Vice Mayor Julio Guzman presented Chief Ricardo Centeno with a prestigious award at the June Special Council Presentation, recognizing and expressing gratitude for his tireless dedication and courageous work. At the presentation Vice Mayor Guzman celebrated his remarkable journey from humble beginnings to his current role as Chief of the Tenth Battalion of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR).
“He is a shining example of the American dream,” remarked Vice Mayor Guzman, “and we are proud to call him one of Homestead’s own”
Chief Centeno's roots in Homestead run deep, as his grandparents arrived as migrant farm workers in the 1960s. Witnessing the struggles faced by his parents, who also worked in the fields at the Redland Labor Camp, Chief Centeno was motivated to break the cycle and forge a different path. Following his graduation from South Dade High School, Chief Centeno wasted no time and enrolled in the necessary courses to pursue his dream of becoming a Firefighter/Paramedic. While awaiting employment, he served as one of the first lifeguards at the Homestead YMCA and worked as a meter reader for the City of Homestead. In 1997, his dedication paid off as he was hired as a Firefighter for Metro-Dade Fire Rescue, marking the beginning of an illustrious career.
Through unwavering commitment and relentless perseverance, Chief Centeno climbed through the ranks, earning the positions of Lieutenant and Captain before assuming his current role as Chief of the Tenth Battalion of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. His responsibilities encompass the areas of Homestead, Florida City, Leisure City, Naranja, the Redlands, and Everglades—a testament to his vast expertise and trusted leadership.
It is fitting that Chief Centeno's office is located at the Fire Station that initially captivated his imagination and kindled his passion for firefighting—the very place where he was born and raised, the City of Homestead. His remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to the entire community, showcasing the power of determination and the transformative potential of embracing one's calling.