Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez announced on Jan. 18 the nomination of the first female chief for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Current LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas will retire after nearly 40 years of service, and Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley, a top deputy with 22 years of service to the LAFD, will be vetted as Terrazas’ successor. If confirmed by the City Council, Crowley, who currently serves as acting administrative operations chief deputy and fire marshal, will be the 19th fire chief and the first woman to lead the LAFD.
“We’re living through an unprecedented moment that has called on our fire department not just to protect us – but to lead us in the fight to overcome public safety challenges we’ve never faced before. At the same time, the LAFD is leading a transformative national discussion about strengthening equity and inclusion within the firefighting ranks, and we must overcome those internal challenges too,” Garcetti said. “Throughout her distinguished career, Kristin Crowley has proven her brilliance, determination and bravery on the job again and again. She’s also shown this city her heart, with her tireless commitment to helping students access life-changing educational opportunities. There is no one better equipped to lead the LAFD at this moment than Kristin. She’s ready to make history, and I’m proud to nominate her as the department’s next chief.”
“[This] is a big moment in this city. For the first time in its history the Los Angeles Fire Department will be led by a woman,” said Martinez, 6th District. “Chief Kristin Crowley is known by her colleagues and by this city as someone who is dedicated, hard-working and goes above and beyond what is expected of her. This announcement is not just important for the city of Los Angeles, but for girls across L.A. who never imagined they could one day serve as chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department.”
Crowley is 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 a culture more open to change. As chief, she plans to broaden existing efforts and create new mechanisms to foster equity and inclusion in the department.
Crowley also serves as program director for the LAFD’s youth development program, has played a key role in ensuring that over 1,000 LAUSD high school students continue their education.
“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. Thank you, Mayor Garcetti, Council President Martinez and Chief Terrazas, for entrusting me to lead and to work with the dedicated women and men of the finest department in the world.”
Terrazas, who was sworn in as fire chief in 2014, was the first Latino to serve in the position. A 39-year veteran of the department, Terrazas helped steer the city through challenges and furthered advancements and innovations within the fire department, city leaders said.
“Ralph Terrazas has dedicated his life to keeping the people of Los Angeles safe. For nearly 40 years, he has served our fire department with bravery, determination and compassion for the Angelenos he’s sworn to protect,” Garcetti added. “I couldn’t imagine having anyone else as fire chief, through some of the most difficult fire and public safety challenges L.A. has ever faced. And when a once-in-a-century pandemic hit, Ralph’s leadership and bold action helped us save countless lives. I am honored to have served alongside him, and I know the mark he’s left on this city will never be forgotten.”
“It was a privilege to serve as the fire chief of this world-class department,” Terrazas added. “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. Chief Crowley has been successful at every position and I expect her success to continue as the next fire chief.”
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.