On October 12, Brea City Manager Bill Gallardo and Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer announced the retirement of Brea/Fullerton Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe, effective December 29, 2018. Concurrently, the City Mangers also announced the appointment of Deputy Chief Adam Loeser as Fire Chief effective December 30, 2018.
Chief Knabe was praised by both City Managers for his professionalism and dedication to both the Brea and Fullerton communities for the past seven years. Knabe became the Fire Chief for Brea and Fullerton on May 3, 2011 when the two cities entered into a Shared Fire Command Agreement. Prior to that, he had served as the Fire Chief for Fullerton since 2005. The command staff merger has not only saved both cities millions of dollars over the past seven years, it also serves to maximize operational efficiencies, while increasing the availability of fire resources. The Brea/Fullerton Shared Fire Command structure is considered a model for joint command and collaboration across the state of California. Knabe’s extensive experience and strong leadership is credited with the success of the joint fire operations.
“I am blessed and I thank God for making all things possible in my life,” said Knabe. “I am honored to have been part of the Fullerton and Brea Fire Departments and serve alongside quality individuals that would do whatever it took to make sure the community is protected and safe,” he continued. “I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with wonderful colleagues in Fullerton and Brea and extremely thankful to the both City Councils for their support,” Knabe concluded.
Chief Knabe began his 38+ year Fire Services career in 1980 with the Los Angeles City Fire Department, where he served for 22 years working up the ranks to the position of Battalion Chief. Knabe became Fire Chief for the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department serving three years, prior to being appointed the Fire Chief for the City of Fullerton in 2005. In his retirement, Chief Knabe plans to continue supporting the Fire profession through teaching, consulting, other job opportunities and giving back to the profession that have in his words: “made his dreams come true.”
Adam Loeser, currently Deputy Chief of Operations, will be sworn in as the Brea/Fullerton Fire Chief in a ceremony to be held in January. His appointment will be effective December 30, 2018 to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Loeser joined the Fullerton Fire Department in 2002 as a Firefighter and rose through the ranks to Firefighter/Paramedic, Engineer/Paramedic, and Captain/Paramedic. In 2013, Loeser was promoted to Battalion Chief for the cities of Brea and Fullerton, as part of the Shared Command Agreement. In 2014, he was promoted to Division Chief of Training prior to his promotion to Deputy Chief of Operations. Loeser is a State Certified Fire Chief Officer and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, where he attended on athletic scholarship. He is a member of California Fire Chiefs Association, Orange County Fire Chiefs Association, and the Brea Rotary Club.
“I'm honored and humbled to serve as the next leader of the Brea and Fullerton Fire Departments,” said Loeser. “I'm excited to work collaboratively with the Firefighters, Command Staff and executive leadership teams to continue to provide our citizens with exemplary service. I will strive to support the hard work of our Fire personnel so they are well prepared to tackle any problem they encounter,” he concluded.