International Association of Firefighters, as well as a former captain and 34-year veteran of the fire department.
“As Chief of Department, Daniel led the FDNY through one of the most trying periods in the department’s history. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for choosing a respected leader who will preserve all that makes this department great, and who understands the critical need for increased diversity among the ranks,” said Reverend A.R. Bernard. “Daniel is a natural fit for FDNY Commissioner, and I know he’ll spend every day building up this department to make New York the safest city possible.”
“In naming Dan Nigro as commissioner of the FDNY, Mayor de Blasio has chosen a proven leader who is prepared to bring the department into its next chapter of excellence. Dan Nigro combines the two qualities necessary in this position: he knows every aspect of the fire-fighting profession, and he is keenly aware of the work needed to advance that profession. Building on his heroic service on 9/11, Commissioner Nigro will now accelerate the pace of change in the FDNY to serve a transformed city,” said Jeremy Travis, President of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“Dan took two different cultures at FDNY and EMS and was a positive force in bringing them together. He is a fair, open-minded and thoughtful person, accepting of all people. I think he’s a strong, smart individual to lead FDNY,” said David Diggs, former executive director of the New York City Emergency Medical Service.
About Daniel A. Nigro
Raised in Bayside, Queens, where his father was a FDNY captain, Daniel A. Nigro has spent his life serving New York City’s fire department. Nigro began his career as a firefighter in 1969, and served as a lieutenant, captain and battalion chief in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, before his promotion to assistant to deputy fire commissioner in 1988. Nigro has held positions as chief of uniformed personnel, chief of health services, battalion and deputy chief, deputy assistant chief of operations, chief of emergency medical service, and citywide tour commander, among others, during his years with the FDNY.
In 1999, Nigro was appointed chief of operations, where he maintained preparedness, staffing and availability of units for fire and emergency response, and instituted a program similar to CompStat to measure and oversee key areas of accountability. On September 11, 2001, Nigro was appointed chief of department upon the death of Chief Peter J. Ganci Jr. in the collapse of the WTC North Tower. As the highest ranking uniformed member of the department and its chief operations officer, Nigro was instrumental in guiding the department through its loss after September 11, and assisted in providing plans to move the department toward better training and equipment to respond to all levels of emergency.
Nigro is a member of Friends of Firefighters, September 11th Families Association, Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance, and Columbia Association, among others. Most recently, he has provided consultation to fire departments on fire department management.
Nigro holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College. He currently lives in Whitestone, Queens, with his wife Lynn. The couple has two daughters and three grandchildren.