Deputy Fire Chief Thomas C. Ewald has served in the professional fire services for 32 years. Chief Ewald started his career as a firefighter with the City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa Fire Department in 1986. While working in the Midwest, he attended community college and completed paramedic training. Chief Ewald joined the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 1992 where he rose through the ranks serving as firefighter, paramedic, captain, battalion chief, and assistant chief.
Chief Ewald has served as a firefighter paramedic at Universal Studios and West Hollywood; a fire inspector in East Los Angeles ; an apparatus engineer in Carson and Pomona; an engine company captain in South Gate and South Los Angeles; a staff captain for the Central Regional Operations Bureau Deputy; a field battalion chief in El Monte, Commerce, Palos Verdes; the chief of Technical Operations overseeing local, national and international Urban Search and Rescue Operations; assistant chief in Division I covering the South Bay and Catalina Island, and as the assistant chief overseeing the Air and Wildland Division.
During his career, Chief Ewald has been called upon to respond to man-made and natural disasters across the county and worldwide with notable incidents including Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans), Hurricane Dean (Belize), Cyclone Nargis (Camp H.S. Smith Hawaii), 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (Ofunato), 2011 New Zealand Earthquake (Christchurch) and 2015 Typhoon Maysak (Micronesia).
In November 2017, Chief Ewald was assigned to the Special Services Bureau and was officially promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief on December 16, 2017. In his role overseeing the Special Services Bureau, Chief Ewald leads a team of nearly 300 professional staff tasked with maintaining a fleet of more than 1,800 Department vehicles and emergency apparatus, 240 facilities, and dispatching more than 1,000 calls for services each day.
Chief Ewald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Prevention Administration from Cogswell Polytechnical College and a Master’s degree in Leadership from University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Chief Ewald is currently a qualified Type 2 Operations Section Chief and an Incident Commander for the Department’s Incident Management Team One. Chief Ewald is also a deputy team leader for FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue Systems Incident Support Team (White).
Chief Ewald resides in Southern California with his wife and four children.