Seventy-nine members of the FDNY were promoted Tuesday. Deputy Assistant Chiefs...

Seventy-nine members of the FDNY were promoted Tuesday. Deputy Assistant Chiefs Fred Schaaf, left, and Michael Meyers were promoted to assistant chief. Credit: Reece T. Williams

The FDNY on Tuesday celebrated 79 promotions at a ceremony that excluded families and fellow firefighters as coronavirus infections surge in New York.

Nearly a third of the personnel moving up a rank live on Long Island.

Daniel Nigro, the FDNY commissioner, spoke at what he called "a good news, bad news ceremony," held at the department’s training academy on Randall’s Island.

"The good news far outweighs the bad. The good news is, you’re all being promoted, 79 promotions today. If we look back almost two years to when this pandemic started, we had no idea what the future was for the budget of our city and for our department, and the fact that we’ve been able to continue hiring and promoting is certainly a bonus," he said.

Past FDNY ceremonies and memorials — as in virtually all spheres of life — have been canceled, postponed, or had attendance capped, due to the pandemic. The surge in the virus' omicron variant caused yet another disruption Tuesday.

"The bad news is, we’re here without our families, without our firehouse families, although they are able to be with us virtually," he said, in remarks streamed on the FDNY's website.

Pre-pandemic, FDNY celebrations would be crowded, boisterous affairs packed with family, friends and fellow firefighters applauding, cheering and hooting.

FDNY celebrations, such as the annual medal day ceremony, above,...

FDNY celebrations, such as the annual medal day ceremony, above, held amid a lull in cases in June, are usually crowded, boisterous affairs. But fellow firefighters and family were absent from Tuesday's ceremony. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Tuesday's promotions included those to assistant chief, supervising fire marshal, battalion chief, captain and lieutenant, the department’s front-line supervisory position.

Chief of Department Thomas J. Richardson, the highest-ranking uniformed officer, reflected on the responsibilities of various ranks but said his favorite job was being a captain.

"When you become a company commander, you are in charge; it's your company, there's one captain, three lieutenants, 25 firefighters, or 20 firefighters," he said.

Amanda Farinacci, an FDNY spokeswoman, listed the Long Islanders who were promoted as:

  • Captains promoted to battalion chief: Richard J. Flynn of Smithtown; Kevin M. Mcelroy of Merrick; Kevin Gallagher of Levittown; John J. Haseney of West Islip; David R. Pace of Massapequa.
  • Lieutenants promoted to captain: Anthony M. Romano of Oceanside; Daniel Martin of Floral Park; Michael T. Quinn of East Northport; Charles A. Minicozzi Jr. of Huntington; Kevin J. Profitlich of Rockville Centre; Scott M. Coyne of Rockville Centre; Michael A. Schroeck of Farmingville; Stephen P. Lahey of Hewlett; Matthew M. Early of Malverne.
  • Firefighters promoted to lieutenant: Tony Mazor of Bellerose; Daniel M. Garcia of Mineola; Robert C. Landon of Long Beach; Benito Galarza of Smithtown; Thomas J. Edwards of West Islip; Joseph M. Parmentier of Babylon; Eugene Squires of Southampton; Patrick J. Carr of Bellerose; Justin A. Puvogel of Merrick.
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