Ralph Terrazas announces retirement
By Sam Catanzaro
Officials this week announced that Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas will retire after nearly 40 years of service to the Los Angeles Fire Department — and that Kristin Crowley, a top deputy with a stellar 25-year track, has been nominated as its next Chief. If confirmed, Crowley would be the LAFD’s first female chief.
Crowley, currently Acting Administrative Operations Chief Deputy and Fire Marshal, is a 22-year veteran of the Fire Department. She made history as the Department’s first female Fire Marshal and is the second woman to earn the rank of Chief Deputy.
In her current role, she helped to develop a five-year strategic plan to identify areas of growth within the Department and foster culture more open to change. As Chief, she plans to work to both deepen existing efforts and create new mechanisms to foster equity and inclusion in the Department.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to be the next Fire Chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department and to lead the Department into the future,” Crowley said. “As the Fire Chief, if confirmed, I vow to take a strategic and balanced approach to ensure we meet the needs of the community we serve. We will focus our efforts on increasing our operational effectiveness, enhancing firefighter safety and well-being, and fully commit to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture within the LAFD.
Chief Terrazas, who was sworn in as L.A.’s Fire Chief in 2014, was the first Latino to serve in that role. A 39-year veteran of the Department, Chief Terrazas helped steer the City through some of its greatest challenges, and brought about meaningful advancements and innovations within the Fire Department.
“It was a privilege to serve as the Fire Chief of this world-class Department,” Terrazas said. “For nearly eight years, we made considerable strides in technology, implemented innovative ways to respond to emergencies, and became a model for other agencies. Chief Crowley is an exemplary leader and has a broad base of experience that will serve the Department well. She has risen through the ranks over the past 26 years and I proudly promoted her three times during my tenure because she demonstrated a commitment to advancing the Department. Chief Crowley has been successful at every position and I expect her success to continue as the next Fire Chief.”