• City of Miami Beach on Issuu
City of Miami Beach
1700 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Phone: 305.673.7000

Virgil Fernandez Fire Chief

Virgil Fernandez

Fire Chief

  • VirgilioFernandez@miamibeachfl.gov

  • 305.673.7120

  • City Manager Website

  • Fire Department Website

Areas of Responsibility: Fire & Rescue Department, Fire Prevention, PSCU, Emergency Management.

Virgil Fernandez was appointed chief of the Miami Beach Fire Department in February 2014 as the culmination of a distinguished firefighting career that has spanned more than four decades and taken him from the streets of his native Miami to New York’s ground zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Born in Miami on Jan. 28, 1962, Fernandez recently celebrated his 40th anniversary in public service after pursuing his dream of becoming a firefighter upon graduation from Miami’s Immaculata-La Salle High School in 1980.

Two years later, on March 8, 1982, his dream became reality when Fernandez was sworn in as a City of Miami firefighter. He spent more than 23 years of his career in the Magic City, risingthrough the ranks as a firefighter, driver engineer, lieutenant, captain, district chief, assistant fire chief and fire marshal.

It was during his time with the City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue that Fernandez also served as leader of Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team Task Force 2, which responds to various disasters throughout the United States as needed. These include earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms and tornadoes, floods, dam failures, technological accidents, terrorisand hazardous materials releases in which victims may be trapped, lost or injured.

Chief Fernandez spent two weeks leading search and rescue missions on behalf of the task force at ground zero when the unit was called to New York following the attacks that brought down thetwin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Before joining the City of Miami Beach, Fernandez served as fire chief of the City of Hollywood Department of Fire-Rescue and Beach Safety from June 2005 to 2014.

In addition to his fire service, Chief Fernandez also serves as a member of the Miami-Dade County Board of Rules and Appeals, a position he has held since 2001. The body hears appeals of building officials, grants temporary certificates of occupancy, temporary certificates of completion and issues interpretations of the building code. The board is empowered to conduct investigationsinto the enforcement of the code and hold hearings.

Chief Fernandez holds a bachelor’s degree from Barry University and a master’s degree from St. Thomas University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Fellowship Program from Harvard University. He holds multiple Florida certifications as a paramedic, fire inspector and fire instructor.

The chief and his wife, Monica, have been married for more than 30 years with two children: Elizabeth (Kris) and Danny. The couple has one grandson, Nico.