Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday nominated Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley to lead the Los Angeles Fire Department.
With Chief Ralph Terrazas retiring after nearly 40 years of service, Crowley would become the first woman to lead the agency if she is confirmed by the City Council.
Crowley, who is currently Acting Administrative Operations Chief Deputy and Fire Marshal, is a 22-year veteran of LAFD.
“Throughout her distinguished career, Kristin Crowley has proven her brilliance, determination and bravery on the job again and again,” Garcetti said. “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.”
Crowley has previously made history as LAFD’s first female Fire Marshal and only the second woman to earn the rank of Chief Deputy.
“Today 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,” Council President Nury Martinez said.
Crowley said that if she’s confirmed as fire chief, she will focus efforts on bettering operational effectiveness, enhancing firefighter safety and committing to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture at LAFD.
“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.”
Crowley’s nomination comes as LAFD is faced with complaints of harassment from female firefighters, the Los Angeles Times reported
About 56% of sworn female employees cited bullying and harassment as sources of conflict at LAFD in a survey released in November, according to the Times.
There have been calls for Terrazas to resign following the allegations of female firefighters facing hazing, bullying and sexual harassment.
Terrazas is now retiring after 39 years at the agency. He was sworn in as L.A.’s Fire Chief in 2014, becoming the first Latino to lead the agency.
“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 22 years and I proudly promoted her three times during my tenure because she demonstrated a commitment to advancing the Department,” Terrazas added.