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Council OKs first Latino fire chief in LA history

Council OKs first Latino fire chief in LA history
FILE - In this July 15, 2014, file photo, Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, and Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas shake hands in Los Angeles. The City Council Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, confirmed the mayor's appointment of Terrazas as the new head of the LAFD. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Daily News, John McCoy, File)
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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.
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