In this Podcast episode, we’re honored to share the story of FDNY Chief William M. Feehan’s leadership, service, and devotion to his family and the FDNY, compliments of insight from his son, FDNY Battalion Chief John Feehan, his grandson Firefighter Connor Davan, and former FDNY Fire Commissioner and friend, Daniel Nigro.
FDNY Chief William Feehan—better known as Bill—was a knowledge center of the New York City Fire Department. Chief Bill Feehan was well-versed on a wide range of subjects and possessed exceptional leadership qualities. He was a “firefighter’s chief” who held every rank in the FDNY and served the Department for more than 41 years. His command philosophy and leadership style were shaped by his love for the United States, New York City, the FDNY and its members, his Catholic faith and his devotion to his family. Chief Feehan was a strategic minded leader who balanced the necessity to innovate with an appreciation for the FDNY’s special culture, storied past and human spirit.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Bill Feehan was a FDNY Deputy Commissioner. He’d retired from uniformed service several years before but continued to serve his beloved Department and City. In true Chief Feehan fashion, he responded to the World Trade Center attacks that morning, donning his helmet and turnout coat as he provided counsel to the Department’s senior leaders such as Chief of Department Pete Ganci. Chief Feehan was one of the 343 FDNY members of who made the Supreme Sacrifice on 9/11, leaving behind an enduring mark on the Department and a legacy that continues to inspire many members in the FDNY today, most notably those members of his family who continue to lead and serve.