Garcetti names his new fire chief

lafd-chief-terrazas.jpgMayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled LAFD assistant chief Ralph M. Terrazas as the new head of the department. Terrazas will be the first Latino chief of the LAFD that anyone can recall. He is 54 and grew up in Wilmington.

Interim chief James G. Featherstone is going back to head the city's emergency management department.

From the mayor's flackage:

Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed LAFD Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas to be the next Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Terrazas has served 30 years with LAFD, including 21 years as a Fire Officer and 14 years of major command experience as a Chief Officer.

"Reforming the fire department is vital to the safety of our families and to my back to basics agenda," said Mayor Garcetti. "After an exhaustive nationwide search, I have decided there is no better person to cut response times, improve technology, and bring reform to the Los Angeles Fire Department than Chief Ralph Terrazas."

"I will dedicate our efforts on transforming the LAFD into a metric driven, technologically sophisticated, community-focused organization that is reflective of the communities we serve," said Chief Terrazas. "I want to thank Mayor Garcetti, and I believe this is confirmation for his trust and confidence in the men and women of the LAFD."

Terrazas established the Professional Standards Division and was responsible for all aspects of the LAFD disciplinary system. He was also instrumental in the passage of Proposition F, a $532 million bond for 19 new fire stations and holds a U.S. Patent

He holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Public Administration.

"As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I look forward to working with Chief Terrazas in cutting response times and instituting a data-driven culture at the Los Angeles Fire Department with the implementation of FireSTAT LA," said Councilmember Mitch Englander.

"Chief Terrazas is the ideal leader to shape a strong future for the Los Angeles Fire Department through a rare combination of field experience and management skill," said Delia Ibarra, President of the Los Angeles Fire Commission. “I would also like to thank Chief Featherstone for leading the department during a difficult time and for beginning to build a strong foundation for Chief Terrazas to build on.”

Terrazas' nomination is subject to confirmation by the City Council. His salary will be $292,424.40.

Photo: Branimir Kvartuc

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