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City of Ithaca News

Posted on: March 3, 2023

Robert M. Covert II Promoted to Ithaca’s New Fire Chief

Chief Covert

Robert M. Covert II Promoted to Ithaca’s New Fire Chief

The City of Ithaca and the Ithaca Fire Department are pleased to announce the promotion of Acting Chief Rob Covert to Fire Chief. Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis had this to say regarding her recommendation of Chief Covert to Common Council at their Wednesday, March 1, 2023, meeting: “I am so pleased that the Common Council voted unanimously to promote Acting Chief Rob Covert to the permanent position of Fire Chief for the Ithaca Fire Department. Chief Covert’s long-standing commitment to serving our community as a 30-year Fire Fighter, Deputy Chief, and, most recently, as Acting Chief speaks volumes about his professional experience and dedication. His strong, steady leadership will serve the department well and I look forward to working with him in this role. I was honored to submit his name to council and thrilled by their enthusiastic support of his appointment.” Chief Covert came to Ithaca from Seneca County, New York 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 began his career with Ithaca Fire in 1992. While serving in the department, he studied at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and received his Master of Arts Security Studies in 2013. He currently serves as an Intelligence Liaison Officer and a State Fire Instructor for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Serving both the City and Town of Ithaca, IFD employs 64 career personnel who work from four stations to provide fire, rescue, emergency medical, and many other services to an area of 33 square miles and a population that can top 90,000. Chief Covert emphasizes the personal and professional development of the members of the Department as the best way to accomplish its stated mission.
In response to his promotion, Chief Covert said, “I thank the Mayor and Common Council for their support. It is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead an organization with so many talented and dedicated men and women. 

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