SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, May 19, the city of Santa Monica announced that Wolfgang Knabe will join as the Interim Fire Chief starting June 10, 2021. Chief Knabe is a 40-year veteran of Fullerton/Brea’s fire service. He retired in 2018. In addition, he came out of retirement to lead the Manhattan Beach Fire Department as Interim Fire Chief. 

Knabe joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1980 after a tour of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. After 22 years of service with LAFD, he served as San Luis Obispo’s Fire Chief from 2002 to 2005. He served as a Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD for 16 years, assigned for 7 years to the LAPD’s SWAT Team. 

He is looking forward to this opportunity with the Santa Monica Fire Department. “I have seen firsthand the quality of the men and women of the Santa Monica Fire Department and am looking forward to working with them to make sure the department, the community, and the City’s needs are met,” said Knabe in a statement.

Nationwide recruitment led by The Hawkins Company will start in June. Chief Knabe will be responsible for 134 firefighters, staff and manage a budget of $46,326,372.