Wolfgang "Wolf" Knabe became Fullerton's Fire Chief July 18, 2005.
Chief Knabe came to Fullerton from the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department, where he has served as Chief since 2002. Prior to that, he served 22 years with the Los Angeles City Fire Department, working up the ranks to the position of Battalion Chief. Chief Knabe has served in the Fire Services profession for 31 years.
Born in Germany, Chief Knabe came to the United States when he was 5. The family settled in Southern California when he was 7.
Chief Knabe became a Firefighter after a tour of duty with the Marine Corps. "When I got out, I originally thought I would become a Police Officer, but a friend suggested I try the Fire Service," he said. He applied to and was hired by Los Angeles, and has been in Firefighting ever since, adding he has never regretted his decision to switch career choices.
While working as Firefighter, Chief Knabe also continued his education, earning both a bachelor's degree in management and a master's in public administration from California State University, Northridge. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program, and he plans to attend law school some time in the future.
Chief Knabe is a member of the California Fire Chiefs' Association, and is their Southern Division Director. He is also a member of the California State Firefighters' Association, the Orange County Fire Chiefs' Association, the Fullerton Main Rotary Club, and he is a board member for Crittenton Services. He was also a Reserve Police Officer with the LAPD for 16 years, the last seven of which were assigned to the Department's SWAT Team. He is currently a Reserve Police Officer with the La Habra Police Department.
When his schedule allows, Chief Knabe also teaches fire science courses at the community college level.
Chief Knabe and his wife, Heather, have been married 30 years, and have five children: Adam, a Firefighter with the Los Angeles City Fire Department; twins Heidi, a teacher, and Holly, a nurse; Travis, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq; and Hope, a high school student. The Knabes have three grandchildren - Emma, Austin and Cody.
Chiefs of Fullerton Fire Department