Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has named veteran assistant chief Ralph M. Terrazas to be the new Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Mayor expects the City Council to affirm his appointment and if so, the new Fire Chief will officially take over the Department in early August. The Mayor’s selection follows a nationwide search, after which the Mayor stated, “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 Terrazas.”
Raised in Los Angeles, Chief Terrazas has served the LAFD for 31 years, and during that time, has promoted to the current rank of Assistant Chief, overseeing South Division (the southern side of the city), as well as previous posts in the Community Liaison Office, Professional Standards, and other field operational positions. He will be the LAFD’s first Latino Fire Chief in a city with an estimated 48 percent Latino population*.
“The board of directors and members of The Safe Community Project and MySafe:LA offer our congratulations to Chief Terrazas,” David Barrett, MySafe:LA’s executive officer commented following the Mayor’s introductory press conference. “He is a strong collaborator, and we’re eager to see what he and his team can do to make the LAFD shine as a leader in service delivery, technology, and community outreach.” The new Fire Chief is no stranger to innovation and outreach, as he is the owner of a patent for a fire service-related device, and earned a daytime Emmy for a fire prevention video.
Chief Terrazas lives in San Pedro with his wife and three children.
MySafe:LA, a unit of The Safe Community Project delivers fire and life safety education and awareness with a variety of partners, including the Los Angeles Fire Department.
*Source: 2013 Census Bureau Statistics