AUSTIN, Texas - Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr has announced her retirement from the Austin Fire Department (AFD), effective July 1, 2018.
Chief Kerr had joined the AFD in 2009 as its first female chief after serving as the Little Rock Fire Department's first female chief from 2005-2009.
Earlier in her career, Chief Kerr spent more than 20 years rising through the ranks to the position of Assistant Chief at Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.
During the next four months, she plans to complete several projects before joining Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue as its new Fire Chief, the department where she started her career in the fire service more than 30 years ago.
“Although the decision to leave Austin did not come easily, Fort Lauderdale holds a special place in my heart,” said Chief Kerr. “So when the opportunity arose to return there and close out my career as the leader of that organization, I just couldn’t say no.”
Chief Kerr also served as President of the IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs) from 2015 – 2016, the first time a woman was elected to that position in the organization’s history. She was also President of the Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association from 2016 – 2017. In December 2016, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, where she serves alongside academic, public, and private experts who advise the sitting President on matters regarding the security of critical infrastructure and related information systems. She sits on various committees and boards, and is a member of several state, national, and international fire service associations. She has also been honored as a Girl Scouts of Central Texas Woman of Distinction.
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