SANTA MONICA- On Friday, May 21 the City of Santa Monica announced that Wolfgang Knabe will join the City of Santa Monica as the Interim Fire Chief starting June 10, 2021.

“We are fortunate that Chief Knabe will bring his two decades of leadership experience as a Fire Chief to Santa Monica this Summer,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “Chief Knabe’s extensive knowledge and relationships within the Santa Monica Fire Department and across other Southern California agencies together with our strong Santa Monica Fire Department team ensure continued excellence in our fire services during this interim period.”

Following a tour of duty with the US Marine Corps Knabe joined the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1980. He served as San Luis Obispo’s fire chief from 2002 to 2005 after he served 22 years with the LAFD. Chief Knabe then retired in 2018 as Fullerton/Brea’s Fire Chief, serving Fullerton since 2005 and both cities since 2011 when they merged to become one fire department. In July of 2020, Chief Knabe came out of retirement to lead the Manhattan Beach Fire Department as Interim Fire Chief. Chief Knabe also served as a Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD for 16 years.

“I hope to be able to continue the great work of Fire Chief Bill Walker while the City searches for a new Fire Chief,” said Knabe. “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.”