Crowley, seen here during Mayor Eric Garcetti's announcement on Tuesday, was also the department's first female fire marshal and became the second woman to earn the rank of chief deputy. Photo courtesy Eric Garcetti/MayorOfLA/Twitter
Jan. 19 (UPI) -- After nearly 40 years on the job, Los Angeles' fire chief has announced his retirement -- and his successor is poised to make history as the first female chief of the department.
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said on Tuesday that he will retire in March. For his replacement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Kristin Crowley, a 22-year veteran of the department.
If confirmed by the city council, Crowley would be the department's 19th and first female chief.
Crowley was also the department's first female fire marshal and became the second woman to earn the rank of chief deputy. She currently heads the department's youth development program.
A survey last November found that more than half of female firefighters reported bullying and harassment at the department, and just 13% believe that the department is interested in their well-being.
When asked about the harassment complaints, Crowley said that there would be accountability.
"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," Crowley said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "If that type of behavior is occurring, that will not be tolerated. Period."
Presently, just 3% of the department's firefighters are women.