1 of 3 | Laura Kavanagh is officially sworn in as the Fire Department of New York’s commissioner on Thursday, marking the first time in 157 years a woman has led the FDNY. Photo courtesy of Fire Department of New York
Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Laura Kavanagh was officially installed as the Fire Department of New York's newest commissioner on Thursday, marking the first time in 157 years a woman has led the FDNY.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams officially swore in Kavanagh at a ceremony Thursday alongside the department's other top female officers.
Kavanagh, 40, has been serving as FDNY acting fire commissioner since February after longtime Commissioner Daniel Nigro retired. She previously held the post of first deputy commissioner and has been with the department for a decade.
"This story, my story, is a quintessentially New York City story. New York City's story is fundamentally one of making the impossible possible," Kavanagh said during the ceremony, becoming the department's first female top officer since it was founded on July 31, 1865.
"For nearly a decade, I have served, learned from and worked on behalf of the New York City Fire Department. I have seen the sacrifices our men and women make, the talent and training they possess, and the bravery they display saving lives and protecting our city.
"This is the greatest city in the world and the greatest fire department in the world. To serve both is the honor of a lifetime."
Her duties will now include overseeing the day-to-day administration of the agency's 17,000 employees and $2 billion budget, across 254 stations, covered by 14 divisions made up of 53 battalions.
Before serving with the FDNY, Kavanagh worked at City Hall as a special assistant to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"Laura Kavanagh is a proven and tested leader, and I'm proud to announce her historic appointment today," Adams said at the swearing in ceremony.
"No matter her role, Commissioner Kavanagh has always been a leader -- from helping to lead the FDNY's response to the Ebola outbreak in 2015 to steering the ship during the COVID-19 pandemic, to directing a firefighter recruitment program that resulted in the most diverse applicant pool in the department's history.
"New Yorkers and New York City's 'Bravest' deserve an exceptional leader and Commissioner Kavanagh has the vision, the skills, and the compassion to lead the FDNY into the future."