News Release -- Mayor Evans Taps State Deputy Fire Administrator Stefano Napolitano as New Rochester Fire Chief

City of Rochester

News Release 

(Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans today announced he has appointed Deputy State Fire Administrator and former Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano as the City of Rochester’s new permanent Fire Chief, effective Sept. 11.

“Chief Napolitano has dedicated his entire adult life to fire service and brings nearly 40 years of experience to continuing the improvement and excellence of the Rochester Fire Department,” said Mayor Evans. “His start date of Sept. 11, a day when our nation collectively honors the selfless heroism of firefighters and first responders, is a stark reminder of the magnitude of the role I have asked Chief Napolitano to fill. I look forward to working with him as we move closer to creating a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone.”

“I cannot wait to join the ranks of the RFD,” said Chief Napolitano. “The men and women of City Fire have set the highest standards for excellence and growth and I have much to glean from their experience and passion. I am humbled to share my knowledge and training to collectively reinforce the RFD’s recognition as one of the nation's premier fire service agencies.”

Chief Napolitano, 56, has been the Deputy N.Y. State Fire Administrator with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control since 2021, and was Batavia’s Fire Chief, Emergency Manager and Flood Plain Manager from 2017 to 2021.
He began his career in the fire service in 1986 as volunteer firefighter for the Village of Frankfort Fire Department until 1991, and then as a professional firefighter and officer with the Village of Herkimer Fire Department, where he rose to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.

Recognized as a subject matter expert and known for his comprehensive and compassionate approach to education and training, Chief Napolitano is a New York State Fire Instructor, instructing outreach classes and courses within the Recruit Firefighter Training, Fire and Emergency Service Instructor, and Fire Officer coursework.

He holds a master's degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership, a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, and an associate’s degree in Fire Protection Technology.
Chief Napolitano will replace Interim Chief Teresa Everett, who has led the RFD since the retirement of Chief Felipe Hernandez in February 2023. Chief Everett delayed her own retirement to fill the interim role at the request of Mayor Evans.

“I want to thank Chief Everett for her outstanding leadership of the Rochester Fire Department and service to the people of Rochester, which afforded me the ability to find the best possible person to be the RFD’s new permanent leader,” Mayor Evans said.

Chief Napolitano will serve in an acting role pending his confirmation by the Rochester City Council.


News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Barbara Pierce at

The Administration of Mayor Malik D. Evans strives to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester by inspiring hope and delivering opportunity for everyone. Guided by the Administration’s Mission, Vision and Values and the principles of the “Rochester 2034” comprehensive plan, City employees are committed to providing exceptional customer service, transparent stewardship, and collaborative leadership to foster a vibrant community that empowers personal, professional and generational growth for all who live, work or play in the city of Rochester.


Fire Safety