After decades of service, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced his retirement from the department.
Nigro is the fourth longest-serving Fire Commissioner in the department’s history, and one of only six individuals to hold every rank in the FDNY. Nigro’s retirement will be effective on Feb. 16.
“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,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro. “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.”
Nigro was appointed a Firefighter on Nov. 29, 1969, following in the footsteps of his father, FDNY Captain Daniel Nigro, who served the department for 33 years. He was first assigned to Engine Company 21 in Manhattan, and 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.
In 1988, while he was a Battalion Chief Nigro served in several administrative positions at FDNY headquarters, including the Chief of Personnel and the Chief of the Bureau of Health Services, where he would oversee medical care and treatment for FDNY members. In 1993, he was promoted to deputy chief and returned to the field, serving in Division 3 in Manhattan. One year later, Nigro was appointed Deputy Assistant Chief and was a key player in merging the Emergency Medical Service of the New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation into the FDNY, ultimately becoming the chief in charge of EMS following the merger. Nigro was promoted to Chief of Operations in 1997 and proceeded to oversee all operations and training for more than 14,000 uniformed fire and EMS personnel.
Nigro was appointed Chief of Department following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He oversaw the rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site and the beginning of the rebuilding of the department following the death of 343 FDNY members. He also oversaw all major uniformed FDNY bureaus: Operations, Training, EMS, Communications, and Fire Prevention, holding the highest uniform rank. He retired in 2002 and returned as the 33rd Fire Commissioner in June 2014.
During his time as FDNY Commissioner, Nigro oversaw the department’s response to COVID-19, 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. The department has also executed a recruitment campaign that led to the most diverse group of applicants in FDNY history, with more women and people of color serving as firefighters now than ever before, under Nigro’s tenure. Nigro also worked to expand fire safety education efforts with new programs that have installed and distributed more than 250,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms citywide.
“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 Mayor Eric 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.”
Nigro resides in Queens with his wife, Lynn.