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The FDNY appointed a new chief of department Thursday — as the 40-year veteran’s longtime colleague was tapped to fill his old role as chief of fire operations.
“I’m truly humbled and honored to be promoted to chief of the department,” Thomas Richardson said at his swearing-in ceremony, adding, “I want to thank Commissioner [Daniel] Nigro for having the confidence in me to lead the department.”
Richardson, who joined the department in 1980 at Engine Company 227 in Brooklyn, was sworn in to the top spot with his son holding the Bible — a moment he said he’ll “never forget.”
Chief John Hodgens was also promoted to fill Richardson’s shoes in his former role as chief of fire operations.
Hodgens, a 35-year department vet, previously served as Richardson’s assistant and is a longtime friend of the new chief of department.
“My sincerest congratulations for a well-deserved promotion,” Richardson said. “I have the deepest respect for your talent and leadership skill and look forward to continuing our close working relationship. We have come a long way since our days in Battalion 38.”
Nigro lauded the two men, saying, “their leadership will ensure the safety of the more than 8 million New Yorkers our Department is sworn to protect, and the members of the FDNY who bravely serve our city each day.”
The unions also praised the pair.
“On behalf of all New York City Firefighters, we would like to congratulate Chief Richardson and Hodgens for their appointment to the two highest-ranking uniformed positions in the department,” said Andrew Ansbro, the president of the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association.
“They will provide the exceptional leadership needed as we begin this new era,” said Jake Lemonda, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.
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