Chief Mark Rohlfing’s background was impressive when he was hired to lead the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD) on May 3, 2010. He had been in the fire service for 27 years, and spent most of his firefighting career in his hometown Omaha, Nebraska. He also spent two and one half years as the Fire Chief for the Rapid City Department of Fire & Rescue in South Dakota.
Chief Rohlfing holds a Master of Science degree in Executive Fire Leadership from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and an Associate Degree in Fire Protection Technology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He is also a graduate of the Executive Fire Program of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Chief Rohlfing is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Wisconsin State Chief’s Association, and the Metro Chiefs Association. He also proudly serves on boards of the Salvation Army and St. Josaphat’s Basilica Foundation.
Chief Rohlfing is married to Maureen Rohlfing and the two have a son Ryan, currently attending Colorado State University, a daughter Kaitlin, who lives and works in the Denver metro area, and a daughter Jordan, who will graduated with her law degree from Madison in May 2014.
During his initial four years as the first MFD Chief hired outside of the department, Chief Rohlfing has appreciated the dedication and professionalism of the men and women who serve Milwaukee, while bringing fresh ideas to enhance an already tremendous department in which he takes great pride.
He has been extremely proactive in making continuous firefighting/EMS training a high priority, as well as strongly encouraging members to broaden their leadership education. He has worked tirelessly with union leaders to strive for fairness within the scope of reasonableness, creating a constructive joint operational atmosphere.
Year after year Chief Rohlfing has innovatively found ways to do more with less as budgets shrink, yet continuing to maintain the long-standing excellent service Milwaukee’s citizens and visitors have relied on. His dedicated focus on educating the public on fire safety remains the department’s strongest weapon against fire deaths.
In the areas of health and wellness, his team has made dramatic strides in researching and putting into motion fitness programs that focus on preventing injuries through proactive measures, while also instilling an awareness of the importance of how good mental health plays a significant role in members’ ability to remain focused and ready to take on any day’s challenges.