LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Fire Department is on course to get its first-ever female fire chief.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday morning that LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas, who has served in the position since 2014, is retiring, and that Garcetti is nominating Kristin Crowley as his replacement.
Crowley, a 22-year veteran of the department, currently serves as the LAFD deputy fire chief and fire marshal. She is also LAFD's first ever female fire marshal.
"I look for who's best, not just who makes history, because the protection of this city, first and foremost, has to go to the human being who is best prepared to lead," Garcetti said in a news conference Tuesday at the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center in Elysian Park. "But let me be clear, that is Kristin Crowley."
"I'm so very grateful that I have the opportunity to wake up each and every day and work for, and with, a world class organization that is filled with talented, dedicated and committed members," Crowley said at the news conference.
Last October, Terrazas faced calls to resign over allegations that he allowed a culture of sexism, harassment and abuse to spread throughout the department. He also faced challenges over the past year with staffing shortages because of the coronavirus pandemic and opposition from firefighters to comply with the city's vaccination mandates. Terrazas himself made history as the first Latino to lead the agency.
"After nearly four decades of service to our city, he is ready for his well earned retirement," Garcetti said Tuesday.
If confirmed by the L.A. City Council, Crowley would be the LAFD's 19th fire chief.
"Today I'm thrilled to announce with Mayor Garcetti, that for the first time in almost 136 years in serving our city, LAFD will be led by a woman," L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez said.
Terrazas said his last day will be March 26.
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