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Rochester, N.Y. Fire Dept. Flag


On Friday, January 15, 2010, at 11:30a.m., employees of the City of Rochester Fire Department (RFD) unveiled and presented to Fire Chief John Caufield, in the presence of Mayor Robert Duffy, a newly redesigned RFD flag. The flag, which will be flown by the City of Rochester,  RFD fire trucks, and in RFD ceremonies, is the result of a yearlong process that came to fruition because of the tenacity, generosity and hard work of those involved in the project.

About a year ago, Firefighters Doug King and Roger L. Rebman Jr., Commanders of RFD Honor Guard, approached Fire Chief John Caufield hoping to be given permission to retire the current RFD Flag (the design of which features an ostrich) and begin designing a new flag. The idea was for the new flag to become the signature, or ensign, of the RFD. Following the Chief’s approval, FF. King and FF. Rebman began to develop ideas for a new design. When they took these ideas to John Hawk, City of Rochester Creative Director, he designed a beautiful emblem to represent the City of Rochester Fire Dept. After FF. King and FF. Rebman discovered that the production of custom flags can be pricey and therefore the project had reached a standstill, they were overheard discussing their misfortune by Michael Perotto, owner of Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home, while they conducted a ceremony for the RFD Honor Guard. Mr. Perotto stepped forward and offered to contribute $1,000 toward the production and purchase of the new flags. Because of the nature of the flag being designed, FF. Rebman approached "STARS & STRIPES The Flag Store," a project of Veterans Outreach Center, Inc. (VOC), to coordinate the flag’s production. FF. Rebman knew that 100% of the proceeds from sales at STARS & STRIPES go back into the programs and services that VOC offers Rochester area veterans and their family members. The production of the flag was no easy task, because the materials necessary to manufacture the flag to meet the design specifications were offered by two separate manufacturers. Betsy Lombardo, Veterans Advocate at STARS & STRIPES, worked diligently with FF. Rebman to ensure every detail was attended to, and the flag was produced to meet the high standards of the City of Rochester Fire Department. Because of the perseverance of Firefighters Rebman and King, the design talent of Mr. Hawk, the generosity of Bartolomeo & Perotto and the coordination of "STARS & STRIPES The Flag Store," the new RFD flag came to be. Acts such as these show what a strong community the Greater Rochester area is and how much can be accomplished if community organizations work together. 


The City of Rochester Fire Department Honor Guard would like to publicly and personally thank Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home, "STARS & STRIPES The Flag Store," and John Hawk.  These organizations and individuals went out of their way to make the process of designing a new flag for the Rochester Fire Department both enjoyable and memorable. Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home Inc. is family owned since 1922, and was founded to provide people throughout the Rochester, NY, region with the services and ceremonies they need to create a lasting remembrance of their family members and friends. Please visit www.bartolomeo.com or call 585-720-6000 for more information. "STARS & STRIPES The Flag Store" offers a variety of patriotic products, including men’s ties, women’s silk scarves, stars and stripes socks and history and military books. They are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information about the store and its products, please call 585-546-FLAG or visit www.eflagstore.com.

Veterans Outreach Center Inc., a not-for-profit charitable corporation, has been helping local veterans and their families since 1973. It is the oldest community based veteran outreach effort in the nation. Services include mental health and substance abuse counseling, vocational training and housing for homeless veterans. For more information about the agency and its programs, please visit www.veteransoutreachcenter.org or call 585-546-1081.

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