City of Glendale Appoints New Fire Chief

The Glendale Fire Department announced the appointment of its newest fire chief, Timothy Ernst, at Tuesday night’s Glendale City Council meeting.

Chief Ernst is a 35½-year veteran of the California fire service, rising through the ranks to assistant chief in the Los Angeles Fire Dept..

“I’m excited to welcome Chief Ernst to the Glendale family! I am confident that with his decades of experience, extensive knowledge, passion for the fire service, and leadership, Chief Ernst will be effective in moving the Glendale Fire Dept. into the future alongside the men and women of the Department who provide the highest level of service to our community,” said City Manager Roubik Golanian.

Just a year after completing his Bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med at Loyola Marymount University in 1986, he joined the LAFD as a paramedic in 1987. He soon began to move through his career in emergency service in the positions of firefighter/paramedic, engineer, captain I, captain II, battalion chief and assistant chief. In addition to working a variety of challenging field assignments throughout the City of Los Angeles, he held many high-profile administrative assignments, including working in the Medical Liaison Unit, the Fire Chief’s Planning Section, supervising the Air Operations Section, supervising the Supply & Maintenance Division and supervising the Emergency Medical Services Division.

Being drawn to the more technical side of the career, Chief Ernst was instrumental in developing the department’s Swift Water Rescue program and the department’s FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Team program – where he held the positions of rescue specialist, medical specialist, and task force leader.

With an extensive background in large incident organization and management, Chief Ernst has held the position of incident commander of an LAFD Incident Management Team for over 10 years and has been a member of a CAL FIRE Incident Management Team for 12 years, where he has held the position of the Operations Section chief at some of the largest wildfires in the state’s history.

Before beginning his fire service career, he joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. as a reserve deputy, serving as an elite mountain rescue team member in our local southern California mountains for over 17 years.

Mayor Ardy Kassakhian stated, “We are very excited to appoint Chief Ernst as the next fire chief of the City of Glendale. We have a reputation for providing excellent fire safety services to our businesses and residents. I am glad we found the right person for the job. Tim has lived in La Crescenta with his family and understands our community and needs. The Council and I look forward to working with him to ensure that Glendale remains a safe, first-class city.”

Chief Ernst has lived in the community for 25 years with his wife Patsy and their four children, Jessica (31), Kevin (29), Wyatt (25) and Scottie (16).

“I seek to continue making a positive impact on the future of the fire service through continued engagement at all levels and progressive leadership of the outstanding members of the Glendale Fire Dept. knowing that today’s firefighters will be tomorrow’s fire service leaders,” said Chief Ernst. “I am honored to serve as your fire chief.”

Chief Ernst’s formal swearing-in ceremony is on Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. at Fire Station 21 (421 Oak St., Glendale).