Rochester is getting a new fire chief. Mayor Lovely Warren announced on Thursday that the current chief, Will Jackson, will retire at the end of February after 25 years of service. Jackson took over leadership of the department just over two years ago and the mayor said that when Jackson became chief in 2018, he made a promise to his family that he would retire after 25 years of service.
Warren has named Felipe Hernandez Jr., a 20-year veteran of the RFD, who is currently Executive Deputy Chief, to be the interim chief when Jackson retires. With the appointment, Hernandez will be the first Latino to lead the Rochester Fire Department and officials say he may also be the first Latino in the state to lead a major fire department.
Hernandez has been second-in-command at the Rochester Fire Department since April 2019.
With a staff of 504 firefighters and civilian employees, RFD responds to approximately 36,000 calls for service each year.