One day after the FDNY mourned the loss of its fallen brothers during the 9/11 attacks, members had a reason to celebrate. One of their own, former FDNY Chief John Nasta, celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Sofia Restaurant in Bay Ridge, surrounded by family, friends and members of the FDNY.
The smiling Brooklyn-born-and-raised centenarian spent 34 years with the FDNY and retired at the rank of battalion chief of FDNY Battalion 40 at Fourth Avenue and 51st Street in Brooklyn. At the time, he was the longest serving fire officer in FDNY history.
Nasta started his career with the FDNY in 1942, but after six months he was called to serve in the Navy during World War II. Because he had some training in the Fire Department, he was put in charge of training thousands of Navy recruits in fire safety while stationed in San Diego, before being sent to serve in Hawaii.
When the war ended he returned home to Brooklyn and began his 34-year career in the FDNY.
Nasta’s beloved wife Alice died in 2005. But with the support of his sister Gloria, nieces, nephews and close friends, he still maintains an active lifestyle.