New York Mayor Bill de Blasio named Daniel Nigro, a former chief of the fire department, as its next commissioner.

Nigro, 65, of Queens, who retired in 2002, was appointed during a ceremony at the FDNY Academy on Randall's Island.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, Nigro was named chief of department, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY. The previous chief died in the World Trade Center collapse. Nigro survived the fall of the Twin Towers and took command of the response.

While a fire chief, Nigro oversaw the 1996 merger between the FDNY and the city's ambulance services.

Nigro will replace Salvatore Cassano, who was appointed commissioner by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010.

Leaders of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, the EMT and paramedics' union and the Uniformed EMS Officers Union praised Nigro as experienced and well respected.