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Former fire chief named Fire Department of New York commissioner, vows to increase diversity

New FDNY Commissioner.JPEG

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2001, file photo, Daniel Nigro, chief of the New York Fire Department, talks to journalists upon his arrival at Rome's Fiumicino airport. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio picked Nigro, a retired fire officer, as the next commissioner of the nation's largest fire department on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti) (The Associated Press)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) has appointed a retired fire officer to lead the nation's largest fire department.

De Blasio announced Daniel Nigro's (NEYE'-grohz) appointment Friday at a fire academy ceremony.

Nigro helped rebuild the Fire Department of New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The attacks killed 343 FDNY members, and hundreds more retired in the following months.

After the attacks Nigro was named chief of department, the FDNY's highest-ranking uniformed post. He retired in 2002.

De Blasio and Nigro vow to work on diversifying the FDNY, which is nearly 90 percent white.

De Blasio is a Democrat who took office in January. He says outgoing Commissioner Salvatore Cassano wasn't considered a candidate to stay on.

The FDNY has 10,000 firefighters and 3,000 emergency medical service personnel.

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