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Rob Covert selected to serve as permanent chief of Ithaca Fire Department

The City of Ithaca and the Ithaca Fire Department have announced the promotion of Acting Chief Rob Covert to Fire Chief. This news comes as a result of Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis’s recommendation of Chief Covert to the Common Council at their meeting held last night.

The Common Council voted unanimously to appoint Covert as the permanent Fire Chief for the Ithaca Fire Department. Mayor Lewis commended Covert’s 30-year service as a Fire Fighter, Deputy Chief, and most recently, Acting Chief. She stated that his long-standing commitment to serving the community speaks volumes about his professional experience and dedication. The Mayor believes that his strong, steady leadership will serve the department well.


Chief Covert came to Ithaca from Seneca County and graduated from Cornell University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Labor Relations. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Fire Administration and a Master of Public Administration degrees. He started his career with Ithaca Fire in 1992 and has been a vital part of the department since then. Covert has been an Intelligence Liaison Officer and a State Fire Instructor for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The Ithaca Fire Department employs 64 career personnel who work from four stations, serving both the City and Town of Ithaca. The department provides fire, rescue, emergency medical, and other essential services to an area of 33 square miles with a population of over 90,000. Chief Covert emphasizes the personal and professional development of the department’s members as the best way to accomplish its mission.


Chief Covert expressed his gratitude to the Mayor and the Common Council for their support. He feels privileged to lead an organization with so many talented and dedicated men and women.

The appointment of Chief Covert to Fire Chief marks a new era for the Ithaca Fire Department, and the community looks forward to the continued growth and development of the department under his leadership.