City of Temecula appoints new fire chief


TEMECULA ─ Temecula Mayor James “Stew” Stewart, Temecula City Manager Aaron Adams, and CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Chief Shawn Newman welcome John Crater as the newly appointed Division Fire Chief for the City of Temecula, effective May 11.

Crater replaces Interim Division Chief Bill Weiser who stepped in to temporarily serve Temecula. Chief Weiser will transition with Chief Crater, and resume his post again as Division Chief for Bautista/San Jacinto.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s mind, we have not lost sight that fire safety and protection from wildland fires remain a critical priority for our region, and I’m pleased to announce Chief Crater brings 26 years of frontline public safety expertise to Temecula,” Mayor Stewart said.

Chief Crater started his firefighting career in November of 1994 as a Volunteer Firefighter at Station 9 Good Meadow in Riverside County. Chief Crater was hired in 1999 by CDF San Diego as a Seasonal Firefighter in Deluz. In 2001, he was hired as a Permanent Firefighter II for the Riverside Unit in the Lake Elsinore Battalion. He also worked in Battalions 2 and 13 as a Fire Apparatus Engineer.

In 2008, Crater was promoted to Fire Captain again in the Lake Elsinore Battalion and worked at Stations 11, 61, and Truck 97. In 2017, Crater accepted a promotion to Battalion Chief working in the Cities of Desert Hot Springs and Lake Elsinore.

City Manager Aaron Adams stated the decision came after careful consideration.

“This position is key for us as an organization and as a community,” Adams said. “I am confident that Chief Crater’s leadership style and long history of experience within Southwest Riverside County will be an asset to the City of Temecula.”

Chief Crater and his family reside in Southwest Riverside County.

Submitted by the city of Temecula.