Kristin Crowley made history when she was appointed fire chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). She is the first-ever woman and LGBTQ person to hold this position!
Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that he will be replacing Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas with Kristin Crowley, a 22-year veteran of the department. The move comes after months of public complaints and infighting within the LAFD, which has been plagued by issues ranging from alleged harassment to hazing of female firefighters in Los Angeles, California.
Chief Terrazas has been widely criticized for his handling of these problems and the call for his resignation came from all quarters, with many accusing Terrazas of turning a blind eye to systemic harassment within the LAPD.
In a recent survey, more than half of the city's women firefighters revealed that they had experienced bullying and harassment. And only 13% said they felt like LAFD cared about them in any way. The results of the survey are alarming, but they're not surprising. For years, women firefighters have been fighting for basic respect and equality, and they've been met with resistance at every turn.
LAFD has a long way to go before it can truly be called a supportive and inclusive environment, but change is possible, especially with Crowley as the leader. It is hoped that she will be able to bring about much-needed change within the department.
In her new role, Crowley will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the LAFD, including its budget, personnel, and training. She will also be working closely with the Mayor's office to ensure that the department is best able to serve the people of Los Angeles.
The City Council has unanimously confirmed this appointment on March 1 and Chief Crowley was sworn in on March 25, accompanied by her wife and children.
This is a victory for the people of the city, who have been calling for change in the way their fire department is run.
Left to right: Nury Martinez, Kristin Crowley, Eric Garcetti and Ralph Terrazas (Photo: City of Los Angeles).
Kristin Crowley is an inspiration to all who know her. For 22 years, she has served her community as an active member of the LAFD. She started as a firefighter and then as a paramedic, engineer, fire inspector, captain, battalion chief, and assistant chief. She then became the department’s first female fire marshal, and later the second woman to earn the rank of deputy chief. Over the past few years, Crowley helped develop the LAFD’s youth development program. The program provides opportunities for young people to learn about fire safety and explore careers in the fire service.
Mayor Garcetti (photo by Emily Shur)
“Chief Crowley is a leader of exceptional character,” said Garcetti. “That brilliance and that commitment propelled her rise through the ranks of the LAFD.”
Fire Chief Kristin Crowley will face many challenges in her new role. One of the most important will be addressing the issue of bullying and harassment within the department. This is a sensitive issue, and one that has been in the news recently. But Crowley is committed to making the LAFD a safe and welcoming environment for all firefighters, regardless of their gender. This is a vital issue, and Crowley's appointment is a ray of hope for a better future for female firefighters.
“The intention here and now is to ensure that all of our members, both women and men, come to work and feel safe and feel heard,” she said. “If that type of behavior is occurring, that will not be tolerated. Period.”
Thanks to Crowley, the Los Angeles Fire Department is taking steps in the right direction to become a more inclusive and diverse organization. Under her leadership, the LAFD will be a place where all firefighters can feel respected and valued. This is a welcome change for women in firefighting.
Fire Chief Crowley has been praised for her commitment to the LGBTQ community. Los Angeles LGBTQ Center’s Executive Director Joe Hollendoner said that she is "highly committed to strengthening the relationship between the LAFD and the Los Angeles LGBTQ community."
We're thrilled to see Chief Crowley appointed as the Los Angeles Fire Department's first female and first lesbian chief! This is a big win for diversity and inclusion, and we congratulate her on this tremendous accomplishment. Chief Crowley has been a driving force behind the department's efforts to diversify its ranks, and she is immensely qualified for the role. We know that she will excel in her new role, and we look forward to seeing great things from her in the future!