SILive - July 28, 2018STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Sixty-eight firefighters were promoted during an FDNY ceremony Thursday in Brooklyn.
New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro reminded each of them of the enormous responsibly they are undertaking.
"You have all demonstrated to us that you are more than capable of being a leader in the FDNY," Nigro said. "A great deal has been asked of you already in your careers, and starting today, we will ask even more of you."
A total of 30 firefighters were promoted to the rank of lieutenant, 15 lieutenants were promoted to captain and 20 were promoted to the rank of fire marshal. Two firefighters were promoted to supervisor fire marshal Level I, and one firefighter was promoted to supervisor fire marshal Level II.
Among the many who were promoted was Lt. Mike Galard.
Galard credited his uncle, Battalion Chief Joseph Grzelak, as his inspiration for joining the Fire Department.
Grzelak, a lifelong resident of Port Richmond, died in the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. The chief of Battalion 48 in the Prospect Park section of Brooklyn, Grzelak was dispatched to Tower 1 at 8:55 a.m. on Sept. 11.
"He is the main reason I decided to join the department in the first place," Galard said. "Even if he was alive, he would have made me take the test because he loved the job so much. He never had a bad thing to say about it."
"I'm excited to learn a new aspect of this job and play a different role," he continued. "I'm sad to be leaving the firehouse that taught me everything, but I'm ready to start this new chapter."
The promoted firefighters will be assigned to units throughout the city.
Nigro left them with final words about leadership.
"How you lead affects the rest of the firehouse. Never forget you are the ones that lead," he said. "Our lieutenants, captains and fire marshals are all important and you as our officers risk a lot to save lives and continue to keep New Yorkers safe."