Mayor Bill de Blasio officially named Daniel Nigro to become the city's new fire commissioner Friday afternoon. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is pulling Daniel Nigro out of retirement to lead the New York City Fire Department.
A 32-year veteran of the department, Nigro was promoted on the afternoon of September 11, 2001 to chief of department, the highest-ranking uniformed post. His friend Peter Ganci had held the job before and was killed in the attack. Ganci's son, Lieutenant Chris Ganci, spoke at the announcement.
"After September 11th, you helped get this job back on its feet," Chris Ganci said. "I remember thinking afterwards how proud my father would have been of you then, but I know for sure that today, he'd be beaming with pride."
"It's a very emotional day, as you can see. You can tell by the tone of my voice," Nigro said. "The fire department holds a very special part in my heart."
Nigro had the painful task of running the rescue and recovery operation in Lower Manhattan after the terror attacks. He retired from the department in 2002. He has been receiving a disability pension for respiratory problems. He said he will no longer be getting it as fire commissioner.
One of the biggest challenges facing the new commissioner will be moving the department forward after the settlement of a lawsuit in which the fire department was accused of racial bias. Both the new commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio said improving diversity within the department is a top priority.
"We have to create an atmosphere of inclusion and a recruiting effort that really gives a wide range of New Yorkers an understanding of what an extraordinary career this can be," de Blasio said.
Nigro's 93-year-old father, a retired FDNY captain, was on hand for the announcement, along with Nigro's family. The incoming commissioner grew up, in a sense, in the department, and now, after ending his retirement, he is coming back home.