On Thursday, June 24, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro hosted a swearing – in ceremony where he appointed Thomas J. Richardson as Chief of Department, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY and John J. Hodgens as FDNY Chief of Fire Operations.
The FDNY Foundation congratulates Chief Richardson and Chief Hodgens and we wish them both the best of luck in their new roles!
Chief Richardson is a 40-year veteran who has served as the Chief of Fire Operations since 2019. He will oversee the Department’s 16,000 uniformed Firefighters and EMS personnel and four major agency Bureaus: Fire Operations, EMS Operations, Training and Fire Prevention. Chief Richardson joined the FDNY in 1980. His first assignment was at Engine 227 in Brooklyn, and he later worked at Ladder 102 and Rescue 2. In 1990, he was promoted to Lieutenant and worked in Battalion 16 in Harlem for a year before returning to Brooklyn when he was assigned to Engine 235. He was promoted again in 1994 and served as the Captain of Engine 234 in Crown Heights and later of Squad 270 in Queens. In September of 2000, he was promoted to Battalion Chief. He has been cited for bravery six times in his career, including for the rescue of a 15-year-old boy from a fire in Brooklyn on January 10, 1989. At that incident, Firefighter Richardson was lowered by his lifesaving rope from the roof of a three-story brownstone and rescued the teenager who was trapped by a fire. He was awarded the Dr. Albert A. Cinelli Medal for his heroic actions. FDNY Chief of Department Thomas J. Richardson said, “I am honored Commissioner Nigro has selected me to serve as the 37th Chief of Department. During my career in the FDNY I have witnessed remarkable acts of sacrifice, compassion, heroism, and above all else, bravery, by the members of our great Department. The men and women who serve as FDNY Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics are the gold standard for all first responders. Our members are out there each and every day, focused on our mission of saving lives and protecting the citizens of this great city. I am truly honored and humbled to lead them as their Chief.”
Chief Hodgens is a 35-year veteran who has most recently served as Assistant Chief of Fire Operations. As Chief of Fire Operations, Chief Hodgens will oversee the day-to-day work of more than 11,000 Firefighters, Fire Officers and Chiefs. He will also oversee the Department’s highly trained special units including Hazardous Materials, Marine Operations, Rescue Operations, and Specialized Operations Command. Chief Hodgens joined the Department in 1986, and his first assignment was at Ladder 11 in Manhattan. He worked there until his promotion to Lieutenant in 1998, when he was transferred to Battalion 41 in Brooklyn, and was later assigned to Ladder 157 in Flatbush. Five years later, he was promoted to Captain and worked in the 8th Division on Staten Island, later becoming the officer in charge of Ladder Company 87 in Eltingville. In 2006, he was promoted to Battalion Chief and assigned to Battalion 38, where he and Chief Richardson served together for five years. In 2012, he was promoted to Deputy Chief and served as the Division Commander of Division 8, responsible for fire companies assigned to Staten Island and Brooklyn. He has been cited for bravery twice in his career, including the rescue of an unconscious occupant from a fire in a Lower East Side apartment building in 1992 as a Firefighter in Ladder 11. He was awarded the Emerald Society Medal for his heroic actions. FDNY Chief of Fire Operations John J. Hodgens said, “Each day, our Firefighters perform incredible acts of bravery, battling fires, providing emergency medical care, responding to dangerous incidents, and carrying out elaborate rescues. It is a tremendous honor to serve as Chief of Fire Operations, and I look forward to working closely with my fellow leaders in the Department to further advance our lifesaving mission.”
To view today’s swearing-in ceremony, visit: bit.ly/20210624SwearingIn