Council OKs first Latino fire chief in LA history

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Updated: 8/08/2014 12:29 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The City Council has confirmed the mayor's appointment of Ralph Terrazas as the new head of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Terrazas becomes the first Latino fire chief in the department's 128-year history.

He was named to the job last month by Mayor Eric Garcetti after a nationwide search. The council's confirmation came Friday.

Terrazas was an assistant chief and is a 30-year LAFD veteran.

He will take charge of a department with 3,500 employees and a number of challenges. There have been scandals over poor emergency-response times and nepotism in hiring.

Garcetti says he wants Terrazas to cut those response times and reform the department.

Terrazas replaces former Chief Brian Cummings — who retired last October — and acting Chief James Featherstone.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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