A high-ranking member of a Westchester fire department has died after contracting novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
New Rochelle Fire Capt. Andrew DiMaggio died following a drawn-out battle with COVID-19. The father of four had been with the department since 1989, spending 31 years “mastering his skills as a firefighter.”
DiMaggio was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2005, rising to the rank of captain eight years ago, in 2012, where his first assignment was as a training officer for the department.
According to the New Rochelle Fire Department, “as a training officer, “he was invaluable with his knowledge and found his calling; Andy was a teacher. He was well known and admired throughout the county and state for his knowledge, skills, and teaching ability.”
DiMaggio was certified as both a county and state fire instructor and held numerous Instructor Authorizations on a bevy of topics. During his career, DiMaggio is credited with training hundreds of new recruits from throughout the country at the Westchester County Career Chief’s Fire Academy.
Department officials said: “Andy was the man we could depend on to figure out a solution to anything in any situation. He was what every firefighter aspires to be.
“Today we mourn the loss of our brother who we have worked beside for countless hours, shared meals, spent holidays with, and has become part of our family. Captain DiMaggio will be missed more than words can express. Andy will always be remembered for his warm smile and a strong handshake. While we will be left with an empty space in our hearts, just know that we are all better firefighters because of what you have taught us.”
DiMaggio also spent three years with the Hartsdale Fire Department from 1992 to 1994.
"During his time as a Hartsdale Firefighter, he was involved in multiple significant fires including the 1993 fire at 68 East Hartsdale Ave," the department posted online. "It was at this fire he saved one of his fellow members from a ceiling collapse. Even after his return to New Rochelle, Andy was always a friend and brother to our department. He was heavily involved in multiple Career Fire Academy command staffs that trained a large number of our current members. He was also on the command staff for the Technical Rescue Squads and Hazmat WMD Squads. He has operated alongside and taught a large majority of our members."
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