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RFD Chief Felipe Hernandez Retires After 23 Years on the Force

In the Community: A City of Rochester News Release

Rochester Fire Department Chief Felipe Hernandez. Photo from

Rochester Fire Department Chief Felipe Hernandez recently announced his retirement, effective Feb. 10, 2023. Chief Hernandez has served 23 years with the department, climbing the ranks to Interim Chief in March 2021 and to Chief in January 2022. Hernandez made history becoming the first Latino to lead the department.

“I appreciate the decades Chief Hernandez has committed to the RFD and to the safety of the citizens of Rochester,” said Mayor Malik Evans.

The search for Rochester’s next Fire Chief is underway. During the search, RFD’s Executive Deputy Chief of Administration Theresa Everett will serve as Interim Chief. Interim Chief Everett has served in leadership roles with the RFD for nearly four years, and previously served as Deputy Fire Chief in Baltimore, Md., and as Fire Chief in Gary, Ind. Everett service will make her the department’s first female chief and first Black woman to lead the department. “Theresa Everett brings unparalleled experience to the Interim Chief role, and I thank her for her continued leadership as we identify the next permanent Chief of the RFD,” Evans said. “She has expressed her intention to retire later this year and is the ideal person to serve as the department’s leader during the search.”

The Mayor plans to identify and vet both internal and external candidates for the position. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply at

Executive Deputy Chief of Administration Theresa Everett. Photo from


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