Austin's fire chief to retire

Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr announced on Wednesday she will be retiring from the Austin Fire Department July 1, 2018.

Kerr worked at AFD for more than nine years. She plans to head back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she began her career. She will join Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue as their new fire chief.

"Although the decision to leave Austin did not come easily, many of you know that Fort Lauderdale is where I began my career in the fire service and it holds a special place in my heart," Kerr said in a message to her staff. "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."  

Kerr took on the role of Austin Fire Department's first female fire chief in 2009 following five years in Little Rock as their fire chief. She also served as the first woman president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2015-2016 and was appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council by President Barack Obama in December 2016.

Kerr plans to complete several projects in the next four months prior to her departure.