Public Safety

Hernandez Sworn In As Alexandria’s Fire Chief

The city's first permanent Latino chief begins his new role July 8

Alexandria’s new fire chief, Felipe Hernandez Jr., speaks at City Hall during his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. (Photo: City of Alexandria)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-On Tuesday at City Hall, Felipe Hernandez Jr. was sworn in as Alexandria’s new fire chief. He takes over for Interim Chief James Schwartz beginning July 8.

“This is a great fire department. My job is to maintain and build on that greatness,” said Hernandez in remarks during the ceremony. “I see the department as an important part of the community and part of how we continue to keep moving forward.”

In addition to leading the fire department, he will also be in charge of its Emergency Medical Services. Hernandez has more than 25 years of experience. Before coming to Alexandria, he led the fire department in Rochester, NY. Most recently, he served as the Superintendent of the New York State Academy of Fire Science.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Chief Hernandez, who will become Alexandria’s first permanent Latino fire chief,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “He brings deep experience in labor relations, a modern, data-driven approach to firefighting, emergency medical service and emergency management, and what we understand is an off-the-charts energy that we know will be valued here in the city.”

Hernandez is a designated Chief Fire Officer. He holds certifications in fire officer instruction, health, and incident safety.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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