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Meet LAFD's Fire Chief-Select; Ralph M. Terrazas

Monday, August 18, 2014

We would like to introduce Ralph M. Terrazas, the Fire Chief-select for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). He is currently an LAFD Assistant Fire Chief assigned to the South Division.

Color head shot of Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. Smiling Latino with dark hair and mustache.
In his current assignment as the South Division “A” Platoon Commander, Chief Terrazas is responsible for leading, managing, and training the approximately 500 members on-duty at 54 fire stations throughout seven battalion commands. The South Division Command covers half of the City and includes the complex institutions of the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport.

Terrazas is a 31-year veteran of the LAFD and during his tenure he has served as a chief officer for 14 years in a variety of field and administrative commands. He established the Department’s Professional Standards Division (PSD), which upgraded and professionalized the LAFD’s disciplinary system; applied metric-based management at the Division and Battalion level to achieve continual improvement and data tracking of specific objectives; led the development and passage of the Proposition “F” Fire Station Bond, which enabled the construction of 19 new LAFD stations; served as the Community Liaison Officer, and is the holder of a U.S. Patent for a “Brush Fire Rate of Spread” tool and an Emmy Award of Excellence for production of a public service announcement program.

Terrazas was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was raised in nearby Wilmington. He is a graduate of Banning High School, where he played on two City Championship football teams. He retains strong ties to the Wilmington community through his founding and support of the Banning High School/LAFD Fire Academy, which has mentored high school students towards successful professional careers for the past 14 years.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and a Certificate in Fire Protection Administration from San Diego State University. In 1995, he received Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Human Resource Management from California State University, Los Angeles. He was appointed to the LAFD in December 1983, fulfilling a lifelong goal of a professional career in the fire and EMS service.

Terrazas and his wife Dayna, a registered nurse, have three children and are long-time residents of San Pedro.

James G. Featherstone remains the Interim Fire Chief until Chief Terazzas is confirmed by city council. We expect formal confirmation early August 2014.

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